What would an American "civil war" look like?

You quoted him as saying “most”. Where are you getting “only” from?

I don’t think we’ll see a 1860s-style army-vs-army civil war any time soon, but some kind of low-level violent right-wing insurgency seems totally plausible. Going into the 2016 election I was expecting to see a spate of bombings/shootings if Hillary Clinton had won. Even with Trump as president, it’s easy to see this happening under the right circumstances. For example, suppose the evidence of Trump’s criminality continues to mount and he’s not able to pardon or otherwise obstruct his way out of jeopardy. Perhaps he’s lost political support somehow and is facing impeachment followed by criminal prosecution, or Ivanka is being prosecuted, or his businesses are under serious scrutiny. In that situation, it seems totally plausible that he might send out a Tweet like, “ROBERT MUELLER/MICHAEL AVENATTI/13 ANGRY DEMOCRATS ARE ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE! HERE ARE THEIR HOME ADDRESSES. 2ND AMENDMENT PEOPLE NEED TO PROTECT OUR COUNTRY!!!”

Even if it’s not Trump himself, it’s not hard to imagine Sean Hannity and/or other conservative media personalities playing the right-wing militia card if they feel they can’t maintain power electorally. From there we could easily see a cycle of reprisals spiraling out of control.

You seem to have not been paying attention to much of modern history.

Can anyone name any conflict in history between an urban and a rural side where the rural side was the one that won?

Obviously I have or I wouldn’t have written what I did. Do you have any specific issues with what I wrote?

Sort of. After all, we’ve been fighting in Iraq for 15 years and in Afghanistan for 17. Militaries don’t necessarily provide a great bulwark against wide arrays of disparate civilians willing to use political violence - the Colombian Civil War lasted about 40 years, despite the fact that the military was consistently on one side. The Lebanese Civil War lasted 15 years, with an army that mostly disintegrated about 10 years in, despite that army being heavily committed to the Christian factions in that conflict through its officer corps being mostly controlled by Christians. The Sri Lankan Civil War lasted about 29 years, again with an army mostly committed to fighting against the Tamil factions.
That’s another part of modern civil wars: there very likely would not be two sides. Rather, there’d be a panoply of armed groups each trying to use violence to advance their political goal. No ‘left army’ and ‘right army’ - instead, there would be 50 different groups trying to use violence to further their political ideals, and even if someone might agree with one of those groups, they would still be at risk from violence by all 50 because many of the tactics used would be bombings or other terrorist attacks that don’t involve a bunch of people in uniforms at the same spot. Heck, in the Sri Lankan Civil War different Tamil groups fought each other for years over whether to accept a cease-fire with the government or not.

This is correct.

I’m not predicting civil war, but there are already signs of civilian strain, and we can see factions beginning to develop.

And going off on a tangent, this is simultaneously why I think people underestimate the right wing, politically speaking. Whether there’s 5-dimensional chess going on in Trump’s brain doesn’t matter. What matters is that, over time, Trump and his loyalists will discover the tricks that authoritarians can use. But considering that Putin’s Russia is wielding unprecedented and enormous influence in this government, I think it’s fair to say that he’s getting help from an expert on how to demolish a functioning democracy. Regardless of whether Trump is some sort of mastermind or just a shameless clown, he and his right wing allies will, as many authoritarians have, begin see the value of splitting two large parties down into factions. The faction that is the largest and most unified and most powerful can assert itself and take over. Whether Trump realizes what he’s doing by whipping up the racial and ethnic polemic (and the right / left divisions) or not, the fact is that the outrage machine begins to incite reactions. And these reactions become the justifications for emergency police actions. Moreover, even members of the ethnic majority who consider themselves “moderate” or not racist can have reactions of their own to these reactions. They can feel threatened, and they might in turn encourage police actions for the purposes of protecting public safety. We saw this after 9/11, but the threat was considered more of a foreign adversary. In the kind of world that Trump threatens to create, the danger is both foreign and domestic.

Off the very top of my head—no googling or coffee yet—the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949 and the Iranian Revolution of 1979. I’m willing to admit I may be off base, with those two, but I don’t think I am.

I’m sure there are others.

LOL at the idea that Trump is viewed as some sort of demonic Hitler figure within the US forces.

Military coup with resistance, or sporatic insurgent attacks.

It wouldn’t look anything like the american civil war, though perhaps some states would try to secede. Key word try.

Presumably due to a long Conservative tradition of fantasizing they can just “kick ass” to solve all their problems while ignoring a 100 year history of asymmetrical modern warfare. A solution that did not work particularly well in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan.

As if states didn’t have their own National Guard units and armed police forces that might take exception to an occupation.

Or as if there weren’t potentially violent leftist (or at least anti-conservative) groups.

Or that people with small arms are not complete idiots and won’t mindlessly storm armored columns of Abrahms tanks MRAP trucks supported by Apache helicopters and Predator drones.

I would imagine an American Civil War would look less like a modern version of Grant vs Lee with tanks and helicopters and more like the civil unrest of the 60s. Riots, bombings, terrorism, political assassinations so on and so forth.

I agree with a lot of this. In the run-up to the war in Iraq, an opinion writer whose name I forget wrote, “wars go on as long as the losers want them to.” As wevets points out, it’s very hard to defeat an adversary who uses asymmetrical attacks and blends in with the locals. In the – again, unlikely – event of a civil war, anti-government paramilitaries could drag the fight on for decades.

Wevets also makes a good point about the “panoply of armed groups” (great use of “panoply”, BTW). There are various internecine conflicts among right-wing groups, and you just know the left wing groups could never get organized behind a coherent strategy, so the situation could be very fluid, with constantly shifting alliances of convenience.

The only way I could see a “traditional” civil war breaking out would be if various states refused to commit the National Guard to some Trump misadventure, and Trump tried to face them down. Then we could see masses of regular troops leveling cities.

By the way, there’s a trending topic on Twitter today: #secondcivilwarletters, where people write humorous letters in the style of old US Civil War letters, discussing a modern civil war. Remember when we all were so flippant about the prospect of Trump becoming president? Good times.

You’d see something like a handful of yahoos occupying a bird sanctuary while denouncing tyranny, with almost all the rest of us snickering and sending them bags of dicks.

Come on now, people. This is silly.

double post

Originally Posted by asahi View Post
If the conservatives call for an Article V Convention (we’re only 2 states away from that possibility)…it’s over. There will be breakaway “republics”. Let’s face it: there are parts of this country that wants to disown other parts of this country. I’m not claiming liberals have high ground here - goes both ways.

But I thought conservatives loved the Constitution. You mean they don’t?

OK, my scenario does include that. But also a false-flag domestic terror incident attributed to (but not committed by) hardcore leftist elements (ANTIFA, BLM, ACORN, Peta, whoever.) This could occur days before the election and with no time to figure out who did what, the incumbent party would solidify its already almost unprecedented grip on power. People would be yelling for blood and not be satisfied until they got it, well beyond the alleged perpetrators of the initial sparking incident. And it goes on from there.

Wevets et al already said what I would have.

I am in complete agreement that a modern American civil war would involve many factions. Further, those factions would be pretty thoroughly mixed and spread across the country. Even if one “side” has control of, let us say, the USAF’s fleet of B52 bombers, what does it profit them? What city can they level that will bring them victory? How often can they afford to carpet bomb large areas in the vague hope of killing a few of the opposition?
The next American civil war will be a giant, violent clusterfuck with very few, if any, full-on military confrontations. I’ve said for years that the leftist fantasy of yahoos with deer rifles getting splatterkilled by a military armed with tanks and choppers and such wouldn’t play out that way because darned few of the “yahoos” are so stupid as to make that confrontation. I expect those on the left are just as smart. Those deer rifles and other small arms will be put to use, though.
One thing is for sure. When such a war finally burns out, none of the survivors will come out of it feeling like their side won.

This is the right answer.

As long as there are people out there calling for a Civil War, I don’t think we’re silly for talking about it. Sure, they’re voices in the wilderness now (literally and figuratively), but most of us would have been, and were, equally dismissive of the possibilities of a trump presidency. To quote Teddy Kennedy: “Like it or not, we live in times of danger and uncertainty…”

If it’s as hard as it obviously is just to define who the sides would even be, based on what organizing principle, then yes, it’s hard to take the idea seriously.

Secession? Who? The rural areas from the cities? The ignorant from the educated? Would there be battle lines in the suburbs, or maybe the college campuses? You can predict regular confrontations like Charlottesville as long as we have an instigator in the White House, sure, but civil war?

Secession is not a necessary part of a civil war. But you knew that. If you think the topic is silly, why are you here?

Secession has been mentioned multiple times here, so it’s fair game to discuss.

Since the thread is in Elections and not Cafe Society, then some connection with reality, however tenuous, would seem to be required.

That explain it to ya?