Is the US heading towards civil war?

Despite his track record on Twitter the US President’s blatant racist remarks in the past few days shocked me, and if this escalates it make me wonder about the internal stability of the USA.

Is it as dire as it appears from afar? Will it end up in violence? Will “immigrants”, seemingly defined by T as anyone not having white skin rise up in revolt? Will white supremetists take it as a call to do what they like and persecute coloured people?

From people who understand the US, what really is the position?

And from the UK, do we really want to get into bed with the US to get a trade deal if Brexit goes ahead?

N.B. This is not intended to be either a Brexit nor a Trump thread, so please don’t make it that, nor is it one for personal attacks on anyone who expresses a view in any direction.

a bridge too far…

Where did you get the idea of a civil war?

Both parties and the majority of the US citizens are clearly for border control in some shape or form and eventually they will find a way to pass and implement the long awaited immigration reform.

A good description of the quad’s (the four young progressive minority female representatives) actions was given by Ms. Maureen Dowd of the NYTimes who likened them to scaling a mountain not to see the larger picture (first priority to elect a Democrat president) but more to be seen themselves.

It is funny that while you are still undecided about abandoning the European bed you are already contemplating the merits of an American bed. I don’t think that a Chinese bed will be more comfy…



No Civil War. Big problems, yes. A long slog moving back to compromise and working together, yes. I have many friends who are Trump supporters and many who are not. In my experience all fundamentally good people. For that reason, I am optimistic. These days I think both our countries suffer from media that is strongly profit rather than service driven. The result is that differences and incivility are emphasized. Problem and solution alternatives are not. I sense fatigue on the part of all Americans in this area. So some hope.

The biggest worry I have is that the grotesque income inequity we have in both our countries, certainly ours, will, if not addressed, blow up big time. Over the past 20 years or so, we sent all of our middle class jobs overseas in the name of free trade. Did the wage savings generated in that move lead to reduced prices for products so impacted. Of course not. Middle America was devastated and neither party did a damn thing. That is among the reasons someone like Trump could be elected. There are others of a similar nature. Unfortunately, Democrats hoping to unseat him seem to be clueless. In their first debate most of them raised their hand when asked if they would support full government healthcare for undocumented aliens. Trust me, that was a big political fart heard throughout middle America. So warning, you could be dealing with big orange for awhile.


You really should come visit the USA. We need the tourism. It is no more humid here than Central Europe has been. And we have air conditioning every where. Come see Crystal Bridges. See how our billionaires spend their money in the middle of nowhere. They are really rich and just pour money into holes in the ground to benefit the community. I think you will be impressed.

There is little or no racism hereabouts and Arkansas is ground zero for historical racism. We are done with that.

They are just pushing your buttons. All the noise you hear is hype. All the Republicans and Democrats are fund raising over these issues and trying to gin their supporters up. All this racism talk, inequality talk, and socialism talk is fundraising talk. It does work to generate consternation, so just focus on sports like I do.

Forget the Civil War and get off Twitter. Both are silly ideas. There are many more guns than people in the US. Most of the gun ownership is in the Red States. Everybody has at least one gun it seems. Anybody in Arkansas can carry with no permit. Pass the background check here and put it in your pocket. That makes Red America a bad place to launch a Civil War if you look at what the facts are.

Most of the working immigrants are working here in old economy jobs. The wealthy still have money around here. We need each other in our meat packing plants and in our landscaping jobs.

The US economy is roaring. It is hard to keep an employee, particularly in a low skill job.

I do not worry about income inequality in the US. The pie is getting bigger and everybody is better off. Everybody, rich or poor, illegal or legal, educated or not, is better off. If my billionaire boss doubles his net worth, my net worth will go up by a multiple of that. His yard man will get a new house. Who is hurt?

That is why everybody is coming to the US. And placing themselves at risk in wading the Rio Grande or elsewhere to do it.

Whatever happens, we will be fine over here. This is Capitalism. Come see us.

I would love to see the US do a zero tariff trade deal with the whole British Commonwealth. Open borders as you have with EU. Why not? Might be some politics in the way, but why not? With some effort among the wealthy like us, we could get it done.

Who’s with me?


Nah, it’s just media whipped up noise, not even based on facts. Read fully what he said and in what context. No racism. A simple reminder that if you don’t want to live there, as they are always attacking America, go see if the grass really is greener on the other side of fence.


Thank you all some detailed and well considered views. Quite reassuring.

Nothing that I’ve heard in UK media has suggested civil war, more focused on criticising Trump, but it makes me wonder about the effect of stirring up racial hatred.

Rather similar in some ways to things this side of the pond, albeit catalysed by Brexit rather than the political head of the country. It seems to me that nationalist extremism is on the increase - and not just in our two countries, and associated with it often seems to be racism.

The concern you raised ClayB re an increasing divide between rich and poor is one that concerns me here as well, and it certainly seems that the richest are getting richer - again not confined to U.K. and US.

Skip, your observation about open borders is very poignant given UK’s current position in relation to EU, though we’ve never removed our border control between us and rest of EU, that being the countries who have opted to participate in the Shenzhen agreement, which IIRC also includes a few non-EU European countries. Good relations and open trade between neighbours is certainly something to welcome and nurture though with protection from adverse effect (achieved in EU at EU borders), and total absence of border control between countries on an ever wider basis increases risk.

Mike_S, if I read you right that is not the impression I get, the said people criticising the present administration and what it is doing, not criticising America, and the statements by the leadership at least as repeated in U.K. media do come across very clearly as racist though of course and calculated to incite divisive reaction, that being my own feeling notwithstanding how it is interpreted by the UK media.

IB, it’s media hype.

Some people just want to be offended. The media is riding on this ticket.


If that is true, then great. I have only seen/heard what is repeated in UK. Does that mean he has tweeted other things that counter the apparent racism in all the tweets repeated on, for example, BBC and ITV news? (I am not a twitterer so I don’t see any of his directly.)

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His tweets are intended to offend “liberals” (the pejorative American meaning of that term) so that they complain and that raises his own personal profile. This says more about him and his personality traits than it does about America or the Americans.

Alexander (“Boris”) Johnson is very similar.

The media love to stoke this division as both those for him and those against him spend their money to get opinions that reinforce they particular view. That is why he’ll get elected again for the next term.

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I wonder if he intended to, but - leaving aside the fact that the tweets in question were just a bit racist - Trump played a bit of a blinder on this one; especially as he comes up for re-election next year.

First of all, Trump only cares about his base. These tweets spoke to his base, but they also did something else…

The media, the “Squad” and the “woke” crew took the bait Trump’s tweets threw them. This allowed Trump to push AOC, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib to the forefront of media and public consciousness, Trump is successfully associating the Democrats as a whole with this tiny handful of outliers (and as far as I can see, these four women and their hardcore supporters really are outliers, even by the standards of “progressive” US politics).

The Donald has managed to highlight a tiny group whose PC/woke views run so counter to the moral, social and fiscal outlook of the majority of Americans into the face of the Democrats, with the consequence that many households start thinking: ‘What the hell has happened to the Democratic Party?’

And he forces moderate, mainstream Democrats, like Pelosi, to defend the squad and talk about them constantly.

There’s a really interesting piece by David Frum in The Atlantic about how Trump’s tweets have ‘hit the Democratic Party at its point of vulnerability’, driving it towards ‘ever more radical outcomes’ that will grate with many traditional Democratic voters. The point about Ilhan Omar in particular strikes me as especially pertinent - she wants to be the face of the Dems, and so does Trump. Her record of anti-semitic gaffes will almost certainly alienate a huge swathe of moderate Democrats.

With the economy doing OK, and the Dems looking (by US standards) dangerously wacky, Trump looks to be a bit of a shoe-in next year…


Not really, Donald Trump only really cares about Donald Trump; his ‘base’ supporters are merely a means to an end.

The same applies to Alexander (“Boris”) Johnson, he only really cares about Alexander (“Boris”) Johnson; to him, the Conservative party and the British electorate are merely a means to an end.

In both cases their unbridled ambition is to achieve power and control over other people. Social division is merely a tool they use to get and hold onto power, no matter the consequences to other people.

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Don’t see civil war but I see political party agendas becoming more diverse.

Over the last couple of decades I feel Republican/Democrat and Tory/Labour activities (as opposed to policies) merged somewhat and become different sides of similar coins.

Recently, Trump in the U.S. and Farage in the UK have forced large cracks down the middle, such that you now have to pick a side.

And the above commentary is correct imo, the media have lapped it up and breathed a sigh of relief that people are reading their websites again. In the UK especially The Grauniad has become a ridiculous parody of itself and would seem to be pushing for uncivil war at every opportunity.

I guess the worry is that it will take some huge scale tragedy to push people back to a more tolerant place, at least one where guile, wit, experience and talent can once again push back bravado and bollox.


“Division is the point.” So says the Commentary Podcast which I enjoy twice a week.

Yes these clowns are just trying (and it seems succeeding) to divide us and it appears we’re either too busy or too stupid not care.


It seem the Padded Cell forum is now accepting discussions centered around Trump. Why? It was so peaceful here, up until now…


So far I’ve given this thread the benefit of the doubt, however, I would prefer it not to turn into another divisive Trump thread, otherwise I cannot see it lasting very long and I think I’ll have to reinforce the “no Trump Thread” policy again.


Well that’s enough to put me off as I find Central Europe too hot and immediately go for the off button on any air conditioning unit (not a fan really), However, I have been to Canada and US and enjoyed it.

Me too - I don’t like tariffs or protectionism. Open borders worry me though as although most folk are great, there ae a few bad dudes who sneak in and can cause havoc. In IT security we often use an onion model, the more borders/layers the better to keep the rotten guys out so I guess I think in those terms. I like a good wall around the cottage.

I like the idea of philanthropists. Rowntree, Cadbury & Rothschild were rich, but used much of their wealth to help others. I’m not sure all billionaires are so benevolent though.

I certainly don’t think America will have a civil war. We had one once with Oliver Cromwell, but even I can’t remember that far back.

Well, we’re going to be in the NW Staes in a couple of weeks (Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming).

There won’t be any civil war…me and the missus get along great together !


Bit unfair on those of us who want to emulate Boris Shapiro and Terence Reece in the 1972 EBU finals and open 2 Diamonds and progress to a Grand Slam in Hearts or better still 4 Spades redoubled.

Sorry Richard.