My friend Milo and I did a pretty great emergency podcast on recent developments between Trump and the Russians. It’s kind of long, but it’s well worth your time. It’s really informative and interesting.
In this wide-ranging video I talk a lot — A LOT! — about the fact that we’ve entered a new era in American history equal to the French intelligentsia’s refutation of Communism after the Russians squashed the Prague Spring. In essence, I suggest that while Trump may never be impeached because of white knuckled political reasons, he has, in fact, lost the American Intelligentsia and now thinking people are beginning to memorialize publicly their opposition to Trump & MAGA.
I ramble about other interesting things as well, but this video is actually worth your time.
I have been saying for about a year now that Trump is a traitor, or more specifically, a “quisling.” Quisling was the leader of Norway who switched sides in WWII, allowing the Germans to march right in unopposed.
I propose that Trump is a modern day equivalent of him.
So, if you really want to pound away at the traitor angle when it comes to Trump, you need to call him a quisling, because that’s what he is. It’s easy to remember, pithy and rolls off the tongue quite easily. I’ve been calling Trump a quisling on this site for a long time now on this site, as this link shows.
I would suggest we really try to connect Trump with the term quisling as much as possible. Maybe, eventually, Trump’s name will go down in the proper infamy if we try hard enough. Trump is a traitor, a big old traitor. And that he would be a traitor in the guise of the type that Quisling was is pretty self-evident at this point.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.
Things are kind of dire, folks. The reason why I suggest we design a mobilization and organization app for The Resistance now is we need it to exist now for one the real fights — the fights we dare not even begin to imagine — are thrust upon us. So maybe someone, somewhere is already working on what I suggest, maybe they aren’t.
All I know is we really need one right now.
In my imagination, the app I want would could be a stepping off point for a Twitter Killer. The alt-Right already has Gab, why shouldn’t The Resistance have it’s own site / app? The thing about Twitter is it’s completely useless and will grow ever more so in the coming days.
So why not someone in The Resistance design an app that not only addresses the existing issues people have with Twitter, but also is designed from the ground up to facilitate people getting involved in democracy on a personal level. It can’t possibly be that difficult to think up a basic feature set. There is growing momentum in The Resistance for direct action and if you had an app that channeled that energy productively, I think you’d have yourself a hit.
The obvious question is why not just use existing apps to organize? Well, they’re too easily manipulated by foreign powers. Bots are a real problem on Twitter just as fake accounts and trolls are a big problem on Facebook. I have a pretty complete vision for an app / site in my head and it wouldn’t be too difficult to repurpose it for the specific vision.
Of course, there is the issue that if the center-Right uses Gab and the center-Left uses the app I suggest that we will finally be completely within our echo chambers to such an extent that there will be zero communication between the two groups. But as I said, things are really dire and we need to worry about stuff like that later.
We really need to design an app to organize and mobilize The Resistance.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer livings in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.
Things have grown so dire in just the last few days, that we need to think outside the box. We have to be ready now for the inevitable clash that Trump is going to provoke in his rapacious quest for absolute power. If the recent change in Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy has show anything, it’s that pretty much the only part of our democracy that is working is the part where public outrage actually has some sort of affect.
Other than that, we’re on our own.
I suggest someone, say Crooked Media, design an app that is specifically invented to facilitate mass organization and mobilization on the part of The Resistance. It could do everything from facilitate people registering to vote, to ride shares to protests to how to get in touch with local Resistance leaders who might be planning a protest in the first place.
It can’t possibly be that difficult. I would do it myself, but I have no money, can’t code and don’t really want to learn. But Crooked Media seems to have the means, motive and opportunity to designed the type of app I crave.
Too bad things are going to have to get a lot worse before anyone takes me up on the idea.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at Migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.
So Slate has an opening I’m qualified for, but, alas, since I don’t, like, have a career in social media I have no paid job I can point to show I’m qualified. So now I think I’m going to wallow in self pity and work on my novel. I may try to think of something to explain why I think I’m good enough to work for Slate, but it’s going to be difficult.
I guess I should have done something with my life the last six years instead of dwell on the past, huh.
But while we’re on the subject of social media, I would like to note that I suspect we’re going to be hearing a lot about Gab between now and 2020. Just imagine if Trump walked away from Twitter altogether and started using Gab exclusively as a way to talk to his base.
That would turn the social media world upside down.
I don’t know how likely it is that that would happen, but it’s definitely something to mull.
A sentiment I see an enormous amount of on Twitter is people tusk-tusking liberals who are these days in a near-constant state of panic mixed which what can only be described as rage. Conservatives — even many of them of who purport to be NeverTrumpers — tell me to focus on policy and to get over my Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Well, in all honesty, in the spirit of the 4th of July and the Founding Fathers — fuck those guys.
People who clutch their pearls over the liberal rage generated by Trump and his policies believe that only by meekly accepting Trump’s insane behavior and focusing on policy will we win elections. We’re supposed to let Trump lie. We’re supposed to let Trump run roughshod over Constitutional norms. We’re, in fact, supposed to let Trump do whatever the fuck he wants as long as it helps us with about 2% of the electorate who are swing voters and who are still somehow magically undecided about the dark turn the nation has abruptly taken.
Let me suggest, however, that things are so dire that we need to embrace the dark side, as it were, and let our liberal rage envelop us. The 2018 mid-terms will be about getting out the vote, about mobilizing the base. So while Conservatives are gleefully smacking their political lips at what they feel is our impeding doom caused by our outrage, I see this as an opportunity to finally fight back in a constructive manner.
I can not express properly in real terms how misguided, patronizing and condescending the Right’s constant critique of the Left’s outrage over Trump feels to me. The very thing that could really drive The Resistance into electorate success — the sheer power of the liberal base being apoplectic over Trump’s policies, the Right sees as a flaw that has to be fixed as quickly as possible.
But I feel that only by embracing our rage against Trump and using it as an engine to power activism on the part of the Left can anything change. I’m not saying there won’t be problems caused by this. Plenty of moderates might be turned off by some of the ideological froth this might cause, but at the same time plenty of people who might simply shrug at Trump’s policies might see the light if we can funnel our rage into something constructive.
The Left attacking Trump with clear eyed counter-policies, while making making members of the Right’s intelligentsia happy, would make the base of The Resistance feel disenfranchised. Trump is currently a weird mixture of an American Caligula mixed with a would-be tinpot Hitler and he thrives on the confusion his constant barrage of Twitter mindfucking generates. To say I should focus solely on dry policy matters in the midst of this enormous Constitutional crisis is rather intellectually dishonest in my opinion.
I propose we focus on curating the rage of the base. It’s not like it’s going anywhere, no matter how many NeverTrumpers tell me it should be forced to abate. If we tell people who are astonished at the sheer insanity and outrageous behavior on the part of the Trump Administration that it’s ok to be filled with political rage, then that’s the first step towards regaining power at the polls. It’s not like the Right’s base, which has been hysterical for decades now, is going to let up their rapacious attacks on the Left simply because we decide to play nice.
No, I say instead of rolling over and letting the Right continue to drive the United States into a ditch, that we wrestle the wheel away from them with all our might. I’m not in any way advocating violence. Far from it. But I am advocating the center-Left quit even trying to put up the facade that it would be in the best interests of the cause if everyone would just cool it and worry about dry policy matters.
All Trump does is stir up his base. Literally, that’s all he does. He braces the worst instincts of his base to a surreal extent, which, in turn, riles up the base of the center-Left because we look at each other in amazement that the MSM is so busy trying to be fair an objective that they are unable or unwilling to call out Trump’s lies.
So, let your freak flag fly. Embrace your inner Howard Beal. If you are mad as hell and you’re not going to take it anymore, then do something about it. Becomes engaged in the political process on a personal level. Stop trying to convince your MAGA Facebook friends of the error of their ways. Fuck those guys.
It’s not like the American Founding Fathers were cool with the abuses of King George III. If they finally had enough and decided to do something about it, maybe the center-Left should too. We need to scare the living bejeebus out of the Establishment in Washington and the only way we can do that is at the polls. If we’ve learned anything from the recent events involving immigrant children being torn from their families, the only guard rails the Trump Administration currently is willing to acknowledge is popular outrage.
That’s all we got. Thus, instead of calming down, let’s rock.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.
It is growing every more apparent that given what Trump has said about who he wants to put on the Supreme Court, that the extremely young Judge Amy Barrett is probably who he’s going to nominate. Now, let me be clear — I have no inside information and am no expert on her, but this is just me idly mulling the situation.
Apparently she has made it clear that in the instance of Roe, the court would have a moral obligation to overturn it, despite it’s place in established Constitutional Law. So everyone who keeps telling me there’s no way Roe could possibly be overturned are being extremely niece.
Overturning Roe has been the entire point of Republicans picking judges for the last 30 years. So it’s not like the judges they have been cramming onto the court are going to choke given the opportunity. And in real terms, there’s nothing to stop Judge Barrett from getting on the court should Trump pick her.
When she’s on the court, the real issue will be no so much if Roe will be overturned, but to what extent our basic assumptions about reproductive rights in the United States will be challenged. I have long believed that Roe serves as a firebreak to prevent the Religious Right from coming after birth control in general. Their ultimate goal is to drive a stake in anything that makes recreational sex possible in the first place.
The only thing to stand between A Handmaid’s Tale becoming all but a documentary is the enormous moral outrage on the part of American women who have long assumed Roe was there as a failsafe in the case of a worse case scenario. It’s possible, but not likely, that women of all stripes would join together in a post-Roe world to protect reproductive rights as best than can.
It could be a pretty enormous historic event if it was the overturn of Roe that was the tipping point that finally caused the average person to believe Trump had overstepped his bounds. Many women are already furious with Trump on a very personal level and this would simply throw gasoline on the flames of that rage.
But Trump hasn’t picked Judge Barrett yet. He has a list of about 15 to choose from as I understand it. But given her age and gender — and obvious inclination to overturn Roe given the opportunity — it definitely seems as though Barrett is high on the list of people Trump will pick.
Only time will tell, I guess.
Fascism has come to America. There was a novel in the 1930s entitled, “It Can’t Happen Here.” It was about the rise of a fascist state in the America. Given the Right’s to the recent “Prosecution Initiative” it is clear that MAGA has is, in fact, America’s version of fascism.
As I understand it, fascism is, as a concept, rather nebulous. Each state where it takes hold puts it’s own spin on the concept while there are some general overlapping beliefs associated with them. But talking to people who are MAGAists or sympathetic to it’s aims has left me shaken.
These people are completely devoid of simple, basic human empathy. They are devoid of that deep, visceral kick in the gut you get when you hear a baby’s cries for its parents. When I talk to them about changing Trump’s policy, they are either so busy scoring political points or talking about the need to for immigration reform, that they completely refuse to simply say, “This is enough. Change the policy back to what it was before April 2018.”
They simply can’t, or won’t, do it.
In all honesty, there’s no difference between that and being in Germany in 1939 debating with a Good German the need to finally solve the “Jewish Problem.” The difference — at least for now — is only a matter of degree. With the recent reports that Trump wants to place as many as 20,000 unattended minors on American M=military bases across the country. One you establish a system that can do that, it’s extremely difficult not to assume that such a system of mass detainment couldn’t be used for other “undesirables.”
MAGAist collaborators I’ve spoken to tell me I’m “grasping at straws” to suggest such a thing. But am I? Once you make the cognitive leap to ignore the cries of a child simply because of their lack of documentation or skin tone and lack of documentation, the pot is officially boiling. We’ve officially reached the point where we’re in a fascist state. As I keep sayings, what’s to stop MAGAists at the behest of Der Fuhrer to demand the mentally ill join undocumented people in the camps in an effort to address the gun issue once and for all. I’m not saying it’s going to happen over night and I’m not saying it won’t be difficult to implement.
But it’s officially within the realm of possibility, if nothing else. It’s not off the table.
The American Constitutional system has rotted to such an extent that literally the only thing standing between America and a Russian-style “managed democracy” is the pure, unadulterated rage of people who do, in fact, have common human compassion and empathy. People who don’t care about the finer points of immigration reform, or who quibble about the details of what’s going on at the border.
I mean, there are roughly 2,000 children missing within the system who we may never be able to be reunited with their families. But because the images aren’t there to help engage the American populace to rage against their plight, it appears as though this will fall into the typical partisan debate and nothing, really, will happen.
MAGAists simply lack basic human empathy and compassion. They are completely devoid of it. They just don’t care. And so, that, if noting else, is why MAGAists are modern day fascists. That’s what we’re up against. They completely control the government at this point for various reasons and there honestly isn’t anything we can do.
Things are going to get worse, much worse, before they get better and the only thing that may save us — and I hate to mention this at all — is simple civil disobedience. The pot is officially boiling and if we don’t hop out, if we don’t take a stand now, then the frog is cooked. I have suggested in the past that maybe someone might design an app to facilitate mass protests across the country.
Only through massive, regular protests across the country will there be anything close to an end to this. The electoral system is so completely broken that I just don’t see there being a “Blue Wave.” We have to see this as a marathon, not a sprint and we have to do some serious triage of the enormous number of problems the Trump Administration is throwing at us. I want to have hope, I really do. If I have hope, then I stay angry.
But honestly, I don’t have hope anymore. It’s just a matter of degree now. Either MAGAists push this as far as they can, or we come to some sort of stalemate. The decision, I guess, is ours at this point.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.