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Podcast / It Could Happen Here

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We know it's coming home...it's coming home...

We don’t fight. We don't riot. Even when the war's outside our door.
Four Fists, "Joe Strummer" (theme song of the podcast)
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It Could Happen Here is a 2019 podcast created by Robert Evans of Cracked fame. Evans' podcast looks at the political divide in the United States that was intensified by the 2016 elections, and does a What If? on the idea if the political divide were to spiral into a full-out civil war.

Citing actual civil wars that are currently going on, along with other trends seen, the podcast details how such a war would realistically look like in the US, and what factions would be in play during such an event.

Listen to the podcast here.


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This podcast contains examples of:

  • A Nuclear Error: One episode points out that while it is unlikely for the US government to deploy nuclear weapons on US soil, it is very possible for such a weapon to fall out of US control by sheer incompetence and into the hands of the many rogue factions during the war.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Both played straight and....averted. While the fall of the US government results in large amounts of chaos in the land, Evans also details how chaos wouldn't necessarily come with a pull out of the US government. He also cites a real-life event during Hurricane Katrina where relief workers were expecting chaos, but ended up finding very little violence and destruction save for the hurricane. The narration details your city being abandoned by the US government, and life becoming....semi-normal afterwards. Until the Dominionist forces show up of course.
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  • Balkanize Me: The ultimate fate of the United States in the narration segments.
  • Canucks with Chinooks: The Canadian military comes into play at border crossings as the refugee situation from the US gets worse and worse. The narration points out that the expected Canadian politeness isn't here, after a religious terrorist attack carried out by Christian Dominionist forces in Toronto. Another episode points out that separatist forces are being armed by the Canadian government.
  • Divided States of America: The entire point of the podcast is to explore the current (as of 2019) political divide and ask "what if it became bloody?" The work goes out of its way to point out that more likely than not, a new civil war would be more like the Syrian Civil War, with multiple factions all fighting each other, with an increasingly oppressive and desperate federal government attempting to keep control.
  • Downer Ending: The narration told from episode to episode ends like this. While you survive the war, you end up working as a border guard in a new nation in the Pacific Northwest. While the nation you end up in is doing sorta ok, what is left of the American South is reduced to a third world nation, lead by religious fanatics. As for the rest of the world, since the US functioned as one of the largest exporters of food, the loss of it results in worldwide famines, which are NOT helped by global climate change. Most of former United States are now failed states.
  • Enemy Mine: A couple episodes discuss how right-wing insurgencies and left-wing insurgencies could possibly set aside their differences for trading purposes. One episodes talks about left-wing insurgents trading drone equipment for firearms from right-wing insurgents. The episode How to Murder a City discusses the US government allying with ruthless militia groups in an effort to regain control in contested areas.
  • Fallen States of America: In the hypothetical narration presented, before the war, the US wasn't doing so hot; having its economy wrecked by a massive economic downturn. Of course, the war eventually results in its death; leading behind a mixture of impoverished new nations in its wake with an uncertain future.
  • From Bad to Worse: While Evans cautions that some of the scenarios he talks about would be "unlikely", he does also mention that the unofficial theme of the series is "It can always get worse", and episodes detail just how bad things realistically could go to shit.
  • Gaia's Lament: Part of the downer ending above. The former United States is wrecked by the consequences of climate change (and the states that remain in the power vacuum are unable to deal with it as effectively as the federal government would have.) Wildfire season is said to be 6 months out of the year, the coastal areas are flooded by rising tides, and the South and Midwest are left uninhabitable by constant mudslides and tornadoes.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: One episode discusses Foucault's boomerang, which in a nutshell argues that practices that major world powers do to smaller nations or colonies are eventually used back on its own citizens. The episode discusses how many military tactics and what not used in the current War on Terror would fit right at home during the war.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Unlike the historical civil war with two distinct sides, the hypothetical ones has multiple militia groups, left-wing groups, and what have you all fighting in the former United States, with a harried federal government trying to keep control.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The narration segments start off in 2024, although there are some flash back scenes to shortly after the day the podcast was released. (2019).
  • Oppressive States of America: The episode The State Strikes Back discusses what the US government (specifically, the federal government) would do as early attempts at appeasing the masses. The "story" segments of the work assume that this fails horribly, and the US government becomes more and more tyrannical as it desperately tries to maintain the crumbling peace.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: Christian Dominionists end up taking over many of the former southern states, after years of brutal conflict with other armed groups and occasionally even support from the failing federal government.
  • Second-Person Narration: The story sequences are these, where Evans details how your character manages to get by as the war goes from bad to worse.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The various militia groups in the narration are by no means angels, especially the Christian Dominionists. Evans states that an actual 2nd American Civil War would have multiple factions at play; nothing like the first civil war.
  • War Refugees: The podcast details how the war would make these by the bucketful.
  • Yanks with Tanks: The US Military is obviously a faction in the war.
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