20 January 2021

Capitol Siege: What Fissures Await?

The storming of the Capitol by Trump fans at the January 6th election count has rocked the country. As the polarization of 21st century America deepens, pundits are scrambling for a comparison. Is this like the 1861 Civil War? The 1773 Boston Tea Party? Is it like the color revolutions we secretly fund abroad? Is it going to lead to a partition, like in India? Or to self-segregation and mutual hostility, like in Northern Ireland? 

Is America as we know it over and done?

Since our first great scission in 1861, many have predicted another split. Back in 2010, think tanker Jeffrey Kuhner reacted to the passage of Obamacare:

President Obama is splintering America. The passage of Obamacare was a historic victory for liberal governance. Yet, its true cost may be that it triggers the eventual breakup of the country.

The Obama revolution threatens to tear America apart. ... The bitter debate over Obamacare has exposed the country’s profound divisions. We are no longer one nation or one people. Rather, there are now two Americas: one conservative, the other liberal. Increasingly, we no longer just disagree but we despise each other.

Trump has also aroused such sentiments, as from pundit Elizabeth Drew in ‘The Next Civil War?’:

Although US President Donald Trump has long hid his tax records and history of business failings, he has never made any secret of his willingness to destroy the US constitutional order if doing so will give him a political advantage. Not since the eve of the Civil War has America been so on edge.


Here at TWCS we recently looked at the deepening left/right split and possible break-up scenarios.  But are there societies that have already gone down this path? Where does it lead? What can we learn from them?