Subscribe
Notify of
guest

305 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
2 months ago

it is hard to avoid the feeling that whatever the outcome this November, large swathes of the country will see the election as illegitimate
And the Democrats are doing their damnedest to bring that perception of illegitimacy into being by banning Trump from the ballot in several states. Just like they did to Lincoln in 1860.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago

And Biden continually saying MAGA is a threat to democracy – even though the Dems donated $10 mill to the most extreme MAGA candidates in the Republican primaries. The Dems entire political strategy is to stoke fear and division. Creepy.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The response to Trump has always been at least as dangerous as Trump himself, maybe more dangerous given Trump’s questionable political acumen and competence. The disproportionate response to Trump has empowered the man far beyond anything he would be capable of on his own. The establishment Dr. Frankenstein has created the monster that it fears.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Well put.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Trump is a vainglorious idiot who would be gone after four years. Congress would prevent him doing very much at all. The response to him is frightening.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
2 months ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

Donald Trump: the American Georges Boulanger.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

Yes. It would be colossally stupid to use undemocratic means to prevent Trump running for President or taking office when the checks and balances of the Constitution are already capable of handling him. One cannot save democracy by abrogating the democratic process. It’s the old destroy village to save village nonsense. I’d advise the Democrats to run their campaign, make their case, and if they lose, take their medicine and endure four years of Trump because whatever damage he does won’t be as bad as what could happen if they somehow overturned the election. Further, while they’re enduring another four years of stupid and embarrassing twitter posts and barely coherent ranting, they should sit down and take the time to do some soul searching and ask themselves WHY they lost and maybe, I dunno, try a different approach next time.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Trump is only dangerous to the deep state. He is the one to save the honest Citizen, and the America created by the writers of the Constitution, from the Biden puppeteers. The Globalist Elite.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

He is clever without being intelligent.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

He’s a marketing savant

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
2 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

The word is ‘cunning’.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

It wouldn’t be the democrats banning Trump it would be the constitution.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

This is a thoughtless and partisan comment. Whatever the degree of self-execution implied by the 14A, it cannot be usefully denied by any serious commentator that the partisan nature of those justices charged with its interpretation are instrumental in the final outcome.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Indeed. To save Democracy we must destroy Democracy.

David Jory
David Jory
2 months ago

For the Democrats to start one civil war is a misfortune,to start two would appear to be careless

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
2 months ago
Reply to  David Jory

haha, Oscar Wilde, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’.

Kat L
Kat L
2 months ago
Reply to  David Jory

They didn’t start two. SC had seceded by that time, the fort was theirs. Lincoln knew what he was doing. Just like they knew what they were doing at Charlottesville by letting two groups of demonstrators clash with no intervention.

rob clark
rob clark
2 months ago

Agreed, let’s also not forget the Democrats embrace of identity politics that has further divided us as well!

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
2 months ago

This comment is exactly what the author is warning us about. This knee-jerk whataboutism, on both sides, has to stop.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
2 months ago
Reply to  Rick Lawrence

There is nothing knee-jerk about my whataboutism.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
2 months ago

Anyway, the term is “whataboutery”

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
2 months ago
Reply to  Albireo Double

Don’t confuse me with your ism-ery.

Christopher
Christopher
2 months ago

When the game becomes “Power at any cost” and division is the weapon , one wonders how we got here. Living at perhaps the best time of all off history made us soft. Obama used race to divide us. With SCOTUS settling the “ gay marriage “ question, Biden plays the “trans card” to keep the money and votes flowing from that community. This does not make America Great. It’s division for power and the left can’t win a civil war.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 months ago
Reply to  Christopher

Soft times make soft men.
Soft men make hard times.
Hard times make hard men.
Hard men make soft times…

Troy MacKenzie
Troy MacKenzie
2 months ago
Reply to  Christopher

I don’t know what makes you think they can’t win. They purged the armed forces in a hunt for “extremists.” They hold the cities where all the industrial capacity is. Their population is concentrated in cities where they can be easily organized into military units, whereas the republicans are scattered across the rural heartland. A civil war will be no cakewalk for either side.

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
2 months ago
Reply to  Troy MacKenzie

Cities need a lot of food, water and energy. Only water will be in sufficient supply for a time.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 months ago
Reply to  Troy MacKenzie

Makes you wanna write the novel, doesn’t it?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

There’s a film coming out this year.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
2 months ago
Reply to  Troy MacKenzie

But the Republicans in the heartland and the south have all the guns and food.

James S.
James S.
2 months ago
Reply to  Troy MacKenzie

Living in a state with at least one deep blue city surrounded by red hinterlands, I sincerely doubt the ability of the Feds to organize military units out of the inhabitants of said blue city. And that urban area is heavily dependent upon the red hinterlands for food and energy. What do you think would happen if the red areas cut off food and energy to the blue cities?

Christopher
Christopher
2 months ago
Reply to  Troy MacKenzie

True on man power. But who grows the food feeding them?

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 months ago

Here is the problem. There is no live and let live. What if I just want the federal government to quit illegally abusing its authority all the time and want the Bill of Rights left alone? This should be about the most basic American position there is, but it is an opinion that has come under constant attack. What about just wanting our kids to be left alone? Have the wrong opinion and they will try to destroy you. I remember the “Summer of Love” in 2020 very well. It was made clear that the law was anything but impartial. Tell me, what does undermining our immigration system and then lying to our faces about it count as? Is it the fault of “both sides” when one keeps poking the other with a stick every chance they get?

David Jory
David Jory
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

4 years jail if you run down and kill a Republican supporting student in your pickup. 500 if you do it in Charlotte,NC to a Democrat. 2 tier legal systems lead to social explosions.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
2 months ago
Reply to  David Jory

A guy dies of a fentanyl overdose wile being arrested and they burn down billions of dollars of inner city – white guy dies of fentanyl and they toss him into the chipper and Biden brings in another 100,00 fentanyl dealers from Mexico.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 months ago

I think the run-up to the Civil War was profoundly different from the present crisis. The South started out the senior partner in the Union, but as the industrial revolution got going it was facing second-class status. Inconceivable!
Our present situation has been building through successive attempts of the ordinary middle class to be taken seriously: Nixon’s silent majority, Reagan’s Reagan Democrats, Tea Party, Trump MAGAs. And every time the educated class has responded with scorn and with repression.
I am re-reading Trollope’s Palliser novels and his key point is that the great Whig landowners of England understood and accepted that their day was passing.
But our ruling class says: “shut up, peasants.”

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
2 months ago

One aspect of the problem is that our modern elites feel more individually deserving of their wealth than Trollope’s Whigs did since they have acquired most of it from success in a seemingly meritocratic system rather than the random outcome of inheritances. They feel little need to justify their good fortune by a modern version of noblesse oblige since they feel they have earned it by being more intelligent, hard working or adroit than their contemporaries. Young’s dystopian view of the flaws of meritocracy is still worth reading.

The members of our elites also tend to be short termist since most of them hope that a few years with their snouts in the trough will set them up for decades of agreeable well funded part time work and retirement. The result is a horde of individual opportunists rather than a cohesive elite thinking hard about to manage society in ways acceptable to the great majority.

One does not need to romanticise the Whigs – who had as many vices as virtues – to realise that the current elite are by comparison as far sighted as a bunch of lemmings heading for a cliff.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Wasn’t private education supposed to turn these ‘nouveau elites’ into gentlemen?
Perhaps it is just too expensive, or now that they have ‘critical mass’ they just don’t care?*

(*Even the women, deplorably!)

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago

I concur. Of all the ways our present crisis could end, I see a secession crisis and civil war similar to the first to be by far the least likely. Any modern civil war is going to be much uglier. The US military doesn’t have close to enough troops to occupy Afghanistan, let alone the US. It would be like other civil wars with asymmetric warfare, terrorism, guerilla tactics, etc. Think Syria, Libya, or Yugoslavia, not the Union and the Confederacy.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I’m not so sure. Governors have the effective power in situations like this. Internal disunion in the state would persist, but the Red/Blue lines could be quickly closed by the respective State ‘national’ guards.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Most of the US domestic military bases are in red states in the south and mid-west to Rocky Mountain states. Possession is 9/10 of the law. Make of that what you will.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

It suggests that you are a complete moron.
That’s what I make of it.

Chris Bradshaw
Chris Bradshaw
2 months ago

Keep going mate, one day you’ll submit a comment that adds something to the debate. A broken clock and all that.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Well, my point is that most modern civil wars are asymmetric because of the nature of weapons systems now vs. then. In 1861, war was just men with guns shooting at each other with some fairly unsophisticated artillery support. You could take any idiot off the street and make a soldier of him with a few days of training. Fielding a military just required men and weapons and both sides had access to these.
Today’s weapons are a different animal. I daresay most non-military people couldn’t operate anything more complicated than a rifle or a humvee. Even if a state seized a bunch of tanks, they’d still have to spend weeks or months training people to actually operate them.
The only way a symmetric civil war could occur these days is if there was a conflict within the military itself, that is the military broke apart into factions with part of them supporting the rebel side. I’ll grant that this is a possibility. The national guard and reserves actually outnumber the regular forces, and they are organized by state. If the governor and President both called them up to fight, there’s going to be a lot of side picking and in that case the locations of military bases are very relevant. Still, I doubt it gets to that point becaue if I were a general in that situation, I think it would be a lot easier to get together with some of my other pragmatic military buddies and stage a coup to oust the politicians that got us into such a terrible situation rather than just blithely charge into a suicidal conflict. It would be pathetically easy. The hard part would be getting enough of the military on board to do it. The bureaucracy is concentrated in the executive branch and could be easily seized intact and simply operated in an emergency state. Faith in the government is so low at this point, I can’t imagine too many people sticking their necks out for the politicians and their financial overlords on wall street. Once it was clear the military was in charge and there was not enough grassroots support to reverse the process, the American Republic would end and be replaced with… well something else.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

The general public have a tendency to over estimate the numerical strength of armed forces. At the time of the first covid lockdown UK shoppers were competing to grab the last roll of toilet paper in supermarkets. There were calls to deploy the army to restore order.
I worked the numbers and concluded there were just enough infantry battalions in the British Army to guard each grocery shelf selling toilet paper with a single soldier 12 hours a day.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Call it conspiracy, but if you do, then offer up an alternative explanation to the following: for several years, federal agencies with no law enforcement duty have been buying up arms. And I mean serious arms, not revolvers and shotguns. On top of that, we have the millions of unknown people walking across the border.
Why worry about American cops and troops when you have what amounts to a mercenary force with no affinity to the US, its citizens, or its traditions? I am more than happy to be wrong, but the border parade PLUS the weapons stockpiling at the FDA, Smithsonian, Agriculture Dept, and similar agencies is happening for a reason.

Julienne Nelson
Julienne Nelson
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Interesting addition to the conversation. What are your sources on this weapons stockpiling by civilian federal agencies with no law enforcement mandates?

Rob N
Rob N
2 months ago

There were well reported articles about IRS buying up lots of weapons and appointing new agents but see https://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-fda-smithsonian-federal-agencies-stockpiling-military-weapons/ which states
“The reports states that “administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment.”
or
https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-19-175
or https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2017/10/20/why-are-federal-bureaucrats-buying-guns-and-ammo-158-million-spent-by-non-military-agencies/?sh=71d5a4aa64a1

Atticus Basilhoff
Atticus Basilhoff
2 months ago

This arming and stockpilking of ammo was discussed at length under Obama’s admins. No realistic rationale was ever given as to why VA buildings suddenly required armed guards and SWAT teams. Obama stated in his first term that he wanted a 100,000 man force to act as a national police force, but that never came to be, at least not openly. Arming every department of the Fed probably accomplished something close. How any of these organizations would be integrated or coordinated and by who has always been my question.

James S.
James S.
2 months ago

You have federal agencies such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) who have well-armed SWAT teams. Why?

That said, I think that the National Guards’ loyalty would be severely compromised in the unlikely event of civil war. These are truly citizen soldiers, not regular army. Add to that a large number of recently retired/mustered-out ex-military that aren’t enthralled with the federal government’s policies. And my view of blue cities is that they aren’t replete with folks who know their way around weapons, or living in austere conditions.

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Return to Constitutional Federalism. Is that possible peaceably?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Walter Brigham

It’s very possible. The biggest obstacle are globalist politicians and the corporations and international class that bankrolls them. As of now, they are basically not accountable to anybody. They have free reign to go wherever, do whatever, and make money however they want, so long as they cut the right deals with the locals. They do NOT want to go back to a world of well defined nation states with hard borders that compete politically, economically, and militarily for influence and demand some degree of loyalty from even their wealthiest citizens. They’re not going to give it up easily, but they can be beaten without violence, largely because they don’t understand human nature or how power truly works and is exercised.

James S.
James S.
2 months ago
Reply to  Walter Brigham

The deep staters despise the notion of constitutional federalism.

Barry Dank
Barry Dank
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Yes, a secession crisis will be very unlikely. Why? Because states contemplating secession will not have any of it because as secession talk increases more citizens will come to know what they risk losing from the Federal government- social security and Medicare- which did not exist in the 1860s. People will abandon secession talk once they understand what they have to lose economically, no matter how evil they consider Trump. Keep my social security and Medicare and you can keep Trump. End of discussion.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

The South was by no means monolithic. When you talk about “peasants” the vast majority of the South fell into that category in 1861. Plantation owners and merchants mostly along the coast drove the South to war; the vast majority of Southerners who fought were rural farmers who in many ways despised plantation owners. Take a look at the book American Nations, one of the best narratives of the migration patterns and conflict of cultures that drove the Civil War (and are still driving current culture conflicts) that I have ever read.

Thor Albro
Thor Albro
2 months ago

The likely solution, of course, is for States to reassert their sovereignty. This was after all the original design of the country before the creeping onset of federal regulation a hundred years ago. We are seeing the beginning of that already with Texas’ attempts to control the border in the absence of any sane policy by the presidency, and at least 2 states have elected to reject Medicaid funds from the feds in order to arrest the slide into welfare-state dependence. The majority of Congress’ power comes from threats to withhold $ from states unless they bend the knee. We may see more states simply refusing the funds in order to be free – although that would be a steep political hill to climb.

Then, of course, there is simply civil disobedience, which has a long and distinguished history here. When powerful governors start to just ignore the miasma of edicts and misrule from D.C. there will be a reckoning I would imagine, and not in a bad way.

William Brand
William Brand
2 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

If Biden arrest the governor of Texas It will be the end

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  William Brand

Yes, very much so. Abbott is daring Biden to do something stupid like that. If Biden tries to arrest Abbott, he’ll pay a political price at the ballot box, and polling suggest he’s already losing. Things like governors getting arrested tends to alarm independent voters. Biden needs to try to find an off ramp quickly. He has to find some way to compromise and deescalate the situation in an election year, but that will send a message to every other state that they can defy the federal government and get away with it. Abbott knows this and is counting on it. This is classic brinkmanship, and I expect to see a lot more of it as the years go by unless the federal government drastically changes its policy on some things.
The brinkmanship is hopefully as far as it will go. Everyone should realize that if a Civil War actually starts, everything the elite establishment is trying to defend will immediately be rendered impossible anyway. China and Russia will have free reign to do whatever they want and the whole world will feel the shock. It would trigger a global recession that would last years. It would mean no US Navy to patrol shipping lanes. It’s almost like the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. A civil war would be so costly and disruptive that nobody has any interest in actually pursuing the conflict. So there will be a Cold Civil War with provocation and brinkmanship, but nobody is going to push the ‘end of the world’ button unless they are already facing destruction.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Excellent post.

Atticus Basilhoff
Atticus Basilhoff
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Excellent and thought provoking. Unforunately, it doesn’t appear Biden is pulling any of the strings controlling events. With the power behind the WH opaque as it is now, does anyone really know how far “Biden” will go to assert Fed authority? Who will be the person calling the shots for an Abbott to be arrested and on what charge and authority? Personally, I don’t think the Left has any care or intention of being, much less appearing, bipartisan, rational or respectful of the Constitution. Scary times, indeed.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago

We’ll see. My assessment of the Biden administration based on the priorities it has pursued in its legislation leads me to believe that most of the strings are being pulled from the Pentagon, who see the China/Russia/Iran axis as a possible WWIII level conflict or at minimum, a second cold war that will require, among other things, a return to overt economic nationalism and compromise with the populists. I think those people sensibly understand that any civil war would have costs and geopolitical consequences far more serious than allowing Texas police to arrest migrants and maybe annoy the Mexican government. I concede the rhetoric coming from the left sounds as bad as it ever has, but the world has changed a lot in a very short period of time and I’m not sure the rhetoric coming out of the left has caught up to practical realities. I hope I’m right. I could very well be wrong.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

Oh crikey! It would be like the dark ages without you Americans running things for us!
You are starting to make the Chines look better…

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Carl Valentine

Well if you’re looking for a unified and orderly state without internal political conflict, you’ll find Beijing more to your liking than Washington. If you prefer a system where a small group of like-minded leaders is free to implement optimum policies without having to deal with internal opposition or take public sentiment into account, then obviously the Chinese system is for you.
I don’t know what to tell you. Internal conflict will always be present in America. Americans disagree and fight political battles through our conflict based governmental system and courts. China is a one party state that maintains an illusion of harmony and broad popular consensus through force. Neither system is perfect, and both have their problems, but I know which one I prefer.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

Governors do have a lot of power and it’s long past time they said hell no to DC. The very idea that Massachusetts governor Maura Healy is asking citizens to open their homes to illegal aliens is absolutely outrageous, while Governors Abbott and DeSantis are sending illegals to self-proclaimed “sanctuary cities”, who are all crying about it.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago

I’ll give the author credit for saying he has no idea how a civil war will unfold. Just once I would like someone to illustrate the steps involved in an eventual civil war. Same thing when people complain about Trump becoming a dictator. Tell me how it will actually occur because it seems damn near impossible to me.

Cal RW
Cal RW
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I wondered that myself. A few months back, Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed that States should consider seceding due to Biden policies. At the time, I wondered where her home State of Georgia would align; Biden won Georgia in 2020 and also elected two new Democrat Senators. It is hard to envision a civil war but here is a scenario. Trump wins in 2024, and there is chaos and unrest during the next four years. Leading into 2028, Trump declares the unrest in the country makes it impossible for a legitimate new election and suspends it. He institutes the Insurrection Act and declares martial law. West Coast and Northeast States refuse to fall into line. Trump enforces his decree by sending troops into the rebellious States to arrest their leaders. I’d be a bit more concerned with this scenario if Trump were 60 years old in 2028 instead of 82 years old.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  Cal RW

Bear in mind that he will have appointed his cronies, some of who are not as dim as him, to positions of power within the administration. Will they follow his orders? Guess we’d have to wait and see.
Doesn’t matter. He loses by another landslide in 2024. There’s only so many morons in the USA and not enough to elect this putz.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago

75 million morons roaming around the U.S. What a crappy thing to say.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

That is rather similar to what Helmuth von Moltke said about the last Civil War, 1861- 1865.

Pedro the Exile
Pedro the Exile
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Par for the course for these types-anyone who holds a different view is a “moron”..or a “deplorable”…its less mental effort than engaging in a meanigfull dialectic.

Peter B
Peter B
2 months ago

“Another landslide” ? You think 2020 was a landslide win for Biden ? Full marks for originality is making the claim though.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

306 to 232 in the electoral college in 2020, a margin described by Trump as a landslide. I don’t usually listen to that fat clown but I’m sure you hang on his every word.
He lost the popular vote by 8 million.
How do you think it wasn’t a landslide?!?!?

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
2 months ago

I think we should all agree not to respond to this moron

R.I. Loquitur
R.I. Loquitur
2 months ago

“He loses by another landslide in 2024.”

When did he previously lose by a landslide?

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  R.I. Loquitur

2020, son. You missed that? It was pretty big news at the time.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  Cal RW

Well this is a scenario I suppose. If he does win the next election, there will be chaos and riots across the country. It will make 2020 seem like a pillow fight. How he responds will be interesting, but he doesn’t have any institutional power. The bureaucracy and military leadership are overwhelmingly Democrat. I can’t see any support for suspending elections. If he tried to do something like this, the most likely result would be sucessful impeachment. Also, he will be 82 in four years.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

If he does win the next election, there will be chaos and riots across the country.
It’s funny. I never see a line like that to describe Biden winning election, yet all of the manufactured fear, all of the concern of people going wild is aimed at Trump and his supporters. Anyone with access to a search engine will recall that the precautions being taken in multiple cities during the 2020 election were in the event that Trump was re-elected.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

That’s the thing. We are constantly being told to fear Trump blah blah blah, but it’s the leftists who will burn the place to the ground. If Biden wins, there will be some violence and protests, but not even close to the violence if Trump wins.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Just like how Democrats tried to use violence to stop the transfer of power in January 2017?
Oh wait, that never happened!

Atticus Basilhoff
Atticus Basilhoff
2 months ago

No, they weaponized the government against the population and opposition party starting in 2015 and continuing to this day. If there is to be a suspension of the Constitution and a calling out of the Army into the streets, it will be on the order of the Left.

Stephen Kristan
Stephen Kristan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Spot on!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
2 months ago
Reply to  Cal RW

I’m not sure why anyone would downvote that comment. JV enquired about a possible scenario for civil war, and you obliged.
“Don’t shoot the messenger” is seemingly too complex a thought for some.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Not that it matters, but I didn’t down vote the comment. I think the scenario is wildly unlikely, but you never know what can happen.

Walter Brigham
Walter Brigham
2 months ago
Reply to  Cal RW

More likely scenario- Trump wins in 2024. Democrats immediately declare his election illegitimate. Blue states disregard federal law with new legal “definitions ” to support their lawlessness. Federal government bans federal funds and access to banking system to Blue states. Liberal cities riot. Blue states impound income taxes collected in their states. Armed forces at federal and state level activated INTERNALLY. Preppers barricade themselves . Skirmishes ensue justifying government intervention at state and federal level. Civil war.

Carissa Pavlica
Carissa Pavlica
2 months ago
Reply to  Cal RW

Isn’t Zelenskyy a relative hero of the left? Didn’t he suspend elections due to unrest, piquing the annoyance of the right over here? I suppose that’s where the left gets their idea, but it’s their actions that would create the unrest that would put someone in the position to suspend an election rather than, oh, I don’t know, just taking the competition off the ballot. No wonder there are so many channels devoted to the clown world we live in.

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 months ago

Unrest? Seriously! If Alaska, Hawaii and California had been invaded and occupied by a foreign power and 3 million Americans (1/10 of pop.) were engaged in fighting off the aggressor, would that be a good time for an election?

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
2 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

YES – be a great time for an election. As Zalensky is the man responsible for there not being a peace accord from the start it is time to see about getting rid of this man who destroyed Ukraine.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago

Of course, you are a Putin puppet, just like Trump!

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
2 months ago
Reply to  Cal RW

The recent situation in Spain regarding Catalonian independence comes to mind. The Catalonian leadership held an unauthorized referendum and all hell broke loose. Many Catalonians got thrown in jail. I was suprised that the Spanish citizenry cared so much.
Luckily there wasn’t any shooting and recently they’ve begun to work it out. But the residual rancor suggests that we haven’t heard the end of this yet.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago

Excuse my honest ignorance, but isn’t Catalonia a specific geographic area? If that’s the case, it would be different.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes, a clearly defined geographic area with a history of past independence. Not the same at all.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 months ago
Reply to  Cal RW

Not completely ridiculous, but Trump would need far too many people at lower level and in the military to be complicit for this to be realistic.
A Trump presidency would be followed by a Democrat House and (probably) Senate in 2026. Yes, he can issue an executive order, but this would be temporary and would be overruled in the House, probably the Senate, and surely by the Supremes.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’m not unsympathetic to your argument, but whenever I think about the prospect of another Civil War in America, my brain refuses to rule it out as something unlikely to happen.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

I’m not ruling it out. I just haven’t heard a plausible scenario. I’m more inclined to believe some states like California simply break away.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Are there worried murmurs in Montecito at the moment?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

What in Trump’s forty year history leads anyone to believe he has the ability to become a dictator? I think that would require a degree of intelligence and competence he hasn’t displayed. A regional civil conflict could happen any number of ways, but I suspect it will peter out fairly quickly and it will stop short of all out war because at this point, the doctrine of mutually assured destruction applies. A civil war would be such an upheaval with such an incalculable global cost that pursuing it would likely result in the effective destruction of both sides, and at any rate a war would make the goals they’re fighting over, like reducing emissions, trans-rights, immigration, and wokeness seem petty and irrelevant as soon as the shooting started.

Ron Kean
Ron Kean
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

True. No Mason Dixon line now. And who will secede with so many in every corner of the nation on the ‘national’ dole? Rural America is locked and loaded waiting for the Left of the inner city to spill out.
The author made the divide a little too t*t for tat. ‘Both sides…’ Actually one side applies pressure and the other side is becoming impatient with being pushed. Gay and Trans need to assert themselves. Everybody else doesn’t care other than doesn’t like to be pushed. Woke people try to convert but conversion must come organically to be real. Otherwise it grates.
Like the George Floyd riots and now anti-Israeli demonstrations there’s a divide in regard to Judaeo/Christian values and barbarism. One side believes in the imperative of the 10 commandments and the other loots and lies flagrantly. One side advocates free speech, the other side censors. It’s two kinds of people living next to each other. How can that war be?
Cold wars are uncommon. Violence and killing usually defines war. The group that kills more usually wins. Who will fire the first shot?
The Left is top down. Soros, millionaires of the media and the present corrupt Leftist government’s bureaucratic army represent one side. These days, ma and pa represents the other. There’s another variable. Millions of military age, nameless and undocumented men are being fed. They’ve been given cell phones. Who’s got their number? The person who does has power.
These and a trillion more reasons make imagining an American civil war too difficult.

Brian Matthews
Brian Matthews
2 months ago

This piece suggests that the Left is engaged in an honest debate of ideas.

But, controlling all the institutions of influence, the media (just 90%), the universities, public schools (K-12), corporate governance, Hollywood, municipal governance, the highist profile sports personalities, the administrative state (and the folliw-on herd thinkers this prestegious consortium would draw)…

There is no desire for honesty there, just a push for absolute control.

D Walsh
D Walsh
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Matthews

The best part is, they seem themselves as anti establishment, its amazing really

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
2 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

They’ve all got a Che Guevara poster on their bedroom wall or a Mao badge underneath their lapel.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Matthews

Quite. That’s because they’re not “democrats” at all. They’re wannabe dictators.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago

If you people are really dumb enough to go to war to soothe Donald Trump’s wounded ego then you are even stupider than I thought and will deserve everything you get.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago

What do you think is going to happen?

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I don’t know, slick. Baltimore win the Super Bowl? Gonna have to be a bit more specific with your question, Julio.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago

No one who talks like this can possibly have normal interactions with actual human beings. Go internet!!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

And he/she doesn’t have a mirror when he/she talks about stupid!

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He just works for Unherd. I doubt they’re paying him enough to be bothered making it look any good.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
2 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

That’s something that occurred to me too; CS is a game the Unherd staff like to play for their own amusement.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I’ve wondered that too. No-one can be that persistently stupid.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Don’t ask questions like that ; you know what the answer will be from a leftie. A ‘whole load of nothing’. Gee I was right

T Bone
T Bone
2 months ago

Are we just going to ignore that American Universities practically reinvented the Dictionary and filtered a new language into every institution? You can’t expect a society to function when one party is speaking the New Language and the other isn’t.

When Republicans refer to “Democracy” they are referring to the traditional Representative Democracy. When Democrats refer to Democracy they are referring to Administered Social Democracy where experts interfere in the electoral process for “the common good.” When Republicans refer to Racism, they’re talking about explicit discrimination on the basis of race. Democrats are talking about Systemic Racism which has nothing to do with intent and everything to do with disparate racial outcomes. When Republicans talk about Inclusion they mean the absence of any group exclusion. When Democrats say Inclusion, they mean Inclusion by Exclusion of certain groups.

You can’t even begin to talk about “conciliation” until you can agree on Dictionary definitions!

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Is that the “traditional representative democracy” where your candidate gets a historic beating and you and he whine and cry about it for years and refuse to acknowledge the defeat? Where that beaten candidate sends his zombie supporters to attempt to stop the lawful transition of power? Where no court in the land, even with judges he appointed, will listen to his ridiculous claims. Is that your democracy?
I’ll concede that you guys probably know a lot more about racism – you’ve had a lot more practice…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
2 months ago

Calm down Mr Fisher and back to East Croydon with you.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
2 months ago

Charles – this writer is an idio*, he is Stanford Hoover institute? A guy in a bar has 100X more understanding

”On the Right, meanwhile, the belief is unshakeable that Joe Biden is mentally incapable of fulfilling the duties of president and won’t survive a second term.”

No,No,NO,NO On the right is the knowing Biden is purposefully out to destroy USA. He is spending $1,000,000,000 ONE TRILLION$ of New debt every 3 Months!!! During what he calls a Bidennomic miracle. He is bringing in the dross from the worlds prisons and mental institutions – 12 Million fighting aged single men – and single men without women to civilize them become the most destructive force known to Mankind. (And of course they take all the unskilled jobs from the native unskilled – the native minorities in fact – that will lead to complete chaos)

This very silly writer misses EVERYTHING:

This is a war against Postmodernism and Classical Enlightenment Liberalism.

This is the war of good and evil. Between Christian values and Militant decadent, postmodern Atheism.

A War of Globalist Elites against the Nation State. Of Davos, Gates, Soros, Zuckerberg, Rothschild, WEF, the Deep and Dark State, the Uniparty – the ‘Lizard People’ – and the free humans.

This is the war of those who would reduce us to a brutal, impoverished, Neo-Feudalism, and those who would stay free and prosperous.

This writer….wow, talk about missing the point although it slaps him in the face……

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
2 months ago

You have a new friend Charles, he seems to like you, wonder why?

David Barnett
David Barnett
2 months ago

Poor old Simon! You you seem upset.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
2 months ago

Stop ‘doxing’ unheard readers ‘Mr Stanhope,’ or should I say Mr Google? It is shameful and disingenuous…

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 months ago

Did you make a mistake…. it was not ‘he’, it was ‘she’. Hillary and the Russians remember?!

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 months ago

No. It’s the ‘traditional represenfative democracy’ in which ballots can be reliably and independently audited to show actual votes by actual voters actually alive and legally entitled to vote.

David Barnett
David Barnett
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Which happened in 2020. Unless you are a whacko conspiracy freak.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
2 months ago

I know you get off on this sort of trolling, but in any case I will pray for the salvation of your tattered, tarnished soul. Lord help you. Lord help us all.

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
2 months ago

I’m no fan but he’s going to win. He’s going to win not because of him but because of the nihilism and incompetence of the Left. I’d tell you to own it but I know I’d be wasting my breath because the Left never owns its mistakes, like children it’s always someone else’s fault.

T Bone
T Bone
2 months ago

CS- I think Hillary supporters had every right under the First Amendment to question and deny the legitimacy of the 2016 election.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
2 months ago

You do realize, he never said anything that’s in doubt.

Claire D
Claire D
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Well said

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

You’re not helping the “agree on dictionary definitions” cause with your own paranoid inventions.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
2 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You’ve just made his point for him, I think.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

The implication of your excellent comment is that the democrats embracing of fairly hard woke policies is the primary cause of the approaching disaster. This is correct. When the history books are written I believe that is precisely what they will say.

0 0
0 0
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

The question, however, is “why?” Why have they embraced such policies? Does it have something to do with the kind of people who are the main drivers of that party? Are these people so alienated from mainstream society? If so, then the coming divorce (if it ever does come and hopefully it won’t) is in fact at least partially geographical in as much as these kinds of people tend to inhabit coastal cities (NY, Boston, Washington, LA, SanFran, Seattle).

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
2 months ago
Reply to  0 0

“Why” you say? Because revolution is the goal of the Leftists. An American “Civil War” will be a revolt against whomever won the election.

Rob N
Rob N
2 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Why? I used to think that the talk of a paedophile cabal was just ridiculous but it looks more and more reasonable every day.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Eh? That is a staggering non sequitur. A paedophilic cabal? I’d suggest you are very much part of the problem.

philip kern
philip kern
2 months ago
Reply to  0 0

I’m not so sure about geographical divides. I see my US relatives split apart by politics in a way that was unimaginable when I was younger–brothers and sisters at opposite ends of the political spectrum. At first, I thought it was related to degree of education but now I see that it correlates with type of university attended. People I have in mind don’t strike me as well thought out, but they’ve been well-schooled, and trained to look for answers in particular places.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
2 months ago
Reply to  0 0

I’m coming to the sad conclusion that the “why” is because they have convinced themselves that only a radical reshaping of society offers any form of salvation in their godless universe. To do that, they have to erase what came before. Which means destruction of all kinds of limits and boundaries: between nations, between men and women, between social classes and religions. Everything must go, and be liquified so that their transformative worldly power can mould it anew. They have no bad conscience because they genuinely, in some cases fervently, believe that they are acting in the greater, common good. So some collateral damage is acceptable , indeed inevitable, on the road to Year Zero. No pain no gain. As long as it’s not they who individually suffer, of course. Not all of them see the whole picture – some see things through a particular narrow view such as race, climate, social inequality; many are genuinely good people whose desire to good in the world has been perverted by ideological millenarialism. And there are plenty of grifters and hangers-on, too, of course like there are in any revolutionary movement.

That they pursue unpopular policies that appear irrationally contrary to their own political interests would support the view that they are fighting what they see as a bigger fight. In that connection, it serves their purpose to have a demagogic opponent in the form of Trump. Better to vote for the misguided but well intentioned eco-warrior than the would-be fascist dictator, right? And his existence postpones the inevitable descent into factional infighting that always besets the hard left whenever it seizes power and eliminates any effective opposition.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
2 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Bill Clinton realised that Wall Street had more money than the unions, so he gave them NAFTA and China in the WTO and the Democrats became the party of Wall Street.
Wall Street used to have some concern for the welfare of the blue collar classes because they needed workers. Now Wall Street makes its money in the Far East while its kitchens are cleaned by illegal immigrants. So the American blue collar worker can go hang, as they say.
Unfortunately ordinary Americans still have a vote, so some way was needed to intimidate them into going along with their own pauperisation, hence Critical Race Theory and women with pen1ses. It’s just good old fashioned class war – but with a post-modern twist.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Does it matter whose fault it isn’t?

Was the US civil war caused by rabid abolitionists who refused to accept continued slavery, or by rabid slave-owners who refused to risk having to change?

T Bone
T Bone
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Absolutely it matters whose fault it was. If you’re going to “demand change” you need compelling moral grounds to justify compelling all people to conform to a new social norm. I think the overwhelming majority of people would agree that the Abolition of Slavery was a compelling moral argument.

What exactly is that compelling moral argument today that everyone must conform to a universal standard? Is it “Interconnectivity.” The idea that everything and everyone is Interconnected so a Central Planner needs to impose collective social values to create the conditions for Universal Nationalized services including Healthcare?

Kat L
Kat L
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

‘I think the overwhelming majority of people would agree that the Abolition of Slavery was a compelling moral argument.‘ Sure, we all would TODAY. 1860? No. Completely different attitudes towards that subject and loyalties to individual states that superseded the fed. The reason why the federal govt has such power is sourced back to Lincoln.

T Bone
T Bone
2 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

I get your point, about federal expansion, I just don’t buy the perception of Lincoln as a Statist Original Neocon. That’s a recent historical revision.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Do you always have to insist on modern culture war jargon? Lincoln a “statist original necon”? Eh? What?

Kat L was simply making the excellent point that issues we think are no trainers were highly contentious – and contested – at the time. Your country fought a very bloody war over one of them.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

This is just a rant. You want to argue against social democracy – fine. You can’t in any free democratic society however rule those collective ideas out of court. They exist in every western society and often achieve political power, most notably in Scandinavia. The US healthcare is the most expensive and inequitable among any western countries – it depends on your employer?!

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I think the real cause was whatever animal was acting as a vector for rabies on both sides. Probably the mongoose.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Good point.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Your comment is rather optimistic, given that the people writing and publishing academic books are the same people who advocate the policies which you mention. People of similar ilk will pass laws forbidding those who may disagree from publishing or saying anything at all.
Capitol2016 (the modern version of the burning of the Reichstag) will be used to justify preventing any dissenters, such as Trump and his supporters, from standing and maybe from voting – all for the good of democracy of course.
I’m not a Trump supporter, I can’t stand the man, but the actions of the Democrats terrify me. Remember, to paraphrase Martin Niemoller, “First they came for Trump, but I said nothing for I am not a Trump supporter”.

Kat L
Kat L
2 months ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

If Trump doesn’t win and start deportations of the 8-10 million immediately the country will effectively be over. Birthright citizenship and blue states allowing illegals to already vote in local elections, no requirement to produce identification in order to vote
they are attempting to displace the native population and render us powerless in our own country. Look at California, republicans are toothless; that is their goal for the country.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Well, he didn’t do any of those things when he was actually the President. Trump is all about hot air and shouting to his base, he was chaotic and almost totally ineffective as someone supposedly trying to achieve radical change. So don’t hold your breath……

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Very unlikely. History books are written primarily by academics.
Consider how the National Socialist German Workers Party is routinely described as “far right” rather than “far left” to see how what academics write as history, becomes common belief, even when nonsensical on its face.
Of course if the outcome of any upcoming civil war is the abolition of academia then things may turn out differently.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
2 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

History books aren’t all written here.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Not this hackneyed tired “argument” again! That’s because the NSDAP was Far Right, at least it certainly was by the time it gained power. How many industrialists, Junkers, conservatives and Army leaders were thrown into the concentration camps? Perhaps a handful of active oppositionists to Hitler. Socialists and Communists? Tens of thousands.

The fact that North Korea is officially “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” doesn’t actually prove it is a democracy!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Fair point – but equally one could argue that fascists are on the left in the sense that they worship the state in the same way as socialists and communists. It seems absurd to bracket them with conservatives, most of whom believe in a small state and individual agency. Language coined to describe the French National Assembly in 1792 obfuscates modern politics more than it illuminates.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Look at a deeper history however. Extremely liberal gun laws (ludicrous in much of the US), but most notably an extreme restrictionist position on abortion. The Republicans are very much actors in the ongoing polarisation, which has been creeping up.

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

The distortion of language is a real problem. The use of “magic words” is a particularly clear example of this.
https://erikhildinger.substack.com/p/the-return-of-the-primitive

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
2 months ago
Reply to  Erik Hildinger

Great article, Erik. You’re right indeed. It is ‘magical thinking’

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul Devlin

Thanks!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Sorry, there is so much “new language” in your post that I cannot follow what it says. Tho I think we must agree that, whatever the source of said “new language” it does create division and therefore a danger in the long term.

0 0
0 0
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

And you aren’t speaking a coded language that your cult understands and applauds? Look at the responses.

T Bone
T Bone
2 months ago
Reply to  0 0

No, I’m not speaking a coded language at all. I’m literally just repeating left wing academic concepts. I can’t help the fact that it sounds like an Orwell novel.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

The definition of bayonet is self evident.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Well, that’s just saying that the Republicans aren’t at fault in any way, which isn’t seriously arguable. They are in fact very much culpable over decades in the polarisation of American society, originally over gun laws, the insistence (against historical norms) of emphasising “God” and most egregiously over abortion. For the latter a compromise position has been accepted in almost all western countries, not so the US. It isn’t very democratic to insist on the imposition of a prohibition of abortion, very much a minority position.

Finally, simply not accepting the results of elections hardly demonstrates one’s support of traditional representative democracy. These factors have in turn has increasingly radicalised the Democrats to their now often absurd progressive identitarian positions.

Ray Rad
Ray Rad
2 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Iowa is no more the next step than any other step in the constitutional process of US election. The majority of the country wants to keep our constitutional rights and republic and the minority wants to get rid of the rights they disagree with to suit their agendas, which change like the weather. Stolen elections have consequences, civil war being one of them.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
2 months ago

This “pox on both your houses” approach is a failure to see cleary. The problem we face now is the same problem we faced 1850. That problem is ideology. It is the idea that time moves on and that our task is to keep up with it. Progressivism is an abdication of human responsibility. Those who subscribe to it view those don’t as less than fully human. It is the “idea of progress” that drives common sense people into the arms of a Donald Trump. We forget at our peril that John C. Calhoun was dedicated progressive. He believed with all his heart that science would prove him right about black folks. The question of the modern age is a dreadful one, namely, whether gripping totalitarianism, the disappearance of philosophy on earth, is our destiny.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 months ago

“On the Right, meanwhile, the belief is unshakeable that Joe Biden is mentally incapable of fulfilling the duties of president and won’t survive a second term.”
I don’t think the word “belief” is appropriate here, I think Biden’s mental decline is quite obvious to anyone who has casually observed him in the last few years. A large proportion of Democrat voters (I think about 40%) don’t want him to run again, probably for that reason. No need to try and argue that it’s some kind of right-wing fantasy.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
2 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Some Dems, I know, told me, that on Super Tuesday Biden will announce that he won‘t run for Presidency and will strongly suggest ( not Kamala H.) a successor. Conspiracy Theory or wishful thinking?

Kat L
Kat L
2 months ago

Michele Obama is out complaining in interviews again, they would throw Harris over in a hot minute for her.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Yes but we are not casually observing all of his duties as President. He’s not a great speaker and isn’t very mobile but being President is more than walking and talking.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
2 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

But if he can’t manage walking and talking, which most of us are at least minimally competent at, what assurance do we have that he can manage any of the other duties?

William Brand
William Brand
2 months ago

The big question is what about the army. There are tips that Biden is attempting to purge the army of whites Nationalists In an effort To ensure military support of the federal government in a civil war WOKE democrat party control of the federal Government Depends on On the loyalty of the army. The majority of Voluntary army recruits have come from the Rural areas of this country : The red states and. rural areas. This may leave the army to support a rebellion Against a democrat government. Offices have to be college graduates which was expose them to work ideology. The privates may go one way and the officers the other. Becoming a general seems to require WOKE ideology. Offices who express MAGA are being purged. What will be the effect of a major military defeat. The destruction of the navy in a wall with China Is a high probability event. The military will blame The WOKE democrats in power This is a recipe for a coup. Only custom of civilian control prevents it. The great breakup in American consensus may push the army over the line. With the American military consumed by politics Foreign enemies will
attack. Woe to our vassal states and allies. America cannot come to their aid. They need their own Nuclear Deterrent, Otherwise They will be conquered.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  William Brand

The Biden administration conducted a study three years ago to determine the extent of white nationalism in the military. The results were quietly released a couple weeks ago and they found virtually nothing.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes, but to even run the study was terrible for military morale. It’s no wonder recruitment levels are low- quotas and are not even being attained especially among traditional white military families who it is said are rejecting the woke military of today. It doesn’t help that Defense Secretary Austin is seemingly inept- he bungled Afghanistan and just recently went AWOL by not telling anyone he was ill and in the hospital.

j watson
j watson
2 months ago

Take Trump out of the equation and would the divisions seem quite as visceral? I’m not sure but history does show some individuals can have significant influence beyond the norm.
Without Trump there would be a hard fought, bruising election. Republicans likely win. (Suspect Biden wouldn’t even stand). The country wouldn’t exactly come together and sing kumbya but power transition would be effective and the fact democracy as a concept requires the acceptance that sometimes you lose, accept it, but have a chance again in the future, re-vitalised.
What’s unique today is an ex-President who didn’t accept the result. That’s without precedent. That’s why the US may well have a major constitutional crisis heading it’s way.
The fact many support Trump because they feel he cares about them (although of course he doesn’t, and won’t if re-elected as he never then needs to be elected again) is legit. They have a case that they’ve been left behind, not listened to etc. It’s just they’ve shackled themselves to a one-off malign crook who is a master at riding a wave for his own benefit.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Unfortunately it is not only the Donald who does not accept the result. Just reading the Unherd comments you find lots of Republicans who are convinced that they really won last time, and could only have ‘lost’ because of some kind of electoral fraud – even though there is no evidence whatsoever of such fraud. Basically they do not accept that the Democrats can legitimately win. Not saying the other side is necessarily that much better (though their points of pressure are different), but, regrettably, I doubt that a Trump heart attack would really solve the long-term problem.

j watson
j watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There will always be some RF who get attracted to conspiracy theories regarding election results that absolve them of facing up to reality. The difference is when a Leader adopts that stance. As we know Gore in 2000 had much stronger grounds than Trump ever had but accepted the result. It was crucial leadership and the sort all those leading parties in democracies must show in such situations. The game-changer is Trump as an individual. Thus I think my point holds – remove him and US has serious arguments but not a coming Constitutional crisis.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
2 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Nixon had good grounds for feeling that he may have gotten more votes than Kennedy, and was urged to contest the ballot, but conceded, saying “our country cannot afford the agony of a constitutional crisis.”

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Indeed. Too bad that Trump did not show the integrity, patriotism and seriousness of Richard Nixon.

j watson
j watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes in 1960 re: Nixon, but his behaviour during 68 and 72 elections begs alot to be desired. In 68 he deliberately sought to scupper a ceasefire in Vietnam for electoral advantage and lied to LBJ when confronted abut this treachery. LBJ knew he was lying but for broader patriotic reasons decided not to explode the issue mid election. In 72 obviously everyone knows about Watergate.
Nonetheless Nixon never sought to overturn an election result.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

So it’s all about feelings is it?

j watson
j watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Yep he had a potential case and it a v close result. Not quite 2000 but 1960 was close.
As you were doing – underlines the difference doesn’t it.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Dems don’t accept results either…..

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago

Not true. They may not accept that results are right, or fair, but so far they have conceded defeat when they lost. The decision on Bush v. Gore was not much better than the flip of a coin (a Supreme Court decision, split on partisan lines), but Gore conceded, and rightly so.

David Jory
David Jory
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Hilary Clinton didn’t and fomented the Russian collusion hoax.
To their credit both Gore and Nixon did accept the results.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago
Reply to  David Jory

Clinton concession speech.
As for the Russian collusion it is an established fact that the FSB actively tried to help Trump’s campaign, that Trump welcomed it (he said so openly), and that some people associated with his campaign at least contacted Russians to check if more useful material on Clinton was forthcoming. Given that, it is hardly unreasonable that the Democrats wanted an investigation. OK, the more outlandish accusations proved unfounded, and the final judgement seemed to be that the degree of help from foreign intelligence that Trump solicited, and got, was low-level enough that it fell within normal acceptable behaviour for a US presidential candidate. Point noted. But if Trump does not want to be investigated for collusion with Russian intelligence, he really should not openly call for their help in his speeches.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There is an incredible amount of evidence of illegality in 2020 election It’s just that democracies have no mechanisms in place for managing it. This is why it is so prevalent. We need observers from neutral countries.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Can you please point me to it? I have asked time and again, and no one has ever come up with anything convincing. If people like Brad Raffensperger say the election was OK, I think we should believe him.

j watson
j watson
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

Utter twaddle. 60 court rulings and counting. Found nothing. His AG confirmed and conveyed that repeated to Trump. And of course those now ‘flipping’ on Trump in Georgia all retracting their allegations as baseless and without evidence.
Do you actually fall for this stuff or so biased you want to believe and promulgate it? Or do you no longer know which?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago
Reply to  j watson

You misunderstand the reasons Americans vote for Trump. Trump voters are not like those of the British Labour party who elect politicians in the hopes that an ever-growing nanny-state will take care of them. They simply want to be left alone and/or dismantle a political system that tells them they are evil bigots for not embracing homosexuality, cross-dressing, abortion, and critical race theory.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Well, if people do not want the US to have a functional government, I guess they could do worse than voting for Trump.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
2 months ago

I find it hard to rule out the possibility of Civil War in America, the divisions are every bit as stark and bitter as you can probably get. There’s also a YouTuber called Peter Santebellum who makes fascinating documentaries on various parts of America, plus some other places, and his videos do paint a somewhat alarming picture.

Many American cities, especially the large ones are a mess in many respects. Some old problems linger (gang warfare, poverty etc) but new ones too where we have illegal migrants literally camping in the reception of police stations in Chicago for example. Add to that, many Americans in rural areas and the Mid-West do actually believe the Federal Government is a threat to them, and they are gunning for their way of life. Unlike we in Britain though, these people are not meek and apathetic, the complete opposite actually, and they are armed. Things are going to get interesting.

Forrest Lindsey
Forrest Lindsey
2 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Could not find Peter Santebellum’s videos – can you send a link?

Forrest Lindsey
Forrest Lindsey
2 months ago
Reply to  Toby B

Thank you!

William Brand
William Brand
2 months ago

The last civil war started When abolitionist northerners Attack Harper’s ferry That convinced the south that war was inevitable. The North started the war not the south.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
2 months ago

An excellent and thoughtful survey of the risk that America is drifting towards civil war – but, just as not all “pre revolutionary situations” are followed by revolutions, so not all pre civil war polarisations lead to civil war. I totally accept the trends are as described but my entirely unscientific guess would be that only about a third of such situations end up in domestic war.

The last time that polarisation was this extreme in America was in the 1930s. Most forget that, if FDR is now remembered as a national father figure who led the US through WW2, in the late 1930s he was widely regarded as a would be dictator who was deeply illegitimate since he was upending the US constitutional order (as he was) i.e. he was seen then as threatening to the establishment as Trump is now. Escape came through bipartisan support for WW2 and the refocusing of hatred on external enemies.

In the U.K., the risks appeared just as high in the run up to WW1 and in the 1970s. In both cases, there were groups making preparations for extreme scenarios. In the first case, however, escape came in the same form as in 1930s America i.e. external war. In the second, the extreme right held off in the hope their candidate would win the 1979 election.

As well as accepting that the risk is real, Americans would be well advised to discuss how to defuse or rechannel the unhealthy passions that clearly exist. There is no need for fatalism but there is for some long term thinking.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

In the U.K., the risks appeared just as high in the run up to WW1

Northern Ireland? Yes in the Spring of 1914 dissident pro union ex army officers started importing guns from Imperial Germany in preparation to resist an attempt to implement full Irish independence. Serving army officers in Ireland warned the Government in London they would disobey orders to confront the armed unionists.
A takeaway for the US is that schisms in civilian society extend into the military.
Also in the US dissidents don’t need to bother with illegal gun imports, they just pop down to their local gun shop.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
2 months ago

That 1914 fracas was mainly due to the rank stupidity of the Commander in Chief in Ireland one General Sir Arthur Henry Fitzroy Paget, GCB, GCVO, PC., and in particular to the mutinous behaviour of the Officers of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, led by the 5 (Royal Irish) Lancers*.

You can always rely on the “donkey wallopers” to cause a fuss.

(*Which had already been disbanded once in 1799 for dubious conduct! ! It was unfortunately reformed in 1858.)

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

You could say the FDR was saved by OUR own rank incompetence in declaring war on Herr Hitler.
As it was he quite correctly “took us to the cleaners”, did he not?

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
2 months ago

Sure – but my point was that, after being a very divisive figure in the 1930s, he was able to unite the country by arranging a war.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

“arranging a war” that’s a bold charge!
Are you referring to Pearl Harbour, or something earlier with Herr Hitler?

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
2 months ago

It might be a reference to the antagonistic US foreign policy towards Japan in the 1930s that forced Japan to secure direct access to natural resources by military means.
After Pearl Harbour Hitler declared war on the US which as a diplomatic blunder.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

”An excellent and thoughtful survey of the risk that America is drifting towards civil war”

No it wasn’t – it was aimless and missed every point completely. Unherd needs to find drunk guys in bars telling how to set the world right and hire them to do articles – get better articles.

Saul D
Saul D
2 months ago

The situation remains Robin Hood versus the Sheriff of Nottingham and bad king John/Joe. Round one, Robin Hood surprises the Sheriff’s men and wins a victory to free the people from the tyranny of tax collectors. Round two. The Sheriff concocts a cunning plan, declares Robin an outlaw and drives him back to Sherwood before rounding up his supporters and throwing them in gaol. We’re now at round three. Robin Hood musters the forest folk to take revenge on the Sheriff and release the prisoners to regain the kingdom.
An element of the support Trump is because his side believe they are playing out this well-known, and much repeated story (William Tell, Zoro, Che, Boston Tea Party, Valjean). The outlaw is on the side of the little folk, and the powerless against the despots of the state that tell them how to run their lives. Being an outlaw comes with the territory of fighting an injust system, with every manipulated lawsuit fortifying the rightfulness of the outlaw’s mission.
The supporters of the Sheriff of Nottingham never understand. For them, following the king’s or sheriff’s law and word must be done unquestioningly. It is how you achieve position and status in the sheriff’s domain. Outlaws can never be good and the status quo must be maintained so everyone keeps their place in the pecking order. The law and force must be used to silence any and all opposition.
We’re either waiting for the arrival of some form of good King Richard figure to right the situation and re-introduce fairness and popular oversight or, at some point, the outlaw awakens enough people on the Sheriff’s side with the need for justice and fairness for story to resolve with reform and restitution.
Now real-life doesn’t follow such simple storylines, but I do believe that the psychology of this well-known and well-loved storyline is part of the popular intuition of what is playing out, leaving a faith that things will turn out all right in the end. It’s this faith in the happy-ever-after ending that means war is not (yet) on the cards.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
2 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

A good read until the end. “Good King Richard” the Lionheart was in fact a Plantagenet scallywag and playboy who viewed his anglosaxon subjects as serfs whose role was to fund his ventures abroad. Boris, Biden?
Real life disappoints so often.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
2 months ago

Wasn’t he a ‘f**********r’ as they say Oop North?
He also did get his just desserts*.

(*A lingering death from an arrow/bolt wound.)

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
2 months ago

The historical jury is still debating that one, the fact that he fathered two children and went off on military adventures suggests not.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
2 months ago

AC-DC?

Ed Newman
Ed Newman
2 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

I’m a descendent of Rob Roy McGregor and this is exactly how that story played out. The McGregors saw the way things were going and resisted. Ultimately, for 100 years you could legally shoot a McGregor on sight. They were labeled “outlaws” becase they would not play by the new rules. Some changed their names to Campbell, others fled to Ireland and then made a homeland in rural West Virginia because it was most like the Highlands in Scotland.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
2 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

I really enjoyed this analogy

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’m not surprised – its stupid enough to appeal to the dimwits who populate the far right.
Anyone who thinks Trump is for anything other than Trump is dumb enough to deserve everything they get…

Saul D
Saul D
2 months ago

Thanks for precisely proving my point (paragraph 3). It’s why Democrats continue to believe in strategies that backfire – like antagonistic drive-by talking points.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
2 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

Did you get all of this from the Disney cartoon version of Robin Hood, which is amazing. Or perhaps the classic Errol Flynn/Basil Rathbone swashbuckler of the 30’s? Or maybe you are casting me as the Alan Rickman character from the hilarious Kevin Costner edition?
I’m just not sure where a fat old narcissist like Trump fits into any of this? Surely not even the dimmest of Trump supporters, even those the deepest in the cult, cannot think for even one second that Donald Trump is a Robin Hood figure who robs from the rich and gives it to the poor?!?!?
Do you???

Saul D
Saul D
2 months ago

Whoosh…

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
2 months ago

Agreed Trump, although entertaining in a perverse way – is no Robin Hood or hero at all. If America is half as good as it thinks it is, surely they can do better than this, Biden/Trump? DeSantis anyone?

Christopher
Christopher
2 months ago

The “ deplorable” game did not suit Hiliary well in 16 and doubling down, won’t make the lefts chances better in 24. What does Trump gain? He’s lost fortune and faces ending suits to discredit him. You’re just another example of stupidly “ dimwit”.

fjbernal
fjbernal
2 months ago

A Trump win is a win for the rest of the world. We would not be in the verge of WW3 in The Ukraine and given billions to Iran so they could spend it on Hamas, Hezbollah et Al., had Trump stayed on. And my heart is on the left side, before anyone asks.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago
Reply to  fjbernal

And your head is way out in left field 😉

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Go vote for Starmer and tell us what you expect….because I rather doubt you will get what you think.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago

Sane, responsible government, for a start. Nobody selling unicorns like Boris Johnson’s Brexit, Liz Truss economics package, Rishi Sunak’s ever-changing and unfulfilled promises or the Rwanda plan that manages to be both too strict to be legal and too loose to have any effect on the problem. I am a natural conservative (small c), but the current lot are sunk so deep in comic incompetence that a Labour government can only do better.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

A sane, responsible government too stupid and craven to define what a woman is. No thanks.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Rasmus, this comment is below your usual standard. Are you taking lessons from Champagne Socialist?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

You are right. I stand corrected. In my defence I’d say that fjbernal’s comment is so far into a parallel universe that there is no point even arguing against it – you would need an ultra-long post just to explore how many wrong assumptions he is basing his argument on. But I could and should have remained silent.

William Brand
William Brand
2 months ago

4 more years of woke will destroy our country and that is what we will get with Trump as candidate. In any case Biden, if reelected, must be removed by the 25th amendment for senility sometime in his second term. At Trump’s age senility is also an issue.
Obama is lusting after a 4th term as real president but fears a Biden defeat. Will he concede and order his cabinet to replace his beard Biden? Even K Harris would displace him as shadow president. If he waits to the Democratic convention to pull Biden’s plug, who will he choose. Traditionally, term limited politicians run their wife as a stand in office holder. His wife begs not to be chosen but if forced into the job will she be an obedient rubber-stamping puppet? First gentleman is an emasculating roll, worse than shadow ruler. Newsome will displace Obama as real president sending Obama back to obscurity. . Would the Supreme court allow Obama to try to get around term limits by coming in as Speaker of the house after both president and VP resign.
If elected, Trump will face a Democratic rebellion. Riots by Antifa will fill the streets. He must not pick a ticket balancer like Hailey. He must pick as VP someone so distasteful to his enemies that they will not plot to impeach of kill him. Remember that when VP Spiro Agnew was replaced by Ford, Nixon was finished. Note that the FBI and CIA expect that Trumps revenge purge of the civil service will send their leaders to jail or away from power. They killed Kennedy, they can do it again with the Nobelist of purposes. A ticket balancer would tempt Republican senators to vote to convict in an impeachment trial. Trump must pick his Agnew shield from the most insane of the MAGA nuts. Rep Green or Steve Bannon or even the riot shaman.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
2 months ago
Reply to  William Brand

Your’e funny!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 months ago

“Leading commentators on the Left warn that, should he get re-elected, he will become a dictator and end democracy. On the Right, meanwhile, the belief is unshakeable that Joe Biden is mentally incapable of fulfilling the duties of president and won’t survive a second term.”
On of these statements is fact, the other is fiction.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
2 months ago

They also are stupid – the right do not object to Biden because he is mentally incompetent – they object because his plan for America is evil and is to totally destroy it.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
2 months ago

Actually, for BOTH reasons Biden is, was and evermore shall be a doofus.

Christopher
Christopher
2 months ago

Biden says and does what he’s told by his handlers who were not elected to lead.

Peter B
Peter B
2 months ago

No.
Clickbait headline. Not going to happen.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Such a view is common until events demonstrate otherwise. The French aristocracy were no doubt aligned with your thinking as they waltzed the evening away at the Palace of Versailles 15 miles west of the Bastille in 1789.
In 1932 the elderly President of Hindenburg of Germany told friends he would control the thugs of the Nazi Party as they took their place in parliament. Two years later Hindenburg was dead, the Reichstag had been burned down and Hitler had assumed the additional role of Head of State.
People acquiesce to these things when they are scared. Most make a short-term calculation to achieve maximum personal benefit in the year ahead.

Flibberti Gibbet
Flibberti Gibbet
2 months ago

Back in the mid 1940s as preparations for Indian independence were being made, serious consideration was given to the formation of Greater India comprised of Pakistan and Hindustan.
If matters become dire in the USofA could the country partially fragment to avoid actual civil war? This would imply the creation of new regional constitutional entities, Trumpistan and Bidostan anyone?
Other models can be inferred from Irish independence. For a few years the King of England remained as the Irish Head of State. Then the Irish government complained and so the same King was reappointed as the King of Ireland. This effectively created a chinese wall in Buckingham Palace as the King flipped roles representing either the UK and the Irish Free State.
The odd situation did not last and a republic was declared.
Currency was a more protracted challenge and it can be argued the Bank of England was the ultimate guarantor of Ireland’s currency until after WWII. How many trillions of US debt would an independent California become responsible for? Could China invade and seek reparations if California failed to make debt repayments?

El Uro
El Uro
2 months ago

CNN: (Farmers’s) Protests sweep Germany as far-right spots an opening
Farmers and Far-Right…

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
2 months ago

I think Americans took leave of reality to an extent in the years following the JFK assassination.
If it had not been for Jack Ruby, an unstable bar owner, prone to crying in public, acting bizarrely, and trying to make friends with the police by bringing them sandwiches, the Oswald case would have been open-and-shut.

It’s so simple and the evidence so straightforward. A bloody cop even *saw* the guy walking downstairs in the depository a few minutes after it happened.

Barbara Manson
Barbara Manson
2 months ago

Maybe a foreign adversary will come to our aid, attack us, and make us pull together for our survival.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
2 months ago
Reply to  Barbara Manson

The sowing of online disinformation by malign foreign a