The Power Of Right Wing Podcasts Is Very Real

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It is interesting how my far more conservative relatives — who I love dearly — often go out of their way to note that they don’t watch Fox News. What they fail to say by stating this is they DO listen to Right Wing podcasts that pretty much echo all talking points found on Fox New.

The thing that a lot of smug Twitter liberals are oblivious about is the fact that there are a lot of people who aren’t dumb or ignorant but who support Trump’s policies — if not the man. That cold, hard fact is probably one of the most dangerous issue floating around the American body politic as we careen towards the 2024 election.

All the Right Wing echo chamber — podcasts included — do is give Traditionalists an extensive permission structure to do what they probably were inclined to do anyway — vote for Trump.

I Haven’t Felt This Uneasy Since The Very Beginning Of The COVID19 Pandemic

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I can remember the dread I felt in really early 2020 about how bad things might get with COVID19. I really, really overestimated how bad things would get, but I was spot-on that everything was about to change for a few months.

And, now, we have a potential insurrection 2.0 / civil war on our hands.

For the time being, I think this situation is just going to simmer. The late night talk show hosts haven’t weighed in, so that’s a good sign that my fears about an escalation happening because of a combination of political pressure, misjudgment and momentum haven’t been realized yet.

I think we’re probably more likely to just have a lot of smoke but no fire. I would be stunned if my absolute worst fear — a secession crisis — happened before Election Day. I have political faith in Biden. I think he’s wise enough to hold off on escalation for the time being — until the political pressure just gets too strong and he has to do something, anything to prove he’s listening.

It definitely will be interesting to see what happens next, though, I have to say. We live in strange, surreal times.

An Astonishing Number Of People Will Have To Die Each Day During The Next Pandemic For Us To Have The Political Will To Do Anything About It

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I can tell you from what the conservatives in my family — whom I love dearly — have told me that a massive number of people will have to start dying each day for any sort of political response to a new pandemic to happen. It could be as high as 10,000 people a day before we can get our act together.

I don’t know, it might even be more — 20,000? 30,000? 50,000?

There is now a strict orthodoxy within traditional conservative ranks that under no circumstances can there ever be any sort of lockdown or restricts imposed because of a health emergency.

So, things will have to grow rather apocalyptic before there is any collective action when we have the next pandemic. I have this on my mind at the moment because I’m growing nervous that this fall and winter might be really bad in regards to COVID.

At the moment, it definitely seems as though, lulz, we’re just going to let people die needlessly, no matter how bad things get this COVID season. Ugh. Everything is so dumb.

‘Do Not Comply’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One of my conservative relatives — who I love dearly — continues to be enraged by the COVID restrictions of several years ago. They talk about how much they think they were “lied to” by the elites, yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah.

Whenever this relative mentions grievance –which is often — I note to him that that is not how Republicans will win the 2024 election. Unless there is a significant uptick in COVID cases that leads to an attempt to bring by COVID restrictions, people in 2024 are going to want 2024 solutions, rather than someone who looks back at what happened in 2020.

Apparently, there is some belief within Righwing Twitter that those restrictions are coming back this fall. I find this fear delusional for a number of reasons, the chief of which is there just is no political will to do such a thing. Thousands of people could be dying a day from COVID this fall and winter and, lulz, there will be absolutely no political will to do anything about it.

It does make you wonder what will happen if some sort of pandemic happens in the future that is far, far worse than what we experienced with COVID. There is a real risk that if some sort of Big One happens that it could be that not until 10,000 people are dying a day will we manage to have any sort of political will to lock the country down.

I’m Growing A Little Uneasy

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have a very conservative, very partisan Traditionalist relative who is still enraged over what happened with COVID policy. He has totally bought into simplistic Right Wing podcast talking points to an absurd level. The more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not COVID that he’s angry about.

His rage comes from being a white Christian male who, on a macro level, is flabbergasted at the rise of women’s economic power as well as some of the more exotic policy demands of the “woke cancel culture mob.” Things are moving too fast for him on a social level and because we have non-functioning politics he stews in his juices.

He’s a well meaning person who is not being served by the conservative agenda. If Republicans would do what parties in their situation typically do, he would be fed new, more popular talking points on Right Wing podcasts instead of believing that the United States is a “constitutional republic” not a democracy and fuck you, lib.

But the point is — I’m growing alarmed at how easy it would be for people to being to believe all these people dying a relatively young age has something to do with the COVID vaccine. All it would take is one study that somehow, someway “proved” that and…oh boy. People like my relative who grab a pitchfork and charge the Capitol.

I think some of my concern comes from the innate need to make connections, to see patterns. So, hopefully, we won’t have to have The Debate about how “right” the fucking Right wing nutjobs were about the safety of vaccines. I mean, millions of people have taken the COVID vaccines and nothing has happened to them. They’re safer, in real terms, than The Pill.

But because of hyper partisanship and negative partisanship, even a hint that some of these younger middle age people dying are dying because of the COVID vaccine will be enough to potentially cause violence.

Well, If Nothing Else, The Second Draft Of My First Novel Is Getting Really Good

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

After years of work, the novel I’ve been working on is finally beginning to take shape. The second draft that I’m working on at the moment is really, if nothing else, intriguing. I’m really pleased with what I’ve managed to come up with. No one cares and no one takes me seriously, but I will now how good this thing is even if literary agents all ultimately think I’m a drunk crank.

I’m futzing with the name of the novel after having the same one for a really long time. This happens every once in a while. I’ll find myself totally revamping some element of the novel that has been stable for a long time for no reason.

I continue to be on course to query this novel this novel during the fall 2023 querying season. I keep saying that such a thing exists, but, lulz, I need some sense of order to this huge project.

All I know is — I’m going to be (hopefully) finished with this novel in late spring. Then I hand it over to the Beta Reader process. Maybe, hopefully, find an editor in the summer….then query in the fall.

That’s the vision I have in my head, at least.

I Haven’t Forgotten Your ‘Spooky’ Resignation Right Before The Pandemic, Bob Iger

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9241938da) The Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger attends a special screening of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at Alice Tully Hall, in New York NY Special Screening of “Beauty and the Beast”, New York, USA – 13 Mar 2017

This is total idle speculation, but I still find it very “spooky” that Bob Iger quit Disney….right before the COVID19 pandemic struck the West. You could not have timed it better.

It almost makes you think that he knew how bad things were going get. As if, maybe…FIVE EYES in SPOOKY places might have given him a tip? I know it sounds crazy…but why would he quit out of the blue like that at the top of his game….then come slinking back to Disney now just as the pandemic is wrapping up?

Very, very curious.

Very, very SPOOKY, if you will.

Ron DeSantis — American Autocrat

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

If Trump will just get out of his way, Ron DeSantis will become president and, as such, become America’s first true autocrat. It will be, as they say, all over but the shouting for American democracy. But for Trump being a narcissistic ding-dong who doesn’t realize he’s served his political and historical purpose, DeSantis being our autocrat in waiting would now be an immutable fact of psychohistory.

Ron DeSantis

But.

There is the issue of Trump. The man has proven that not only is he lazy and stupid, but he always, always does the wrong thing. So, there’s every reason to believe that Trump either politically cockblock DeSantis or he will leave the Republican Party for the Patriot Party.

If the former happens, then the other two choices we face — civil war or military junta — continue to be very real possibilities. And if Trump bounces to the Patriot Party because he loses to DeSantis, he will split the Republican vote and we punt our existential problems down the road another presidential cycle.

Now, let me be clear — I want to be wrong. If somehow Republicans stop being fascists and we pull ourselves out this death spiral we’re in at the moment, great. But at the moment, the only way that happens is space aliens land on the White House front lawn.

Anyway, the point is — things are not quite sorted out yet. But should DeSantis end Trump politically, the United States is going to slip peacefully into autocracy.

What If Democrats Manage To Pull Off An Upset In The 2022 Midterms?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I woke up this morning to Axios telling me in breathless terms how fucked Democrats obviously were in tomorrow’s 2022 midterms. For anyone who is a fan of the Twitter account New York Times Pitchbot, it was yet another example of how what should be a parody account pretty much is reality at this point.

I don’t know why, but the mainstream press, far from being in the bag for Democrats, seem to believe the only way they can be “objective” is to shit on Democrats every chance they can get.

This does not, however, stop your typical conservative from being hysterical in their belief that one of the reasons they want to burn the country to the ground is the “media elites” won’t give them a fair shake. The fact that Republicans lie so much about things that we can all see not to be true is yet another sign that Something’s Gotta Give.

We can’t keep punting this shit down the road forever.

But let’s go back to the issue at hand — what if Axios is wrong? What if somehow Democrats manage to keep both the House and Senate?

The reason why it’s difficult for me to believe this is possible is macro trends indicate that MAGA and the associated slide into autocrat fascism is very, very popular within the American electorate. To be a Republican in good standing is to not believe in democracy at all — or at least not believe in any election where they lose.

But, just for the sake of argument, what if Democrats manage an upset?

I think if that happened, the first thing that would happen is Republicans would scream bloody murder because they would point to all the polls going into the election that indicated THEY were going to win. Which, given that they funded these flood-the-zone polls, this whole argument will be bullshit.

One apparent flashpoint is going to be Pennsylvania, specifically the area around Philadelphia. Apparently, we’re at risk of another Brooks Brother Riot in that area if things don’t go Republican’s way tomorrow.

The one thing that is not going to happen is Republicans suddenly having a come to Jesus moment about democracy. Rather than doing the obvious — changing their views so they’re more popular — Republicans are going to double down, triple down on their love of autocratic fascism.

They will see any defeat at the polls as a sign that their efforts to steal elections haven’t been aggressive enough. They are determined to strangle American democracy once and for all at any cost.

‘Stop The Steal 2024:’ What Happens When Voting Really Is Moot?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It’s going to be pretty fucking ironic when the very thing that cry baby MAGA people thought happened with the 2020 election — that it was stolen — really does happen in 2024 to Blues. The moment it becomes clear that voting is moot and the Republicans have successfully turned the United States into an autocracy is the moment of truth.

Either we have a “National Divorce” and, as such, a civil war, or we just give up and become an autocracy. Now, it’s very possible that Trump could very well win the 2024 election without cheating, but it’s his nature to cheat and if that cheating so so brazen that Blues can’t escape it — the potential for a massive clusterfuck exists. And the more I think about it, the more I wonder what role the U.S. Military will be in such a scenario.

If there is real doubt as to who won the 2024 election will they sit back and watch as the country collapses into chaos, or will they step in. Is it possible that we could find ourselves with some sort of military junta while the issue of who is president is sorted out? The fact that SCOUTS might validate the idea of “legislative independence” when it comes to elections is a massive ticking time political time bomb for a number of reasons.

But one thing is clear, we’ve officially reached the danger zone when it comes to America’s fate. Things could go any number of different directions between now and January 2025. We could have some sort of MAGA “revolution.” We could have a Blue “National Divorce” because of the brazen theft of the 2024 election by MAGA. Or we could just slip peacefully into autocracy and that will be that. If we’re lucky, we endup somewhere around Hungary politically and if we’re not, we turn into a Russia clone.

A lot, of course, depends on if Trump is the 2024 Republican nominee. At the moment, it definitely seems as though he will be — even if he has to run from prison. As such, he is such a chaos agent that he could, unto himself, cause a civil war. And if it isn’t because he steals the 2024 election, it could be that his agenda for his second term is so radical and so jarring to Blue states that they demand that secessionist conventions be called.

As such, it would be Blues, not Reds, that start a civil war. But Republicans are quite clear how much they not only hate democracy but don’t believe it in it in the first place. So, they would have only themselves to blame if a National Divorce happened because Blue states were enraged by the death of our democracy.

Below is a scenario I came up with some time ago as to how we might have a civil war.

Here are some reasons why we will have a civil war.

  1. Republicans have come to glorify political violence
    Something you see a lot these days within the bullshit echo chamber of the MAGA New Right is the belief that because “liberals won’t leave us alone” that they are being “driven” to extremism. There’s a lot of leading not-so-vague talk as to what all this would ultimately mean. But it’s clear that for a number of “thought leaders” within the MAGA New Right that they have accepted that at some point in the future, they’re going to have to resort to violence to get what they want.
  2. Republicans no longer believe in democracy
    It is now clear that like any good fascists, Republicans no longer believe in democracy unless it’s for the specific purpose of gaining and keeping power. This view of the system they’re supposed to a part of leads them do extremely destabilizing things that help push the country to the brink.
  3. Trump 2024
    Just Trump being the 2024 nominee would, in itself, be enough to cause a civil war at some point in late 2024 – early 2025. He just has a special knack for “owning the libs” in such a way that if he stole in 2024 election and said the “quiet part outloud” that Blue States would grow so enraged that it would be they, not Red States, that left the Union and caused a Second Civil War. But Ron DeSantis is polling exceptionally well at the moment, so either Trump politically shivs him at some point, or he co-ops him, making him his VP, opening the door to DeSantis becoming America’s Putin at some point down the road a little bit.
  4. Steve K Bannon.
    Bannon and his toadies are actively working to destroy the framework that we use to administer free and fair elections. So, it’s very easy to imagine a situation where this gambit works in ways that Trump himself is too idiotic to pull off personally and it will be so egregious that, again, Blue States leave the Union and we have a Second American Civil War.
  5. Extreme negative polarization
    We’re in for a bump four or so years, no matter what, because negative polarization, on a systemic level, has reached a critical mass. When one of your political parties is fascist and would rather crash the global economy instead of even appear to work for the good of the nation — you got a problem.
  6. A lack of shared values
    As the big blow up on Twitter in the last 24 hours about a Stephen Colbert song and dance gag about getting vaccinated proves — we can’t even agree on what’s funny. A combination of this and negative polarization is leading to the United States being two nations, one Red, one Blue and when we get around to attempting to elect the next president, the system simply won’t be prepared for the passions it will stir up.
  7. A potentially historic miscalculation on the part of Republicans
    It’s possible that, much like European powers in the lead up to WW1, when the time comes and Republicans have a choice between peacefully transitioning us into autocracy or fucking with us all so we want to take up arms, they will choose the latter not because they have to, but because they want to. It’s possible that by the 2024 — 2025 period, Republicans will see a civil war as their only choice to consolidate power, even if it’s clear that they could get everything they ever wanted within the system they so obviously loath.

And, honestly, the only thing standing in the way of an autocrat becoming president in 2025 and seizing “total control” pretty quick is any potential cleaving between MAGA and the Republican Party that takes place between now and then.

Given what I’m seeing right now, it definitely doesn’t seem as though that’s going to be a problem. At this point, it seems as though Republicans will first win power in Congress in 2022, then win the presidency (one way or anther) in 2024 and that will be that.

The autocracy we feared during the Trump Era will come, just four years later than we all expected. But…

There’s a real chance that our transition from liberal democracy to autocracy won’t be as smooth as I think — there could be a civil war. One side — or the other — won’t accept the results of the election and the country will finally buckle. All the nightmare scenarios that I came up with in 2020-2021, will just happen in 2024-2025.

If what happened in 2020 is any indication, the first sign that we would have that something was amiss would be on the local level. Instead of people who simply do their job as Americans and do the rather perfunctory duty of certifying the win of A Democrat, this doesn’t happen. In crucial voting districts all across swing states, Bannon’s “spiritual shock troops” either refuse to certify the win of A Democrat, or they go so far as to YOLO things and switch the win to Trump.

As this happens, the tension in United States escalates day by day. The very rallying cry of MAGA in 2020 — “Stop The Steal” will be adopted by the center-Left when it becomes clear that the MAGA New Right is hell bent on brazenly stealing the 2024 election in broad daylight.

But remember, the center-Left has a very different personality than the MAGA New Right. The center-Left, for all it’s problems with “cancel culture” and being “woke” is still actually connected to reality. So, there would be a struggle between the natural inclination of centrist Liberals to let the “process work” and Leftists who would want to burn everything to the ground given how corrupted everything had become.

All of this turmoil on the local level would find elections in crucial states thrown into the political realm where MAGA state legislatures and Secretary’s of State would begin to actively ensure that A Democrat is prevented from winning. Every day between Election Day 2024 and Certification Day 2025 things would grow more and more unstable in the United States as it became clear that Bannon’s long-planned “administrative coup” was actually going to work.

There would be mass confusion. Lots of lawsuits

And, remember, if Trump is involved, as all of this is going on, he would do everything in his personal power to rile up both sides. If his ongoing, progressive cognitive decline has gotten bad enough, he might even go transactional.

It would be around this point that I could see Blue governors begin to make serious plans to leave the Union. A lot would depend on what California was willing to do. But it would definitely make sense that California would be the first state to call a Secessionist Convention in preparation of leaving the Union if the 2024 election is, in fact, stolen.

But by some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you could see some sort of summit of Blue Governors where they debate their plans to leave the Union if the very thing that the MAGA New Right wants — to turn the United States into an autocracy — actually happens.

And as we approached Certification Day in January 2025, the last step in the crisis would happen. If you thought Certification Day 2021 was bad, just wait until Republicans are actively going over and above what they did then when it rolls around in 2025. So, the system will have been corrupted at both the local and state level. And then if that doesn’t work, Republicans will again try to throw the election into the House and Senate to buy time, if nothing else.

So, let me be clear — anyone who thinks we’re going to have some sort of MAGA New Right revolution a la The Turner Diaries — is a fool. Any Second American Civil War we have is probably going to be started by Blue States leaving the Union out of disgust that the fix is in.

Therefore, by the time Certification Day 2025 rolls around, it could very well be a foregone conclusion that we’re going to have a pretty organized civil war. Republicans have no shame and don’t apparently care about the consequences of their actions, so, lulz, we could find ourselves in the absolute worst of worlds because not only are states actively thinking about leaving the Union around this time, but the whole process of figuring out who is POTUS will be languishing in Congress. Republicans, because they are politically blood thirsty and will cheat, will win the power struggle, but there’s a chance states will begin leaving the Union.

It won’t be deranged, individual MAGA New Right blowing stuff up in some sort of rearguard action. It’s going to be a Blue Nation verses a Red Nation. A lot of the same things that happened in the First American Civil War will happen in the second. The U.S. Military will implode as people from Blue States leave it to establish a new Blue State military.

But one thing we have to expect in late 2024 to early 2025 is a mass migration of people across the country as people no longer feel safe living in an area of the country that doesn’t fit their politics. It could be rather frightening.

If it were, God forbid, to happen, I would guess that a Second American Civil War will begin between Certification Day 2025 and Inauguration Day 2025. In other words, as Trump is being sworn in, mass chaos will have erupted across the United States.

Once the hollowed out American military turns it attention to the Blue rebellion at the behest of Trump, it won’t be too long before WMD are sized and used by both sides. Not only would America bomb itself into oblivion with its eyes wide open, but it will be done in the context of WW3 definitely breaking out across the globe because the US will be too busy imploding to ensure the continuation of the post WW2 global order.

How’s that for a New World Order.

Macro trends are not on America’s side. As I keep saying, 2024 is going to be it. It’s the year when either the United States turns into a Russian-style “managed democracy” or there’s a civil war. Now, this isn’t going to be a complete list of the 50 states, but I am going to highlight some of the states that may be more problematic should a Second American Civil War erupt.

Oregon
The state is really two states and, as such, is probably going to be a major flashpoint in any Second Civil War. What’s likely to happen is Portland will buck any attempt at a putsch on the part of bonkers Right wing nutjobs in the rest of the state and, as such, either there’s a really blood struggle in the state or there are a massive amount of political refugees from the Portland area as the rest of the state sides with MAGA.

Virginia
Again, this is really two states. There’s the NOVA-Richmond-Hampton Roads urban corridor and everything else. It’s very easy to imagine a situation — especially with Virginia’s historic ties to the first Civil War — where the state implodes as we grow closer and closer to a Second Civil War. Too many good old boys in the rural areas of Virginia might get wrapped up in the “Lost Cause” mythos and decide to seize places like Danville (the last capitol of the Confederacy) or Richmond (another Confederate capitol.) If nothing else, simply because of the larger population of the “Blue” parts of the state, there will be significant violence and political refugees as the Blues consolidate power.

Michigan
I don’t know as much about this state, but it definitely seems as though once the pre-war process of coups and political consolation begins that there will be at least a coup attempt on the part of the Far Right. Again, don’t underestimate how once you actually start murdering people that the dynamics of things change significantly. It’s very possible that there would be a coup in the state, it would fail, and there would be significant political violence as the state’s Blue population fought back and put the state firmly on the Blue side.

New York
Yet again, we have a situation where once politics fails us that the otherwise banal regional differences in a state tears it apart. New York City is far more progressive than the rest of New York State and, depending on how things work out, it’s possible that New York City could become a revolutionary hotbed to the point that is tears itself away from the rest of the state and proclaims itself a Free City. This almost happen during the first Civil War. If nothing else, there will be a serious jiggling of the relationship between NYC and the rest of the state to the point where it aligns itself in any Second Civil War with New Jersey and Connecticut in a way that update New York does not. Or, again, there could be significant political consolidation as Blues from all over the northeast flee to New York and the MAGA-friendly natives of the state flee elsewhere.

Maine
I really don’t know that much about this state other than a vague belief that the northern part of the state is far different than the southern part. It’s very easy to imagine significant consolation in the state one way or another as people flee to it as the rest of the country buckles. The state is big — if sparsely populated — and it’s strategic location near the Canadian border might be enough for it to be the home to large refugee camps.

Texas
Texas would be in an odd situation as the country fell into civil war because its long-term political trend is shifting Blue, but it’s part of the South and a lot of people consider themselves Southern and MAGA. So either it simply buckles into its own intra-civil war or the MAGA cocksucker fucktards push out all the Blues who flee to Blue States nearby. The end result would be a lot of pissed off former Texans who would be of great benefit to the Blue cause.

California
In a sense, the whole fate of the United States rests on what California does. If it simply bolts from the Union, then that significantly hobbles the Blue cause on the ground. California sitting on its hands and become its own nation in the event of a Second Civil War makes it far more likely that either Red states win or there is some sort of half-ass balkanization of the United States. But if California stays and fights, then they could provide not only the necessary economy and population for a Blue state victory — after many, many dead — but also something of a vision for what America would look like after we’re finished bombing ourselves into oblivion.

The Deep South
It’s very easy to imagine at the onset of a Second American Civil War most of the old Confederacy on a political level getting extremely excited and having a massive amount of momentum to either leave the Union outright or support the Republican controlled Congress’ attempt to brazenly steal the election. Then reality would sink in — all of the Southern states have significant African American populations and once politics is no longer a viable method of solving problems then the far more brutal dynamics of realpolitik would kick in. I just can’t imagine millions of African Americans lulzing a return to the Confederacy, no matter how badly the white political establishment of those states may want it. So, even though the South has a lot of people and a big economy, it would be, on a regional basis, too busy fighting a race war to really help the Red cause all that much. If things really grew as radical as I fear they will — probably because WMD are stolen and cities start to get vaporized — it’s the Deep South where you’re most likely to see some WW2 level atrocities as radicalized whites begin to murder blacks en mass.

As for the rest of the states, their ability to pick one side or the other is probably far easier and their biggest problem would be dealing with political refugees.

Or, put another way, we’re fucked. We’re totally, completely fucked one way or another. Either we turn into an autocracy or Red and Blue begin to murder each other in cold political blood. The usual outcome of all this bullshit that we have come to expect — simply muddling along until we come to some solution one way or another — is not longer a valid option.