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A likely 2020 electoral map.

The Upcoming American Civil War

And the end of American Exceptionalism.

The upcoming 2020 election will be bitterly fought, attracting more campaign dollars and aggressive tactics than any in US history. The result is a forgone conclusion: Mr. Trump will lose Wisconsin, Florida, or Michigan, by a small but meaningful margin, tilting the electoral college to Joe Biden and deciding the result. He will lose the popular vote in a landslide.

President Trump has spent the past 4 months publicly questioning the electoral process, casting doubt on the security of voting by mail (mail-in ballots and absentee ballots are the same thing). He has already stated that he will not necessarily accept the result if he loses. Due to the politicization of the coronavirus pandemic, liberal voters are far more likely than conservatives to mail in their ballots this year. The outcome in one or more swing states will be decided by a margin smaller than the number of absentee ballots.

When President Trump refuses to accept the result in November, claiming fraud and bias…what happens next?

A Captive Judiciary

The Presidential election has ended up in the Supreme Court only once, in the year 2000, and a recount of a disputed Florida result was thrown out by a 5–4 decision. American voters (and candidates) now know that nothing is sacred and any election result can be litigated. A Trump-stacked judicial system could overturn a close result in one or more states, but I think this is unlikely. The courts are more likely to let an election-night result stand.

Proud Boys, QAnon, and the Boogaloo

The Proud Boys, founded to protect against the constant cultural assault on Western White Men, was labeled a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI, who then walked this back two weeks later under political pressure.

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You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

The Boogaloo movement, who quite literally wants to have a part in inciting a second civil war, has had a presence at the George Floyd and COVID lockdown protests. These idiots would never make it in the armed services, but they do seem to have access to military-issue gear and weapons that look the part.

These white far-right groups share an enthusiasm for conspiracy theories. QAnon is a favorite. Adherents of QAnon, of which there are now between 1 and 3 MILLION nationwide, believe that a cabal of Satan worshipping pedophiles, who control the country, is out to get Trump. This is laughable stuff. Except that there is now a “follower of Q” headed to Congress.

The commonality between these groups is that they are all heavily armed, heavily conservative, and 100% aligned with President Trump. QAnon followers see him as the savior.

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The original Boogaloo. Red states (Confederate) have mostly continued to value states rights and individualism over national resolve and collective will. They fly a secessionist flag and call it patriotism.

Avoiding the Worst Case Scenario

Destabilization has long been the end-goal of the information war being waged against the West by Russia and China; some of the most virulent conspiracy theories were originally started and amplified by foreign powers. The rise of social media echo chambers has further divided American opinion. Rather than just disagreeing on specific policies, liberals and conservatives now actively hate one another.

Regardless of the outcome in November, this current trajectory is not how a functional democracy works. Divisions along state and party lines have become stark and scary. COVID-19 has highlighted the failure of this messy American experiment. We have been unable to to find the collective will to control a virus that doesn’t care about politics. Diversity of beliefs has long made this country great, as compromise, understanding, and acceptance were seen as virtues. But now the potential for violence is there; we are way beyond civil discourse and headed for civil war.

Written by

Dreamer, thinker, loudmouth. Founder, Octagon Therapeutics, adventurer.

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