In reaction to the allegations by Trump that his campaign headquarters were bugged, Mark Levin and Stefan Molyneux have joined Sarah Hoyt in pressing the panic button. Molyneux warns of likely violence to come, and compares the situation to that before the French Revolution. Levin seemed to be literally trembling with rage as he made his case with news reports. He said this was “orders of magnitude” more serious than Watergate
We do not yet know whether there is any thing substantial behind Trump’s charges. If there is, it would seem that we have a constitutional crisis. Bob Woodward was interviewed, and said there is no good mechanism to deal with this.
I wonder. Democratic government—any stable society—depends on a series of gentleman’s agreements. Bad guys will always break them, but everyone counts on most people not doing so. Everyone must trust that most people in authority will do the decent thing when it comes down to it. That level of trust seems to be gone in the US now. There is already fighting in the streets. We have just seen a particularly nasty incident at Middlebury College in Vermont. We are suddenly seeing masked protesters everywhere--eerily like the Fascists in their day.
You have to wonder. What happens if there is a civil war or revolution in America?
A civil war like the first one would require some states to vote to secede from the union. For that to be possible, I think you have to assume a Democratic majority in both state houses, given that the federal government is solidly Republican. Not many states currently qualify: California, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois, New Mexico.
Note that these do not form one geographical block. There is a clump of three on the West Coast, a clump of four on the East Coast, another clump of three on the East Coast, and two odd states in the interior, far apart. So in the case of civil war, or forming a separate country, it could not be a unified opposition. A separatist movement might hope that the rest of the US would do nothing, but if the rest of the US chose to deny them the right to independence, as happened last time this was tried, it would probably not be a terribly even fight. The interior states, if they separated on their own, would be quickly overrun. They probably would not try. It would be unlikely to get more than one of the three-state clumps to pull out in tandem. Independently, even if they did, they would probably easily be overrun. At best, it would be 40 states against 10 in three separate groups which could be picked off separately.
Some talk of the rebel states joining Canada. That would not help, militarily. Canada does not have the military strength to defend its own land mass, much less help defend someone else’s. And there is no chance of defense in depth. Unlike Russia, everything strategic is in a narrow band just north of the border. A quick tank thrust into Winnipeg, and Canada is cut in two. It would be suicide for Canada to get involved, if it came to fighting.
So how about a revolution? Here, the left’s chances look better. They control the press, the bureaucracy, the schools and universities, the professions. In day to day terms, their hands are already on the levels of power. And they control the inner cities.
But if it came to actual shooting, again, they look as if they are at a disadvantage. In past revolutions, like the French or the Russian, controlling the capital or the big city was vitally important. But it may not be so any more, thanks to our vastly improved communications. The hinterland gets immediate news, and can make their own voice heard. So it is hard for one mob in one place to carry the day.
On the other hand, the crucial issue in any of the classic revolutions in the past has been the attitude of the army. The turning point always comes when the army refuses to fight the crowd.
Here, it seems that the Trump forces have the advantage. Both the military and the police forces are probably on the Republican side. The more so since Black Lives Matter has been demonizing the cops. The more so since Trump has appointed prominent and well-respected military men to top administration posts. And promised more money for the military. Any civilians with guns are also likely to be Trump supporters, given the left’s fight for gun control.
So, if it comes to fighting in the streets, most of the weaponry and military discipline will be on one side. If it comes to a quick attempted coup, they had better be ready to face tank turrets below their office windows within days.
This being so, it seems like suicide for the left to be taking to the barriers now, refusing to work within the system as it stands, in which they are favoured, and fighting against open discussion, free speech and democratic mechanisms. It is a spectacular case of historical blindness and arrogance.
And if anyone tries to warn them, they are the enemy.
I wonder if it is a case of their own guilty consciences demanding they be found out and punished. It is said to be so, for example, for serial murderers, that they secretly want to be caught, and will keep taking risks and leaving clues until they are.
The Erinyes are out, and are taking no prisoners.