Don’t Rage, Engage: Cool It On Trump Impeachment Talk For Right Now

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The more I think about it, the more I realize that all the energy people like me are spending on how we’re going to impeach Donald Trump is just wasted time and energy. For the time being, it’s just not going to happen.

There just isn’t anything that Trump could do at this point that would lead to his immediate impeachment. Nothing. Nothing at all. Whatever you can come up with, that would not do it. The Vichy Republicans are so callow, so Vichy that even if Trump really did strangle someone on 5th Avenue, nothing would come of it. There is some doubt as to if you can actually try a sitting president for criminal offenses at all.

The issue is, impeachment is a political process. And, really, that’s the only way to address any sort of malfeasance on the part of the president. So, there’s just nothing we can do right now. We are going to just suffer Trumplandia. We’re just going to have to deal with whatever horrible thing Trumplandia manages to produce between now and fall 2018.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you consider yourself a member of The Resistance, stay energized and vigilant, but for the time being spend the energy you would exert on outrage and planning your impeachment parties on staying engaged not only politically but in your efforts to cross the political divide.

Now, roughly a year from now, things will be different. The issue will be The Resistance will have to be just as pumped when it comes to voting as Trumplandia is. Trumplandia won in 2016, in part because they were just so hysterical about eight years of Obama that they were willing to eat at any of the bullshit that a demagogue like Trump managed to feed them.

I guess one way to look at this is — the base may have to make its own leaders. It may come down to the base deciding if we ever get rid of Trump at all. It’s possible that there will be no “Blue Wave” in 2018 and Trump will not only survive but prosper. That’s a real possibility. Let that sink in.

Regardless, we have about a year before things will look up. Given that the current news cycle is about 5 minutes, that’s a long, long, long, long time to have to bide our time. And that doesn’t even begin to address Trump trying to wag the dog or new Russian interference.

It could be that we might have Trumplandia for eight or 12 years. Remember, Reagan / Bush lasted for 12 years and the Democratic Party made a lot of mistakes a long the way. It all came down to fate, luck and the historical quirk of Bill Clinton.

Something similar may happen again. It’s kind of scary at this point, but better to realize the gravity of the situation instead of burning ourselves out.

The Fire Next Time: How To Prevent The Russians From Hacking The Next Election

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have already proposed some fanciful Constitutional fixes when it comes to how to prevent a foreign power, namely the Russians, from hacking into our election system. But is there any more practical manner to do that? One issue is that our system is so open that it’s difficult to come up with any fix that wouldn’t cause more harm than good.

In other words, just like building a wall is applying a sledge hammer to a social issue unnecessarily, so, too, the most obvious way to fix the issue of the Russians hacking into our election system: significant increase in regulation of the Internet would too easily be abused or other purposes. And that doesn’t even begin to address the issue of how it probably wouldn’t stand up to Constitutional scrutiny.

So, it seems like we’re fucked.

In desperation, if there was real political willpower to fix this problem, we might get the government to work in tandem with Twitter to lightly regulate bots and trolls from, say, six months out from election day. Something whereby we at least made it more difficult for Russian bots to fuck with people’s minds. But given that the Republicans are so completely Vichy when it comes to Donald Trump and the Russians, there simply is no willpower to do anything at all.

I honestly can’t think of any scenario where the issue of how to prevent Russians from hacking into our election cycle will be fixed anytime soon for any reason. It’s only going to get worse. It seems as though for the foreseeable future something we take for granted — free and fair elections — are, in fact, in danger and for once the problem isn’t even self-inflicted.

It’s all deep. It’s all very deep.

While We’re All Distracted By Comey, Rome Is Burning

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

While we’re all eating our popcorn at the flaming dumpster fire that is the Trump Administration, the traditional social safety net that we’ve come to enjoy is being attacked in unprecedented ways. The issue for me is, regardless of whatever else is going on with Trump, his mere continued political presence is doing real harm to the American Republic.

An there is no reprieve in sight.

I say this because really, Trump is not going anywhere. The Vichy Republicans are so prostrate, so callow, so complicit in their support of someone — Donald J. Trump — who could be, in fact, effectively a foreign asset, that they are using whatever they can get to destroy important aspects of our government.

Or, put another way, it was inevitable that Republicans would again, at some point, be in power again by winning a presidential election and because of technology and the bullshit mountain known as FOX News, so the victory of Trump only, in a sense, sped the process up.

There is a more fundamental issue at work. That issue is because of tribal politics, we are, for the foreseeable future, going to swing back and forth in extremes. This all goes back to the question of, what exactly is the source of this. Why is the right so hysterical? Does it only have to do with the changing demographics of the United States?

The rise of Trumplandia is truly a nightmare scenario. That a major liberal democracy would fall under the sway of someone like Trump, for whatever reason, is pretty mind boggling. I am trying my best to avoid invoking Hitler’s name, but I can’t get around it. There is nothing else I can think of to compare it to.

Or put another way, the only thing that’s stopping Trump from being an American Hitler is he’s so completely incompetent that he can’t effectively impliment is more fascist, autocratic desires. That’s it, folk. That’s all that stands between America and fascism — Trump isn’t up to the job.

So, really, we are just going to have to wait until the mythical “Blue Wave” flips Congress before the pendulum swing back to sanity. It is to be seen how much damage Trumplandia will be able to wreak on the Republic. Probably significantly more than we ever imaged.

But I still have hope that once we finally do flip Congress that things will sort themselves out. But we have a long, long, long time to wait. We really need to just keep our powder dry and try to stay engaged. Don’t allow yourself to get burnt out from all the drama. That’s what Trumplandia wants. They want us to succumb to a “managed democracy.”

America has the strongest civil society in the world, so the cancer, the infection that is Trumplandia is being fought off as hard as possible by its antibodies. But there is only so much those antibodies can do. We’re just screwed.

At least in the near term, we’re screwed. Just try to stay engaged with people who disagree with you. That’s pretty much all we can do at this point. Trump’s sway over the nation is complete giving how Vichy the Republicans are and so for the time being he effectively has no check, no balance.

So try to keep focused on the real issues at hand. Keep an eye on what the Vichy Republicans are doing when it comes to Dodd-Frank and Obamacare. Once Trumplandia is finally vanquished, we’re going to have a lot of work to do to make America great like it was before Trump became president.

A Hot Take On James Comey’s Testimony

by Shelton Bumgarer
@bumgarls

While in some ways today lived up to the hype, in other, more fundamental ways I found it rather underwhelming. I found it underwhelming because the thing I had hoped for — some sort of iconic statement that would prove the final death knell of the Trumplandia experience simply did not happen.

And, alas, it seems as though it just isn’t going to happen.

What is really beginning to sink in — yet again — is how difficult it is to get rid of an American president once he’s in office. So, as long as there are no tapes — be they of a pee nature or otherwise — I have a growing fear that Trumplandia will be a fixture of the American political landscape for at least two years, if not much, much longer.

It seems to me that we’re in for a chronic case of Constitutional Crisis that will flair up every once in a while for the forseeable future. We’ve entered the age of tribal politics and the Republicans are so Vichy, so callow, so complicit in the rise of Trumplandia that they simply won’t do anything to ameliorate the situation until they are absolutely forced. It will nearly take the hand of God himself for Vichy Republicans to look past the base and put country over party.

It’s a sad fact, but given how it seems as though the GOP is hellbent on dragging James Comey’s reputation through the mud that that is exactly what is going to happen. There just aren’t any easy answers to how to fix the problems associated with Trumplandia. We’re stuck with it.

So, while the Comey hearing was dramatic and riveting, it did not really give me the political release that I was looking for. I didn’t get that perfect moment that could be used to end the cancer that is the Trump Administration.

If anything, it reminded me that we’re barely at the end of the beginning when it comes to this scandal. And, remember, to date, most of the damage inflicted on the Trump Administration has been self-inflicted. So, even though a fish rots from its head, it is almost inevitable that Trump will eventually untangle this clusterfuck of a presidency enough to survive, if not prosper.

Really, all we need is a war with the DPRK or Iran and suddenly everything will have worked itself out and the Tsar-a-Largo problem will be put on the backburner to such an extent that we won’t even remember it. And, remember, if a hayseed rube like me out in the sticks and see that possible out, then definitely Steve Bannon sitting in the White House can see it.

Thus anyone who is getting all excited about the prospect of getting Trump anytime soon should chill out. It’s just not going to happen for at least two years. That is the bare minimum. He could be around a lot longer than that. Much longer.

Therefore, all I can say is if you really want to end the Trumplandia Era, you need to engage, not rage against people who disagree with you politically. That’s it. That’s the only way it’s going to happen. It will be tough and you’ll be called a cuck and much worse by members of Trumplandia, but in the end it will be worth it. I swear.

Trumplandia As The Singularity’s Political ‘Event Horizon’

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It seems very possible that the source of all the fear and “social anxiety” that has allowed an unstable racist, misogynist, bigot demagogue to rise to power in the United States might be laid at the feet of some sort of slow-moving technological singularity.

The reason why I suggest this is there must be some sort of reason for people being so afraid of the changes taking place in society. Those changes are happening so fast, in part, because of technology. So, maybe things are going to hell in a hand basket so quickly because, well, things are moving too fast for normal civil society to process it.

One could make the case that both Communism and Nazism came about by the fast pace of change that took place in the early 20ths Century. A lot happened technologically in the 1910-1940 period of time and since, say, about 1990 things have really begun to speed up again.

I have given it some thought, and the modern era really began with wide-spread adoption of the smartphone. And, really that’s the thing that allowed modern social media to take off. And this, of course, doesn’t even address the secondary effects of this slow moving technological Singularity that I suggest is taking place. I mean, self-driving semi-trucks haven’t hit the road yet, but we all know they’re coming.

Additionally, things like 3-D printing and nanotechnology will bring even more political change in the coming years. It isn’t too difficult for someone to wrap these technological changes up in an ideology and use them as a blunt force against the traditional post-war neo-liberal capitalist system.

The only thing that has saved us from that potentially destructive thing happening right now is Donald Trump and by extension Trumplandia doesn’t have an ideology.It’s just a rage against all change and it would make sense that the change it’s raging against is, in fact of a Singularity-like change.

So not only are people raging against the fast pace of social change caused by us approaching the Singularity, their rage, in a sense, is being channeled by the very technology that’s causing the trouble in the first place. Social media is not only causing great social change, it is also causing a Darwinian battle in the market place of ideas whereby only the strongest, most extreme ideas thrive.

Thus, the tribal politics that has infected American civil society could best be described as tech-tribal politics. In a way, one could say that while we’ve not reached the Singularity by any means, we have reached its Event Horizon. We’re now finally eternally locked in its gravitational field. Or put another way, we might, in a 100 years, look back and say the election of Donald Trump was the moment when the soon-to-come Singularity started to warp civil society in a demonstrative manner.

To go back to the issue of how this might be used in an ideological manner, it would make a lot of sense if today’s Trumplandia turned into something even more destructive, even more corrosive and even more dangerous to the world order. The barbaric populism and nationalism of Trumplandia might eventually evolve as we grow ever-closer to the Singularity into something more akin to technologically Maoism or Trotskyism. That these long-dead and horrible ideologies might pop back up is shocking to thin about, of course, but I doubt any of us have really given the political power of the Singularity a lot of thought.

We’re so busy daydreaming out how we’re going to upload our minds into computers and live forever, that we totally miss the idea that a demagogue like Donald Trump might lead a nation like the United States down a dark and scary path once the Even Horizon of the Singularity has been reached. You can tall about a Universal Basic Income all you like, but given the tribal politics of the United States, it’s highly unlikely to ever happen, even once automation and robotics take all the jobs.

That is, of course, when we all look at each other and ask, “Now what?”

Answer that question will be the biggest problem faced by modern liberal democracies in the years and decades to come. There just isn’t an easy answer and into that void someone like Trump — or hell, even Trump himself given how fast things are moving now — will come crashing in and lead us all into a dark, scary time not seen since the 1930s.

Interestingly enough, once this process is over, the very idea of the nation-state may fade and the world will be divided into ethno-spheres. But the process of cracking the existing order to do that might involve huge numbers of people dying.

Hopefully the process will be significantly less destructive than what brought about today’s existing order, but there are no assurances. Trumplandia has sped up our political hurdling towards the technological Singularity and we all have to be prepared for the shake up that is to come.

We live in extraordinary times and Trump isn’t going anywhere. By the time the system finally gets unglued, no sooner than two years from now, some truly momentous things may have happened. Weirdly enough, for a movement build on rejecting the fast pace of change during the Obama years, Trumplandia itself is now set to really shaking things up in a manner that may take decades for us to process.

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

Testimony or Trump Speech? That Is The Question

By Christian Howard

I like many other Americans are facing quite the predicament in my schedule on Thursday. For weeks I had been anticipating James Comey’s testimony, but it seems our dear president will be delivering a speech at the Faith and Freedom event. Isn’t that rather coincidental?

Comey will begin testifying at 10:30 A.M. and Trump’s speech should commence at 12:30 P.M. Now I’m going to put a rather bold prediction out that Comey will still be testifying against Trump in court long after Trump’s little speech. It can’t be too long that Trump rattles on before running out of words. Hey, maybe I’ll even be able to tune into both.

In all seriousness however, I’m anxious to hear what the former FBI director has to say. Scattered comments and stories have come out across the news from Comey, but now he will speak on a direct platform in a court of law. Did Trump really attempt to obstruct justice? Probably. But the real question is if Trump will face the consequences for his actions. This election and administration has drained my optimism and I doubt Trump will be charged despite any amount of evidence.

Besides what actually happens if Trump is charged, more evidence is uncovered, and an impeachment hearing proceeds? If Trump does face impeachment the national will gain a much more competent president and one that can effectively push their destructive agenda. Our president is currently making a mockery of democracy, defacing our ties with other countries, and has ultimately made us an international embarrassment, but without really achieving anything he set out too.

The wall isn’t constructed, the travel ban is locked up in legality, and ISIS is still running wild after his ingenious 30 day plan. Really the area he has been most effective in is simply just blocking and negating progress. As seen from his refusal to sign the Paris Accord, work with other leaders, and a possible NAFTA withdrawal. I guess I have to give Trump credit where it’s due and also declare him a Twitter master.

Speaking of Twitter, if you aren’t able to make Donnie’s speech because of the Comey hearing, he may have set up a nice, interactive activity for the viewers. Insiders from the White House have informed the press that Donald is planning to be live tweeting during the Comey testimony. I’m assuming this is just in case Comey attempts to spread any fake news and old Donald has to set him straight.

Trump’s lawyers are urging him not to take to Twitter, though he seems pretty adamant on doing just that. I for one hope Trump rightfully defends himself on social media and is able to expose the truth behind the investigation. Honestly though, I just can’t wait for the goldmine that is Trump’s Twitter tomorrow if he does follow through with this and seeing if Trump can actually get himself into trouble while actively trying to avoid it.

America has finally fully embraced its celebrity and reality television culture to the whole to the point where Donald Trump is my president. Well now I guess I sit back and watch and see what spicy drama stirs up after tomorrow. I urge all to watch Comey’s testimony and have a look for themselves at what our president is hiding.

Fanciful Constitutional Fixes To A Hacked Election

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

We have no idea right now, for sure, if the Russians successfully hacked the American election through the Internet. We just don’t know. And we probably never will. But, for the sake of argument, what would be the proper reaction to this revelation.

Well, first of all, you can talk about how there should be reforms until you’re blue in the face, but the Vichy Republicans, because both control the government and benefited from the hacking, it’s not like they have any reason to effectively fix the problem.

But let’s suppose something happened and they finally cracked, they finally were absolutely forced to do something, what could they — and we — do? Because we’re dealing with some really serious stuff — Constitutional stuff — fixing the problem would be doubly difficult.

Really, the fixes I can think of are Constitutional in nature.

The one big fix I could see maybe being done is passing a Constitutional amendment making the process of electing a president a Federal issue. This will never happen, of course, but it’s something to think about. But only by removing the electing of the president from 50 individual states can we make it less likely that someone could attack the weaknesses of the weakest one.

But, like I said, this will never happen. There just isn’t the political will for such a huge change to the way we elect presidents. If I had the power, though, I would also get rid of the Electoral College as well. It’s a horrible method of electing a president in modern times and it needs to go. But that, too, will never happen.

One thing people really need to chill out about is the notion of “nullifying” the 2016 election. To call such a proposal a delusional daydream is giving it too much credit. We just have to wait until 2018 to have an effective “do over.” That’s the way the system works and it’s just too bad that the Vichy Republicans are so callow and prostrate before King Trump that the system isn’t working right now.

The whole thing is enough to make one a little sad.

Trumplandia’s Motto: ‘Malevolence Tempered by Incompetence’

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have been searching for the origin of the concept that Trumplandia is “malevolence tempered by incompetence” and I think it came from Lawfare Blog. Regardless, it’s perfect. It sums up the world we live in today. If Donald Trump was, say, in any way qualified to be president, the damage he could inflict on all of us would be truly dystpian.

Yet, he’s so bad at his job that he can’t do any of the things he’s threatened to do. So, while he can still inflict some serious harm to democratic norms and the Republic in general, he is a really, really bad leader and may, in fact, be daft.

That incompetence is all that stands between us and all-out fascism is something to worry about a great deal. It’s something very troubling and it will be a minor miracle. I mean, imagine the history of Nazi German if Hitler simply was so incompetent that he couldn’t muster the government to actually inflict harm on anyone, much less Jews.

But that is the world we live in. It really is.

That was the part that we totally missed during the election when rhetoric was running high and people like me were really scared that the worst would happen. We simply had no idea how bad at governing Trump would be. He’s really bad, really, really bad. You have to look no farther than his incessant tweeting to see how bad he is. He tweets about things in ways that not only give us painful insight into his thinking in real-time, it also does a huge amount of damage to his drive to turn the American Republic in a “managed democracy” run via executive orders.

Regardless, only time will tell if any of this will change. Only time will tell if Trump will get his act together and begin to use the levers of power to enact the darker aspects of the Trumplandian vision.

Let’s Play Pretend: What If The Russians Really Did Hack The Election?

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am not one of those who thinks the Russians managed to actually hack into our election booths and throw the election, and, yet, it is kind of weird that Hillary Clinton lost Pennsylvania and Florida. Spooky weird.

So, let’s play pretend.

What could we do, after the fact, if we proved 100% that Russian hackers had managed to hack into our election systems and throw the election for Donald Trump. Then what?

Well, the short answer is: WE ARE COMPLETELY FUCKED.

There simply is no effective method to nullify a presidential election. It’s not like we can recall the Electoral College and tell them to vote for someone else. That ship, as they say, has sailed. It is not a bug, but a feature of our system that it’s so difficult to get rid of a president once he or she is in office. It’s that stability that has helped us weather any number of catastrophes over the centuries.

I mean, even if we got rid of Trump, we still have Pence who is not as bad as Trump in some ways because he’s at least sane, but worse in others because he has an ideology that he adheres to when it comes to his absolute world view. And there is zero possibility that the Vichy Republicans would impeach BOTH Trump and Pence, and even if they did, we have Paul Ryan to deal with, who is a gutless stooge to Trump if ever there was one.

So, really, there’s nothing we can do. The revelation that the Russians had successful hacked out election would probably cause a epic, if momentary, Constitutional Crisis, but the thing that people like me want — a center-Left president who does what Hillary Clinton would have done had she become president simply is completely, totally impossible. It simply is not going to happen.

We’re stuck with Republicans for a sold two year and they can do all sorts of damage to the traditional welfare state between now and 2019, which would be the earliest we could start to fix this problem and that only works on the assumption that a Blue Wave might flip the Congress Democratic.

And, really, the only scenario that comes anywhere near being a reality is in 2019 the Democratic Congress manages to impeach both Trump and Pence, blocks Pence from naming a successor and then we endup with President Nancy Palosi. That’s pretty much an impossible scenario for various reasons, in large part because the hysterical 30% of the population who hates Hillary Clinton would hate Nancy Palosi just as much. America has some serious fucking problems in its political system and they ain’t going no where anytime soon. Let that sink in, folks.

So, dry your tears. Pull yourself up. We’re fucked. Really, the only thing we can do is, as I keep suggesting, engage people who disagree with us. Try to overcome tribal politics as best we can and try to heal the bizarre wounds that risk tearing the nation asunder.

Millennials, Their Influence on Trumplandia, and America’s Future

By Christian Howard

Millennials are better known to some as the generation of entitlement and narcissism. Like it or not however, we are the future and the world needs us more than ever in the era of Trumplandia. Young people will be the ones most impacted by Trump’s shortsighted policy, but we also need to be the ones that turn the country in a different direction.

The 2016 election saw a voter turnout rate of 59.7% which is relatively low when compared to recent years. Many have turned to blaming the non-voters that refrained from voting due to political stubbornness. A lot of this blame in particular has been shifted upon the millennials. This though is not a fair assessment as the 18 to 29 year old age group was the only group to see gains in voter turnout, rising 1.1% since the 2012 election.

This small increase in turnout however did not end up fueling a Clinton victory. When all was said and done it came down to how we young people decided to vote. Republican voting in the millenials remained the same as the 2012 election at 37%, while the Democratic fell from 60% to 55%. Third party voting rose tremendously from 3% to 8%. You can see that Clinton with her campaign of maintaining the status quo was not able to attract young voters. Many of these disenfranchised voices turned to a third party entity as a protest against both candidates and in turn helped lead to Trump’s victory.

Though it seems the political protest of the millennials assisted Trump’s victory it also displayed how radically political ideology is changing in young people. Young people are ultimately angry at their uncertainty in society, injustice, and facing the brunt of a stagnating economy.

As a result of this they are moving very far left on the political spectrum. This could be seen through the overwhelming support for Sanders and the revolution he seemed to awaken in America, specifically its young citizens. Sanders losing the nomination resulted in many still not wanting to vote for Hillary and explains her loss of support and gain for the alternatives. Unity, increased participation, and more liberal candidates are a must for the Democrats if they wish to achieve the blue sweep as the millennials will play a huge role in their potential victory.

Millennials are seeking a fair economic climate and equal chances. Despite being the most educated of all generations they have not found the same opportunity of the past. The contract that was held between attaining a higher education and ending up with a job and comfortable at least middle class life has been broken.
Tuition rates have also reached all time highs in this period of unreliability of education and the value it holds in securing one’s future. Many members of older generations have already attained their job and home and now ignore the concerns of future Americans.

A sense of “I got mine, why can’t you get yours” has further driven the millennials’ want of change and systematic upheaval. Trump’s own support from young people can be explained by his campaign of “draining the swamp” and promising to alter the political scene in America. Resentment is brewing as costs rise for millennials, wages fall, opportunity vanishes, and self investment becomes meaningless.
This generation is also entirely against injustice. This should be seen as a redeeming quality of the generation, but also produced social justice warriors and overdone politically correct culture.

Labeling every action against your agenda as racist and xenophobic has taken away from the bigger picture. There is actual injustice in this world and nation, but instead many decide to enlist as keyboard warriors and wage online campaigns against minor post, comments, and details.

It is of grave importance that the millennials are able to organize themselves against larger injustice and not cry out against everything if they wish to produce any actual change.

Trumplandia is very obviously against the average millennial’s values and future. Though his victory can partially be attributed to the millennials, much backlash has occurred. A poll by the Harvard Kennedy School’s of Institute Politics revealed that after Trump’s first 100 days only 32% of millennials approved of his presidency. This come as no surprise as Donald’s approval rate has plummeted to 35% amongst all Americans while 43% of voters wish to begin the impeachment process. Millennials much like the rest of America do not stand with Trump and wish for his removal.

The dissatisfaction with Trump has become apparent with the number of protests against his presidency. The most notable of these protests involving young people being the Berkeley protests. These protests have devolved into riots and sparked senseless violence. Berkley has turned into a literal battleground and is not much help to either side’s case.

With young people realizing the necessity to unite and come together they must see that these riots are a setback. Simply attacking Trump supporters makes no difference and is a misuse of their political voice. These protests and rallies need to become much more organized and efficient if they hope to bring about any change and help reach out to the other side.

Hopefully Trumplandia will become nothing more than a small blemish on American history. The young will find their voice and be able to steer the country back on track, the old will understand the significance of ensuring a bright future for upcoming Americans, and the political system will see a massive overhaul. Us as young people need to continue to vote, resist, and do everything we can to reverse the effects of Trumplandia and better this nation.