by Shelt Garner
The United States, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen, is careening towards a dark and unstable fate. I can’t predict the future, so I don’t know what that fate is, but you are a fool if you don’t think things are about to come to a head.
America faces a spectrum of scenarios, with autocracy being at one end and civil war being at the other. The recipe for A Very American Autocracy is simple — a Republican becomes president. That’s it. You don’t even have to add water. The Republican Party hates democracy, doesn’t believe in it and actively says the United States ISN’T a democracy, but rather a “constitutional republic.”
Our transition into autocracy may not even be very dramatic. We’ll just wake up with a Republican president one day and that will be that. Initially, not much will changed but the procession into autocracy will have officially begun and if we’re lucky we settle somewhere around Hungary and if we’re not, we end up a political clone of Russia.
Now, this is not an abstract for me. I’m a loudmouth crank — often drunk — who is known to rant in a very public way at bars about issues of the day. I know it sounds hysterical now to suggest that I might get in trouble doing that in the United States in the future, but form follows function. Once we’re an autocracy, there’s every reason to believe that ICE will become our FSB and there will be a severe chilling affect on freedom of speech in the United States one way or another.
And that means me getting arrested and sent to a camp for calling President DeSantis a cocksucker.
All of this is happening in broad daylight. We see it happening all around us and we’re not doing anything to stop it. Things are so dumb that we all know exactly what might save us — Mike Pence going John Dean on MAGA — and there is absolutely no way it’s going to happen.
Meanwhile, there is a reasonable chance that we might have a civil war. That, too, sounds pretty bonkers. The idea that a United States, which is ostensibly the most stable nation in the world, imploding into civil war seems very difficult to believe is possible.
But it is.
You have the MAGA New Right which is actively chomping at the bit to start a civil war, even though they have no reason to want one. They’re getting everything they want peacefully via the courts and politics, why would they want a civil war?
Anyway, I have no idea which direction we’re going to go. Given how meh the reaction to the Dobbs decision has been, I have every reason to believe that there won’t be any reaction to us becoming an autocracy. I keep thinking it’s possible that in the process of transitioning into autocracy that people will rise to the occasion they will be the people that lead Blue States out of the Union.
Because it will be Blue States that leave the Union if there’s a National Divorce. It’s all very dumb.
All I can say is, figure out what you believe in and what you’re willing to risk in the real world. Good luck.