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Is America On the Brink of a Second Civil War? Probably Not - But Maybe…

Larissa McCambridge

Posted on June 24, 2022 06:29

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“The Second American Civil War is not theoretical for everybody. For some people, it’s already started; they’re just waiting for the rest of us to catch up.” -Robert Evans

Like many Americans, I’ve been watching the January 6th Committee hearings in full, getting a clearer picture of what the United States may have come to, had the intentions of that day come to fruition. 


Seeing how the Proud Boys and Oathkeepers planned the march on the Capitol in response to calls from 45 in December, and how those groups led the attack on the Capitol...seeing the footage of breaking glass, the gallows that were erected, and hearing the calls for violence - it's much more affecting than the clips or written accounts I had seen before. 


My earlier impression was that this attack arose out of a frenzied rally, that it was autonomous, that the former President took advantage of it and refused to send reinforcements to the area out of…spite? How ill-informed I was. 


My impression now is that this was a calculated and premeditated attempt at insurrection (although thankfully not as well-planned as it could have been), perhaps inspired by power plays seen in other countries and regardless of potential consequences; without taking sides and cognizant that the circumstances differ in detail, Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó comes to mind. An election was widely disputed, one candidate claimed the Presidency, and the incumbent refused to leave office. 


That happened one year before the January 6th attack and remains unresolved. 


So I decided to finally take a listen to the first season of Robert Evans’s podcast It Could Happen Here, a deep dive into what a Second American Civil War would look like if it were to ever happen, and how we could get to that point. One possible catalyst, he muses, could originate with far-right groups rioting in support of President Trump.


In the first episode, released in March of 2019, he plays a clip of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House on February 27, 2019, where he stated: “given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”


Evans goes on (hauntingly, given what happens nearly 2 years after this recording) to describe the possibility that Trump would call on violent militias were he impeached or if he lost the 2020 election. He then quotes Trump, from an interview on Breitbart News: “I can tell you, I have the support of the police, the support of the military…I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad. Very bad.”


Evans, who has reported from Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq, paints some pretty bleak pictures in this podcast. He admits most of these are worst-case scenarios, but he points out that modern civil wars don’t usually have a clear “us” vs. “them.” 

 

Most poignantly, for me at least, he posits that if this Second Civil War does come to the United States, we won’t realize it - at first.

Larissa McCambridge

Posted on June 24, 2022 06:29

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Source: Glamour

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