I've probably left enough clues on this blog by now that I live in Florida, have been ever since my family moved down here when I was seven. I've also left enough clues that I'm really hating the growing realization that this state leans too far conservative on political issues, and I'm stuck here surrounded by coal-rolling Bible-thumping MAGA morans.
But this past month in June - especially as the Far Right Roberts Court issued their extremist legal decisions on abortion, voting rights, prayer in school, and finishing up with gutting federal regulatory power - that constricting, painful feeling became overwhelming.
I've had conversations in-person with two different people this past week, both of them talking about fleeing for the safety of Blue states and which ones were the easiest to move to (I'm partial to Virginia, but I hope Youngkin is a goddamned aberration up that way and the residents learned they got hoodwinked).
One of my co-workers honestly asked me, "Are we going to have another civil war?"
I once blogged I believed another civil war in the United States was a bad idea, that it was coming from cranks and foreign "experts" who were shilling fantasies over reality. However, ever since trump bullied and lied his way into the White House, with the Far Right media gaslighting and calling for open insurrection, and with more than a third of our nation actually believing his Big Lie of stolen elections I've been reconsidering the insane partisan rift between Far Right and The Rest Of The Nation has become too violent to ever get repaired.
I'm not the only one worried about this. Stephen Marche at the Guardian sees the same divide and believes it's no longer an "If" it's now a question of "When and Where":
Accelerating political violence, like the attack in Buffalo, increasingly blurs the line between the mainstream political conservative movement and outright murderous insanity. The question is no longer whether there will be a civil conflict in the United States. The question is how the sides will divide, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how those strengths and weaknesses will determine the outcome.
The right wing has been imagining a civil war, publicly, since at least the Obama administration. Back in 2016, when it looked like Hillary Clinton would win the election, then Kentucky governor Matt Bevin described the possibility in apocalyptic terms: “The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood. Of who? The tyrants, to be sure. But who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren,” he told supporters at the Values Voter Summit...
The struggle over abortion has already revealed how the divide plays out. Anti-abortion factions control the pseudo-legitimate court system and the poorer states in the Union. Pro-choice factions have responded, first of all, with their superior financial resources. Oregon started the Oregon Reproductive Equity Fund with $15m. New York is establishing a fund to make the state a “safe haven”. California governor Gavin Newsom plans to add $57m to the state budget to deal with out-of-state patients...
Incipient civil conflict in the United States won’t be formal armies struggling for territory. The techniques of both sides are clarifying. Republican officials will use the supreme court, or whatever other political institutions they control, to push their agenda no matter how unpopular with the American people. Meanwhile, their calls for violence, while never direct, create a climate of rage that solidifies into regular physical assaults on their enemies. The technical term for this process is stochastic terrorism; the attack in Buffalo is a textbook example.
The leftwing resistance is more nascent but is also taking shape: if you’re rich and you want to stay living in a democracy, the time has come to pony up. If you’re an engineer, the time has come to organize. The conclusion is not at all determined. Neither side has an absolute advantage. Neither side can win easily. But one fact is clear. The battle has been joined, and it will be fought everywhere...
I've noted before, unlike the first Civil War where the geographic boundaries were distinct, this second Civil War will be more along demographic dividing lines within each state. The Far Right won't likely have states seceding, but will have their governors, their wingnut preachers and pundits, and other regional elected officials rallying their followers into terror attacks on liberal targets (they know they won't survive attacking military forces head on, they'll go after civilian targets like schools and nightclubs and stores like they've already been doing the last 25 years). The Progressives and Center-Left populations will likely take non-violent routes like street protests and calls for strikes, but will come to rely on whatever remains of a Democratic-led federal government responding to the insurrection as they are now (with arrests, court trials, and pleas to sanity).
The results of the coming midterm elections will determine the "where" and "who" this civil war will decide itself.
If the Democratic Party retains control of both parts of Congress, the Far Right will scream "stolen votes" and declare all Dem results within Red States invalid, throwing elections to Republicans in spite of the voters. This could trigger outright secession efforts in battleground states like Texas, Georgia, or Florida.
If the Republicans flip control of Congress - or gain control of either the House or Senate - the Democrats will point to Republicans' extreme gerrymandering and voter suppression and denounce the unfairness of Republicans' minority rule. It's unlikely the Blue states will call for secession - as it would undermine President Biden's authority and go against the liberal viewpoint of federal powers exceeding the states - but more likely throw as much of the legal system into chaos nationwide as well as interfere with any Republican attempt to impose their wingnut laws on everyone.
How bad the fighting will get depends on which way the United States military intervenes in all this. While they're not supposed to fight in our own borders against technically our own people, if open secession and/or insurrection takes place, whoever is President can employ the Insurrection Act and call on the armed forces to act then. donald trump wanted to use that law to declare the 2020 election results illegal and the Blue states in rebellion, but the legal experts and military leaders told him no (It's believed if counter-protestors had gone to Capitol Hill to fight against trump's rioters, he could have justified it then. But when it was just his own people committing violence, he couldn't declare them in insurrection and so didn't do it). If Biden is forced by escalation of violence in the streets by the Far Right, he could invoke the Insurrection Act against them, but it will depend on which way the Joint Chiefs and the rest of the military will accept it (there is a possibility that a sizable percentage of personnel are Christianist extremists and could start undermining military effectiveness at the least).
Given the nature of the partisan division - that it's along party lines across every state, and that it's along educational and ethnic and income lines within every state - there really is no safe place in America when (not if) the extremism of the Far Right - either in denial of a Democratic midterm victory or in vindication of a Republican one - triggers a series of violent acts in soft target areas (The Far Left, for all the complaints from conservative pundits about the dangers of Antifa and Black Lives Matters, are not that violent).
There's a storm coming. Stirred up by decades of Far Right Culture War bullshit.
I keep saying this: None of this will end well until Republicans are completely out of power and their wingnut foot soldiers all in jail for the bloodshed they're about to inflict on the rest of us.
Gods help us.