…the right-wing presumption of military victory assumes that there will be a “trigger” that will culturally allow actual warfare to take place. However, such a trigger is unlikely to take place, not least because it is in the left’s interests to ensure that it does not. This is why they will likely avoid any potential trigger policies (namely, gun-confiscation bills). Without such a trigger, there will be no real “war,” at least in the conventional sense, and the low-intensity conflict we have been experiencing will continue and escalate with lawfare, psychological warfare, and low-grade political violence, such as Antifa’s domestic terrorism and the Rep. Steve Scalise baseball shooting.
This is not “war,” but it is not “peace” either. It is not “business as usual,” and it is likely to get significantly worse before it gets any better, although Culper believes it is unlikely to reach the levels of, say, the Spanish Civil War. A more likely comparison is to the Irish “Troubles.” https://caffeineandphilosophy.com/2019/07/02/breaking-down-civil-war-2
If the electrical grid is down for a long period of time, societal breakdown is expected. This could be some kind of trigger, but if it is, it would lead to an unacceptable number of deaths.
In Northern Ireland, the Protestants felt entitled to live there, as it was UK territory and their distant ancestors had been invited there by the Queen of the empire. Catholics who were disgruntled could have moved to the Republic of Ireland, but they wished to have the island reunited. Their goal was territorial liberation (or conquest, from the point of view of the UK). The Protestants could have evacuated too, but they were the majority and they had the strength of the UK government and military to back them up.
For some reason, the whole populace was engulfed in the Spanish Civil War, but not in the “Troubles.” Given that the US is not in either kind of war, it’s easy to predict that Americans are more likely to engage in Troubles than war.
What prevented N Ireland from falling into war? For one thing, the UK military made it impossible for the Catholics to win by military force. The might of the UK military also limited the anxiety of Protestants so that they didn’t have to be as worried about getting wiped out. Thus the Protestants didn’t feel a lot of pressure to wipe out the opposition.
As long as the US military is under civilian control of Washington DC, and subject to criminal prosecution by the FBI, the US military is not on the side of the Right, because the Right will never have civilian control of Washington DC again (the deep state leans left, the ruling class leans left, and the voting public is definitely Left by historical standards). But the military also can’t be used against the Right on a large scale, since most soldiers are a part of the Right (at least for the next dozen years). Thus, before civil war happens, the military is not a factor. The Right knows it won’t be wiped out by the military. And as long as there is no pretext for civil war, the Right-leaning soldiers have no excuse to wipe out the Left.
The Right doesn’t need to fear being wiped out, because of the military (and because of their own weapons), so the mainstream Right doesn’t have an existential threat to use for mobilization. It might be mostly extremists who fight, as in The Troubles. Mobilization will be based on the knowledge that the Right will never win national elections because they are outnumbered.
The Left will want to “attack” and weaken the Right, but without triggering the military to retaliate or stage a coup. Thus, both the Left and the mainstream Right will not want real civil war.
2022 Update: a poll says that half of active duty voted for Biden. This indicates a lot of turnover since 2016. Now in 2022 the unvaxxed are about to be expelled from the military, and patriots no longer join the military. This year it would still be difficult for the US to get mixed (leftist and patriot) military units to attack US citizens, but the right wing is running out of time.
The revolutionary Right are those who think that preventing Washington DC from being ruled by true socialists -economic and/or cultural socialists- is worth fighting for. They will want to provoke either:
A) a civil war of attrition of tens of millions. Or a war to force tens of millions of US citizens to starvation across the border. God forbid. (A lesser war would not sufficiently change the balance of power for elections).
B) a coup with the intent of installing a benevolent authoritarian government not dependent on elections.
C) peaceful secession. The secession itself is intended to be peaceful, but to convince the public to choose secession, the Right might beforehand use violent means to provoke catalyzing and clarifying events, as discussed here: https://redstatesecession.org/?p=97 .
If events got really bad, the mainstream Right might be willing to go for option C or even option B. A fraction of the Left would support option C as well (a fraction already does).
Some conservatives are starting to understand that they are outnumbered and powerless. As more of the mainstream Right discover that they won’t (and haven’t) been able to use elections to prevent unacceptable policies from being enacted, some can be expected to choose one of these three options, and I think they would choose secession over the other options.
None of these three options is popular now, but secession is definitely more popular than dictatorship. Commentators on Facebook posts frequently advocate war, but it’s impossible to accurately poll this question since advocating for it is illegal. We have trouble believing that war would really be more popular outcome than dictatorship or secession because it’s too destructive.
If the revolutionary Right would understand that the mainstream Right will choose secession before they choose dictatorship or genocide, the revolutionary Right could work toward a goal that would have enough support to come toward fruition: secession. Obviously the revolutionary Right can’t achieve option A unless much more of the mainstream become revolutionary, which could be hard to achieve, unless maybe the Left is mobilized by taking down the electricity grid.
How bad will it have to get for the revolutionary Right to get strong or active enough to provoke secession? The problem is that things have been getting worse for decades and we’re boiling like frogs in a pot.
The El Paso shooter made a strategic mistake because he targeted normal people, which alarms the public and makes even red-state people open to big government. An attack on federal judges would not do that to the same extent. Targeting the public will turn the public against the revolutionary Right. Targeting the feds hard enough will force them to “overreact” from the point of view of the public. If the pace of attacks is adequate to forcing the feds to enact gun laws that are unacceptable to a coastal red state, the red state might secede if the secession movement there grows strong enough.
Summary: Don’t expect or desire mass death. Don’t attack the power grid. Don’t expect Americans to go for dictatorship. Don’t attack the public.
These things are unpredictable. What do you think is likely? How do you think the Right will try to solve the problem of being too outnumbered to win elections? What is the strategy that is most likely to lead to right-wing victory in the next 3 years? As you answer, remember anything you type can be used against you in a court of law. And yes, the NSA knows who types what.