Your terrifying reading for today: Wargame designer outlines 4 post-election civil war scenarios

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The “It Could Happen Here” podcast by Robert Evans (of “Behind the Bastards”) is a terrifyingly well-thought-out exploration of this topic.


Meanwhile here in this part of MA, there are fewer Trump signs than last time, democrats are firmly in charge and there is not a patriot prayer or riot for 1000 miles. At most, people are a little grumpy. It’s just the beginning of a beautiful Autumn with masks and social distancing a weird anticipation. All this crazy stuff seems so far away. We should build a wall around New England.


Greater Boston here. I’m not a little grumpy, I’m really fucking pissed off. Incandescent with rage, even.

The weather’s nice though.


No patriot prayers, but some Patriot prayers that Cam Newton does well.

As for a wall, maybe help build one on New York’s southern border? The NY/PA section would be 225 miles, add in another 50 for the NY/northern NJ border (trusting the Hudson to serve as a barrier from that point to New York City) so we’re looking at 275ish miles.

Massachusetts could help chip in a portion of the cost, as could the other New England states.


I hate to say it, but if you are a Biden voter and can’t vote by mail early, I think you should vote in person if you can take enough precautions to mitigate whatever level of health risk you and your household are facing. We need as many votes counted on Election Day as possible.


It definitely is terrifying but some of the parts don’t seem to add up. While in the Russian revolution you can see the Red vs. White very clearly mirrored in American Politics the Irish and Rwanda describe seem to have an element that doesn’t match up as well. The Irish Civil War divided the country along religious lines and the Rwandan Civil war delt with ethnicities. Both of them really sucked but I’m not sure how they translate into the current conflict. While it is true that the right has a lot of the evangelicals there are Christians on both sides even sometimes in the same congregations so it’s less likely to be be a Christian vs. Everyone else war. It is also true that one side seems to dislike people of color but again there are conservative people of color and it seems like an ethnic cleansing would not go far enough to achieve the goals of a dominant Republican party.

As I said the Russian revolution really feels like the more apt scenario. Even the American Civil War doesn’t work with this because much of the divide in the country now is not between states but between urban and rural and which are linked and succession doesn’t seem like it would solve a lot of problems. We live in a much more integrated country today that doesn’t quite line up with historical examples. History really doesn’t repeat but as we can see here it really does rhyme.


It’s Difficult to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future. But fear sells. It sells to Republicans, so why don’t we try some on, too? And who’s better for than an actual wargame designer to create speculative scenarios?

I see no preparation in the article - apart from “vote for the [type of violence] where the responsible people have the firepower” - but a lot of wild speculation and questionable historical allegories: Here’s a scenario I pulled out of my ass, and here’s something similar that happened somewhere else under different circumstances. Or even the other way round.


I wish for nothing more than the day when articles like this seem far-fetched and hysterical again.


Here in Austin TX it’s a bit strange too. We’re an island of blue in a huge sea of red. The state will almost certainly be red because of our idiotic ‘winner gets all’ electoral vote system. But if Trump wins or Trump doesn’t meekly comply with losing, there will be huge riots and demonstrations in downtown Austin for sure.

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The point he makes (in relation to Rwanda but which also translates to The Troubles) is that what drives these scenarios more than anything else is tribalism. Loathe as we might be to admit that it’s the case in a modern and prosperous country like the U.S., there’s plenty of ugly tribalism going on (one tribe being a death cult).

The most likely scenarios I see are #3 (rhyming with Irish Troubles) and #2 (rhyming with Russian Revolution/Civil War). #4 (Rwanda or American fascism) is too depressing to contemplate, although I’m making my exit plans accordingly. Unfortunately, the electorate is too split/tribal for #1 to be realistic.

Seconded. I’ve been giving it another listen-through. Evans expects a second civil war to resemble Syria’s operationally, with tribalism and other factors like climate change and economic inequality playing major causitive roles.


I often think that a big part of this is mostly due to certain men wanting to play army.


Wargame designer unable to think up scenarios not involving war. This is some unhinged scaremongering with no supporting facts to back it up.

The crushing of the Republican party will lead to a breakaway movement. Whether it’s as “clean” as voting for secession isn’t clear.

[ Citation fucking needed ]


I don’t wanna tell any civil “warriors” how to do their jobs or anything, but… judging from the pictures of these guys it looks like the easiest target area would be the groin?


I think it is more akin to the English Civil war and who one wants to rule and how.

But I still don’t think this will be a wide scale issue, but certainly small civil unrest is possible.

I do like the info in the video spelled out of a likely scenario of Trump’s possible lead evaporating when mail ins are counted. That is one reason to get out to vote and do so in person if possible. Make the number so high they can’t be contested.

If you do mail in ballots, mail them early.


The scenarios were scary, right up until the last one with the Trump victory. Selinker talks about the Left becoming violent and tribal in response to the excesses of the Right. Bull-fucking-shit. But you really had me going there for a few minutes, though.


In my county in NY (probably the most pro Trump county in the state), it’s almost 1 to 1 when comparing Trump signs and Biden signs even with the drama going on nearby in Rochester the past few weeks.

This still worries me though.

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Heck, listening to pro-Trump conservatives, I’ve been convinced we’re heading for some kind of civil war for a while. They’ve been openly yearning for it; it’s more a matter of when. But what’s fully dawning on me is that, even if by some miracle we manage to get Trump out of office without a “hot” civil war (i.e. just a massive increase in right-wing terrorism), things still aren’t going to fundamentally change. They’re just not going to immediately get a lot worse. Trump has revealed the fundamental inadequacy of our safeguards, which will remain inadequate. The Republican party has been hollowed out and occupied by fascists who now know where the weaknesses lie. That’s the party, now. US politics will involve one party interested in maintaining democratic rules and norms and playing nice, and the other party trying to utterly destroy them. The Republican party is going to be a continuous threat to democracy and civil rights even with Trump gone. The only way to stop a civil war would be a mass culture shift on the part of the right.

Conservative evangelical Christians don’t consider left-wing Christians to actually be Christians, though. (In their end-times fantasies about the AntiChrist, he’s usually a liberal Christian.) The Trump era has been pretty good at polarizing churches that previously had mixed viewpoints, driving people out. So it could definitely be a (right-wing) “Christian” vs. Christian conflict.

Dude. Republicans in office have been talking about starting a civil war for a year, now. Trump consistently talks about how he won’t accept the election results. Conservatives laud those who murder protesters in the streets as “heroes.” A survey from January found that most Republicans thought their way of life was “under attack” and that they would have to take up arms (and “take the law into their own hands”) to “defend” it. Acknowledging what’s literally happening right now isn’t fear-mongering.

If Trump stays in power, it’s going to be full-blown fascist-style authoritarianism, with state-sponsored killings in the street. (I mean more killings in the street.) I can see the left becoming violent - but in self defense, because that may be what’s required to survive.


I’m not dismissing the simmering anger everyone feels right now, its just up here on the North Shore it kind of feels abnormally normal. It’s kind of a helpless feeling actually.

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