In This Cold Civil War, The Firing Of Bob Mueller Would Be Fort Sumter

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

While I think a lot of the talk about the potential firing of Bob Mueller is simply white noise to distract us from the numerous ways that Donald Trump is facilitating some pretty horrible things happening to the Republic, it’s pretty clear that it could happen.

If it did happen, it would take my personal engagement in all of this to the next level. I would go back to the white hot rage that I felt on Nov. 9th. In practical terms, that means I would figure out some way to use what few talents I have to do my part to help The Resistance. I might even actually protest instead of just take pictures of people protesting.

The significance of Trump firing Mueller would be it would be the moment that this Cold Civil War lurched into the battle royale of a full fledged Cold Civil War. It would be the end of the beginning, if you will. I compare it to the firing on Fort Sumter by Confederate Forces. Or maybe The Battle of Britain. It would be the moment when everyone stood up and took notice that the two sides weren’t playing games anymore.

If anything, the fact that we’re talking about this at all is a sign everyone realizes we’ve entered a new, dangerous phase of this chronic, slow moving Constitutional Crisis. We just don’t honestly know one way or another if Trump would fire Mueller and that’s exactly what he wants. He wants to keep us on edge and in an state of uncertainty to such an extent that we can’t land a punch.

But remember, the Vichy Republicans won’t do anything if Trump fires Mueller. And that’s what this is all about. Trump is sounding out the Vichy Republicans to see if they’ll object and….I just don’t know. I just don’t know what will happen.

I have my doubts that Trump will fire Mueller. I really do. I think it’s possible, but unlikely. But we’ll see I guess. In hindsight it might seem obvious that he would and the battle will, at last, be enjoined.

The Continued Absence Of A Spy Magazine-Like Anti-Axios Is Curious

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is very curious that we’re this far into the Trumplandia era and someone, somewhere with the means, motive and opportunity hasn’t founded a Gawker or Spy Magazine for this new age. I just don’t get it. It’s really weird.

The Atlantic, strangely enough, is doing a really good job providing people like me with the thought provoking content that I’m looking for during this Cold Civil War. And Crooked Media, too, with its podcasts is doing a good job giving me content that enrages me, if nothing else. It enrages me because I feel like they’re telling us how Trumplandia is successfully destroying America and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about at this point. New York Magazine’s site also does a good job, but it’s a little bit bland liberalism for me. And The New Yorker and Vanity Fair continue to do yeomanly work.

But these are general sites, general news organization. They’re not devoted to specifically tearing Trumplandia to shreds. That’s what I want as a reader. That’s what I’m interested in right now. The closest thing I have at this point is Twitter, but that’s just because of who I follow.

Meanwhile, Axios is everything a Gawker or Spy Magazine would be against. It’s access journalism that sucks up to Trumplandia in the effort to get a steady flow of scoops. But there’s no opposite. There’s currently no snarky, rough-on-the-edges journalism site that’s popular enough to get the media world buzzing. Vox is meh.

I want a site like Gawker in 2003 or 2004 that you woke up excited to read. I want a site that really tears into Trumplandia in a way that makes people like me cheer. I have suggested that Playboy might be the news organization to do what I want, but I’ve heard crickets. I mean, I’m a nobody. No one listens to me.

Maybe it’s because in the last 10 years or so, the online media world has changed to such an extent that it’s just, in real terms, impossible to start a blog like Gawker. Maybe that’s what is obvious and yet I can’t accept it for some reason. It could be that moment in time has faded and will never return.

Oh well.

Still think Playboy should do it, though. The have the most to gain from doing as I suggest. It would really give them a purpose that the currently lack. They have the name and the resources, they could do something really cool if they came out swinging against Trumplandia on a daily basis.

If such an organization ever did get founded, I would probably bug the crap out of them to write for them in some capacity. They would get a huge amount of buzz and I think the advertisers would come with the associated traffic. It’s just a matter of someone with some vision and resources to actually make what I suggest a reality.

‘Stay Woke’ — Lyrics To A Pop-Rock Anti-Trump Protest Song

For once, Lorde has written a song that seems to tell an obvious story — Green Light. I really like that song and in honor of it I write these lyrics that are meant to go to music similar to it. I thought about making this a rap song, but decided to go with a more traditional pop rock song for no other reason than I like that genre better.

Stay Woke
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

everyday we seem to be outraged
the news brings with it new things to fight
the powers that be seem full of delight
bringing down the nation with the words they write

[Chorus]
all I can say is in this era of dismay
don’t be afraid to
stay woke, stay woke, stay woke
we’re all doomed if we don’t go for broke

people demand change in a rage
the range of voice is broad
the election of 2016 was hacked
we were robbed, we were robbed

now is the time to defend freedom
this will be a long struggle I believe
when will this era of pain end
when can we go back to the bliss of yesterday

[Chorus]
all I can say is in this era of dismay
don’t be afraid to
stay woke, stay woke, stay woke
we’re all doomed if we don’t go for broke

[bridge]
we’re all going to have to fight
stave off the darkness of the night
nothing will change if we don’t
stay woke

the leaders of the day
don’t seem to comprehend
the young are willing to defend
what others aren’t phased about
we’re going to stay woke
we’re going to stay woke

Cold Civil War: If Trump Fires Mueller…Holy Shit!

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am just a lowly hayseed rube in a flyover state and even I would be aghast if Trump somehow managed to rationalize the firing of Independent Council Robert Mueller. That would truly be a shot across the bow of, well, pretty much everything.

But apparently — a least according to my Twitter feed — there is growing movement in conservative media for Trump to do just that. The only way to fix such an horrible act would be for Congress to pass a new Special Prosecutor law and given that the GOP controls Congress, that is highly unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Yet this could very well happen and it would be yet another battle in the on going, slow moving Cold Civil War that the United States is engaged in. It would delay justice, of course, but I’d like to think that eventually, when it still matters, justice will be served.

I guess the game plan of the Right is to push the issue so far into the future that Trump wins re-election and it all gets sorted out just about the time he leaves office and so it’s moot and the damage will be done. Trump is nominating insanely young and conservative Federal judges at an alarming rate, so they just want to be sure to hold on to power for at east years, if not four, six or eight.

We can’t give up hope. But it’s tough. It’s tough not to get tired of it all and feel sad. But we’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to keep fighting the good fight. We have to. We just have to.

Shakespeare In The Park & Art In The Trump Era

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have addressed this before, but the fact that people are getting all bent out of shape over a modernized version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar makes me reflect on it yet again. To me, art is supposed to be not only provocative but a reflection of its times.

So, it seems in the specific instance of Shakespeare in The Park, we should judge the play on its artistic merits more than how inflammatory it is because of how it portrays Caesar. It is also quite ironic that while the Right accused people like me of “snowflakes” who need “safespaces” so we’re not “triggered,” they, in fact, are the ones who seem so easily upset when it comes to thought provoking art.

But that is becoming a cliche, given how often people like me are forced to make mention of it. So, for me, it’s more an issue of the play is supposed to not be all that good as opposed to how horrible it is that Caesar is portrayed as a Trump like character.

Anyway, what this means to me in the long run is in the culture wars, in this slow moving political Cold Civil War that we’re experiencing, the greater entertainment business has a responsibility to produce quality, through provoking art that helps us process this event.

As I keep saying, I continue to suggest that someone, somewhere use “The Mule” portion of The Foundation Saga to explain Trumplandia. But given that not only do I not have the rights to is, but I’m not a good enough writer to do it, anyway, that is just going to have to stay something of a daydream.

I continue to be puzzled by how quiet Hollywood is on the subject of Trump. It takes time for scripted material to get developed and produced, so maybe that’s the delay, not any kind of “shock and awe.” It will be interesting to see if a year from now there are lots of TV show and movies like the Shakespeare in The Park production or not.

Only time will tell, I suppose.

How Will This Cold Civil War End? Some Scenarios

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is pretty obvious that, as someone on Twitter recently said, we’re in a “Cold Civil War.” So, without further ado, here are some back-of-the-envelope suggestions as to how this clusterfuck will work itself out.

1. Dystopia: The Bad Guys Win
In this scenario, there is no impeachment, no nothing. All the lying works and the United States settles into a Russia like “managed democracy.” The Resistance kind of peters out simply from outrage burnout if nothing else. The States will become not-so-quasi-autocracy and will be so for the foreseeable future. This will all come about when we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was collusion between Trump’s Campaign and the Russians and the Vichy Republicans just shrug and because of gerrymandering and dark money nothing changes. Nothing changes at all.

2. Things snap back into place
Now, when I say this, I mean it in the context of general trends that have been ebbing and flowing in American history for decades. So, while it’s possible that things will “snap back into place,” it’s not like our gradual march towards a quasi-autocracy in all but name isn’t going to continue. That’s just a problem with late-era empires like ours. But, if we’re lucky, Trump might be a one term president and the next president will pick up the pieces and we’ll just look back at this four year period as a very strange aberration in our history.

3. Progressive Revolution
One intriguing possibility in all of this is the possibility that The Resistance will decisively defeat Trumplandia and the pendulum will swing to the center-Left in a big way. So big, in fact, that a lot progressive goals will be achieved during the heady days after the defeat. Constitutional amendments will be passed, reforms will be enacted. It will be looked back upon as a Second Reconstruction.

4. Hot Civil War
It is very possible that the only way that there will be a end to the Cold Civil War between Trumplandia and The Resistance will an actual, hot Civil War where people die and get hurt. I have my doubts about this possibility, but it’s very real. I don’t know how it would work out. It’s a struggle to imagine how an actual Civil War would play out in modern America.

5. Stalemate / Trumplandia burnout
It could be that this will be a chronic problem for the next eight years. That the lying will work, but only so much. The problems with the system will be just enough to get Trump re-elected, but not enough to allow him to do serious, long-term damage to the Republic. He’ll leave office, a Democrat will come in and everything will gradually just continue as it has been, only with the continuing sector of Trumplandia in the background.

My bet is on a less powerful version of the progressive Second Reconstruction. It would all be on political terms, so it wouldn’t be as effective as the Reconstruction after the Civil War, but I have hope that the base, The Resistance will grow so angry over the next few years that the Blue Wave we all hope will happen, will happen. That’s my hope at least. Maybe.

Cold Civil War:The Demise Of Blogging, & The Rise Of Trump In The Twitter Era

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

That a racist, bigoted, misogynist demagogue such as Donald Trump would become president in the wake of traditional blogging’s demise is an interesting and telling occurence. It raises some powerful questions for no other reason than we’re now in something of a Cold Civil War as America’s civil society struggles to understand what the fuck is going on.

For instance, when the president tweets, what is it? Is it “just social media” or is it an official statement from the President of the United States that should be treated as such. I lean hard on the latter. If the president writes it and it’s meant to be seen in public, then it’s an official statement.

But what’s interesting is Trump and his vile ideology prospers in a very narrow subset of social media. Twitter is kind of an interactive discussion between people’s bumper stickers. What’s even more interesting is you can, if you wish, block someone’s messages to you on Twitter.

The result of this is powerful. We come to expect that if we don’t like what someone is communicating to us, that we can eliminate that communication for good. That leads to a warping of the traditional communication cycle because people suddenly feel entitled to “safe spaces” because they’re afraid they’re going to get “triggered.” If they didn’t have the option of eliminating communication they didn’t like, maybe they would develop tougher skin and we wouldn’t be in half of the trouble we’re in currently.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s face pace and pithy style of communication has led to a Darwinian struggle of ideas. Instead of a marketplace of ideas, we have a jungle. Now only the strongest, more virulent strains of memes manage to grow in the Twitter jungle. There is a reason why we say a meme has gone “viral.”

So what does all of this mean in the context of Trump’s rise and the demise of blogging. Well, I am suggesting that if we still were talking about the once-powerful “blogsophere” that Donald Trump would not be president right now. Way back only a few years ago, before the rise of Twitter, you had the option of long, well thought out blogs that forced not only the reader but the writer to engage in something more than a bumper sticker’s wroth of communication. Instead of 140 characters, you had to wade through 500 or more words to fully process what was going on.

Is there any solution to all of this? Well, in my opinion, yes. I feel as though if Silicon Valley stopped being so obsessed with AR and VR long enough to revisit the issue of social media, maybe we might be able to dig ourselves out of this Cold Civil War. Silicon Valley made this problem, I feel it’s at least partially their responsibility to solve it.

I have gone into great depth on my Instagram account about how I, personally, would fix this problem but because I have no money, can’t code and don’t won’t to learn, I’m really just shouting out into the void. But let me briefly recap my concept. It’s very timely now, to say the least.

It seems to me that if you gave Verified Account holders a sense of stakeholdership in platform, then maybe they would generate better content and it would be less likely that celebrity trolls like Donald Trump would rise to prominence. So, I would give them the ability to create “Groups” in a service. The “Groups” would be given names devoted to any subject that a Verified account holder might feel their followers might find interesting. These “Groups” would be sub-divided into “Discussions.” These “Discussions” would be thread discussions made up of full pages posts about the topic of the “Group.” So, in a sense, you would kind of update the Usenet concept of 20 years ago. There are any number of concepts from that era that we’ve lost weirdly enough over the last few decades.

All of this would be even cooler if you had a newspaper chain like, say, Tronc, fund such a startup in the first place in an effort to self-disrupt the newspaper business. It’s a really intriguing concept to say the least.

The point of all of this would be that not only would it encourage better content, but given that the medium is the message, maybe if you had a full webpage to discuss a subject in the context of a threaded discussion, maybe it would be less likely that stupid, hateful, and loaded concepts like “Make America Great Again” would go viral and infect the body politic.

But, of course, none of this would happen in a vacuum. You’d have to design such a service from the ground up as something of a “Twitter Killer.” And it’s possible that Twitter isn’t going anywhere and all of this is pointless. Yet it is, at least, interesting to talk about.

I guess what I hope is if we somehow killed Twitter, provided a better, similar product that forced us to write in more than 140 characters, then then next adept politician who was adept at using social media might be a little less crazy. Of course, maybe I’m missing the bigger picture. It could be that we’re just going to have to wait until VR and AR get to the proper penetration in society before we have another shot at fixing the problems caused by existing social media. Or maybe social media video like Facebook Live or Periscope might be what we’re all talking about in four years during the next election cycle.

If we can’t kill Twitter, then it seems as though Twitter as a company has a responsibility to better handle its abuse by Russian-paid trolls and bots in four years. The Russians learned a valuable lesson in 2016, and they’re only going to come back worse and more determined in four years.

I just hope there’s something left in four years. There are no assurances that the Good Guys will win the Cold Civil War and it may still be raging yet in four or six or eight years.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com. He is always looking for people to write for him, though he can’t, at this point, pay.

Dig In For The Long Haul, Folks, This Cold Civil War Isn’t Going Anywhere

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

We really have to stop the constant outrage when it comes to Trumplandia. If you’re a member of The Resistance, you need to take a huge, deep breath and realize this is going to be a long haul. This isn’t going to be finished anytime soon. This is a epic power struggle that will be so heated that at times it will seem like it will careen into outright violence, much like the global Cold War did from time to time.

So, as I keep saying, don’t rage, engage. Use what Constitutional rights you have to make a difference on an local and individual level. The great irony of all of this is the only political solution may, in fact, be four years from now. That’s right, we may gnash our teeth, yell at the top of our lungs, and the only thing that actually fixes the problem is Donald Trump is voted out of office FOUR YEARS FROM NOW. Let that sink in. Think of all the damage he and the Vichy Republicans will be able to do.

And that doesn’t even begin to address the fact that should The Resistance be split into liberal and progressive wings or if Trump wags the dog by starting a war with North Korea or Iran, then it may be eight years before Trumplandia ends.

These are just cold hard facts. We just have to stop being constantly outraged. We need to address the more important issues of what Trumplandia wants to do to the liberal national social safety net, or whatever. Those cold hard issues are what we need to be thinking about in the forefront of our mind, not mentally masturbating about how Trump should be impeached sooner rather than later.

That just isn’t going to happen. So, get over it. Deal with the cards we’re given right now and move forward. This is a political problem with enormous consquences and not until we’re given another opportunity to vote will it matter.

So, just cool it. Save your strength. We haven’t even reached the end of the beginning yet. We’re getting there, but not yet. This is still about 1940 when it comes to a World War II analogy. We still have years and years of struggle ahead of us.