Pierre Poilievre and the Canadian Conservatives are very, very far away from being like the US Republicans

Stephen Marche (source: stephenmarche.com)

Following the publication of my recent review of his excellent, penetrating, but preoccupying book The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future (Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster), Canadian essayist and novelist Stephen Marche kindly accepted to answer a few questions for this blog. It is therefore with tremendous pleasure that I share the content of our exchange.


BookMarc: Mr. Marche, you present a gloomy portrait of the threats that America might well be confronted to in a near future. Between the 5 scenarios you envision, which one is the most likely in your opinion and why?

Stephen Marche: Well, I would say that a version of the first scenario—about a united right that rallies over a bridge—has sort of already happened. I don’t really think that one is more likely than another. I prided myself in the book about being very specific about the limits of the models I used to write the pieces. Some, like the environmental models, are incredibly strong. Others, like the economic models, aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. But I give the best available models in each case.

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How America Could Fall

There has always been a soft spot for the United States in my heart. When I was about 10 years old, I uninstalled my parents’ clothesline to attach a flag of the United States on July 4th. I sensed my father was upset, but he said nothing, probably because he was somehow impressed with my audacity. A few decades later, my feeling of admiration and appreciation remained intact, and it was important for me to visit the Gettysburg National Military Park – which commemorates the most iconic battle of the Civil War during which approximately 50 000 soldiers became casualties. During those captivating pilgrimages on the battlefield, I remember the comfort I felt in my heart that such an occurrence would not happen again. America, I like to think, will remain a beacon of the values to which I am attached for many decades to come. And I guess my heart would like to believe it will be centuries…

But the last few years have considerably shaken this conviction. You may think I’m talking about Donald Trump’s election on November 8, 2016, and you are partially right. The events that occurred on January 6, 2021, were a formidable earthquake. I would never have believed anyone predicting those terrifying images of hooligans storming the US Capitol – the very seat of American democracy. Never. But here we were.

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