Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Ruminations on Civil War v2.0

So TR sends an e-mail, to wit:

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that the Dems are successful in stealing the Alabama seat, and perhaps winning control of Congress back in 2018. Then they immediately impeach Trump. For what? Doesn’t matter – the Constitution doesn’t matter to them. Then the Senate, with a cabal of Dems and NeverTrump “Republicans,” convicts and removes him from office.

Do they really think that it’s over? That Pence will be inaugurated as President and that Trump supporters will go gentle into that good night? If they think that, I do believe that they are sadly mistaken. I think that is the moment when the “cold Civil War” becomes a hot Civil War. I think that’s the final straw for those of us who have tried to do things the right way, in accordance with the Constitution and our political system, and that we will realize that we are under a dictatorship by another name.

I’m sure the Romanovs felt quite secure, too, on November 6, 1917.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this finally shakes enough of us out of our stupor, or do we continue down the road to serfdom?

Good questions, and weighty ones. I sat down intending to dash something pithy and concise off in response. But since these days I just can’t seem to limit myself to pithy and concise anymore, the whole thing sort of ran away with me, and I ended up with the following extended peroration instead, which I’ll tuck below the fold to spare those of you whose interest in meandering speculation from me is, shall we say, constrained.

Well, I think it’s certainly possible it could turn out to be the spark that ignites a conflagration, or at least come damned close to it. It’s long been my belief, though, that if there is to be another American Civil War it will be sparked by a final decisive victory for the Left in the 2A struggle: actual, legally mandated confiscation of guns by agents of the imperial Federal government. The incremental half-measure of legislated “voluntary” surrender implemented in Connecticut and NY isn’t quite threatening enough an encroachment to do it, as we’ve already seen. A handful complied, but the huge majority didn’t, with no real repercussions for anyone careful enough to lock their weapons away and keep quiet about it.

But if our would-be masters ever do somehow graduate to sending cops, Guardsmen, or soldiers out door-to-door to search for and seize them, well, the gun folks won’t stand for it. Such a move would probably also frighten or infuriate the more moderate (not to say timid) among us into taking sides against the tyrants openly at last. Judging from my own personal experience and acquaintance, there are many, many of us out there who talk a tough game and even think themselves sincere about it, but for whom in the end the time for a true uprising will never really come. They mean well enough, most of them, and are even effective in holding the line on the 2A in other small, less risk-fraught ways. But they just don’t have either the commitment, the awareness, or the plain gumption to jump out of the pot when the water gets too hot.

I say all that in the full knowledge that I myself am way too old and feeble now to go running through the woods, living outdoors and setting traps for food and sniping people and such. It would take a provocation of enormous magnitude to get me actually willing to start in on the shooting and looting myself—say, an immediate threat of imprisonment or physical harm to myself or my daughter that is non-negotiable and can’t be satisfactorily coped with through any other means. And I won’t last long as a shooter and looter, either; I’ll be taken down with a quickness, and I know it. Any contribution I might hope to make along violent-revolutionary lines will be marginal at best according to my blasted physical limitations. Yet another thing that sucks about getting old.

I know PLENTY of younger gun guys, though—and some older but healthier—who simply will not stand for it. If you’ve ever been to the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, you do too; two weekends a year, the woods near Fort Knox are full of them, and their commitment to defense of the Second by any means necessary is serious, and absolute. Many of them are ex-military, for whom the commitment to lay down their lives for something other than themselves was already made long ago, when they signed up and took the oath. For them, the idea of dying for their beliefs is no nebulous, distant abstraction; it’s hard reality, part of their daily existence, a constant companion whose presence is accepted rather than dreaded or debated.

Many of these guys are career cops; one I know personally is a retired prison guard, whose entire torso is marked with gruesome scars from knife wounds incurred through breaking up exercise-yard riots.

These aren’t shrinking violets, hothouse flowers, or braggadocious shit-talkers; these are quiet, competent, hard, rough men who have experienced violence and bloodshed up-close and personal without ever shrinking from their duty to wade in and cope with it. Not one of them—not a single one—is in any way blustering or joking around when he speaks of the likelihood of a violent uprising against any government that tries to deny them their God-given right to keep and bear arms. The Left dismisses or disbelieves such commitment from such men at their own hazard.

The bigger question for me is still whether such a conflict OUGHT to be wished for. I’ve always had an interest in Civil War history, ever since I was a kid, and have enjoyed studying up on it my whole life. One of the central lessons gleaned from such study is that, as blithe and breezy—as eager, even–as most everybody on both sides was in the lead-up to war, the devastation and woe thereby unleashed was just…astounding. And all the more so for its unexpectedness—for the failure of those people to foresee it, or to even imagine it.

I’m not somebody who believes that war is never an acceptable option and never can lead to any good end, mind. But war, true, all-out, existential war, has a way of getting loose and expanding in ways nobody expects or wishes for. It tends to rapidly exceed the grasp of those who created it. Its consequences, the pain it causes, the change it wreaks, reverberate for long generations after the cause of it has been forgotten.

The major wars of the last century and a half all started out as small, trifling things whose objectives were modest and whose impact was expected to be relatively small. They mostly seem to be blundered into step by step rather than sought or planned as part of a Grand Design. The original motives for them were far removed from the ones that ended up driving their expansion, and wind up mostly forgotten in the long run. Instead, those wars each ended up transforming the world—the striking of a giant bell that can’t be unrung, whose reverberations will be heard far into a future rendered unpredictable by them.

As I mentioned, I’ve known a lot of military personnel over the years; I’ve been quite close to some of them. Even though the true warriors among them possess a genuine eagerness for testing themselves in the furnace of combat, I don’t know any of them that love war, or are unreservedly happy when we find ourselves in one.

And those are just the limited, small-scale, low-intensity, and non-decisive conflicts we restrict ourselves to now. I tend to believe that the next civil war, if any, will not be that AT ALL. It will almost surely start that way, yes; a 4GW, guerilla-style insurgency. There will be a tremendous reluctance on the part of the federal government to respond with its full might to such. In truth, it could well be that it never would escalate to the level of tanks rolling down Broadway or massive airstrikes against Atlanta, or offshore subs launching a fusillade of Tomahawks at Kansas or Indiana.

But in the end, neither can I quite see this government being willing to endure limited but damaging conflict for an unlimited time, ending in exhausted resignation to a negotiated settlement that partitions the country or dissolves the federal government itself. I could be wrong; it could turn out that the example of Britain and the IRA’s long struggle might provide some sort of template, I dunno. Much would depend on who was president at the time, what sort of man he was, what his political beliefs were.

I think most any Democrat president would order those airstrikes on the interior in a heartbeat, even if reluctantly. As we already see well enough, they harbor more enmity and hatred for us than they do any foreign antagonist. Their concern for Constitutional niceties on the use of military force within our borders against Americans would be as undetectable as their regard for the rest of it is, as we also already see perfectly well. And as they grow more and more isolated in the bubble of their coastal regions and major cities, they could more easily manage the subconscious dehumanizing of an enemy necessary to making war on him, of killing them in job lots with nary a twinge of conscience or regret.

The thing that Team Liberty has going for it in such a dire circumstance is the fact that we’re pretty well dispersed. One could easily firebomb New York City or Chicago to crippling effect with a single sortie; firebombing the Midwest farm country, west Texas, or the hills of the Blue Ridge or Ozarks would yield a much less consequential result, and require much greater effort and planning. Although I have to admit that as many Southern cities grow, their central areas will eventually provide enticing targets for a megalomaniac’s murderous ambition, both the strategic benefit of hitting them and the tactical ease of doing so magnified accordingly.

But those growing Southern cities are also packed full of liberals themselves, so maybe that would make a Democrat despot more reluctant to target them, who knows.

Your basic Mark-1 Mod-0 Republican, on the other hand, won’t fight over anything more weighty or prospectively discomfiting than what kind of martini to have with lunch, so that pretty much ends any speculation I might offer on that. If a GOPer is president when the balloon goes up, the IRA scenario is the more likely one…if even that much. He’d probably ignore it as long as he could, and then bring in some Democrat Socialist Partners In Peace from Congress to consult with him on a possible Final Solution, which he will then implement by yielding the power of his office to them for the duration, in something the media will laud as a bipartisan co-presidency arrangement clearly much preferable to the antiquated, failed governmental structure laid out by the Founders.

All in all, I can’t persuade myself to wish for civil war of either type, quite, even when we’re so clearly living under conditions our forefathers would not for a moment have accepted for themselves, and to which a substantial portion of we the governed explicitly do not consent. The result of any such conflict is by no means guaranteed, or even conceivable in the prelude to it; even a nominal victory for our side may well end up proving destructive to our aims. The only thing guaranteed by such a war is horror, on a scale we who will suffer it can’t even begin to comprehend beforehand.

I can’t say I hold out much hope for a non-violent resolution either, though. Certainly the thought of our arrogant Leftist tormentors fleeing for their lives under threat of imminent death under the guns of the righteous and just; of their finally having proper retribution wrought upon them for their presumption and the wanton harm they’ve done; and of the twisted perversion of government they constructed to hide behind while it does their dirty work for them being reined in at last, if not dismantled outright, has its appeal and all.

But the prospect of them finally seeing the error of their ways and repenting of their insatiable lust to dominate and control us is hopelessly damned remote too. Which renders any solution short of bloodshed pretty much unattainable.

I don’t know how likely any of it is. I sure ain’t about to make any bets either way.

The character of the American people comes into play, too. In the end, I guess the most likely event would have to be that we continue to cherish our comforts and conveniences more than our principles, and go on staggering down the road to serfdom with nothing more substantial than mild grumbling in response. We’ll look at the British example of fading quietly away with less bemused, pity-attenuated contempt and more comradely empathy and nostalgia for the lost glory of our Golden Age. We’ll fade from world-news headlines the same way Greece has, a country which was once the pinnacle of Western prominence, influence, and success, but is now barely an embarrassing irrelevance, a footnote to history.

At least until the Moslem conquest of us is complete, and they move the national capital to Dearborn or Buffalo, say, and change the name from USA to something completely unpronounceable in Arabic that sounds like a lot of gagging and coughing and translates literally as America sucks the hairy swinging balls of Allah, but which the libs will tell us means We Love And Respect You Guys, Like, Totally, Dude. I don’t seriously expect it in my lifetime, but do greatly fear the possibility of such a hellish future for my daughter. I worry about that a fair bit, honestly. If I believed for a moment that my getting out there in the woods like I said before would prevent it, I’d be packing gear and loading mags right now.

But it won’t, and I know it. Her generation will have to rediscover their courage and self-respect somehow; they’ll have to demonstrate a more realistic appreciation of harsh reality, a more practical intelligence and resoluteness than the Millenials have shown any sign of so far if that catastrophe is to be averted. I intend to do all I can to teach her, to inculcate those things in her to the best of my ability. But in the end, her fate will be her own to confront, just like all the generations before her, and all my worrying and fretting will amount to no more than dust in the wind.

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3 thoughts on “Ruminations on Civil War v2.0

  1. Very well said, from the heart, and well-reasoned. I very much appreciate your take, and share it.

    People that have not been to war, and think it’s like something they’ve seen in the movies, don’t know what they are wishing for when they call for weapons-hot. I hope they never find out what the reality is like.

    I’m deep in the Belly of the Beast myself; in CA, where natural rights are not acknowledged and our Constitution is used, if at all, as toilet paper. Baitfish have more “rights” here than I do, and I’m a native son!

    Now if it hadn’t been for that terrible boat accident, I might have had an “assault” rifle, which would probably be illegal (hard to tell, they keep changing the law & I’ve given up trying to figure it out.) But if Deputy Barney, with his one bullet safe in his pocket, had come to take it away from me- would I shoot him? Could I?

    No, I couldn’t do that. That deputy wouldn’t have come on his own, he’d have been following orders. I just can’t shoot ordinary folks like me who are just doing their jobs, unless they attack me first; in that case I just might, it would depend.

    And of course in reality, it wouldn’t be just one deputy: it’d be a small army of SWAT, all wearing armor & with automatic weapons blazing (yeah, I’ve seen how they do it) and they’d come smashing in at 0’Dark 30 with some flash-bangs to wake me up.

    I’m not too worried about the CA idiots deciding to do the door-to-door takeaway-your-guns scenario, they’d sure like to but I doubt they’d find any police who are stupid enough to go along. They’re doing it the slow way: first make everyone a criminal, then arrest them when they do something else that gets them in trouble with the law. Then, when you’re safely locked up, they search your house; then they take your guns without any risk at all. Piece of cake!

    So until I jaywalk, or get pulled over for speeding, I’m probably safe. Still, I’d rather live in the USA, so I’m leaving, sometime in the next few months I hope.

    The problem with any scenario is that we never seem to know what will be the tipping point. WWI caught everyone by surprise: a nonentity got shot by another nonentity, and the whole house of cards then fell over one-by-one until the whole world was at war. Nobody saw it coming. Nobody recognized the spark until the fire was lit.

    Wars are too easy to get started, and can be really hard to stop! And as you said at the end of that great piece, “all my worrying and fretting will amount to no more than dust in the wind.”

    Amen, brother. Sometimes I am glad that I am old!

  2. FWIW, my opinion is that Civil War 2.0 will kick off just as soon as a majority of Americans conclude that the American people no longer have a say in their own governance.

    I fear that the nonstop attempts to impeach President Trump for the crime of winning the election, the demonstrated attempts by the establishment of both political parties to rig their 2016 primaries (successful, in the Democrats’ case) and the threats to remove or refuse to seat Judge Roy Moore should he win his Senate campaign, are moving us closer to that point. To name but three examples.

  3. My 2¢:

    Any sort of draconian crackdown on the First or Second Amendments will be viewed as the invitation to start the ball.

    I’m middle-aged, and healthy enough to kill far more than my car’s weight in enemies before I get taken out, and they’re already outnumbered 2:1 by just the dues-paying members of the NRA.

    The IRA, by contrast, was never more than about 1500 active members, and ran formerly Great Britain ragged for nearly a century’s timespan.

    If even 1%, one stinking percent, of gun owners here get froggy, the first volley wipes out every government official and military member, active, reserve, and national guard, by Monday at 9AM of the first week, and only leaves us with a million troops on our side left to deal with after that.

    (Bear in mind that American private citizens bought enough guns just on Black Friday to fully equip the entire military here, and they buy enough every year to re-stock the next fifteen or twenty armies in the world, combined, and have for decades.)

    The hangings of government toadies will start by 10AM that day. They will be done in batches, with wire and convenient lampposts, and a blindfold is the entirety of Marquis of Queensbury Rules one should expect, in either direction.

    The military? My conjecture is that two-thirds or more would topple the government and the Pentagon at the merest suggestion of using force against American citizens, and the idea of releasing nuclear weapons on American soil would generate mutiny and a coup in about an hour’s time.

    And you can’t use your troops when giving them ammo leaves you wondering, in a pinch, which way they’ll open fire, given the choice between any mob, and their own officers.

    Ditto the cops. More than half will stay home, and the ones who don’t will be evenly split (or worse) against talking any action but wait and see. Getting in the middle will render their life expectancies to hours, and their chief function at that point is resupply points for partisans. And there isn’t a one of them who doesn’t know that in their bones.

    There will be military and civilian toadies, and opportunists keen to kill whomever they’re pointed at, but there’ll likely be a lot more who’ll shoot the issuer of any such order, and keep shooting until the order is “Storm the palace.”

    Anything else will be suicide. Troops, their bases, and cities, from state capitols to any other metropolis, will find themselves cut off, besieged, powerless, waterless, and starved by the third day of any such attempt at government by Imperium.

    And then the round-ups will begin.

    Mere Democrats and Leftards will be sent to ad hoc re-education camps.
    Then the trials in batches will commence, and those who came out for order over liberty will start getting hung, with all the legal trimmings.

    The survivors will be unemployable, unhireable, and likely given the option to go into permanent exile with naught but the clothes on their back, or starving in place, if they aren’t beaten to death by mobs outright. The beauty of “cruel and unusual” punishment as the legal standard, is that in a pinch, lopping off hands or branding your forehead with a large “T” for “traitor” will be seen as neither.

    To a larger extent, skin color will become a uniform, as will religion. The lines of illegal aliens streaming out of the country will be miles long, and Muslims will become an endangered species in about a minute. There will be, in the end, not one single mosque left standing on American soil, and Muslims left afterwards will be either the suddenly Baptist or Roman Catholic variety, or the dead ones.

    And, I suspect, the message that goes outward to the rest of the world, come the day, will be that the military, or what’s left of it, will sit the war out, unless someone gets stupid, at which point missiles will fly, in their originally planned directions. Anybody tries Red Dawn, either version, will be living under red cloud, of the mushroom megaton variety, and no fucks will be given for slow learners.

    When all is said and done, this country will be 50-100M people lighter, and the toll from San Diego to Seattle and DC to Boston will be the most ferocious, but most cities at odds with the rest of their home state will probably be halved, either from refugee flight, starvation and disease, or outright slaughter. This won’t be a Civil War as such; D.C and the major metropoli will be too busy trying to survive at all. Look for a war of counties, on a company and battalion-sized unit basis.

    If you’re looking for military models, think Normandy or Market-Garden, with TPTB playing the part of Germans, or Custer’s men at the Little Big Horn. Plenty of people will die, on both sides, including untold innocents. But demography is destiny, and professionals talk logistics, and the Big State is too ungovernable, to vulnerable, and too underwhelming in terms of the force it can apply in an insurrection, to survive more than a few weeks. More likely, more than a few hours.

    The danger is some wingnut electing to cut straight to coronation as the first American Napoleon, which won’t fly on any level. They will receive the Mussolini/Qaddafi retirement plan, likely same-day.

    A civil war will be unspeakably bloody, uncontrolled, horrid chaos, and it’s the absolute last thing I’d want to see used to try and restore the republic to what it ought to have been for any period it’s been MIA; but it’s still on the list.

    My only fear is that things go back to another generation of somnolence now, and when the odds are less favorable to my way of thinking, and the habit of rebellion has been bred out and demographically eliminated from the people, TPTB will make the final push then, instead of while many are still frisky and ornery enough to have a healthy say in the dispute.

    Which fear may set the whole stumbling clusterf**k off to begin with, if enough people figure it’s now or never. Blunder, miscalculation, and backing into it accounted for nearly every war in the last century’s time, and I see no wave of intelligence or foresight to lead me to believe when our turn comes up again, that anything else will light the fuse this time either.

    No one will ever be able to overestimate the stupidity and foolishness of people, and that defining characteristic of humanity virtually ensures that things will end in fire, blood, and tears, and probably so suddenly everyone will be reeling until the whole thing is gloriously aflame, with no way out but through it.

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