by Shelt Garner
They chief thing that most people are missing about the United States right now is macro trends are not on our side. A number of tectonic issues are coming to a head at the same time.
No amount of earnest Twitter threads by Mueller, She Wrote will change how fucked we are. At the moment, I think we’re going to slip peacefully into autocracy around 2025. It will happen when Trump (or whomever the Republicans pick) becomes president and the march towards Russian-style autocracy officially begins.
And, let me be clear, it’s not Trump we really have to worry about, but his Republican successor. I say this because the entire Republican Party is now consumed by Qanon and fascists to the point that once they gain power again it’s unlikely they’ll ever give it up without significant violence. As I’ve said before, it’s possible that we’ll look back on the 2020 president election as the last free and fair election in modern American history.
The key issue is the average American who is raising their kids and paying their mortgage has a finite attention span for politics. It’s because of this that Republicans pick an Issue of the Moment then rant about it constantly until it becomes permanently lodged in people’s minds.
Once that happens, that issue is officially so loaded as to be off limits. They have done this with a series of issues, ranging from gun control to race to global climate change. And, in the end, they may very well do it to the idea of democracy itself.
I could easily imagine after Trump (or whomever) brazenly steals the 2024 election that Republicans will rant and rant about how America is “a republic not a democracy” to the point that it’s impossible for there to be any sort of discussion about what just happened and how to bring back American democracy.
This is the point when I have to note something — the moment the United States is no longer a functioning democracy the connection between the government and the populace will grow weaker and weaker to the point that it doesn’t exist. As such, once the United States is an autocracy, Republicans will enact their extremely unpopular agenda to the point that even people who support Republicans in general might sit up and take notice.
I say this because in my experience, a lot of Republicans grave a white Christian ethno state….but when they, personally, are affected by such policies, they get very upset. Republicans are notorious hypocrites in that regard.
Anyway, while I continue to believe we’re going to slip peacefully into autocracy, there is a chance we’ll have a civil war. That is the wildcard in all of this. There is an element of uncertainty that I can’t game out.
Because, make no mistake, if there’s a civil war, it will be because Blue States leave the Union. So, we either slip into autocracy or have a civil war. This is going to happen at some point in the near future. We can’t keep punting out late-stage Republic problems down the road forever.