We Need To Talk About Trump’s Declining Mental Facilities

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

We are in a new era.

The first era of the Trump Administration was the period of time between the firing of James Comey and Mueller’s testimony before Congress. If Trump was not completely unqualified either in temperament or managerial abilities he probably would coast to an an easy re-election. He would simply be the precursor to his inevitable younger, more focused fascist successor.

And, yet, the recent 35 minute press conference where he rambled about American Jews not being loyal and said he was “The Chosen One” is a new era for him and his administration. Now that we’re not thinking about Mueller bringing Trump down, it’s beginning to sink in that Trump is not well mentally.

It’s only going to get worse, too.

At this point, the issue is does Trump lose it publicly or privately. If he loses it privately, we probably will never know that he’s catatonic in his bed. All his tweets will be written by someone pretending to be him. And the powerful people who crave his sweet, sweet authoritarian rule will figure out a way to fake him actually being cognizant. Only long after his second term is over will we learn that it was all a lie and Trump lost his mind.

That’s kind of the best case scenario for the Russians and MAGA plutocrats who want to drive America into a ditch and shit all over it. If Trump is giving a speech and he goes Howard Beale on us, that would be a different matter altogether. For a president to go completely bonkers is not something any of us is prepared for. It would cause a 9/11 level of crisis in the American government.

The crux of the issue is our best bet is some sort of informal Regency would be created. It’s not like we’re ever going to get rid of Trump, so he could quite literally go batshit insane on live TV and nothing of note would happen to him. There just isn’t the political will and America is just too divided.

That’s all I got, folks. But maybe this worst case scenario won’t happen. Maybe Trump will just be somewhat addled for the next few years. Maybe he’ll go the Reagan route and finish up his term, get to pick his successor and America will finally be a true fascist state.

Lulz!

An American Struggles With Brexit

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

As you may know, on Oct. 31st, the UK is set to leave the EU. I feel as though the American press has done a piss-poor job of preparing Americans for what happens should there be a so-called “No Deal” Brexit.

Some of the things I’ve heard predicted about a No Deal Brexit are pretty alarming. The most worrisome aspect of it all is the UK seems to be slouching towards a No Deal Brexit in a rather meh fashion. Given that No Deal Brexit might mean the end of the UK in the first place, this is even more alarming.

The reason why No Deal Brexit might mean the end of the UK as we know it is Scotland may leave the UK after No Deal and then turn around and re-enter the EU. This kind of blows my mind. That the Queen wouldn’t step in to solve this whole issue is rather odd to this American. But, then, America does have a Mad King right now.

Meanwhile, there’s also something called the Back Stop. This issue, as I understand it, is about the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. My heart breaks at how mind-bogglingly stupid all of this is in the context of Ireland. I mean, did no one think about this when they were voting to leave the EU?

Anyway, for Americans, all of this is significant for one reason — the economy. Right now, the American economy is doing fine. But if No Deal Brexit slows the global economy down significantly, Trump — who is barely holding on to his sanity — may finally go Capt. Queeg on us. So, in a roundabout way, there is at least the possibility that Trump’s ultimate fate may involve the Brits figuring out how to avoid No Deal Brexit.

But, I have to be honest, I see one of two eventualities at this point — either there’s No Deal Brexit, or they kick the issue down the road again for a few months. There just doesn’t seem to be any political will to fix this issue in Great Britain.

I have to stress, however, that I’m a clueless American. What do I know.

How To Defeat MAGA, If Not Trump

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Now, I fear it’s too late to defeat Trump himself. Not only is he too much of an avatar for white identity politics, both plutocrats and Russians have a vested interest in him winning a second term. So, he’s going to win and we just have to accept the consequences.

Having said that, this is how we in the long-term defeat MAGA. I give MAGA a pass this election cycle because there’s a key aspect to my plan that we simply don’t have time to implement.

That key feature is getting someone like Jon Stewart run for high office such as Senator or Governor. We need someone like Stewart in 2024 because the only way to defeat a bully is through humor. Stewart is the perfect embodiment of Leftist rage and he can make people laugh. After the dystopia of Trump, people want to laugh again. And Stewart is the only viable person I can think of who could do it in 2024.

But one other piece of advice. If you’re dealing with someone who loves drama like Trump, you need to keep your eyes on the prize. You need to focus on your agenda without being distracted. Pick a few goals and try to pin them down on them.

That’s why, on a personal level, I at least want to try to stop being so angry at MAGA. Should the occasion arise where I talk to them about politics, I am going to calmly and methodically ask them a series of questions. I will only do this after I’ve given the opportunity to get whatever ranting they need to get out of their system, out. Of course, the flaw in this is if I do one-up a MAGA person, they’re more likely than not just going to get mad and tell me to fuck off in a huff.

But anyway, I don’t know how well I articulated that vision. You get the general idea, I guess.

Reagan’s Dementia Versus Trump Being Generally Bonkers

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The Iran-contra scandal hit me at just the right time growing up. It was the first big political event of my life and I read as much as I could about it. The thing about Ronald Reagan at the time of Iran-contra was there were two problems. One problem was that as the son of an alcoholic, Reagan hated conflict with a passion. The other problem was he was really old and his mental faculties were deteriorating. The first problem is what allowed Iran-contra to happen in the first place. The second only made the first issue worse.

At the time, there was impeachment talk. And there was talk about Reagan being too feeble mentally to continue being president. But in the end, the economy was too strong, he was too popular and he said he was sorry on TV. So, he was able to coast through his second term.

Now, contrast that with what we have going on with Trump. While the economy is doing well, Trump is nonetheless very unpopular. What’s more I feel the now-infamous “choppertalk” press conference recently where he said he was “the chosen one” and looked up at the sun is going to mark a new era in the Trump Administration.

I say this because it was appears to be something of a tipping point. The way people think of Trump’s mental state has changed a little bit. For a long time, we’ve been told to take Trump’s craziness “seriously but not literally.” His crazy comments the other day were a first in the sense that it’s difficult to defend them, no matter how hard you try. That Trump would use an anti-Semitic trope against America’s Jews is just weird. It’s difficult to say he is playing 8 dimensional chess on this one. I’ve seen at least one talking head on cable news try, but I don’t know how successful they were.

Now, I say the following with the some caveats. One is, authoritarian populists don’t lose. So, even if Trump becomes completely catatonic, Pence and Ivanka will carry him around Weekend At Bernie’s style for next six years if need be. In other words, in the event Trump finally loses his mind, we’re stuck with him. Because Trump is an avatar for white identity politics, he could effectively be in a straightjacket and you still could not get 67 Senators to convict him. And given how disorganized the Resistance is, I don’t see Trump losing in a general election, either.

So, what I see happening is various degrees of a Regency. Either it will be common knowledge that a handful of people are running the executive for Trump, or it will be done in secret for as long as possible. They’ll just wait out the clock and until it’s seen as a moot point.

Anyway, given our history with Reagan, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Trump would effectively be mentally incapacitated and nothing will happen.

Lulz?

Worst Case Scenario: What If Trump Finally Loses His Mind?

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Now, let me get some things out of the way. First, I don’t think the 25th Amendment will ever be invoked for Trump. Second, I think no matter what happens, Trump is going to win re-election for various systemic reasons that can’t be avoided or fixed.

So, let’s run the scenario. Sometime, maybe soon, Trump finally loses it to such an extent that it is obvious to even the most reluctant of observers. I think the first sign we would have is Trump would make few — if any — public apperences.

He would just vanish.

Depending on how bad his mental deterioration was, I think we might gradually start to see Pence more often. But I doubt anyone would admit that Trump was actually heavily medicated and in bed. In fact, I believe Trump would win re-election under these conditions. They would figure out some way to prop him up long enough to get sworn in and that would be it.

It would be come something of a state secret that Ivana, Jared and Pence were, in fact now running the country. So much so that I think the big mystery of Trump’s second term would be where he was most of the time.

The only weakness to this plot, of course, would be if Trump flipped out in public in some way. If he finally lost it in public in a conspicuous fashion, then that would be a different story altogether. That, in itself, would be a huge crisis. Some pretty unprecedented things might happen if that was the case. It would be a huge crisis if we all knew that Trump was no longer functioning as a rational human being and yet we did not have the political will to do anything about it.

If that happened, I think Trump would remain president, but Pence would be the de facto president, serving in his name. There is just no political will to impeach Trump or to use the 25th Amendment. And, like I said, I think Trump will win re-election even if he has, in fact, completely lost his mind.

But if Trump did finally lose it, I think Regency would be comprised of Ivanka, Jared, Pence, Miller and maybe a few other people. But Trump would still be president. They would just rule in his name.

And there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.

You Just Have To Believe, Redux

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have been deleting a lot of the videos I did about the novel I’m writing because they’ve garnered too much attention. I just don’t feel like having to worry about some Hollywood screenwriter somehow cribbing enough from the videos to write a screenplay inspired by what I’m working on.

Now, I know this is rather paranoid. But only the paranoid survive. All I have is my belief in myself. I would prefer they come out with a hack rip off of my novel’s concept sooner rather than later so I can at least not have wasted a lot of time on it.

But if this were to happen, I’m sure it would come out just about the time I want to sell the book, if not later. That I’m this paranoid is even crazier given that I have spoken in rather vague terms about what exactly I’m working on.

I just can’t handle seeing a lot of people looking the videos in my Webstats. It makes me extremely uneasy because I don’t know _why_ they’re looking at a post, just that they’re looking at it.

Anyway. The last few days I’ve kind of been resting my mind. I think I’m going to finally get back to working on the novel very soon. No later than tomorrow, maybe. It’s just the entire country is on vacation and I think I sense that enough to not feel like doing much work, either.

The Electoral College Is A Fatal Flaw In The American Constitutional System

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

A recent Federal court ruling says individual Electors are free agents. So, in real terms, the only thing stopping them from voting for whomever the wish is their personal affinity for the party they represent.

Given that Electors are pretty much just average people, it is inevitable that a faithless Elector — or two — is going to put a spanner into the democratic process sooner rather than later. Given how divided America is, I don’t see this problem being fixed any time soon, no matter what happens.

So, I could see Trump losing the 2020 election only to win the Electoral College because he personally doxed them all. I could see the entire Republican Party attacking individual after the actual popular vote to such an extent that the whole thing is at least thrown into the House where Republicans probably would have a decent shot of winning.

The whole nation being divided thing makes it almost impossible to get rid of the Electoral College long after it’s proven to be a fatal flaw in our entire Constitutional system. In fact, the only way I could see any reform on the matter is if the Electoral College went rouge en masse. If someone who wasn’t from either one of the major parties won, then I think both sides would suddenly have a reason to work together to fix the issue.

Now, the one thing about the power of the Electoral College is it’s a lot like quantum physics. The actual use of the human being that make up the Electoral College to stymie the will of the people is so profound that there’s no way of knowing what would happen. Legally, we’re stuck with whomever the Electoral College picks. That’s it. Once they vote, that’s the president. The only exception is a tie, whereby it goes to the House where the states vote by delegation. Each state gets only one vote.

The average person is simply not prepared for what would happen if the Electoral College went rouge. I don’t have an easy answer for what the reaction would be. Really, the only bright spot of saying Electors are free agents is you never know when that might come in handy. The Electoral system is so bad in modern terms that there are a few scenarios one could think up whereby you might want free agent Electors. One is the idea the Russians might brazenly hack the election in 2020. If they do so in a really brazen fashion, the idea that Electors might vote for who _actually_ won once we looked into things is at least something to make you feel a little better.

But I just don’t see the 2020 election being normal. In fact, I think it is probably going to be the last proof we need that the United States is no longer a democracy. In the end, I’m afraid, no matter what the popular vote, Trump will be sworn in for a second term

A surreal combination of demographics, power and money make it nearly inevitable that until something really wild happens, we’re going to have autocratic Republican presidents for the next few decades. The America that I grew up in is gone. We’re now much like the Roman Empire in its early days when it refused to accept that it was, in fact, an empire.

Republicans are going to remake America at last. In fact, I would go so far as to say the only thing that may save us is the apolitical nature of the US Military. It may be that a junta has to step in at some point. That may, in fact, be the only thing that keeps the country together in the end. Otherwise, the country is going to split apart — peacefully or otherwise.

An Op-Ed I Wrote

Shelton Bumgarner

I got mad about something similar — but with the opposite political views — I saw on Facebook and so this is what happened.

This is what prompted my anger.

And this is my response.

An Observation About TikTok

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The thing about TikTok is has a lot of potential, and yet it doesn’t really have much of a point for older people (which may be the point.) What if you had something like TikTok, but the ability to ping people in conversations similar to Twitter?

Now, of course, this is idea is ripe for abuse. But if you were to manage it some, I think it might take off.

An Idea For A Social Media-Centric Media Company

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It seems to me that traditional blogging is dead. You just could not start a Gawker today, in other words. I noticed that Politico had an article about what does work on the web these days. The article says two metrics are the future: passive consumption and video.

So, I suggest the following: instead of a website, you lean into how people actually consume media these days. You convey the entire article in the headline and a small bite of information. You also have a 2 minute video to go with this. That’s it. That’s the entire article.

How you would make money off of this, I don’t know. The only way I can think of is maybe put a 30 second ad in front of the video. But I do think the general concept would be successful.