How does one prepare for the US becoming fascist or breaking up?

A question brought to mind by the following:

But I didn’t want to hijack that thread.

What should I do? What would you do (or are doing)?

It seems to be quite rare for fascists to be the best and brightest, so someone who is intelligent and competent and who is willing to avoid any moral stances (think Bill Barr) should find it easy to advance quite quickly. If would probably be to your advantage if you pledged your allegiance early, as fascists often seem to value early adopters.

There’s already a thread with a similar premise:

I would think this would vary depending on where you lived and how you felt about the probable politics in your location after dissolution.

I’m in a solidly blue state but boarders mostly by red states. Most likely we would partner with New Mexico and either create an island on blue in a sea of red or find a way with either Utah or Arizona to bridge to the west coast. It’s possible the state would shrink as we ceded the eastern plains to the Red Sea.

Being isolated would increase our chance of being invaded by the sea of Red so have some military weapons and ammo would make sense as well as living in a place that can provide food and water once we’re cut off from the outside. Depending on how things go with the Eastern plains the food may not be an issue. Water is probably the strong point for the state and the Arkansas, Colorado, North Platte, republican, Rio grande, and South Platte compacts would all become void and we would controll much of the water going to neighboring states. Which again may increase the chances of being invaded but would also strengthen our negotiating position.

I don’t think fleeing would help since many people from Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana and Idaho will probably also run to the west coast which will tax the water and food resources.

What am I personally doing? I’m looking at buying my retirement property which is further in the mountains with some flat land and water rights (and direct access) but that is primarily because it’s pretty and I like fishing but it would also work pretty well if we started Civil War II.

Don’t be brown skinned. Or non-hetero unless closeted. Or non-cis.

Get a six pack.

Get a cooler.

Some ice.

And just sit back and watch the madness.

As a fellow Coloradan, I tend to dispute the ‘solidly blue’ part. We’d be civil war central, with the greater Denver metroplex being solidly blue, the eastern plains solidly red, and the rest a patchwork: in this we’re similar to a lot of states where the urban areas (well, not really Colorado Springs) being pretty solidly blue and the rural areas are Texas Red.

So back to the OP. If we go fascist, you prepare by hoping you can pass for a WASP. Sadly I’m serious, figure right now 50% of the country would back any Republican agenda as long as it has the tiniest fig leaf of justification: see Arizona, George, etc. And considering the currently reported state of our military leaning towards a Fox news/Qanon reality, yeah, if the ‘legally’ elected government sends in the troops, they will likely obey. Of the 50% that objects, I doubt even half would be willing to take the risks associated with a civil war, and thus we’d end up with a lot of protestors that would be violently put down, which would then increase the support among the ‘Law and Order types’.

As for breaking up? For the reasons above, I don’t think it’s likely. Unlike the first Civil War, I don’t think there’s going to be sufficient support (especially military) to make both sides have an illusion of success. And that utterly leaves out the fact that also unlike the first civil war, the number of international powers who can and would happily intervene to make the situation worse is incredibly high. In fact, that’s the only situation in which I can see a break up happening, is that other powers support individual states/blocks of states going alone to further weaken US power. We’d be a second or third-rate power nearly instantly, with the biggest worries being who has control of the nuclear stockpile(s).

That didn’t work out too well for the Germans, nor anyone else adjacent to them.

The “break up” notion is pretty unlikely; as politically divided as the nation is, very few states or even whole regions are really constituted for independent governance and self-sustainability. Even California, which has pretty much every resource and industry necessary to be an independent nation, would not fare better by itself than it would as part of a federation. Being taken over by fascist elements bent on subverting democratic principles, however, is a more likely option; even if they don’t completely control the federal governing apparatus, a significant right-wing presence can do even greater harm to the reputation and future of the country than they already have over the last couple of decades.

The best way to prepare? Resist, or else move to another nation, although given the reach and influence of the United States (even in the current waning period) is such that there is scarcely a nation that would not be affected, especially if a hypothetical fascist leader decides to exert influence by military action or threat of nuclear response. Unless you are planning to move into your benthic lair or in an orbiting platform, the notion that you can actually escape the effects of such a transition just by moving to Denmark or the Seychelles is risible at best.


Ehh, like I said Colorado might have to cede the eastern plains because they are so red but the rest of the state is a patchwork that leans Blue. While any state is going to see a urban/rural divide Colorado has a lot of blue rural counties enough that the state is basically 50/50 on a county by county basis outside of the eastern sea of red.

14 points blue last election makes Colorado the 15th bluest state and every branch of our government is controlled by dems. That is similar to Washington or Oregon so I’m not sure how else you would define solidly blue since every state has Republicans.

Without meaning to threadshit, let me point out that what a lot of Dopers call “fascism on the way” is in fact just…what the United States was like the last time it itself was fighting a genuine fascist state (Nazi Germany and Japan.)

People warn that Trump and his ilk are trying to turn America back into what it was in the 1940s. Well…back in the 1940s, there was racial segregation, civil rights were very limited compared to today, it was far tougher to be a woman than it is now, society was strongly anti-LGBT, etc. Conditions even more un-progressive than anything Trump himself has proposed. In fact, the U.S. even downright locked up people (Japanese-Americans) for unjust reasons on a massive scale. And yet nobody in their right mind back then would look at the United States and Nazi Germany on the same map and think, “Hmmm, yep, I see two fascist states.” There was immense contrast between the two nations even then.

And as someone who knows a fair number of Trump-rabid supporters and the way they themselves start threads worrying, “What are we going to do when the inevitable liberal tyranny comes for us?”, it seems tragic but comedic to see two sides of America both convinced that the other side will achieve a despotic regime soon.

Yup, that’s why I said we aren’t ‘Solidly Blue’. Having to concede roughly half the state by volume (admittedly, NOT by population) is the issue. Thus my comments about the urban vs rural elements.

The difference is Velocity, that while the Trumpees say that the libs are going to take their guns, close their churches, and on and on and on, this is verifiably not he legislation being put forward or passed. But the legislation being put forward by the Republicans IS in many cases specifically allowing a state legislature to override the votes based entirely on their own initiative. So, yeah, apples to oranges.

And as for your comparison to WW2 era America… why not compare it to the colonial period? Or to pre-revolutionary France? Or any other period (since we’re already talking about 80 years) that was hugely different on a social basis. While we still share the name of the 1940s USA, we are NOT those people. Heck, many, many threads have pointed out that most pre-Trump conservatives in the last 20 years would have been terrifying liberals by the standards of the 40s/50s/60s.

Huh, I honestly thought you had something actual in mind when I read your post quoted in my OP.

Trump isn’t just trying to roll things back to the supposed glorious ‘Forties or ‘Fifties; he is literally—if somewhat ineptly—trying to be a fascist figure with supporters who will attempt to rationalize his most ridiculously counterfactual claims and transparent attempts to incite insurrection. The country has not seen a figure like this with such a broad following since the American Civil War, and even then such support was regional and not bolstered by the ability to spread bullshit so widely and quickly.

The United States has been a non-egalitarian and explicitly racist nation since its founding–as has every other industrialized nation to greater or lesser degree–but a large plurality of the populace has never bent over this hard for a ‘leader’ who is so capricious, self-aggrandizing, and transparently corrupt as Donald Trump. Even Warren Harding, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were amateurs compared with what Trump got away with. The oft-heard refrain of “it can’t happen here” has never rang so hollow as with a leader that most reflects the values and intellect of Benito Mussolini.

And quite frankly, the United States of the 1930s, while not as explicitly fascist as post-Weimar Germany, certainly had its share of cryptofascist adherents from Henry Ford to Walt Disney, who if they didn’t actual venerate European fascist leaders certainly shared many of their views. Citing a desire to return the 1940s is not exactly turning away from the core tenets of fascist ideals.


The only thing that can stop American fascism is mass protest and demonstration, and preferably before the coup is successful. Once an illiberal regime takes command, they don’t just give up power. There is no other way to stop it, which is why Republicans are so brazen about defying democratic norms.

I still think the U.S. as a country is too large for “mass protest and demonstration” to have any real effect. If it could, then the rural counties wouldn’t be able to keep thinking that the major cities are fiery ruins.

The US anti-democratic movement will continue as it has begun – gradually and from the inside, and with continued lipservice to democracy. History and observation of other countries that have taken the same route shows that the temperature gets turned up on the frog slowly. The frog is not suddenly thrown in the boiling pot, and it doesn’t jump out.

If the US slides into fascism or becomes non-democratic (and I don’t think that is inevitable) it will be by a slow erosion into something more like Russia where there are elections but the outcome is preordained, or otherwise manipulated, or the outcome only affects unimportant parts of government, while the real seat of power stays with a dictator or ruling party. All along the figleaf of democracy will be retained, and the worst excesses will be justified by trumped-up emergencies, in the time honoured fashion. This will be sufficient to mollify the apathetic middle until it’s too late.

Cynically, how one prepares for such a situation depends on where one hopes to end up at the end of the process. If one is determined not to live in such a State, there will be a point where the slide away from democracy has become all but inevitable but escape is still possible, and you are probably best off escaping at that point if you can. Or there would be the fight and die option presumably.

From my highly limited experience of talking to people who have lived in places like China and Russia, they will say that for the most part the daily life of most ordinary people continues unaffected if they keep their head down (and they do). If your life involves interaction with government, the style of interaction would become far more one-sided. And of course criticism of government will likely become verboten and you would want to think long and hard about what you had said publicly to this point and whether you could wipe or hide that.

“Bug out” style thinking is dumb fantasy. If the US goes fascist or non-democratic, or there is civil war, campin’ out in the hills for a few weeks (or attempting to do so forever) will not be effective or practical, any more than now.

I personally don’t think America will be completely fascist; it will be kinda like an Eastern European country like Poland or Hungary. What will prevent us from sliding head first into total autocracy - I think/hope - is that there’s a culture of democracy, imperfect though it might be.

But that doesn’t mean it’ll be a picnic, either. There will be wingnuts coming out of the woodwork. I’m particularly concerned about a right wing evangelical movement.

When in danger
Or in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout.

It might be a cowards way out, but I think my skills are sufficiently in demand that I’d be able to move out of the country without that much of an issue.

Don’t forget there can be two sides to the equation - one being whether a different country would take you, but the other being whether your current country will let you leave.