This is interesting. I get along with average Croats there fantastically from Vukovar to Dubrovnik and everything in between. The thing is I don't assume I know them until they 'let me in.' My uncle is a war veteran that lives in Slavonia now and I've had great conversations with him and his war buddies. I don't pretend to know the shit they went through but patiently listen and respect their contribution to the conversation inasmuch as they are willing to share. I don't impose my opinion on politics unless asked to basically since it's not the country I live in. Something really stupid to do is assume you have more 'knowledge' than the average people, especially the older generation, just because you're raised with more 'western values.' Knowledge still doesn't mean mudrost (wisdom). I don't declare myself a Trump supporter, just a non-hater.Also you can relate to me since I was rised in more western/intellectual way and we can find common langauge. However I am uncertain how would you deal with many more average Croats who live here. Due to cultural reasons I am by American standards very left while in Croatia I can even come as "Capitalist pig". There are also countless examples of Croats who came back into the land of their grandfathers but they moved back from where they came from within 6 months since they couldn't stand the "modern Croatian culture" and "socialism". Therefore since you declare yourself as Trump supporter and generally libertarian I simply don't see you fitting in here any time soon. Comming as a "tourist" for a few weeks is one thing but living here is another thing. I am willing to bet that you would have easier time to hang out with many Americans than these guys ...
Politically I fit in best with the people from my ancestral home of Hercegovina who tend to be a little more right-wing and find the most common ground with them minus the over-exaggerated nationalism. I actually have an easy time hanging out with both Cros there and Americans here. It's a different atmosphere. There I know I am among 'my kin' and know they understand me on a cultural level that American's simply can't. It doesn't mean there isn't strong bonds in both places.
There's a lot of strong regional pride there just like here. Maybe the fandom of teams here aren't as passionate or willing to fight others as much as there but the same general regional pride exists. However, what did all those Hajduk and Dinamo fans do when Croatia was plunged into war? They all united and recognized an enemy greater than their regional differences. You can feel the same amount of Croatian nationalism, in those days, surging from both Zagreb and Split.In other words even if there are no differences most people will invent them so that they have someone to hate. This may depend on which part of the country you are from or which sport club has your sympathies. It even happens that various sport fan groups mark some random field in the middle of the nowhere and then they just fight each other there. We don't have the differences as Amarica so we simply invented ours out of nothing.
Croatia would never plunge into civil war between Croats, that's ridiculous and you know it. Whats far more likely to happen is another ethnic conflict in Bosnia or something. Not having guns to defend themselves against regional neighbors and anti-Croat insurgence is what led to a prolonged war and a higher death toll.This is also one of the reasons why I am anti guns since Croats armed was American public ... that would be a massacre or civil war. This way at least the problem stays at a few incidents and physical injuries ... and country remains generally calm and witout classical street violence.
I'm not saying there is surging national pride, especially among the younger people, there but it's still an undercurrent that can still be potentially strong. If another 1990s situation was thrust on Croatia the unity would become more solid. The basic fact is that no matter what the people share a common core identity based on tradition, culture, blood, and religion and when that core is threatened that's when it all comes together. Croatia is 90% religiously and ethnically homogeneous, it would be one of last countries to descend into civil war between its own people. You might be underestimating the value in having a common core.I know that I am digging out the nasties of Croatia but saying that we are unified nation is simply wrong. In America at least everybody believes in Constitution, founding fathers or something while here this is "whatever". In America you can be fairly sure that the goverment will remain standing while here you have new system, new government, new currency and new borders with each new generation. Yeah, we may look alike but that doesn't mean that we are trully one and we have serious divides about most Americans doesn't even think about.
I'm not so sure America would stand with an overwhelming financial collapse and failing of law and order. It's just as likely that America would revert back to its republican roots and become regionally separated with maybe a much looser confederation. The issue is that America controls the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and is very tied with virtually every economy of the world that it's in most nations' interest that America remains in tact.