Prepping for Civil War?

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( – Expressing growing concerns about potential civil unrest surrounding the 2024 presidential election, citizens across the political spectrum are partaking in doomsday “prepping.” This shift is highlighted in a USA Today report, underscoring the bipartisan nature of the current prepping movement.

The apprehensions fueling this trend vary widely. Brad Garrett, an author interviewed by the paper, explains that on the left, fears are centered around the possibility of former President Donald Trump declaring autocratic rule. Meanwhile, on the right, concerns are more about societal breakdown, exemplified by increasing crime and public disorder. This diversification in prepping motivations significantly departs from the traditional image of doomsday preppers.

Brekke Wagoner, a 39-year-old from North Carolina, embodies this new wave of preppers. Running a YouTube channel, she advises a younger, more liberal audience on preparing for catastrophic events. Her primary concern is an alleged escalating severity of natural disasters due to climate change, particularly under a potential Trump presidency.

In contrast, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Drew Miller has established seven “Fortitude Ranch” compounds nationwide. These compounds, fortified and well-armed, offer paid membership for individuals seeking refuge in various catastrophic scenarios, including war, nuclear attacks, or civil unrest. Miller’s perspective is more strategic and survivalist, focusing on post-crisis wealth and resource consolidation, reminiscent of societal shifts during the Black Death pandemic in the 1300s.

The surge in prepping is not limited to any specific age group or generation. Recent data shows that younger Americans, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, are increasingly investing in survival supplies, outpacing Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. This trend is part of a larger $11 billion annual business in the U.S.

According to Chad Huddleston, professor and anthropologist at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the growing interest in prepping stems from declining trust in government, particularly among younger and more liberal individuals. Garrett notes a shift towards a more militarized approach to prepping on both sides of the political spectrum, with an increase in firearms purchases among liberal preppers.

As the potential of a Biden-Trump election looms, these divergent prepping philosophies reflect broader societal anxiety about the future, encompassing fears of societal collapse from all sides of the political spectrum.