Wayward Sisters, Part In Peace, Redux: What If You Held A Civil War & Nobody Came?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Oh boy. All signs are pointing towards the dissolution of the American Union within, say, 10 years. No later than maybe 2025. Whenever we have another center-Left president, I’d say.

But the question is, is there any center left to hold? Is is possible that we’d go the route of the Soviet Union and split into our individual tribes peacefully? Is there really anything, at this point, that would cause the central government to attempt to keep states that want to leave, like, say, Texas or California, from doing so?

Is it possible that there would be a “wayward sisters, part in peace” movement like there was in 1860? Is it possible that we’ll wake up and the South will have risen again and no one will give a shit? I find that specifically, to be kind of doubtful because of race, if nothing else, but it’s possible that other, less complicated states may bolt the Union successfully.

It seems to me that the upper West is the most likely to leave the Union en masse because there’s not the race issue. But I could also see center-Left “Blue” states leaving and joining Canada, maybe. A United States of Canada? Regardless, unless we come up with some leadership, the United States looks pretty finished.

Only time will tell.

Watch & See, Trump Is Totally Going To Fire Bob Mueller

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

All the conditions are there for Donald Trump to fire special council Bob Mueller. Trump is laying down the groundwork to do it, at least. He’s complained that Mueller and former FBI director Jim Comey are too close. And he’s generally made it clear that he’s thinking about it.

I am not one of those who thinks anything will happen should Trump fire Mueller. Though there would be an instant Constitutional crisis, as I understand it, it was about a year from when Nixon did something similar to the point when things came to a head in the Watergate scandal. And that was at a point when things were a lot less partisan than they are now and generally both sides did the right thing when they were called to do so.

So, there will be a lot of gnashing of teeth. A lot of people like me be furious. But, in the end, this bloody, pitched political battle will continue. It could be years and years before the right thing happens and the Special Prosecutor law is brought back again, and that point, Trump could almost be out of office.

And, so, in effect, he will win.

A Second American Civil War Is Coming…

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The conditions are right for second American Civil War. I am thinking it’s going to happen between now and 2025. I say this because to me it seems pretty obvious that Donald Trump as president may be the firebreak between us and this event. What I mean by this is not that Trump is some sort of great leader holding the country together — I think he’s a shit leader — no, it’s that the insane, surreal Right is itching for a fight and only because they have one of their own as president that they don’t act.

So, once Trump is replaced by a center-Left president, it seems obvious to me that the call for secession will grow unbearable. But unlikely 1860-1861, it is more likely to be states in the West that bolt first, not the South. I say this in large part because of race. It just can’t see African Americans voting en masse for secession in South Carolina or Alabama. I can, however, see the residents of, say, Texas or Montana do it.

Of course, there is the opposite possible scenario. It is possible that center-Left states may be the ones, in fact, to leave the Union simply because they don’t feel they’re being listened to. In a way this makes a lot more sense given historical trends, but we’ll just have to see.

One issue is how messy a secessionist movement would be. Would the central government even care, or would it pull a “wayward sisters, part in peace” move and the country would split peacefully a la the USSR in 1991. It pretty much depends on leadership. If there is leadership that demands the nation stay together, then things could get bloody and messy pretty quickly. But if there isn’t the leadership, then the nation is so divided that it’s very possible that the split will pretty much be peaceful.

One interesting issue is what would the respective nations look like post-split. There is the very real possibility that because the center-Left states wouldn’t be contiguous that they would form sort of union with Canada in an effort to fix that problem. Meanwhile, the center-Right states would likely go completely bonkers and push through every insane policy that they’ve wanted to initiate the last 30 odd years. But like I said, only in states like Montana would the split be clean. In the Deep South, any attempt for the state to hold a Secessionist Convention would cause blood to run in the streets.

Should there be a real movement to impeach and convict Trump, should such a move get traction, then that might be the tipping point that causes states to begin to leave the union. So it might not be 2020-2021 or 2024-2025 when all of this happens but 2018-2019. It’s possible. Not probable, but possible.

I think we risk a second American Civil War in part because the views of the insane, surreal Right drift down to the “normal” Right gradually over a few years and so it makes sense that by no later than 2025 what seems insane will be taken as normal by the Right.

All of this doesn’t even take into account a very troubling thing that I don’t really know enough about — Donald Trump is cramming the judiciary with young, insanely conservative judges. So, that’s another thing that might placate the Right and postpone or eliminate the need for them to press secession from their point of view, but make the center-Left feel emboldened to do just that. We may look back on this present era much like the late 1850s, where in hindsight it is obvious that the country is tearing itself apart, it’s just matter of how exactly it’s going to happen.

Adding more fuel to these flames are titanic shifts in our economy. The process of AI, automation and other aspects of the drifting march towards the technological Singularity that we’re now experiencing will bring enormous changes to our society in ways that probably will only hasten or division. Throw in the growing sophistication of AR and VR into the mix and things grow really interesting really quick.

This is the point when I’m supposed to offer up some solutions. Alas, I honestly can’t think of any. That’s why it seems pretty inevitable — at least at this point — that there will be again be Civil War bloodshed shed in the United States within, say, 10 years. I could propose, maybe a “Twitter killer” that might force us to interact with each other in longer than 140 characters, but no one listens to me and I don’t have the skill to design such a service myself, so that’s kind of pointless.

It’s all very sad. I wish there was an easy answer to it all, but there isn’t. We need to engage each other more, need to talk to people we disagree with. But that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. So, as of right now, it seems as though all trends point towards us being doomed.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

The Elements Of Trump

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

One of the things that makes Donald Trump so difficult to understand is he has all kinds of influences and elements that are rolled up into one flaming dumpster fire full of shit that can be difficult to understand. Here is my modest attempt to make sense of it all from my novice presidential historian point of view.

1. President James Buchanan
Trump definitely has elements of President Buchanan to him. He seems like the kind of guy who would let states peacefully leave the Union simply because he felt he didn’t have the power to stop them legally. He seems like on a basic level, his presidential instincts really are that bad. And, given the rhetoric of some of the surreal, extreme Right wing people, should Trump lose in 2020, he definitely might have the opportunity to prove one way or another if he would let states leave the Union.

2. President Richard Nixon
Trump has a heaping helping of the self-defeating paranoia and tendency to double down and triple down in the case of a screw up. Especially in the case of the non-existent tapes Trump definitely has a Nixonian tendency to shoot himself in the foot. One aspect that Trump doesn’t have is the smarts that Nixon had. Trump has Steve Bannon, but that only goes so far. A fish rots from the head and Trump for the most part is way, way, way, way in over his head with regard to most issues.

3. President Bill Clinton
One thing Trump shares with Bill Clinton is his willingness to admit defeat in an effort to save his skin. So, it is very possible that should in a few years it look like Trump’s goose is cooked, he could very well say he’s sorry and save his own political hide. Nixon would never say he was sorry, so he lost the presidency. But it’s very possible Trump could save himself on a political level by simply admitting his “satellites” did, in fact, collude with the Russians.

Of course, there is a little bit of Chauncey Gardner from Being There in Trump. He’s just the right dude in the right place at the right time. And he absolutely refuses to give up, no matter what. So, I suspect barring something really awe inspiring politically, that we’re stuck with Trump for four to eight years. We just have to accept that.

Ugh. Trump’s Such A Fucking Liar

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

What gets me is Donald Trump can lie to his supporters’ faces repeatedly and he faces no consquences. What is up with that. His most recent lie — one that he just admitted to — is that there are no “tapes” as he called them. If he hadn’t tried to threaten Jim Comey in the first place by tweeting that, then Comey wouldn’t have released the information in his memorandum and there’d be no special council.

Which, come to think of it, may be why Trump has admitted to this lie in the first place. He wants to fire Mueller and this gives him a pretext to do so. He can say there were no tapes, this was all a big misunderstanding, let’s move forward. He might even pardon a few people along the way.

It’s all very frustrating.

For The Resistance, Trick Is To Accept The Trumplandia Era Without Normalizing It

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The fact that the most recent Congressional races have not gone The Resistance’s way, has caused a lot of consternation on the part of its members. There is a lot of finger pointing and a lot people saying we’re doing everything wrong. I believe we should finally accept that this is a new era where the surreal is common place. But I don’t think we should normalize it.

There is a fine line between accepting the Donald Trump era and normalizing it. In other words, if we don’t all take a deep breath and realize we’re in a new normal we’re apt to burn our selves out. We can still rage against all the totally bizarre things going on while still engaging people with opposing views to ours.

Or, to put it another way, we have a long time before the 2018 mid-terms. And it could be even longer than that before The Resistance finally gets its act together through effective leadership. It takes time for leadership to bubble up to the surface and it could be 2018 or 2020 — or even longer — before someone is willing to step up to the plate and give The Resistance the vision it needs to finally overtake Trumplandia.

Part of the problem is, at least for me, that I struggle to make historical comparisons. What, exactly, is Trumplandia? Is it an updated Nixonland? Is it an updated Reagan Revolution? Or is it something even darker? Is this the late 1850s and Trump is John Buchanan? Is an actual Second Civil War on its way in 2020, should a Democrat win? Or could it come even sooner should it become obvious that Trump will be impeached and convicted?

As I have frequently said elsewhere, a president sets the tone of his era and Trump has done a good job of turning half of America in to thin-skinned crackpots just like him. It seems as though there really are two Americas. This has come about for various reasons, including technology and economics. I have suggested in the past that maybe some of it has come from a slow movement towards a technological Singularity. We may have reached a the event horizon of a Singularity that will appear in 20 or 30 years from now.

That would make a lot of sense, given how adept Trump has been in using Twitter. That, of course, raises the issue, yet again, of The Resistance coming up with a Twitter replacement. Something that did much of what Twitter does, but forces longer-length conversations. That, at this point at least, is just an idle daydream because I, personally, can’t do anything about it because I have no money, can’t code and don’t really want to learn. But you’d think someone out there might decide to do it. I know I would use such a service.

Regardless, we have to accept that nothing is going to change politically anytime soon. That’s the key. The Resistance can’t risk burning itself out. I say instead of just flaying around with rage, use your energy productively but engaging people who you disagree with and thinking of creative ways to help the movement. That makes the most sense, at least to me.

I just worry that if we don’t do as I suggest, The Resistance will be totally burnt out when the time comes in 2018 or 2020 to do something that requires a lot of energy.

Is Trump The Only Thing Stopping A Second American Civil War?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am concerned that in hindsight, this decade will be look back upon as the same as the 1850s. During that decade, the United States was tearing itself apart slowly and in hindsight it seemed obvious that a Civil War was in the making.

I worry that maybe the only thing stopping a bloody Second American Civil War is the simple fact that the surreal, extreme bizarre Right is content with the president. If something happens to Trump politically, is it possible that all bets are off? Is it possible there will be real bloodshed?

It definitely seems as though should a center-Left person win in 2020 or 2024 (more likely) that the same forces that elected Donald Trump in the first place will destroy the United States. And, really, at that point it’s a question of if our elected leaders are up to the challenge or not.

Nothing indicates right now, alas, that they are .

The Resistance Needs An App To Use Instead Of Twitter

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Now, I have gone into great detail about my personal vision for a “Twitter killer,” but because I don’t have any money, can’t code and don’t really want to learn, it’s just a daydream. But I can, at least, give some sense of what I think would be effective for The Resistance when it comes to defeating Donald Trump at his own game.

We need a service like Twitter, only better. We need a service that encourages longer, more in depth discussions. Now, I am WELL AWARE that Reddit exists. But I find Reddit too inward looking, difficult to use and from a design standpoint, kind of ugly.

So, I want an app that maybe is a fusion of the old IRC with the old Usenet. That probably makes no sense to most people, but it will to a few people. I have mapped out that vision in great detail on Instagram, but no one has taken me up on it and I should probably just focus on writing my novel.

Anyway.

It Was Inevitable That Obamacare Was Doomed

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

While Obamacare was a bad bill from the beginning, it was for most people at least a lot better than what existed before. But I’m enough of a student of history to know that it was inevitable that it would be repealed.

Republicans are so surreal in their hatred for everything connected to Obama that once they got power — however long it took — they were going to get rid of the legislation. So, we are on the cusp of just that happening.

So, I don’t know. What will be interesting to see is if once they do repeal it if the pendulum will swing by the other direction and we’ll go to a single payer format. That’s a very real possibility. Though, it’s also very real that we’re just doomed and we’re stuck with this soft dystopia for a few years.

History does not go in a straight line. The good guys don’t always win. So, this could be it. This could be the end of not only Obamacare, but the end of America’s liberal democratic republic. At least, for as long as I live.

When Our Cold Civil War Turns Hot: The Scalise Attack As New Harpers Ferry

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I saw on Twitter that someone out there in the surreal alt-Right echochamber is now openly talking about secession. I have seen several incidences where the bizarre Right that lives beyond InfoWars as suggested that the attack on Rep. Steve Scalise is up there with the Battle of Fort Sumner. That is, at least at this point, kind of grasping at straws. What these people are TRYING to say is that the tragic Scalise incident is something like John Brown’s attack on Harpers Ferry. That makes much more historical sense than the Battle of Fort Sumner, at least at this point.

What’s even more weird is that these bizarre, surreal Right wing nutjobs as blathering about this at a time when they have unprecedented power. There is effectively no check on the presidency and Trump is packing the judiciary with insane, young, whackjobs. So, really, the very people who are so upset with liberals have a vested interest, at least right now, in keeping the Federal government together as-in.

It makes me believe that maybe the only thing stopping open secessionist talk is the fact that Hillary Clinton lost. It makes me think that had Clinton won, one of the first crisis she would have had to address was a honest-to-God secessionist movement. What’s so troublesome is this problem isn’t going away. If you wanted to make a real historical analogy of all this, I might propose that we’re in, say, the 1857 era. We’re in that era of American history where the nation was tearing itself apart. So, should Trump lose in four years, watch out.

So, for the next four to eight years, we’ll be in a slow-mo Cold Civil War that will, in fits and starts, grind towards an actual secession of a few states. The actual make up of such a secessionist crisis is kind of puzzling.

Which states would bolt and why? Would it even be states at all, but rather some sort of coup in a few states? The reason why I suggest the latter is it is much more difficult for, say, South Carolina to bolt the Union because of, well, race. I just can’t see African Americans willingly joining disgruntled whites to leave the Union through some sort of secessionist convention. That leads to the idea of something a bit more violent and scary.

If not some Southern state, then which states would want to leave the Union? My guess is some state in the upper West where there aren’t any minorities. They would do it just out of spite. Though Texas is careening towards a bizarre enough Right wing hellscape that maybe they would be the state to do it.

Really, I just can’t see the Right being able to get enough leverage to start a secessionist crisis because Trump has a vested interest in keeping the government together. He’s much more likely to bend over backwards to give the insane, surreal 35% of the population that would be the most interested in secession everything they wanted. That would then make the whole situation moot.

That raises the issue of the center-Left seceding. I just don’t see that happening. While there was talk of California bolting the Union, that has subsided dramatically. That, then, raises the issue of why would the surreal Right be so fixated on leaving the Union despite getting everything they wanted.

That’s a tough one. I don’t have any answer to that. It would be a great historical irony if there was a secessionist crisis under Trump. The most likely scenario of that happening would be if in four or eight years a center-Left presidential candidate won. THEN, I could see Trump presiding over the dissolution of the Union quite easily.

But would there be a Second Civil War at all? Is it possible that we’re so divided that the “wayward sisters” that wished to leave the Union — whichever states they may be — would be allowed to “part in peace?” So, a lot of it would boil down to leadership. It could go either way. Either the Blue states bolt and join Canada or the Red states blot under a center-Left president and there (might) be a “hot” civil war. I’m not suggesting that a center-Left president would be more bloodthirsty, but I do think a center-Left president would be more likely to fight for the survival of the Union.

Regardless, we should all keep an eye on the surreal, bizarre extreme Right. That’s where tomorrow’s talking points for the Republican Party come from and before you know it secessionist talk may be something we all have to deal with.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.