What would an American "civil war" look like?

Matches are cheap, & Arson will be freely used.

Yet, I see videos of somebody taking a shot at cops with a hundred armed right-wing cowards in attendance and what happens? The cops run towards the shots and the militiamen sprint the other direction as fast as they can.

And yes, I am acquainted with quite a few assholes who style themselves “militiamen.” They are, to a man, abject losers and cowards. Resolve? Those idiots will fold the second they realize that a civil war means they won’t be able to buy Budweiser anymore (Inbev being a furrin’ company and all).

You’re assuming that those types of groups would be the only ones to participate in this hypothetical civil war. If it ever came to a civil war, those guys would wind up being the towel boys for more-organized and better-trained groups, who would possibly have disbanded military units among their ranks.

On the other side, you’d also have the same thing.

The Blue side makes better bombs.
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I think the best answer is that there’s just no way to know what a civil war would look like. There are multiple possible outcomes. It would be chaotic, and it would change the country forever, and most likely, not in a good way.

Have Dopers already forgotten the late 60’s/early 70’s? The Watts riots, the 1968 DNC riots, Kent State, the Weather Underground bombings, Vietnam protests, Watergate, MLK and RFK assassinations, etc. We didn’t devolve into civil war then. We are nowhere near a civil war now.

What he said.

*Dearest Laura,

It is with a heavy heart that I write you from behind enemy lines, as a prisoner in MAGAT camp 24, aka “Camp Conway”. While Operation Zushi-Sushi was a success, brilliantly led by Generals Avenatti and Maddow, I was unfortunately snared in the enemies trap as I was leading the 24th Regiment of the Tim Horton’s brigade to their positions (and don’t believe what you read - those Canadians are fine fighters and a worthy addition to the Cause.)

I cannot go into more detail lest I give away secrets to the Traitors, however given that I had to march 9 miles to a makeshift camp… and then marched 9 more miles to another, further, camp 3 days later, it appears our objective was not only reached, but that a <redacted>.

Our hearts are full, our determination growing by the day. Fortunately, I am not in the death camps reserved for our darker brethren - this one is more lenient, but the re-education can be excruciating, given we only have the minor works of Ayn Rand to read. But I have you to give me hope, purpose, life.

Do not despair, my love, for the gallantry and fighting spirit of our men and women in arms will ensure I shall be in your arms soon, giving you a thousand kisses!

Yours forever,


What are you basing this on?

We have all the tech guys. You have Peter Thiel.

You kind of buried the lede there. The impetus of that hashtag was to mock Alex Jones, who was alleging a Democrat led coup to overthrow Trump planned for tomorrow, July 4th.

What’s happening now has zero precedent. We are an ailing democracy.

Whatever happens, we have got
The Google boys, and they have not.

Oh my God, here we go with the sky-is-falling hyperbole. Dude. We will get past this. We will move on. Someone else will be president in a few years.

Before any fighting could commence, the red states would have to ask the blue states for a government handout. Just like every other day of the year.

The Mongols did alright.

Are you sure the red side has no money and no capital goods? And the majority of the military comes from what regions?

Quite obvious that the Republicans would win (again). Argue against it all you want but you’ll just be making excuses to be contrarian. You know they are much more capable, experienced (military background favors conservatives), armed and intimidating, not to mention that the millenial generation of Republicans have far more hands on experience with building and repairing and improvising things than the Millenial Liberals who can’t even replace a doorknob. Stereotypically of course.

I wish it wasn’t so blatantly obvious I am biased. When I was a liberal I would have said the same thing with dented pride. It’s just obvious.

The fact is that nearly 63 million people voted for someone with no political experience. Nearly 63 million people voted for someone who openly and unapologetically exploited ethnic and religious divisions in this country. These 63 million people voted for someone who told voters that he intended to violate the civil rights of Muslims. These same 63 million voters saw someone essentially bragging about groping women on video tape and said that this wasn’t an issue for them. They voted for someone who tells outrageous lies - lies that are so patently false that they are easily disproved. They voted for someone who says something in front of a millions of viewers and later flatly denies saying it. This is a guy who carried 30 states to his opponent’s 20. Whatever Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush’s and John Kasich’s flaws, throughout the primary process and in the general election itself, voters had a choice between candidates who respected the norms of democracy and the institutions that support them, and someone who behaves and thinks like an autocrat. Voters chose the autocrat. Sorry, but it’s not likely that we’re going to just move on from that.

I understand that for many, voting for Trump was a protest vote, but the consequence of their vote is that rather than strengthening democracy, they have greatly weakened by authorizing someone with contempt toward democracy to govern. When Trump leaves office, people are probably going to have less confidence in their democracy than they did when he was inaugurated. Even if someone like Bernie Sanders gets elected, voters may have unrealistic expectations about what he can accomplish. The residual effect will be intense skepticism and cynicism, which could make it very difficult for him to govern. Remember how despite taking decisive action that improved the economy in 2009 Barack Obama’s poll numbers dropped? Well it would be even worse this time. The point is that the strength of democracy is founded to a great degree on the confidence that ordinary people have in it, and I would venture to say that our confidence in democracy is comparatively weak. If you ask the average person on the street, they would probably tell you that they support democracy and would much rather live with a government that respects democracy over authoritarianism. But the voting behavior over the past decade or so suggests something different. Our voting behavior suggests confusion and a lack of faith in either of the 2 political parties to lead. Over time, this lack of faith can lead to extreme outcomes.

But beyond the voters, we have another problem: Vladimir Putin.

Putin has seriously infiltrated the United States political system, and he’s not going away. It is increasingly obvious that we have a completely unprecedented situation in which the president of the United States is almost seemingly indebted somehow to a foreign regime that is hostile to democracy. Name one time in history in which a foreign head of state of any stripe, much less an autocratic one, has had this much influence on our most powerful governmental office. But wait, it gets better: Congress is no longer acting as a check on the presidency. In fact, it is increasingly obvious that what was once the party of Reagan has now become almost a cult that pledges loyalty to Donald Trump. But it’s not really Trump that they’re loyal to; it’s international plutocracy and kleptocracy. Over time, the Republican party has become the party of billionaire donors who con people into voting against their own interests. It’s a party of oligarchs. Putin figured this out some time ago, which is why he has his own oligarchs working within the American political system. Putin wants to destroy American democracy as we know it, and he is working with oligarchs in this country who have a shared interest in doing so. Moving on from this isn’t going to be that easy.

Going back to the subject of the thread, I would submit that we could be one contested election away from major civil unrest. We’re obviously aware that there is already deep distrust of the political leadership in this country on all sides. But further, there are clear differences of attitude based on demography. There is a growing sense among many of us that people who are somehow different from us can’t possibly understand us and be trusted with the rights and responsibilities that we enjoy. Particularly among conservatives (but even among progressives as well), there is growing doubt about the legitimacy of people who have different live experiences than their own. There are increasingly divergent views among the population about what it means to be a real American and what American values are. There is a the sense among many that people with different backgrounds and with different life experiences have different values, which leads to suspicion of the other. With this, there is a sense among many that if the ‘other side’ wins that they will probably conspire against them somehow. There is the growing sense that “others” can’t be trusted to be as “American” and “democratic” and “law-abiding” and “freedom loving” as us. This is an extremely toxic dynamic, and it is one that authoritarians and anti-democrats have exploited over and over again throughout history. And they’re exploiting it now.

A contested election would be explosive. When Al Gore conceded to George W Bush, many of his supporters found the result controversial, but save for a few diehards who eventually faded out of the mainstream, most people never challenged the legitimacy of Bush’s presidency. Bush had legitimacy because people generally felt that the process was fairly conducted, that there had been free and fair elections, and that they had been free of the kinds of disruptions that would lead us to question the legitimacy of the results. But more importantly, most people back then didn’t walk around talking about fake news and rigged elections. There existed a greater sense of shared facts, shared truth, shared reality, even though there were already signs of divisions at that point. Were such an outcome to happen today, however, I suspect that the antipathy would be much, much greater.

But let’s take it one step further. Knowing what we now know about Russia’s intent to intervene in our election process, we now enter the mid-terms of 2018 and the upcoming presidential election of 2020 with the country fully aware of the fact that a foreign power now has the ability to disrupt the election. We already enter the upcoming election cycles with decreased confidence in the legitimacy of these elections. If Republicans win the election, it is almost certain that many progressives will have doubts about the legitimacy of the outcome. This is especially true when you factor in other aspects of the Republican procedural war against their opposition, like voter suppression efforts that disproportionately target minorities. On the other hand, if Republicans lose the election, they could turn around and claim that the elections were disrupted and that the results aren’t legitimate. I’m not saying that they will make such outrageous claims, but they could. And millions of their voters would probably believe them, because they already have hostile views toward those who don’t share their worldview.

We’re in an increasingly precarious situation.