What would an American "civil war" look like?

Eh, I’ve always felt Civil War analogies to be rather simplistic - the actual CW had very distinct economic and social differences between the various states, differences which do not exist today. Given the communications revolution and our political fragmentation* I have always felt the more appropriate analogy is the Protestant Reformation, where neighbor hated (and fought) neighbor.

*Not “fragmented” in the sense of people believing different things, but fragmented in the 50 states, 3,000 counties, and over 80,000 separate governments within the US. Hell, in some ways we’re more fragmented than 16th-century Germany.

I suspect it would resemble the Iraqi civil wars. Not an identifiable North vs South situation, but rather a bunch of disorganized gangs and insurgencies lashing out at their perceived enemies.


Don’t see how you’d get to an actual civil war without a lot more violence in the streets, and I don’t see how you get a lot more violence in the streets without first getting more contentious elections. The largest plurality of the electorate voted “I don’t care enough to cast a vote” in the last election, to sustain an actual civil war you’d need to have those people jump from “eh whatever, let me watch more netflix” to “I’m ready to risk my life in an insurgency.” I don’t see what issues would actually prompt people to give up comfort for active warfare.

Those people don’t have to get involved. What makes you think their participation is necessary? This kind of violence is driven by committed minorities. The people of whom you speak hunker down and hope it goes away or, perhaps, become refugees.

You don’t need a majority of the population actively fighting to sustain an insurgency. A relatively small % can accomplish that much.

Yeah, this. A million people deciding to have it out with gun battles on the street would ruin everybody’s day, even if the rest of the population stayed out of it.
What I would expect a new US Civil War to look like would be Ethnic Cleansing. A few small towns here and there finally decide they’ve had enough of the “illegals”, and start forcing them out at gunpoint. Of course, being kind of stupid, they round up just about everyone who “looks foreign”, regardless of their immigration status. A few neighborhoods in other cities where these people end up react in the same way, out of self defense. It snowballs from there, with violence likely erupting by accident, acting like the match to a fuse.

Moderates on both sides get radicallized when they’re caught up in the middle of it all.

I think Nazi Germany is a hell of a lot more likely than the War Between the States, if you are talking re-runs.

Oh my God, here we go again! That scenario is equally ridiculous and it’s flat-out insulting to all the people who were killed by Nazi Germany and whose lives and countries were turned upside down. Germany circa 1930s is absolutely nothing like America, not demographically, not ideologically, not geographically, not in terms of culture, NOTHING! Absurd! And the more people ‘cry wolf’ about this Nazi bullshit, the more it’s going to hurt our objective of winning votes so that Trump’s ass can finally be deposed.

It wouldn’t last long. Americans hate each other, but not enough to kill each other over the long term.

What would happen is eventually we’d just split into 2 countries. The rural areas get their own country and the urban areas get their own country (the urban areas will be like landlocked collections of hundreds/thousands of islands). There will be free migration between them but they will govern themselves.

I agree. That sort of “ethnic cleansing” type action would be much more likely than any sort of actual organized violence.

I also tend to think that a more possible form of civil war would be more along the lines of a resistance movement, not two (or more) sides duking it out, a-la Iraq or Syria. But… I also think that if it came to the point that a serious violent insurgency would crop up due to Trumpian misdeeds, it would be more than just a resistance; it would be more of a groundswell or tsunami of disapproval, because it would mean that everyone who currently thinks that things can be solved through the normal lawful channels, has decided that something else needs to be done.

I suspect the military would either sit it out, or throw in with the side that maintains the Constitution, since that’s what they’re sworn to uphold and defend, and from what I can tell, they’re remarkably serious about that.

snickers…but the red side doesn’t have any MONEY. You know how conservatives are always talking about the coastal elites spending 1 million bucks for a one bedroom residence that would cost 35K in Podunk, and more for a cup of coffee then you do for a family sized chicken dinner? That’s because they have a buttload more money than you do. This is why product boycott’s are a political one way street. And access to investors. And the blue side would have all the sympathy and support of the Western democracies of the world, especially if you think your random bands of rednecks are going to take on Mexico and Canada.

Guns are not enough. You need money for ammo for those AR-15’s. And gas money . And the liberal elites will have plenty of money for REAL war weapons.
While the broke-red ass militia specimens won’t be able to scrounge up gas money for their pick-up trucks.

And the world sympathy thing would be really bad optics for any red
rebel’s. Especially if you try to take on Canada or Mexico. Because all the Western Democracies will be on the liberal/Canada/Mexico side and you’ll get Russia and Saudi Arabia. If they can be bothered but they probably won’t be, because there’s nothing in for them. Which is why reds won’t get the support of Wall Street or anyone else with money.

And don’t count on law enforcement because the reds have pretty much alienated any and every federal enforcement agency. You may get state and locals but you will need to deal with a lot of in-fighting. And you’ll still need gas money.

Yeah, the reds could probably cause a lot of misery for heartland liberals but they wouldn’t have the money or organization to raise an effective army. Not to mention that they would be at a distinct disadvantage in terms of supply lines, especially if they are fighting Mexico and Canada.

Right…look how the Bolsheviks, VC, et al failed by not having the rich people on their side. The French Revolution failed for the same reason, right?

Um, I wouldn’t go saying all that NOTHING, myself. There was a lot of sympathy for Nazi Germany in the US (and there still is). When there are people wearing swastika armbands and marching with torches, I’d say there’s SOME similarities.

I still think we are far closer to a fascist government takeover than we are to splitting the country into slave states and free states. Or reactionary states and liberal states, or however you want to describe it. I cannot begin to imagine how the latter would happen, but it’s pretty fucking easy to see fascism tinting our government right this very second.

These absurd scenarios are barely worth dignifying with serious discussion, but I guess I’ll do it anyway.

Let’s just go with this premise of “insurgency” by the “red” people, being discussed in the posts above. Even if it’s true that they’d lack material and economic support from the rich and powerful - and there’s no reason to accept that as an article of faith - they’d still be able to cause an unbelievable amount of chaos and destruction.

Even apart from all of the firearms that they own, it’s likely that they would have a lot of military veterans on their side - far more than a similar insurgency from the “blue” side. This would include quite a few special operators. And lest you think that the people I’m talking about are “just” highly skilled infantrymen - which they are - they’re also trained in demolitions and all kinds of strategic sabotage. Shit, they’re the guys that the government sends “over there” to train their guys how to do the same. Even just five former SEALs and Delta Force soldiers among an insurgent group means that, more important than the “brawn”, they will have the “brains.”

Forget the small arms (though they would certainly be capable enough of doing a lot of damage) - the explosives and sabotaging of infrastructure that these guys would be able to pull off, would be a major, major threat. Scumpup’s comparison to the VC is accurate.

Do you have any idea, even roughly, how much ammo is already in civilian hands here in the USA today?

You realize, of course, that the second anybody takes a shot at any of the “Red State Militiamen” they are going to piss themselves and run back to their double-wide in terror. They get strength from the mob, but the first sign of serious (ie lethal) resistance and they will revert to the cowards they are and always will be. They could no more wage a civil war than the Girl Scouts could.

Article 5 and the country balkanizes? Great. Let’s see how long it takes Kansas to realize that they don’t have a functioning economy. California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico and all of Arizona outside of Mesa will comprise the 7th largest economy on the planet, while the trumpites in Montana wonder if they can eat their stored ammo. Hell, if the country breaks up Texas will probably want to join Ecotopia. Texans are weird but they ain’t stupid. Mostly.

Your side wouldn’t even get the eastern portions of CA, OR, or WA, let alone “all of Arizona outside of Mesa”. Perhaps you should start your analysis by taking a look at a map

~ 1/3 of Californians voted for President Trump. What makes you think they’d want to be part of “Ecotopia”?

You sound pretty confident about this. Why? Acquainted with many “red state militiamen” are you? Done a study of their performance in the face of armed opposition? If so, let us in on the details. Otherwise, I am forced to conclude that you are just woofing about how you want things to play out.

Your first paragraph is hilarious, given the side that’s wearing masks and using violence to break up demonstrations lately is the left wing, not right. If anyone is acting cowardly, it’s wannabe stormtroopers like Antifa. I could have lived happily for the rest of my life without those geniuses importing the delightful European tradition of political street violence.

But reading threads here, and the equivalent for the right, I think there is a tremendous amount of misapprehension on both sides, for the other side’s resolve and views. I don’t think this is going to end well. I wonder what idiot thing in the Balkans will set this off?