Apocalypse Now: Brexit, Impeachment, & Wuhan

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

A number of things are happening at the same time on a macro historical level at the moment and there’s a least a chance that they will begin to influence each other.

Brexit
As I understand it, Brexit is going to happen on Jan. 31, one way or another. I haven’t really kept up with how “hard” it’s meant to be, but it’s definitely going to cause some disruption in things in the short term.

Impeachment
We are rushing towards a pretty unsatisfactory conclusion on impeachment, with Trump being acquitted out of hand by the Senate for no other reason than the entire Republican Party is beholden to House Trump and only see democracy as a means to an end.

Wuhan
We haven’t had a pandemic in just under over 100 years. If we had a once-a-century pandemic given modern transportation, there’s a good chance the death toll would be far higher than any of us could possibly imagine.

As of right now, these three things are happening separate of each other. But there’s a least a small chance that will change. There’s a chance that there may come a point in the near future when they begin to at least influence each other in some way.

Say, for instance, that somehow we get a longer impeachment trial, long enough that the economic effects of Brexit begin to influence politics in the United States enough that public opinion begins to shift on Trump. This is probably highly unlikely — Trump’s probably going to be acquitted in a matter of hours, it seems. But if there was a longer trial, then there’s more chance that if the Wuhan virus begins to kill people at pandemic levels in the next few weeks, then all three things would influence each other.

What’s more likely to happen is something like this — there’s a short trial. Trump’s “vindicated.” And then all breaks loose. Then we see the one two punch of Brexit and Wuhan strike. It is the stress of finally having a crisis that is not a self-own that drives Trump completely bonkers. And given that use of the 25th Amendment to remove a president is a dead letter, then we would have a worse-case-scenario on our hands.

Trump complete and total lack of leadership would only make a bad situation far, far worse. In the end, the fate of humanity might be at stake and I honestly don’t have a ready answer as to the outcome.

Know Your Angry White Male Silver Fox MAGA Thought Leader

Shelton Bumgarner

By Shelt Garner
@sheltgarne
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So, there you are, watching TV when you see one of several interchangeable sliver haired middle-aged angry dough boys ranting about how if only we let Trump be Trump then he could fulfill his role as the anti-Christ, Jews would be driven into the sea and the Rapture would occur like the Bible says America would be made great again.

Hugh Hewitt

Hewitt is notable for the lengths he will go to debase himself for Trump in a reasonably cogent fashion. He is the apologist’s apologist when it comes to Trump. It has started to seem as though he’s angling for some sort of apparatchik position in the Fourth Reich. Does he want to be gruppenführer of the new Washington Military District of Columbia or something? What is his deal? He is also notable for having sufficient respect among Twitter liberals that he pops up on the Sunday chat shows and the Washington Post babbling in the most obsequious manner possible that if only we’d leave Trump alone, he would, at last, make America great Again.

Dennis Prager

Prager does PragerU, which is a middlebrow bad faith and very formal online conduit of MAGA bullshit that a lot of otherwise reasonable people eat up because it gives them some sort of intellectual framework for being a Good American in the Fourth Reich. He conveys with great gravitas racist, misogynistic, ignorant and historically oblivious bullshit that conflates anything necessary to get your middle-aged mom to think somehow Trump is not so bad after all.

Glenn Beck

Beck is simply fucking insane. After having shown a modicum of principle at the onset of the Fourth Reich, Beck has switched gears and is just another fucking Trump cockholster in an pretty elaborate bullshit echo chamber of bad faith arguments. He’s completely unhinged and sees conspiracies under every rock. In a way, Beck’s change of heart about Trump is all you need to know about modern Trumpian conservatism.

Mark Levin

I don’t know what to tell you about this guy. He’s not as deranged as Beck, but he’s somewhere between Hewitt and Schlapp in intelligence and the ability to make a cogent badfaith argument. He’s very fascist friendly and you start to think he would be cool with American Killing Fields in update New York if Trump suggested it.

Matt Schlapp

Oh, Matt Schlapp. I see him as one of the most dangerous of these pasty white MAGA thought leaders because he’s the smartest and best educated of the bunch. He honestly believes that the racist and misogynistic bullshit he spews isn’t either one of those things. In an earlier time, he’d be the German somewhere in the east of the country who had an “overnight conversion” to Communism at some point in late 1945 when it became apparent the Soviets weren’t going anywhere and he still had mouths to feed.

Newt Gingrich

If the Fourth Reich was a video game, he would be the last guy you had to defeat to win the game. His MAGA rhetoric can’t be beat and he probably is far closer to The Dear Leader in private than any of us could possibly imagine. In fact, you could say that MAGA is nothing more than the deranged ideological child of Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich. But Buchanan isn’t a pasty silver-haired dough boy, so he’s not on this list.

’53 Angry Republican Senators’ & The WuTang Virus

Shelton Bumgarner

Observations

‘Feb 26, 1815’

Shelton Bumgarner

An observation.

V-Log: Update On My Novel’s Development & Jennifer Lawrence Needs Her Chance To Be A Modern Annie Hall

Shelton Bumgarner

Some thoughts.

‘Trump Is Us, We Are Trump’

Shelton Bumgarner

This one is pretty good.

The Surreal Lev Parnas Situation

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Not that it will matter in time, but we still don’t know what Trump knew about what Robert Hyde told Lev Parnas in March about his efforts to monitor the movements — and God only knows what else — of American Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch.

It doesn’t really matter the way I thought it might because she was out of the country by the time Trump told the president of Ukraine that she “was going to go through some things.” But I mean, what the fuck? She was already out of the country and he says THAT? What did he mean by that?

Barring a significant bombshell in the next few days, this is shaping up to be just another shady thing Trump has done that no one really cares about. Things are going to get very dark once he’s aquitted.

Very, very dark.

‘She’s Going To Go Through Some Things:’ What Did Trump Know & When Did He Know It About Robert Hyde’s Plans With Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch?

Shelt Garner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

March 25: Robert Hyde texted Lev Parnas about all the amazing things you can do with money in Ukraine.

April 25: Marie Yovanovitch leaves Ukraine abruptly.

July 25: Trump tells the President of Ukraine she’s “bad news” and “she’s going to be going through some things.”

So, that’s it. I still think it’s weird he said that, but if she was out of the country, then, well, it’s not what I thought it was. Sorry.

We Couldn’t Keep It, Speaker Pelosi

Our Political Future
Shelton Bumgarner

And so we find ourselves waiting for the impeachment trial of one Donald John Trump, 45 president of the United States. Though there’s credible evidence that he was at least aware of Robert Hyde’s intentions to contact goons in Ukraine to physically harm Marie Yovanovitch in an effort to eliminate her as a problem for a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor who promised Trump dirt on Joe Biden, the Right is more concerned about transgender athletes ruining the Olympics, so, lulz. With that in mind, I thought I would do something of a personal deep dive into the issues associated with the Trump’s Senate trial and its implications, no matter the outcome. Though Maggie “Trump Whisperer” Haberman of The New York Times  thinks I’m just a hayseed rube, I need to get some things off my chest nonetheless.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi keeps mentioning the apocryphal comment by Benjamin Franklin about the nature of our newly established government. Well, Nancy, we couldn’t keep it. Though Trump is nothing more than a vessel for some pretty titanic macro forces in American political life, he’s accomplished his historical purpose — he’s a transitional figure that marks the end of the American Republic. I say this because it’s pretty obvious that a President Pence isn’t going to, like, put the tyrannical genie back in the bottle. President Pence is a Republican — an a homophobic theocrat at that — and as such he may very well keep much, if not all, of Trump’s team going forward. So, in a sense, not only will nothing change, but it will get worse because Pence is not a deranged lunatic but someone who will establish the conditions for someone like President Kooch to put me in an ICE Camp where I become just another victim of the coming American Killing Fields. I say this not as a form of hyperbole or some sort of Infowars level of bonkers conspiracy — all signs point to the existing ICE camp infrastructure being weaponized within 10 years, if not far sooner. They’ll first throw the homeless and mentally ill (to keep them safe and prevent gun violence) into the campus with undocumented immigrants and then, as I’ve mentioned, work their way up. Prove me wrong on this one, folks.

Either Trump is acquitted or he’s not. If he’s acquitted, then he pardons half a dozen high profile people, rants about the need for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment,” indicts another half dozen political opponents, and potentially is extremely brazen in his efforts to get the actual human beings who make up the Electoral College to vote for him. He could bribe them or dox them, you name it. And the only reason I’m not snatched in the middle of the night by ICE agents by about 2022 because of my anti-MAGA ranting online is Trump’s simply too incompetent to do the necessary governmental shenanigans to make it possible. It will still happen, but it may be the Cuccinelli or Kobach administrations that do it.  

Meanwhile, if Trump is somehow miraculously convicted we will simply punt this same future down the road a few years. We can delay this dystopian future, but we can’t prevent it. I say this because between 2020 and 2040, we’re going to reach peek “Ok, Boomer.” We have to wait until the youngest of the angry old male Baby Boomers shuffle off this mortal plane on a macro level before the browning of America kicks in an AOC becomes a viable presidential candidate. Though, I think a more likely outcome is America in the 2040-2060 will likely be a toxic mixture of modern day Venezuela, Apartheid South Africa and Putin’s Russia. Though, given how rapidly the globe is warming, there’s a chance all we’re going to have some pretty rapid population movements that may change that dynamic in some pretty dramatic ways. Preventing our dystopian future would require a tragedy of such magnitude that if we were given the two options as a choice by God, we probably would be torn. Do we really want 20 million people to die in a limited nuclear exchange with the DPRK that we blame on Trump? Would that be worth it? Though, if you really wanted to be gratuitously sanguine, you might say if Trump goes so fucking bonkers that he collectively scares us so badly that we won’t elect Republicans president for a generation that might do the trick as well. 

No matter what happens with Trump’s coming impeachment trial in the Senate, we’re in a new era. People will mark post-WWII America like this: 1945-1963, 1963-1973, 1973-1989, 1989-2001, 2001-2020. A liberal trope exists that we’re always just a few hours away from this or that otherwise normal event happening that will bring Trump down and everything will go back to normal. This is a result of both desperation and an unwillingness to admit that political tribalism and negative polarization have reached such extremes that Trump is now nothing less than an act of God. 

He is completely immune from any sort of accountability. The only thing stopping him establishing an American Fourth Reich is he’s nothing more than a deranged version of Chauncy Gardner in Being There. As such, Trump is a transitional character in American political history. While I have no doubt he will call for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” once he’s acquitted in the Senate, there’s a decent change he may simply turn into a mental puddle before can do it.

But once the idea is out there, it will one of his fascist white ethnostate advocating successors who finish the job. Such a Constitutional Convention will be sold to liberals as an opportunity to pass the ERA, but in reality it will be a Trojan Horse used to codified American Carnage into the Constitutional through a series of Enabling Acts. The ICE camp infrastructure will be weaponized and that will be that. Initially they’ll start with the homeless and the mentally ill and work their way up the political foodchain until the usual suspects of Jews and homosexuals (transgenders!) will be thrown into the camps as well. There will be American Killing Fields and people like me will get nothing more than our name etched on a monument at some point in the distant future — if ever.

Shelt Garner is writing his first novel.

Idle, Incoherent Rambling About Novel Character Inspirations & The Rise Of The American Fourth Reich

Shelton Bumgarner

Some thoughts.