I don’t want a civil war. I don’t want a revolution. But given my personality, it’s inevitable that I will talk about stuff like that to a near-obsessive extent for no other reason than it makes me feel better.
One of the place I’ve begun to tentatively think out loud about civil war or revolution is of all places Tik-Tok. Some obvious MAGA person responded to a video I did about all that bullshit by saying, “Biden and all of the Democrats will be destroyed.”
Now, given that the Left and Right echo chambers no longer talk to each other online, for someone to say so definitively that MAGA would win a civil war / revolution indicates that he definitely has been thinking about such events, too.
This brings up the this issue — I simply don’t get all the talk of inflicting terror on “Libtards” the part of MAGA-Qanon. There is something seriously fucked up in our political system that things have gotten this bad. I honestly don’t know why MAGA-Qanon is so bloodthirsty, even if only on a rhetorical level. What is the origin of all this hate, all this willingness to hurt people simply because they disagree with you politically?
The only reason why I talk about civil war / revolution is I’ve decided to take the overwrought rhetoric of MAGA-Qanon both seriously and literally. They want to have that conversation? Ok, well, I’ll give to them. I wish could prove to them that rather than be “destroyed,” “Joe Biden and the Democrats” are actually in a far better position strategically than MAGA-Qanon might otherwise thing.
In fact, I’ve written at great length about this very thing repeatedly. The only thing that MAGA-Qanon has going for it is a bloodthirsty first-mover advantage. If they can’t strike a knockout blow in the opening days of any civil war / revolution, they’re far from certain to win.
Anyway, I don’t want any of it. I just want a liberal democracy. Nothing radical, nothing controversial, just a functioning liberal democracy. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.
I have lost everything a few times in my life. And, yet, I’ve managed to survive with little more than the clothes on my back. Living in South Korea for five years gave me a very good understanding of my personal skillset. I’m good at abstract and strategic thinking and I’m good in a crisis.
The only reason why I mention any of this the same spidey sense that has managed to get me out of more than one scrap over the years is really beginning to tingle violently. I’m a man of peace. A man of ideas. But damn if I’m going to sit on my hands if the nation I love so much implodes because of a fucking failed TV gameshow host.
But I’m well aware I’m a rando nobody. I don’t even have a Blue Check on Twitter. No one listens to me and they probably shouldn’t, no matter what I say.
And, yet, Something Big is about to happen to the United States in a future that can be counted in months. As it stands, for personal reasons, if my absolute worst fears are realized — civil war / revolution — I’m just going to hunker down. I might try to organize some sort of neighborhood defense if it really got THAT bad.
My absolute worst fear, however, is that simply isn’t going to be enough. My fear is, because of my politics, I’m going to be forced out of my rural MAGA community. I’m going to lose everything AGAIN. If that happens, I head north towards NYC.
The thinking is, if I’m forced out of my town because of my politics, I won’t be alone. It’s not like I’m just going to be a lone Blue person walking north. There’s likely to be so many people doing that same thing that some sort of infrastructure will be built out to accommodate us. As such, I’m going to try to make my way to NYC for no other reason that I have a huge ego and think I can use my personal skillset to make some sort of difference.
Of course, if you think I’m being extremely delusional, you’re probably right. But, like I said, I’m not going to watch idly by while tyranny puts Lady Columbia under a jackboot.
I hate that I even have to think like this now. I think, in all honesty, that Trump’s going to “win” without incident (rather mysteriously) on Election Night and we’ll just continue our drift towards an autocratic managed democracy. If I have to start worrying about being snatched off the street or pushed out a window because of my political views, then, so be it.
But the key thing about crisis management is knowing you’re in a crisis in the first place. We’re in a crisis. It’s up to us to figure out how it all gets sorted out.
The thing about what’s going on right now is it’s difficult, if not impossible, to figure out how serious Trump is about staging A Very American Coup and how much is him simply hedging his bets. Trump may simply want a wide-array of options to choose from.
And, remember, Trump must know by this point that Russian hackers are going to (attempt) to directly change the results of the 2020 election by hacking directly into our election computer systems. As such, that MIGHT be the real explanation behind the odd decision on the part of the Trump Campaign to go dark with their advertising in key battleground states right before the election. Trump is lulzing it because he knows nothing matters at this point — the fix is in.
Anyway, let’s imagine he decides to go ahead with his Very American Coup. What happens?
The Coup The key thing you have to remember is Interior Minister Bill Bar is going to fuck with the election in a very “Who, me?” kind of way. He did it with the Mueller Investigation and he’s going to do it with the election. In fact, I would go so far as to say his success in blunting the blow of Mueller Investigation has given him a very good understanding of what to do.
As long as House Trump controls the post-election narrative, they win. As things grow more and more unhinged, the pressure will be on Biden to accept “defeat” for the “sake of the country.” So, it’s easy to see a situation whereby somehow even though a coup takes place, The New York Times and others play right into Barr’s hands by not even recognizing that a coup has taken place.
And, really, Barr has every reason to believe he will win. So, it’s very possible that even if MAGA state legislatures simply seat Trump Electors out of spite, a wide swath of the mainstream press will go full Vichy on us. I could see this being the setup to not a civil war, but a fucking revolution.
In other words, House Trump and Barr pretty brazenly steal the election post-Election night by fucking with the selection of Electors. The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman in a ever-so-droll way, signs away the Republic. She poo-poos the notion that anyone has the right to object to this theft and goes back to telling randos like me that I don’t know anything about (access) journalism.
So, this would be a moment of truth. I honestly can’t tell you which way the public would go. There might be some protestings here and there, but Barr controls the media narrative so completely that The New York Times focuses only on the violences associated with these otherwise peaceful protests and that’s it. We turn into an autocracy without even putting up a fight. Remember, the Women’s March has some pretty huge peaceful protests every year and the national press lulzes them because it’s just a bunch of angry broads, amiright?
The Counter-Coup This is very iffy because of what I describe above. But let’s say Trump, despite “winning” so absolutely brazen in his theft of the election that he enrages enough of the population that Nancy Pelosi finally, finally, finally, finally, FINALLY really begins to play white knuckled power politics with Trump. She begins a game of chicken with him.
Now, the thing to remember is, there are a lot of different things that would have to go wrong for Trump for this to happen. A lot. He’s going to bank on a hard 5-4 vote in his favor at SCOTUS if it comes to that. And he’ll be right. But it’s at least possible that out of sheer desperation, Pelosi drops an H-bomb on Trump’s plans to steal the election.
She announces soon after the last 5-4 SCOTUS vote a two pronged attack against Trump’s coup. First, the House will immediately impeach Trump the moment it comes into session in January. But it won’t be a “skinny” impeachment, it will be a 10 article political MOAB. Everything Trump — and Pence have done over the last four years, from Stormy Daniels to general abuse of power will be thrown into the expansive articles of impeachment. Now, if the Senate hasn’t flipped, then lulz, this is all smoke and mirrors.
MoscowMich does exactly what he did with the first Trump impeachment. But, let’s suppose the Senate does flip. If the country is obviously beginning to fall apart at this point — which would be the only way Pelosi would actually have the guts to do any of this — then there might be a real shot that both Trump AND Pence would be convicted.
This is where things get tricky.
In an effort to placate some very angry Biden voters, Pelosi says she’s going to step aside and have the Democratic House name Biden as speaker of the House, thus putting him in line of succession. The argument that Pelosi could make is that desperate times call for desperate measures and one coup deserves another.
Remember, this would NOT happen in a vacuum. The entire country would likely be on the cusp of implosion at this point. And Trump could very well send in the D.C. national guard (or whatever) to Capitol Hill and try to disperse any impeachment proceedings. But let’s suppose that doesn’t work for some reason, maybe a massive human shield of voters or something.
So both Trump and Pence are convicted — in no large part because Senate Republicans realize the country is probably going to descend into civil war / revolution anyway — and Biden becomes POTUS in a very roundabout manner. He proceeds to name Harris as his veep, and the Senate approves her at a record speed.
If things have gotten THIS BAD, then obviously Trump — who is probably barely hanging on to his sanity — will hold up in the White House. But it’s reasonable to believe that rather than play Hitler-in-the-Berlin-Bunker, he steals Marine One and races to, say, the very CSA-friendly Mobile, Alabama.
Today in Trumplandia Trump refuses to agree to the peaceful transfer of power
Part 2 The United States has two paths before it
Autocracy 1933 Happens because of apathy Nothing would really change at first Twitter liberals are extremely weak Trump is more likely to go Pol Pot out of sheer incompetence than either Putin or Hitler Qanon is nothing more than repurposed anti-Seminism (Protocols of the Elders of Zion.)
Implosion 1860-1861 Likely 9/11 domestic terroism event opens it (maybe coordinated assassinations?) The storming of Trump Tower in NYC Destruction of Fox News, WSJ, NYP (Maybe NYT)
The War African Americans get the promise of reparations for destabilizing South Women get the promise of codified gender equality and reproductive rights for unisex conscription A Renewed American Covenant No assurance it would work
Part 3 Need, as always: Co-host / Guests / Engagement
I’m no Gibbons, but I am self-aware enough to notice we may be careening towards an end-of-epoch moment. And event so unexpected, so spectator on a macro scale, that it will be spoken about for generations — the end of the First American Republic.
Now, let me get some stuff out of the way. What I mean by this is the First Republic was founded with the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789. It’s very possible that the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, is going tits up in a matter of months. We will be effectively neutralized as the “essential nation” that serves as the guarantor of the post-World War 2 global liberal order known as Pax Americana.
Once that happens, a series of major regional wars will erupt and, throwing potentially the very existence of humanity into question. It really could get that bad. China and India are already nearly at war. And it’s well known that Pakistan and India are pretty much just one border skirmish away from exchanging nuclear weapons.
At this point, I would casually note that I still think that one of the reasons why American Evangelicals love, love, love, LOVE Donald Trump is they think he’s the anti-Christ and, as such, will hasten the return of Jesus H. Christ. I would also note that there’s something called the Battle of Armageddon, which is would take place in a real place in the Middle East. It’s pretty easy to imagine that Evangelicals think Trump is going to prompt such a battle between Israel and Iran and Jesus is going to pop out at some point very, very soon.
Anyway, I would also like to note that the First American Republic now faces two possible futures — autocracy or collapse. Absolutely nothing in the real world gives me any indication that, in real terms, we’re not going to simply slide into autocracy with our eyes wide open. Too many things would have to go wrong for House Trump for that to happen.
And, yet, when you have a 50/50 chance that something is going to happen, you have to at least contemplate it.
My current theory is if it Trump isn’t able to steal the election outright on Election Night that things will grow more radical and more surreal every day the question of who the president is hasn’t been answered.
So, Trump stages A Very American Coup by getting MAGA state legislatures to ignore the popular vote altogether and name MAGA Electors. There’s a lot of very upset liberals on Twitter, but Trump is sworn in after a strict 5-4 vote at SCOTUS.
Now, here’s where things get really weird. The Republic at this point may grow a quantum leap more unstable when Nancy Pelosi steps aside and Democrats name Joe Biden Speaker of the House. The moment Trump is sworn in, both he and Pence are impeached. And now we have a crucial condition to assume — the Senate flips. So, as such, there’s a chance that something of a counter-coup could be staged by Democrats.
The Senate Republicans FINALLY buckle because the country is on the cusp of civil war. Biden becomes president after Trump and Pence are convicted. Biden turns around and names Harris his veep.
But wait, there’s more!
You would have to physically remove Trump from the White House. My guess is, if things have gotten this surreal, he blows up the White House and bounces to a safe Red State like Alabama. It would make sense for him to troll the country by flying purloined Marine One to, say, Mobile in yet another sop to his Neo-Confederate base.
This is the moment when the country collapses. The Blue States would absolutely believe that Biden is president. The Red States would absolutely believe that Trump was president. In the end, it wouldn’t be about secession, it would be about who’s vision of the United States was stronger on the field of battle.
Let me be clear — this is, right now, nothing more than sort of a progressive-liberal Turner Diaries. It’s far, far more likely that instead of such an elaborate series of events, that at some point post-Election Night, there’s some sort of major domestic terrorism event (maybe even a Reichstag Fire false flag) and Trump scrambles to consolidate power that way.
The country still implodes, but Trump, having forced the issue, would be able to lean on the U.S. Military to crush any resistance. Or something. All I know is, there are some Blue Check liberals who need to get woke. They have to start thinking about risking things that are important to them in the real world, not having a tweet that goes viral.
I can’t predict the future. I have no idea what is going to happen. But I do know we’re not going to have a free-and-fair election. And I know we’re not going to have a peaceful transfer of power.
The thing about The Atlantic article published today that makes me feel a lot better — even though the subject is rather dystopian — is it gives me some sense of how we might ultimately remove Trump in some sort of peaceful fashion.
But, first, let’s look at two quotes from the story in that is extremely unsettling.
Ok, here’s the deal — this is exactly the type of post-election shenanigans I have long assumed Trump would pull. In fact, it’s kind of eerie to see something you’ve thought about for years actually really fucking happening — Trump’s going to stage a coup.
But another thing I’ve said is, a lot would have to go wrong for Trump for this to happen. Bill Barr’s “preliminary summary” of the Durham Investigation would have to somehow not throw the election for Trump. The fucking with the postal service that Trump allies have done recently would have to somehow not throw the election for Trump. The Russians hacking directly into our election systems as part of a quid pro quo for Trump removing 1/3 of our troops from Germany would somehow no work, either.
As I have long said, the harder it is for Trump to “win” on election night, the more ham-handed and radical he will become post-election. He is literally going to destroy the country to save himself.
Now, here’s something interesting — Trump might be so focused so absolutely on stealing the presidential election, that he doesn’t spend all that much time (if any) worrying about keeping the Senate. He may still keep the Senate, but remember, if he actively steals the presidential election, then the dynamic that would otherwise happen — of him losing and the Senate flipping — would still happen with the Senate.
As such, if Trump were to pull A Very American Coup, then there would be, at least, some political recourse — impeachment. And, this time, the dynamic would be significantly different in that there would actually be political due process once the Articles of Impeachment arrived at the Senate.
It’s easy to see a situation where it wouldn’t just be Trump’s coup that he was tried for, but all the bullshit he’s done over the last four years. So instead of a shame trial in the Senate, Trump gets a very long, very thorough and very excruciating trial.
None of this would happen in a vacuum, of course. The same dynamic that happened with Trump’s first impeachment would happen with this one. Rudy would pop out of his crypt to rant about how it was the impeachment that was the coup and not the coup that Trump actually did. There might be violence. And, fuck, Trump might even press the issue if he got nervous enough by going full tyrant and using a nationalized National Guard to prevent the impeachment trial from taking place at all.
But the argument could be made that our one possible peaceful solution to the Trump “problem” is he’s convicted in the Senate. Then of course, we would have the problem of MAGA-Qanon surrounding the White House and Pence being president illegally, but at least, once we physically removed Trump from the White House, have removed him as an existential threat to the Republic.
For some reason, I find the idea of there at least being SOME possible peaceful solution to tyrant Trump re-assuring.
My podcasting skill is improving each day I do this. This one is pretty good. Absolutely no one is listening to this thing, but I have “high hopes” as the song goes. But, then, people often call me delusional.
I have long said that Republicans no longer see democracy as legitimate. It’s nothing more than a means to an end — power. If it doesn’t help them either obtain or maintain power, then it’s an obstacle.
The interesting thing about MAGA-Qanon is they are really setting themselves up for a historic, strategic miscalculation. They are now so consumed by their own ideology, that they are totally conflating the gains they’ve gotten by abusing the politics of liberal democracy with what they think they can get by running around murdering people in cold blood.
Now, of course, they don’t say it that way. They project. They say it’s people like ME who want to hurt people like THEM. They wrap this bullshit in attacks on BLM or Antifa or whatever the latest fucking boogeyman is of the moment. But their obsession with political violence is telling — it’s obviously on THEIR minds.
Well, it seems as though the basis for their bloodlust is the assumption that the people they hate — namely, people like me — are so degenerate, immoral and debauched that they have something of a moral duty to eliminate them. To solve that particular “problem,” if you will. The latest version of this bullshit is Qanon, which is demonstrably just the age-old blood libel against the Jews repurposed to attack the more general “liberals.”
But the endgame is the same — the implication is that Republicans and their MAGA-Qanon base are itching for a “final solution” to the liberal “problem” in the United States. What started with Reagan Revolution has reached its logical extreme — liberals have, in the eyes of many right wing nutjobs been dehumanized to the point that rounding them up and putting them in the existing ICE camp infrastructure will be seen as morally justified.
And, yet, as with any such whacked out idology, they are completely missing some pretty basic elements of human nature. While obviously MAGA-Qanon would have something of a “first mover advantage” should they get what they want, it’s not going to happen in a vacuum. There will be consequences.
It’s at least possible that after the initial shock of massive, brazen power grab on the part of Trump that the very people that MAGA-Qanon dismiss might have a lot more gumption in them than imagined.
I’m not saying there won’t be a lot of loss of life if MAGA-Qanon begins the “Final Solution,” but I am saying Americans don’t generally brook extremism of that type. When the dust settles, America may be transformed. But not into some sort of real-world Gilead, but rather a new nation based on a Renewed American Covenant.
Or, put another way — it would be a tragedy. It would be a clusterfuck and I don’t want it. I don’t think people appreciate not only how good we have it America but how much it would fucking suck if Trump steals our birthright out from right in front of our eyes. But it will also suck massively if the country implodes and we have to go through The Stand to get the country back together again.
I don’t have any easy answers for you — we’re going to have to suffer one way or another I’m afraid. The one thing we all want — a peaceful transfer of power — is never going to happen.
Either we slip into autocracy or we implode as a nation.
I honestly don’t know which one is going to happen. Good luck.
If the absolute worst happens at some point between now and, say, April of next year and the United States simply collapses into warring Blue and Red States, it would not happen in a vacuum.
For about 70 years now, the United States has been the lynchpin of a stable liberal global order. If it effectively was no longer able to maintain that order, it’s likely everything would go tits up pretty quick across the globe. A series of regional wars would likely break out after the shock of America’s abrupt collapse wore off. All those wars would be marketed as “WW3.”
So, in a sense, you can’t talk about a civil war / revolution in the United States without talking about it from a global perspective. One upside to America being indisposed for a few years would be the rise of China would be hasented rather dramatically so at least we wouldn’t all die from WW3 breaking out between the US and China. In fact, by the time America sorted out if it was a Red State or a Blue State, the world might be so different that we simply wouldn’t be able to process at it at first.
Instead of having to wait 50 years for China to become a superpower, it might happen in five years. And, remember, what’s even more troublesome is there are no assurances that China and Russia won’t actually physically meddle in our domestic affairs during any implosion.
But, if it makes you feel any better, there is a chance that our NATO allies might also help us try to sort things out. So maybe some French soldier in the United States as part of the NATO Expeditionary Force might go to Washington’s crypt at Mount Vernon and say, “Washington, nous sommes ici!”
Or, put it another way, if the absolute worst happened, the implosion of the United States would be such a massive global clusterfuck that it’s ending would be equal to 1815 and 1945 when it came to historical milestones. At 70 years, we’re kind of early for something like this to happen. Usually, it’s closer to 100 years between geopolitical events that totally scramble the existing political order.
And, let me be clear about some things. One is, as I keep saying a succession of things will have to go wrong for Trump / Barr for the United States to implode. We’re hurtling towards a peaceful transition into a Russian-style autocratic managed democracy. Essentially, it’s already here. The only issue is, because of American self-perception, Trump needs to be a bit careful stealing the 2020 election so as to not crash into the American self-perception that we’re a “free” country.
Trump is so painfully stupid and ham handed that he could, in fact, very well single-handedly destroy the country.
But, again, a lot would have to go wrong for Trump to do that. Somehow, his fucking with the postal service, a fake announcement of a COVID19 vaccine and the “preliminary summary” of the Durham Investigation AND the fucking Russians hacking into our election systems would have to not get the job done by election night.
I just don’t see that happening.
Trump is going to “win” outright on election night and that’s it. A lot of liberals will get angry on Twitter but, lulz, so what.
Either we slip quietly and peacefully into an American interpretation of Putin’s Russia, or the whole thing collapses and may be the best man win. I say this because the one result we would otherwise expect — a peaceful transition of power — is simply no longer applicable. Trump would rather literally end the United States as a nation than leave office and risk personal criminal liability.
But this leads to a question: why?
It seems to me the issue is Obama’s second term. Which leads to the question, why did THAT get us to this point?
The only answer I have is our fate was sealed the moment WW2 ended. It was inevitable that a Baby Boom would occur and as those people grew older and generally more conservative they would drag the country long with them. Then throw in that the Republican Party has known since at least 1980 that long term demographic trends weren’t on their side and, well, here we are.
So, in a general sense, someone like Obama was inevitably going to become president and someone like Trump was inevitable going to become a president as a result.
I would make the case that we’re actually a little early for the fall of the United States. Or, at least, at the early end of a spectrum that goes out until about 2028. I say this because unlike Hitler, it wasn’t like the United States lost a war or anything. We actually won a war — the Cold War.
But here we are.
A country with domestic peace and prosperity and a long tradition of liberal democracy is now careening towards either despotism or a civil war / revolution. It’s all very surreal — especially for someone of my age living through it all.
I really don’t want either option, to tell you the truth. I would much prefer we linger in this twilight era in our nation’s history for the rest of my life. I could handle 40 more years of being just before a decent into final political oblivion. At least, then, I wouldn’t have to live with the New Order.
But this moment in time can’t last forever. Our destiny is waiting for us one way or another. I totally believe we’re going down the peaceful transition to autocracy route. That’s our fate as far as I’m concerned.
The only reason why I have a little bit of uncertainty is Trump is such a fucking moronic self-own artist that he may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and then turn around and destroy the country to protect his own hide. Things are really that tense and perilous right now.