I don’t know what to tell you, folks. I still can’t get a handle on what’s going to happen in the 2024- 2025 timeframe. Are we going to slip peacefully into autocracy or we going to go tits up? At the moment, I lean heavily towards our democracy having one last death rattle and we become an autocracy.
I say that because, at the moment, the people who should be preparing for autocracy are still stuck in an extreme online naivety about what’s going on. I’ve started to listen to Steve K. Bannon’s hysterical podcast — featuring Peter Navarro! — and it’s pretty clear he wants to sucker punch us all in the real world where it counts.
He’s not even on fucking Twitter (thank God) and yet growing numbers of people are taking his marching orders. And, I think, that is the reason why we won’t have a civil war. It really would take a come-to-Jesus moment for a lot of very otherwise level headed people for the Blue States to strike back when Bannon’s plot works and it has become impossible for us to administer free and fair elections.
But I will note that we all need to start thinking on an existential basis. This is very much the quiet before the storm, in a sense. I will also note that I’m wrong all the fucking time. I’ve been so wrong — especially about how effective as an autocrat Trump would be — that I think the issue is more one of perception more than anything else.
The thing I compare America to is the Roman Empire. The Romans never had an actual “king” and when the Lombards named a king, that was the end of the Western Empire. So, too, Americans feel that some form of free democracy is their birth right and the idea of the United States being nothing more than an autocratic Russia clone is not something that would sit well with the average American.
So, it’s very possible that — at first, at least — we will fit the technical definition of an autocracy, on a practical level the average person will just shrug and not even notice that anything has changed. It won’t be until President DeSantis (or whomever) has had a few years to consolidate power that we all wake up and the issue of the day is if we should have a Constitutional Convention or not. Or, even more ominous, it won’t even be if we should, but what the one we’ve called has decided to do.
There are so many known unknowns right now about the Fourth Turning that I just can’t wargame things out with any degree of certainty. All I know is the conditions are there for either civil war or autocracy (and maybe a military junta).
Or, to say it another way — the United States is going through an lingering existential crisis with no ready endgame. It could go either way at the moment. I’m leaning towards a peaceful transition to autocracy. That seems a pretty safe bet right now.
But there is plenty of time for the specifics of the political equation to change in some pretty shocking ways. As such, we could very well have an actual hot Second American Civil War that would, in turn, lead to the Third World War and billions dead as the result of several limited nuclear exchanges across the globe.
It’s going to fucking suck.
I hate violence, so I’d much rather we slip into autocracy. I’m survivor, I’ll think of something. But I’m also not going to be cowed by threats of a civil war by the fucking cocksucker MAGA New Right.