An Op-Ed I Wrote

Shelton Bumgarner

I got mad about something similar — but with the opposite political views — I saw on Facebook and so this is what happened.

This is what prompted my anger.

And this is my response.

Trump Loses The Country (?)

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The conditions are there for our long Trump nightmare to end. Sorta. I say this knowing full well that the election is eons away in political terms and Trump is unlikely to go peacefully, if at all.

But lets do a quick run through of why it’s at least _possible_ Trump may find the obstacles to re-election insurmountable.

People Really Want To Vote
This, if nothing else, should concern Team Trump. The Trump strategy is to so rile up the base, make them so absolute in their devotion to him, that on election day they will simply have the sheer numbers in real terms to get him over the line. This is a risky strategy because while you’re so busy thinking about the base, you ignore how angry you’re making the majority of everyone else.

It Appears The Economy Is Slowing
This is probably the most significant threat. While his base would not care if he started a nuclear war, 60% of the electorate might. And for a lot of those people who generally don’t care about politics, if a recession hits between now and November 2020, they might begin to take notice.

The Mood Of The Country Is Shifting
This is the most nebulous of metrics. The only thing I can compare it to is the how different the early Carter Administration was to the later Carter Administration. A president sets the tone of his era. As such, by the third year in office, America is a reflection of him. As I understand it, this is not going well for Trump. The very things Trump harps on — immigration and free trade — people are beginning to disagree with him on. So, if anything, that’s a sign that his “base first” strategy is not working the way he may have thought.

Now, I still believe Trump is going to win re-election with absolute certainty. The reason I say this is: populists don’t lose. Add to this Trump will be a caged animal at any hint he might lose and I just don’t see him going down without a fight so angry, so politically damaging that he may leave a historically bad taste in everyone’s minds. Here’s why I just don’t see him losing, despite signs that he might.

The Entire System Protects A Presidential Incumbent.
While there used to be an ebb and flow to presidential history, that is not the case anymore. Since Bill Clinton, if you are elected, you stay in office for 8 years. So, while Trump is historically bad at his job, I just don’t see him losing. While Republicans will spooge their pants, I would suggest they temper that sentiment. Second terms are historically bad for presidents. Given what a bad president Trump is, there’s a real chance that having escaped impeachment his first term, he may not be so lucky in his second. Also, it takes time for leaders to bubble up in the opposition. So by the time Trump’s six years in, there’s a real chance he may finally have met his match. I think it should be Jon Stewart, but that’s just me.

Trump Cheats
I think this is the most dangerous aspect of all of this. Trump is such a fucking drama queen that he will do anything — anything — to stay in office. He is so selfish that he will be willing to bring the entire country down with him if need be. Some of the crazy things I could see him doing are start a war, any war. Go full Nazi. I could see him suspending the election itself should there be a major terrorist attack at any point within three months of it. And, really, the absolute worst of scenario is Trump goes after individual Electors themselves in an attempt to bully them into being faithless. Really, all he needs is just enough of them to be faithless to throw the election into the House.

The Russians & Plutocrats
This is the wildcard. I don’t see either the Russians or the plutocrats who love those sweet, sweet tax cuts allowing Trump to lose. Period. Both of these parties have way too much of a vested interest in Trump to let him be forced out of off. Now if it becomes pretty obvious that Trump lost the election and yet he mysteriously wins the election, we’re in uncharted territory. It would tear the country apart in a way not seen since the Civil War. And, since possession is 9/10th of the law, even if by the time the Electoral College is set to vote it’s been established that the Russians hacked the election — again — I just don’t see Republicans caring. Trump will stay president and after a few months of people being upset we’ll go back to being unhappy. We’ll be told that all the proof of Russian hacking is “fake news” and, besides, the economy is doing well. (Until it isn’t, of course.) There’s always a small chance that if it is absolutely proven that the election was hacked that Electors might go rogue. That, in itself, of course, would cause chaos. Which, of course, is what the Russians want in the first place.

So, Trump’s going to win re-election. All I can say is vote. Vote. Organize. Participate politically as best you can. I do think that if Trump wins re-election that he’s such a horrible person and president that he’s likely to be impeached exclusively for things he did while in office in his second term.

In 2024, of course, the issue will be Trump’s “legacy.” I really have no hope that we’ll ever get rid of Republican presidents for the next 20 years. It won’t be until the youngest of the Baby Boomers begin to die off that things will change. At about the same point the browning of America will kick in and things will begin to change. For the time being, however, we’re screwed.

It’s All Been Done

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I continue to think about the movie Network as I write this novel. It’s Network more than anything else that inspires me. I really like how that movie is so timeless and yet is a snapshot of America just after Watergate.

The novel I’m writing has the potential to be something of a Network for the Trump Era. That’s the absolutely best best case scenario. But I really have leaned into every possible zeitgeisty thing I can possibly think of while I develop this work.

But I do have pretty low expectations. I’ll be pleased if I simply finish something, anything that I can show people who think I suck. One interesting thing is I got as far as the second act a few weeks ago and the entire story fell apart on a tactical level. Strategically, it still works.

It really boils down to simply believing in myself. The thing is I really feel like I’m adrift in the middle of the Atlantic. I believe in my gut that if I just keep going I’ll reach the New World. But I have nothing my own ambition to guide me at this point.

I just feel like the Trump Era needs an easily accessible tale that explains to people who are as frustrated as I am. I still don’t have a canon for the work. And I still haven’t done character studies. Even when I do finally do those two things, I’m probably going to do it in longhand. What I need is a typewriter.

Anyway. I’ve finally managed to right myself after a few days of struggle. I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ve managed to come up with. Now, it’s just a matter of putting in the hard work.

‘Dystopia in the US’ — #Lyrics To A #Punk Song

Dystopia in the US
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
Please give credit if you produce or perform

I live in a dystopia
I’m told lies everyday
by the people in charge

I don’t wanna be
in
the dystopia in the US
the dystopia in the US
the dystopia in the US

we’re better than this
or at least I thought
that’s what I was taught
this shame is going to leave a mark

no going back I’m afraid
they’re going to come for you and me
once they get done crushing the immigrants
gunna make us all live in a cage
it’s all the rage!

I don’t wanna be
in
the dystopia in the US
the dystopia in the US
the dystopia in the US

(bridge)
how did things change so fast
leaving all our hope in the past
now it’s stand and fight
or just be another dog in a cage

I don’t wanna be
in
the dystopia in the US
the dystopia in the US
the dystopia in the US

Some Idle Rambling About The State Of The Novel I’m Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
Insta: WriterShelt

I’m doing a lot of little videos using Instagram about the novel I’m writing. But here are some general thoughts. I’m about 40,000 words in right now and I’ve hit a moment in the early part of the second act where the sheer size of this project has begun to kick in.

I’m giving myself between 165,000 to 185,000 word to tell this story because I’ve been told anything past 200,000 won’t get published. The interesting thing is I finally am at a point in the novel where I rant about the Trump Era.

The entire novel is meant to be an indictment of the Trump Era disguised as a spy thriller. I’m really enjoying writing this novel. It’s just managing dates, characters and themes is tough when you’re doing it all in your head. I think once I finally finish the first draft things should move a lot faster. I’ll have the first draft to use as a stepping stone.

I have come up with a lot of ad hoc ways to manage development and writing, but none of them has come into any formal role yet. Again, I’m hoping it’s just a matter of time. In a sense, the novel is kind of Network if it was written as an homage to the Millennium series by way of James Bond.

Sorta.

There’s also a lot of Being There in this novel because it’s meant to be a snapshot in time. A time capsule of the few first years of the Trump Administration. Or, if you want to get rather dystopian — of the first Trump Administration.

I just have a lot — a lot — of work to do. A huge amount. It doesn’t help that I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m probably doing everything wrong. But the point is to finish something, anything that I can edit.

I have to believe in myself. That’s the chief thing at this point. I have to keep going. I have a really great conceit. It’s just a matter of fleshing it out over the course of nearly 200,000 words.

Wish me luck.

V-Log: A Depressing Trumplandia Future

Some thoughts.

V-Log: My Personal Theory On The Trump – E. Jean Carroll Situation

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Some thoughts.

The End Of The American Constitutional Republic — An Electoral College Nightmare

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The fatal flaw in our existing system is there are physical human beings — 538 of them — who vote for president as the Electoral College. Given that Nancy Pelosi refuses to impeach Trump on moral grounds, if nothing else, what’s to stop Trump from using his dark money buddies to bribe enough electors to give him the presidency, even if he’s not on the ballot? In other words, what if the Electoral College votes for you to be president and you’re not eligible anymore?

Who’s to say you can’t be president, especially if you have FOX News and a dozens of insane assholes who don’t give a shit about anything but absolute power and “liberal tears?”

Once Trump — or whomever — was president at that point, they could as long as they were extreme Right nutjobs — sitback and control the Executive Branch for as long as they like. The military might be upset, but Turkey proves even that isn’t effective.

I think this scenario is the one that will happen, probably in 2020, or no later than 2024 when Trump simply refuses to leave office after the a bribed Electoral College votes for him en masse.

V-Log: Why The Electoral College Will Bring America Down In The End (Or At Least Bring About An ‘Elected’ Dictatorship)

Some thoughts.

Why We Must Impeach Trump Immediately

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is self-evident that we’re in a no-win situation. Either we do nothing about Trump and wait nearly 18 months for “the people decide” in an election that’s unlikely to be free and fair, or we go down fighting by impeaching Trump sooner rather than later.

One one had this is not a very easy thing to decide. The current conventional wisdom of the Democratic leadership in the U.S. House is to punt the issue of impeachment and let Speaker Pelosi rattle round in Trump’s head until Nov. 2020 rolls around. I find this an untenable position.

I say this because Trump and MAGA have one guiding principle and that’s the gamesmanship of white knuckled power politics. Democrats still think we’re in some sort of hazy feel-good situation from the mid-1980s. This is, sadly, not the case.

MAGA wants to remake the United States structurally to a “managed democracy” like what is found in Russia and will do whatever necessary to achieve that goal.

This brings us to our other option — impeaching Trump immediately. While I understand that Speaker Pelosi is playing 80 dimension chess against Trump who’s barely playing checkers, this is not what’s going on. An more apt comparison would be the scene in Raiders when the knife wielding guy comes after Indy and he just shoots him. Speaker Pelosi can use all the Jedi mind tricks she wishes, in the end, Trump is going to spin no matter what happens.

So why not just impeach Trump?

I would rather the history books — should we last that long — when they’re written say the United States put up a fight right before the cancer of MAGA finally enveloped it for the last time than that we did nothing when given the choice.

I think that’s the least we can do at this point.