Why 2020 Is Not 2000

by Shelt Garner

  1. Polarization
    The events of 2000 could only happen when the country was both not really all that polarized, equally divided and the two parties were almost identical in their visions. In 2020, meanwhile, none of those things are the same. The country is polarized to an obscene level, we at a 60%-40% split of the electorate and one party has no agenda other than what The Dear Leader tweets that morning.
  2. Once Bitten, Twice Shy
    Things like the Brooks Brothers Riot can only work once. That was a suckerpunch. By the the time we understood what was going on, it was too late. Given the shitshow of the last four years, pretty much every non-MAGA person assumes there’s going to be not a Brooks Brother Riot but a Brooks Brothers WAR.

    The question is, given how different things are, what would be the endgame should a 2000-like situation arise? I honestly don’t know. I’m completely clueless. It could be that, as always, the bad guys win. Or, who knows. But the dead hand of history would suggest it’s over. We’re just going to have House Trump in power for between 20 to 40 years.

    It would be at that point that the equally powerful dead hand of demographics kicks in and House Trump’s reign simply becomes untenable. They will have completely run the country into the ground and turned us all in to a reflection of their “deplorables” along the way, but oh well. At least they’ll be out of power.

Tik-Tok Can Read Our Minds

by Shelt Garner

Let me put some context to this — I have no idea if I’m right on this and, given my pretty bad history of making false assumptions, I probably am. And I would add that I generally don’t believe in conspiracy theories.

But hear me out on this one.

I have noticed from Facebook and Google and now Tik-Tok a level of knowledge about my private, mental dialogue that is inexplicable. For instance — why is it that Tik-Tok recommends videos to me of women who look eerily like my personal “one that got away?” They keep doing stuff like this to an extent that is enough to be very jarring.

And Facebook keeps recommending ads to me that make absolutely no sense unless you knew specific things about me that I have told no one about. No Tweets. No emails. I haven’t even vocalized them.

The technology to read people’s minds — in a very ham handed way — exists. It’s been perfected enough for Facebook to patent it.

I’m probably wrong. But how Tik-Tok, Google and Facebook could possibly know such things about me if I’m the only person who knows about it is extremely puzzling.

People Keep Doing Due Diligence On Me

by Shelt Garner

Another person used the Internet Archive to poke around this Website. I don’t know if I should be flattered or alarmed. They seemed interested in my dystopian “Trump wins” scenarios and the novel I’m working on.

The only reason why it’s even matters is I’m an anonymous rando. There’s honestly no reason for anyone to care about me. So for someone to take the trouble to use the Internet Archive to look at this site anonymously is really crazy.

The last person to look around this site so aggressively I think was The New York Times‘ Jodi Kantor. I contacted her for the novel and I think she was curious who I was. It’s pretty apparent she swiped left on me, if you know what I mean.

Anyway. I really need to get back to my novel. I just hope a civil war or revolution doesn’t break out in the next few days. Keep it peaceful, folks.

The Big Ugly: America As Political Powder Keg

by Shelt Garner

So it’s clear that a Federal judge in Texas is going to throw out 100,000 votes Monday morning, lulz, we can’t have Texas turning Blue, now can we? My fear is that such an event could spark significant political violence on the eve of the election, which, in turn would give Trump the excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and directly fuck with the election on election day.

That, in turn, would escalate things and before you know it, the country implodes and The Big Ugly has begun.

It could all devolve very, very quickly.

So quickly, in fact, that there could be several political 9/11s in quick succession. Before we know it, not even the U.S. Military will be spared.

As such, the Russians will have gotten what they wanted — a second American Civil War, “the worse the better.”

I guess for me, the moral of this would be for center-Left people to at least wait until after Election Day to freak the fuck out. But no one listens to me, so there you go.

I wish I could get so drunk for the next few days that I wake up after a bender on Wednesday morning but that plan never works. I always stay way too sober in such stressful situations. It happen in 2016. It’s going to happen in 2020.

The United States Is Careening Towards ‘The Big Ugly’ of Civil War or Revolution

by Shelt Garner

It definitely seems as though the Republican Party is going to be the dog that finally caught the car. A lot of anti-democratic trends that have been heading towards each other for the last 50 years are finally beginning to pay dividends for the Republican Party.

They’ve corrupted the judiciary. They will stop at nothing to delegitimize any election they don’t win. The list goes on.

As such, it definitely seems as though Trump could very well “win” because of Biden losses from a death of a thousand cuts. A 100,000 already cast votes here. Another 100,000 legitimate votes there. Add to this the Russians never allowing Trump to lose and a Federal judiciary full of young, hack MAGA judges eager to throw the election to Trump, and well, lulz.

The problem for Republicans is while they will “win’ their victory won’t happen in a political vacuum. While there’s a decent chance that any theft of the 2020 election will be just another 2000 — there’s also a good chance we could experience The Big Ugly. There could be significant political violence if Republicans get what they want.

And, yet, that political violence would have to get pretty severe for Republicans not to just lulz the whole thing. They are so completely by their craven desire to have power that Trump probably would see any political violence — even if it was started by his own followers — as an opportunity to invoke the Insurrection Act and take “total control.”

The point is — we’ve officially entered the danger zone. America’s political system is so taunt now because of the pressures of the 2020 Election that virtually anything could set off The Big Ugly.

I still think we need to keep looking at New York City. If Trump obviously steals the election, then before dawn breaks places like Trump Tower and FOX New’s HQ may have been gutted. I’m not advocating that, but just giving you a heads up as to how you might have some sense of how bad things may be about to get.

Of My #Novel’s ‘Textbook’

by Shelt Garner

I have long said that Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire is my “textbook” for writing this novel. But recently any connection between the two works is growing ever more tenuous.

I say this because as my storytelling ability has grow stronger, the more I realize my story is so much different than Larsson’s story that using anything specific — on a structural level — from The Girl Who Played With Fire isn’t all that applicable anymore.

Anyway. Right now, the only thing stopping me from throwing myself back into the novel is the damn election. Once that’s out of the way — one way or another — I’m going to really go as quickly as possible.

The True Tragedy of The Trump Era

by Shelt Garner

Two major historical events come to mind when I mull how the Trump Era — should it come to a close soon — will be viewed. One is Watergate. Not only was it the crucible through which America entered the modern era, it was all around a big old tragedy.

If anything, Trump has taught us a very crucial lesson about Watergate. We thought Watergate established a gameplan for how a president might actually be removed from office if his or her crimes were bad enough. In fact, Watergate was a very specific event with very specific characters that was not really any sort of gameplan at all. It was simply a fluke.

Or, put another way, it was a construct of the era in which it came out of. People in 1972 – 1974 had some sort of shame. Some sort of sense of honor. Two qualities that absolutely no one in the Trump Administration has.

The point is, however, that nothing was the same after Watergate. The Republican Party became the part of the people who were Nixon deadenders. That core group of people — in the guise of Reagan — would come roaring back in 1980 as part of the Reagan Revolution.

The Reagan Revolution is the other big event that the Trump Era gives us some insight into. The reason why Reagan’s election was so important was many of the problems that would lead to Trump first began to form. The Republican’s obsession with SCOTUS. It’s obsession with cutting taxes and social programs. It’s hatred of anyone voting. The list goes on.

The key issue of this moment in time, however, is how it was a psychological break from the past. The entire country began to take for granted a number of what were previously far Right concepts.

So, here we are in the Trump Era.

It will be the biggest shock of my adult life if not only the Russians let Trump lose, but Trump doesn’t somehow start a civil war just out of spite and a fear of going to prison should he leave office.

But should Trump miraculously leave office and a Biden Administration start, I just don’t see how things snap back into place. Trump isn’t going anywhere. He’s still going to be an ex-president. He’s still going to demand a spotlight and he’s still going to have a Twitter account. What’s more, he’s probably going to salt the earth on the way out the door.

One subtle change, however, the thing that we’re all going to have to deal with, is Trump single handedly radicalized much of the center-Left the way the Obama’s second term radicalized the entire fucking Republican Party. We were sucker punched by Trump’s time in office and so a lot of the native goodwill that many center-Left people might give Republicans simply doesn’t exist anymore.

In a way, both sides are now equally radicalized and suspicious of each other. The only real difference between Republicans and Democrats is the latter actually believes in liberal democrats norms. And Democrats have some sense of shame. Republicans, meanwhile, don’t give a shit. They are so fucking craven, so blinded by ideology that they were more than willing to fucking destroy the whole country if they think it might give them just one more young hack MAGA judge.

But I still just don’t believe Trump is going to lose. He’s an autocrat and autocrats never lose. Never. It’s going to be the Russians. Or SCOTUS. Or some combination of both that allow Trump to “not lose.”

And I just don’t see Americans having it in them to do what would be necessary to force the issue and drive Trump out of office — a General Strike. I believe TrumpBarr will simply grow more radical as necessary, invoke the Insurrection Act and that will be that.

As I keep saying, on a strictly political level, Biden is doing quite well. But Trump is an autocrat — if a very incompetent one — and, as such, will never fucking leave office. And if he does leave office, you had better be sure he’s going to demand a pound of political flesh.

So, in the end, even if Trump is out of office, everything will be different. Our expectations have changed. There’s likely to be a Trump Deep State that will aggressively work to bring down the Biden Administration at every turn. The Fox News faux outrage machine will constantly be looking for different ways to recapture the glory of the Trump Era.

Trump will be the Republican Party’s new Reagan. Everything they do, everything they say, everything they believe in will be relative to Trump. They hate democracy and see it only as a means to an end. About half a dozen would-be younger, brighter, more focused autocrats are already chomping at the bit to finish the job Trump has begun.

Remember — even after the disgrace of Watergate, the Republicans just barely lost to Carter in 1976. Barely. It was one of the tightest elections in history. And they came roaring back just six years after Nixon left office in disgrace.

Should Trump physically leave office, we’re probably going to have three to six months to enjoy it before Republicans will shit on it all.

But I still, still will be completely flabbergasted if Trump loses. Too many powerful people — including Trump himself — will fight dirty to ensure Trump stays in power as long as he likes.

Lame Duck Trump

by Shelt Garner

Using all metrics but one, the United States is about as stable a nation as they come. We have no history of significant political violence. We generally are rather complacent, even under duress. All in all, but for one metric, we’re in pretty good shape.

But then there’s the rot associate with our political system.

Our political system has pretty much ground to a halt. Republicans have embraced minority rule. The center-Left, meanwhile, while extremely divided, has become united for the moment around Joe Biden. With truely dumb speed-confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, Republicans definitely give one the impression of finally casing aside any concerns about liberal democracy.

So, under such conditions, it’s very easy to imagine a situation where even if Biden wins in a landslide, TrumpBarr simply refuses to acknowledge it. They challenge every possible aspect of it, knowing they will always win at SCOTUS. Or, they could concede defeat, only to be such massive dickheads because they don’t have any accountability that that, in itself, causes the country to implode.

It’s easy to imagine a situation where Trump, fearing his own possible indictment after he leaves office, fires the current head of the FBI and names Rudy on an interim basis. Rudy frogwalks Biden and TrumpBarr uses it as a negotiating tactic to escape any accountability after he is physically removed from office by Federal marshalls.

I could also imagine a situation where he rather dramatically begins to saber rattle with the DPRK or Iran. Something, anything, that would give him the cover necessary to take “total control” and either not leave office or only leave office with some pretty significant concessions.

Now, as I keep saying, the about Trump is he’s so unstable that you just don’t know. You look at his past behavior — and his repeated statements in the last few days — and you very well come up with a pretty dark scenario. So dark, in fact, that not even a demostrable Biden landslide would be enough to prevent him from causing a civil war.

But is it even within the realm of possibility that an actual “civil war” would take place?

I honestly don’t know. It pretty much boils down to Trump himself. The entire fate of the United States at this point rests on Trump’s personal decision. He could very well lose and be such a monster on his way out that there’s massive political violence, which he uses to take “total control” and that’s how he stays in power.

That, in itself, would escalate the whole clusterfuck and the Russians get the Second American Civil War they want so badly. I keep thinking about any type of second civil war or second revolution and for the moment I have a lot of difficulty imagining how such worse case scenarios would occur.

But let me be clear — The Big Ugly, as I call such things — would not be “cool” it would not be “fun.” It would really, really suck. It would be a tragedy and we would all regret that it happened.

Let’s hope it doesn’t.

I Just Don’t See The Russians Letting Trump Lose

by Shelt Garner

Donald Trump is a very valuable investment for the Russians. All they would have to do to protect that investment is change votes in Pennsylvania and Florida just enough to make race as tight as possible — they wouldn’t even have to cause Trump to win.

Trump sues to stop the counting of votes as soon as possible on a national basis. He wins at SCOTUS because it’s now full of MAGA hacks and Trump “doesn’t lose.” What’s more, even if their direct ratfucking of votes was discovered “accidentally on purpose” the Russians would likely get what they wanted — a civil war. Even if we all knew the Russians changed votes, all that has to happen is Rudy to pop out of his crypt on CNN and yell at Chris Cuomo for an hour and that would be that. The Russians already said they want a civil war in the United States — the worse the better. AND they’ve said that Trump is “their guy.”

As such, the Russians allowing Trump to lose would be inexplicable.

Apocalypse & How: Various #TrumpCoup Scenarios

by Shelt Garner

  1. Trump Loses?
    This is the least likely scenario because autocrats never lose. Something, most likely the Russians — is going to step in and cause him to “win.” But if he does lose in a manner that not even he can deny (even though he will try) he will salt the earth on the way out in an effort to establish a “Trump Deep State.” He’s already destroyed much of the executive branch for a generation, he’s such a greedy moron he’s going to take it to the next level for the three months he has zero accountability. He will pardon himself. Or name Rudy to head the FBI and indict Biden so he can use it as a negotiating tactic to prevent his own indictment once he’s out of office.
  2. Trump Loses…But Wins.
    In this scenario, Trump loses and sulks for a few days. He pops out with the names and home addresses of all the Biden Electors and sicks MAGA-Qanon on them as human beings. Through sheer intimidation, Trump wins in the Electoral College and fuck you. This wouldn’t happen in a vacuum, of course, but even then, I find any idea that Republicans wouldn’t just sit back and laugh dubious.
  3. Trump Loses….But Wins…Then Loses
    In this scenario, Trump loses initially, then through post-election shenanigans wins, only to be impeached the moment he is sworn in. The Senate (if it’s flipped) holds a very long, very excruciating impeachment trial of both Trump and Pence (with witnesses!) and because Nancy Pelosi stepped aside to so Democrats could name Biden Speaker of the House, once Trump and Pence are convicted because the country is on the cusp of a very violent implosion, Biden becomes president. Though, to be fair, TrumpBarr would challenge the Presidential Succession Act at SCOTUS and win there (duh) so we could endup with someone like a President Pompeo or President Barr. This, too, would not happen in a political vacuum, so that might be the final thing that tips the country into a shooting war. Good times!
  4. Trump Loses, But Won’t Leave
    This is talked about a lot and I think it has some validity. This one hinges on how sane Trump might — or might not — be should he lose despite Russia having every reason — and opportunity — to change votes in battleground states so he “wins.” If Trump finally freaks the fuck out and his criminality fuses with his insanity, then the might just hold up in the White House and not leave. He might do some very deranged things for three months and Republicans will continue to facilitate whatever it is he wants them to do. In the end, Federal marshals have to physically remove him from a White House that’s surrounded by MAGA-Qanon people. There will be a Battle For The White House.
  5. Trump “Wins” California
    In this scenario, things are tight enough on Election Night that Trump declares victory and demands SCOTUS end all vote counting at Midnight. They agree (duh) and so few votes have been counted in major states like California that he “wins” the state. If there any “problems,” TrumpBarr invoke the Insurrection Act and even though even The New York Times admits a coup is taking place, lulz, nothing really happens. But along the way Trump Tower is attacked by an angry mob of New Yorkers and this serves as TrumpBarr’s “Reichstag Fire.”
  6. 2016 Redux
    In this scenario, Trump mysteriously wins exactly the way he did in 2016. The Russians hack directly into our election systems and fuck you. They have already said they want an American Civil War — “the worse the better” — and that Trump is “their guy.” Why on earth would they not change votes if they have the ability? What’s worse, even if we find out, the Republicans Party is so craven, so traitorous that they would eagerly bounce any such controversy to SCOTUS where they win (duh.) This, too, would not happen in a political vacuum and it might be the thing that causes the country to descend into massive political violence.