Why Is Donald Trump? The MAGA Grift Blackhole


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I can tell the United States is growing more and more politically unstable because the black hole that is the Trump MAGA grift is growing more and more powerful. It would be so easy to flip a switch, become a MAGA true believer and within four years be drinking cocktails with Stephen Miller.

It really would be that easy.

All you would have to do is sell your soul, lie and actively deny reality. That’s what the grift, once you start to suck its teat, can become all consuming. It’s like blow. You can get quick, easy access to power, fame and cold hard cash but at a cost: your self respect.

I say this because contrary to the populist liberal Twitter conventional wisdom, most MAGA people aren’t ignorant or stupid. They’re pretty fucking racist, misogynistic and greedy, but the vast majority of them are just normal people living their lives. Sure, there are some severe cult members, but there are also a lot of people who feel that MAGA is their only viable political option.

So, I find myself rolling these concepts in my head a lot, struggling to understand how intelligent, educated people are able to invest so much into a lazy ding-bat who is destructive and corrosive. Reading Ezra Klein’s book, “Why We’re Polarized” helped a lot…but I think the book I’m reading about the rise of Hitler probably will help even more once I finish it.

Trump is, and always has been, nothing more than an avatar for some pretty existential problems in the American political system. I really struggle to understand what, specifically, is warping American politics is in such a dark, tragic fashion.

In some respects, Trump is clone of Hitler. And, yet, not quite. Hitler was also an avatar, but he was also a lot more blood thirsty and willing to follow through on his bonkers idea than Trump. Trump thinks he can just rant about what autocratic thing he wants and it will magically be given to him. Hitler realized that there comes a point when you have to start actively hurting people if you’re going to achieve your agenda.

Which raises the question — will we learn even more about the rise of Hitler from who gets to be Der Fuhrer after Trump is physically unable to do it. There are so very many young, ambitious individuals who want to achieve what Trump could not because he’s just an idiot — the end of American liberal democracy and the founding of a Russian-style autocratic managed democracy.

Because that’s what American is careening towards on a macro level. In fact, as I keep saying, the issue could be that what otherwise is inevitable — the United States becoming an autocracy — might not happen because we have a civil war instead because MAGA bungles the transition.

And, yet, there are so many things I can’t game out. I just don’t know. On a macro level, America’s democracy is undead. We’re an autocracy without an autocrat. But I can’t predict the future, so…I guess it’s possible we kind of drift into the future until something happens to change our course?

Stay tuned.

Wargaming A Summer 2021 Secession Crisis


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing that non-insane, non-MAGA people have to understand is the very serious dynamic surrounding the Arizona audit by Cyber Ninjas. Too many people are comforting themselves by the Biden Administration’s interest in this bonkers audit or this or that other metric that they feel will mitigate the outcome one way or another. And, thankfully, it’s still possible that despite their best efforts, Cyber Ninjas will fail in their efforts to throw the state to Trump and we can all go back to dreading what may happen in 2024-2025.

America 2021

But the whole point of this audit is, at a minimum, to give MAGA a talking point to “own the libs” on Twitter and, if possible, to set up a dynamic similar to what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, only on a national scale. So, while all the talk by New York Magazine that the Republican establishment is all-in with supporting the coup next time, we probably need to take seriously the possibly of a major secession crisis this summer.

With that in mind, let’s so a little back-of-the-envelope wargaming. What are the nuts and bolts of an actual, honest-to-God secession crisis in summer 2021?

The first thing that would happen should Cyber Ninjas pull a Trump “victory” out of their butt is a lot of shock and ridicule with the Twitter liberal echo chamber. This will last maybe a few hours. Then, unfortunately, Trump will probably hold a press conference of some sort where he rants about how this one state “proves” that he “really won” in 2020. He will babble in vague — but ominous — terms about how this “nullifies” the results of the 2020 election and he’s going to weigh his options going forward.

Again, this will evoke a wave of ridicule among the populist liberals of Twitter who will do something akin to, “There he goes again.” But on the other side of the equation, things are going to get dark very quickly. As we saw with Trump’s slow-moving soft coup attempt in fall 2020, it’s very likely that a number of people will pop up who take Trump but seriously and literally on this subject.

People who should know better, will begin to talk seriously about how, exactly, you might “nullify” a presidential election. The Fox News talking heads will spend hours debating the how many MAGA can dance on the head of a pin of all of this for a few days. Either this crisis stays something of a Right Wing circle jerk, or it doesn’t.

What I mean is — either it gets some traction among Republicans with power and they start to do something about it, or it doesn’t. This is something I can’t predict. It really could go either way. But, let’s wargame the worse case scenario.

My best guess is Texas might be the first state to seriously begin to debate what would begin as a “nullification” process and endup being a secession process. Alan West already apparently is trying Texas to do this and Texas’ Republican Party is so insane, so hysterical that it’s easy to see any number of serious, elected Republican officials there go on FOX News (or OANN) to make the case that Cyber Ninjas has “proven” that Trump is still president and, as such, it behooves “real Americans” (MAGA) to do something about it in concrete terms.

It’s possible that Texas Republicans will be the first to actually hold some sort of “convention” to determine the state’s fate. Again, Twitter liberals will chuckle at how dumb this is while MAGA will wait with baited breath to see what happens. There is a pretty good chance, of course, that because Texas is slowly shifting purple long term that such a convention will grow into nothing more than a screaming match. Add to this that Texas is pretty ethnically diverse and, well, lulz.

So, while that’s happening, events will continue to move forward. The Biden Administration will begin to grow alarmed at these developments and make it clear that legally any attempt to “nullify” a presidential election at the state level is bullshit and even more so any secession efforts. At the same time, Trump is probably going to grow hysterical in his belief that he’s still president and he will say and do things that are completely fucking insane.

It’s possible that a number of lily white mountain and plains states controlled by MAGA will race past Texas because of the specifics of their demographics and it won’t be Texas that actually “leaves” the Union, but somewhere like Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa or South Dakota. If things have gotten this far, the MAGA Republicans in the South will spooge their pants and zoom towards following their MAGA sisters in “leaving” the Union…only to smash up against the issue of race.

As such, Southern states will be in something of a pickle. Politically, they will be chomping at the bit to leave the Union because of “the Lost Cause” but on a practical level those plans might be tempered by something akin to a brewing race war.

Let’s stay together.

Now, one thing I suspect might happen around this same time is Trump finally throws down the gauntlet to the Republican Party and does something of a Gotterdammerung on them — he absolutely forces the hand of the Republican Establishment — are you with nascent “Trumplandia” or are you with the United States.

There might even be some sort of meeting of minds somewhere whereby Trump rants about how important is for the “real” president to be in the White House. He will be completely, and totally in a delusional dreamland, and, yet, Republicans will suddenly have an existential choice before them. Do they throw their lot with Trumplandia, or do they stay in the US government? At last, all their “humoring” of Trump will turn around and bite them.

They will absolutely have to make a final decision one way or another as to how loyal they are to a deranged autocrat.

Remember, all of this will happen really fast and there will be a huge amount of confusion. Once the shock wears off that states for the first time since the 19th century have decided to leave the Union, then very smart, various serious people within the Biden Administration begin plot their response. If things get bad enough, the draft may be re-instated and the U.S. Military will have to dust off shit from the first Civil War.

What say you, Honest Abe?

I guess it’s possible that even the U.S. Military might fracture into MAGA and non-MAGA…but I doubt it? That’s something I can’t game out. If you really want to get dark, you could say that what they lack in economic prowess or population size, Trumplandia will make up for with seized WMD stockpiles. That will be fun. Ugh.

All of this would happen in a few days or weeks, so by July 4th there might be a huge amount of domestic bouncing around on a macro scale as Red people in Blue states and Blue people in Red states rush to safety. All eyes turn to California to see if they’re going to stay in the Union or not.

Looking over this wargame, it seems bonkers and a bit too over the top. The only reason why I even am thinking this way is I want others to take what’s happening in Arizona seriously.

MAGA is.

The Secession Crisis of 2021


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me get one thing out of the way: I hate violence and am in no way advocating civil war. (Never thought I’d write that.) But I’m aware that I’m beginning to drift towards pretty much saying, “Welp, it’s going to be autocracy or civil war, so…” But that’s very much an abstract, rhetorical stance. I would much rather we just punt this problem down the road an have neither autocracy nor civil war.

I’m just worried we won’t have that choice anymore.

To put things in historical perspective, this was 1861 not 2021 and you were a Northerner given the stark choice of political subservience to Slave Power for the foreseeable future or throwing your lot with breaking an egg to end the division in the country once and for all, you would at least have pause for thought about which option.

One last thing before I continue — even if Cyber Ninjas manage to pull a Trump victory out of their butts in Arizona, there’s every reason to believe that it will only result in a collective shrug. Trump will run around, screaming at the top of his lungs that he’s really POTUS…but it will remain nothing more than a talking point of MAGA cocksuckers who will add it to yet another way to “own the libs” when fighting with Twitter liberals. So, for what I’m about to sketch out to happen, Trump would have to lean into his cult of personality. And, to date, Trump has proven himself to be so fucking lazy that he didn’t even use basic autocratic techniques in 2020 to steal an easily stealable election.

Having said all that, let’s begin.

As I understand it, the clusterfuck shame recount of Arizona votes by Cyber Ninjas is going to wrap up in mind-May sometime. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say the “prove” that Trump “won” the state. What happens? Well, it’s difficult to know for sure. There are plenty of concrete things Trump COULD DO, but he’s soooooo fucking lazy and stupid that his natural inclination will be just to run around the country screaming at the top of his lungs that he’s really POTUS.

It could go either way.

It’s very easy to imagine that there will be rumblings of “nullifying” the Biden Administration on a state level in states like Oklahoma, Montana, Iowa, Arizona, Utah, North and South Dakota and Kansas. But it could be just rumbling. The idea of secession may just remain mental masturbation for far Right Wing talk radio and that’s it. In real terms, talk of “nullification” or “secession” will be just that — talk.

And, really, the only way I could see Trump even becoming all that much of an issue is there is a dynamic similar to January 6th that takes place, only on a national scale: Trump’s wink wink nudge nudge behavior about him really being POTUS is taken seriously and literally by the state legislatures of the states I mentioned and they first say they’re not going to recognize Biden as POTUS then before you know it, they’re calling state conventions to leave the Union unilaterally. If it happened, it would likely happen so fast that any secession crisis would be in full swing by July 4th.

Those are the easy states because they’re pretty much just white people and their populations are small enough that if they collective decided to YOLO it that they could get a lot farther than you might think.

The problem for all involved, of course, is once the Secession Crisis really gained momentum, Trump could then do what he always does and just be an avatar. He would get so fucking excited that he might be POTUS again that he would say and do things with total disregard for the consequences.

It would be when bigger states like Michigan, Indiana and Ohio started to want to leave the Union that big, big problems begin. And, of course, there would be the problem of Portland being potentially attacked by the rest of Oregon. Once we got this far, then you have the issue of the South.

There’s just no way to imagine a situation where African Americans in the South would just lulz any attempt at secession on the part of the old CSA. This whole thing would be a setup for a race war of historic proportions.

At this point, some cold hard facts would begin to sink in Trumplandia. One, the economies of their most secure states are very small as are their populations. Their big states would be extremely unstable because of African Americans probably being in open revolt. And, really, if there was a Second Civil War, there would be no assurances that things would ever be put back together again.

The United States could be balkanized into rump USA and Trumplandia and that would be that. A lot would depend on if California decided to stay and fight or if it took the broader secession crisis to leave as well. I have no idea what would happen.

Anyway, that’s what I got right now. I generally believe this dystopian nightmare, if is to happen, will happen in the 2024-2025 timeframe because of MAGA Congress nullifying Biden’s re-election. But, who knows, maybe Trump will get his wish to destroying the United States sooner than I expected.

Hopefully, it’s all going to be a big dud.

How American Democracy Dies


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Right now, it’s been established that the only way a Democrat President can successfully name someone to SCOTUS is if Democrats control the Senate. What Republicans want next is establish that the only way a Democrat ever becomes president in the first place is if Democrats control Congress.

In 2024-2025, there is a serious chance that Republicans will make an all out push to make end American democracy once and for all by nullifying a Biden re-election via their control of Congress. And that, my friend, is going to be the moment of truth.

That is when the stark choice I’ve constantly been talking about will occur: autocracy or civil war.

Center-left people in the United States, because of Bush V. Gore, have been conditioned to shut up and accept defeat via a quirk in the system that is upheld by the courts. It is very, very easy to imagine a situation where there will be something of a closed loop when it comes to POTUS.

Because of voter suppression and gerrymandering, Congress will always be controlled by Republicans. In turn, it will become conventional wisdom that we just have to accept that Republicans will nullify any Democrat win and, lulz, sucks to be you. Then we just drift into a very autocratic future where MAGA gets to enact its vision of an America that is identical to Putin’s Russia.

There will be a lot of demonstrations and lots of chatter about how “weak” this or that Republican Administration is, but in the end 30 years from now we will have had a succession of MAGA Republicans who are more and more successful at maintaining power. Throw in a MAGA push to get a Constitutional Convention and there will become a point where we have an identical situation to modern Russia — a huge swath of the population will grow up to know no one but a President Pompeo or President Hawley.

And then gradually it just becomes accepted that ICE is our FSB and if you oppose MAGA you get pushed out a window or thrown into a weaponized ICE Camp. Cruelty will be the point for generations to come.

But.

And this is where we learn how “exceptional” America really is. Is the macro lunge towards autocracy simply the normal progression of our democracy or are things going to be more like the 1860s when we have a massive crisis and then pretty shocking renewal of our American Covenant? Trumplandia will be at its weakest during its birthing process.

It’s at least possible that MAGA Republicans will bungle the transition from democracy to autocracy and there will be a civil war. And, as such, given the strength of Blue States when it comes to their populations, political unity and economies, that instead of Trumplandia, we will have a very blood, very turbulent few years and come out the other side with our democracy redefined and stronger than ever.

The only reason why I frame things this way is to make it clear: there will be no middle ground. Everyone will have to, on an existential level, make a decision and pick a side. No matter if we become an autocratic managed democracy like Russia or if we have a civil war. The time for punting problems down the road has come to an end. We are no longer in normal times.

America is tearing itself apart and MAGA demands are going more radical. And, in a very weird way, one could say that their greatest strength going into whatever clusterfuck we stumble into is also their greatest weakness: Donald Trump.

Trump is — and always has been — nothing more than an avatar. And, as such, it’s easy to imagine he being the specific reason why what could otherwise be a peaceful transition into an autocracy might be bungled pretty severely by MAGA and they blow their opportunity to be a permeant ruling minority.

I have no easy answers for you. I can’t give you a Vox corporate liberal explanation as to what to do to keep your family safe when all this happens. Good luck. You’ll need it.

Trump Is Politically Above The Law Now Because of Barr’s Lies


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Things are dark, guys. And going to get a lot darker.

There’s a lot of talk about how we’re learning more about how exactly Bill Barr saved Trump’s sorry ass when he “mislead” Congress over Trump’s obstruction of justice in regards to the TrumpRussia scandal.

But it’s too late on a political level. Not only do the two sides now have an established orthodoxy about what happened, even if you were able to pin down your typical MAGA person that Trump did, in fact, obstruct justice they would simply wave their hands and say it’s “moot now,” “it’s time to move on” or mumbled something about “orange man bad.”

The crux of the issue is the Mueller Report was the last gasp of the Watergate era narrative of how a major presidential scandal was supposed to play out. It was our one shot to destroy Trump politically and we totally blew it. Trump is now completely above the law on a political basis.

How Trump’s crimes are framed has changed. Now that’s been proven that Trump’s cult of personality is so absolute that he can incite an armed insurrection and STILL not have any accountability, then, well, lulz.

The thing is, we have to stop talking about how the Republican Party is in its “death throws.” The exact opposite is true — it’s growing stronger and more hateful by the moment. The United States is far more unstable than any of us could possibly imagine.

It’s easy to sketch out a scenario — or several — whereby there’s something akin to a civil war in the United States before the end of 2021. And the center of it will be Donald J. Fucking Trump. He’s such a dingdong that he could very well simply, without thinking about it, run around saying he is the “real” president should Cyber Ninjas “prove” that he “won” Arizona.

A number of MAGA dominated states could take him both literally and seriously and call conventions to leave the Union. Then he will squirm and try to — like he always does — to have it both ways. He will on one hand say he doesn’t support such efforts but on the other hand say that obviously they have a right to do such a thing since OBVIOUSLY he won the election.

The end result of this clusterfuck is we have a civil war now, and not in the 2024-2025 timeframe.

‘Triage’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

America is careening towards a very dark and tragic future. I can’t predict the future, but the there are some titanic forces at work in the United States that are tearing it apart on an existential level.

I struggle to imagine any situation where the United State avoids significant political violence up to and including an actual Second American Civil War. The key issue is what, exactly, pushes us past the breaking point.

There are a wide array of scenarios that one can think up at this point. Everything from the importune death of major political figure to the bogus Cyber Ninja recount in Arizona magically “proving” that Trump won the state might be enough to cause the most powerful country in the world to buckle in a rather spectacular fashion.

But none of them have happened yet. It could be that we’ll just do what we always do, which is punt the problem down the road again a few more years. Yet, even if we do manage to punt this crisis down the road, we will likely reach a dead end in the 2024-2025 timeframe.

My current fear is the same dynamic that we saw with the January 6 Capitol Insurrection will happen again on a much larger scale should, say, Cyber Ninjas pull a Trump “win” out of its butt in Arizona: Trump will be so busy crowing about how he “really won” that he won’t notice that his followers have lost their fucking minds and called conventions in a number of states to leave the Union.

By the time he gets around to saying, “sorry, not sorry” it will be too late. There will be a civil war and he’ll be at the center of it woefully unprepared for any sort of actual “war time” leadership. Then were will probably be a coup by any one of a dozen would-be MAGA Republican autocrats.

Good times!

So, the point is, we have to start thinking seriously about what we’re going to do should the collapse come. I wish I was smarter. Then I could layout some sort of practical approach the America’s impeding doom. I got nothing.

Maybe someone smarter than me can figure that out.

How Arizona’s Sham Recount Vote Could Start A Second American Civil War In 2021


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I only keep writing about my personal fears about a Second American Civil War because, lulz, almost all this otherwise obscure site’s traffic comes from people interested in my dystopian hellscape scenarios.

Anyway.

I do not think there’s going to be a Second American Civil War in 2021. If there is a Second American Civil War it will happen in the 2024-2025 timeframe and be one end of a continuum with MAGA autocratic rule on the other end. But let’s just sketch out how the bullshit Arizona recount taking place now could spark a Second American Civil War this year if things went really, really, bad.

So, the first step would be Cyber Ninjas to (surprise!) “prove” that Trump “really won” the state. There are actually two ways such a bogus result could buckle the United States. One, would be that would be cause Trump to run around saying he OBVIOUSLY is the “real” president. Then because of his absolute personality cult level of control over state Republicans, there is a cascading series of events that lead to a number of small population, lily white states in the Mountain region to announce that “Trump is the president” and that they will no longer recognize Biden.

The other way this could happen would be exactly the same, only a few other states would employ Cyber Ninjas to do to recounts. The same thing as the first scenario happens, only a little later.

But let’s get back to the clusterufuck.

This is where things get really, really interesting.

The middle ground of Red states saying they don’t recognize Biden as president would be untenable. There would come a point where they would either have to officially leave the Union or State governments would have to call up some sort of fighting force to stop the Biden Administration from enforcing globalist cuck cancel culture.

Now, at this point a whole lot of things would happen at the same time. The final put-up-or-shut-up call of fidelity to the Dear Leader would happen. Trump wouldn’t be much of a president if he didn’t have a government to run. And the States that had “left” the Union, would also need some sort of government to organize their efforts. As such, the MAGA legislatures of the Red States would begin to recall their representatives. That’s where a lot of people who think they’re entitled to be president would have make an existential decision.

Throw their lot with the “Rebels” or stay with the Union in an effort to hedge their bets that the Red Rebellion would fail and they would be safe to run for president post-rebellion?

What’s more, what about Mike Pence? He was on the 2020 Republican ticket, too. If he balked at joining Trump in his shadow government, then Trump would have to pick a new veep. And what about SCOTUS? Or the Federal government in general?

But, wait, there’s more.

For some people in Congress from Red States, things would be very murky. In Southern Red States in particular, what happens when the MAGA legislature of, say, South Carolina gets really excited and throws its lot with the Red Rebels…but because politics has collapsed all this does is throw the state into something of a race war. So, it’s departure from the Union is so undecided and yet the two sides are so absolute in their opposition to each other, its representatives to Congress would be pulled in two directions at the same time.

Stay in Congress and attempt to do a “I haven’t seen the tweets” type of stance, or leave Congress in hopes that the Rebels will win and they will have far more political power long-term. But, this, too, would be untenable. MAGA representatives in Congress from across the South would have to make an existential decision.

One that if they picked wrong, would destroy their political careers.

But let me be clear — I just don’t see any of this happening this year. Maybe in the 2024-2025 timeframe because of the passions of the 2024 presidential cycle…but not this year.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m not. We’ll know soon enough.

Marie Yovanovitch & Trump’s ‘Big Boy Crime’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I keep writing about this because it’s dark and it bothers me. It bothers me that we’re not paying attention to the implications of the recent FBI raid of Rudy Giuliani’s place.

When the news first came out that Trump and Rudy were mixed up with Ukrainian goons to put American ambassador Marie Yovanovitch “through some things” I sat up and took notice.

Even at the time, it was obvious to me that something very dark was afoot between Trump, Rudy and the goons. But we were so busy thinking about impeachment and lulzing Trump destroying the country that for most people what exactly may have happened didn’t register.

But, in short, if you follow the implications of what we know, I think something like this happened: Trump was desperate for a statement from the Ukrainian government that would implicate Hunter Biden (and by extension, Joe Biden) in corruption. As such, the people who might give that announcement to Trump set up a quid pro quo — you get rid of Yovanovitch and you get what you want.

Now, here’s where it gets murky.

Trump was president, so in theory he could just have fired her and that would be that. But there is a lot of evidence that Trump was ranting about how she was going to “go through some things” and I think he was even more hysterical than that, putting an even finer point on how her physical safety was at risk. (I apologize for being too lazy at the moment to look up the exact quotes. But given how much this bothers me, I probably will be a tiny bit more professional in subsequent posts.)

Anyway, it definitely seems possible that Trump was so desperate to get his fake announcement that he was prepared to “terminate” Yovanovitch on a physical level using Ukrainian goons who were already stalking her in Kiev. They were getting so bad that the embassy freaked out and told her to get the hell out of town in the middle of the night.

So, what if what the corrupt Ukrainians wanted for their announcement was not just Yovanovitch’s firing but her death? What if THAT was the quid pro quo? And it’s not much of a stretch to imagine a situation where Trump was ranting about how she needed to be “taken out” without even realizing that the idiot Ukrainian goons, if they heard about such comments through Rudy, would take Trump both literally AND seriously and do just that.

If the FBI could find proof of such communication and direction between Trump and the goons via Rudy then…oh boy. That would be a quantum leap over and above even Trump’s direct involvement with the January 6th Capitol Insurrection.

But that’s a pretty big ask. I am painfully aware of how easy it is to speculate on anything to do with Trump then be shown for a fool in more ways than one. Yet, if the FBI had evidence that Trump — even in an idiotic manner — was wrapped up in a murder for hire scheme as part of a quid pro quo that would, at last, be Trump’s Big Boy Crime.

The Metrics That Indicate A Second American Civil War Is Closer Than You Think


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

  1. 70% of the Republican electorate think Trump won
    This metric is not one that indicates a healthy liberal democracy. It’s one of those things where you can’t quite figure out the origin of such a Big Lie. The interaction between the base and the Establishment is such that both sides are to blame. But the end result is the same: a huge number of Republicans think Trump should really be president right now. This is the dark goo that would be the could very well spawn significant political violence in the very near future for almost any reason. You just need to put extra pressure on an already failing system.
  2. MAGA’s glorification of political violence
    It definitely seems as though MAGA Republicans have made the cognitive leap to running around murdering people for political reasons, given the opportunity. As such, if you combine this metric with the first one, then you have a very unstable situation indeed.
  3. The Sham Arizona Recount Effort
    It is easy to imagine a situation where this is the catalyst to a very volatile situation. If Arizona Republicans manage to “prove” that Trump “really won” the state, then that cause produce a cascading series of events whereby states like Michigan and Pennsylvania feel compelled to the same thing. Next thing you know, Trump is running around saying he’s the “real” president and because of a combination of rank stupidity and probably being a Russian agent, he stumbled, in a half-assed manner, into causing a second American Civil War.

    Ok, there’s a huge “but” to all of this.

    In this case, the “but” is while there are three major metrics that definitely indicate America is on the cusp of a civil war in 2021, there are also a number of things missing that indicate that if it does happen, it will be more like the 2024-2025 timeframe.

    One major missing metric is someone like Trump, but smart, organized and hardworking. Trump is nothing more than an avatar. He doesn’t have to do anything but be himself and racist, mysogynistic assholes love him. But that, in itself, is not enough to cause a civil war.

    A Second American Civil War would need pressure to be placed on our system by someone who had some vision and organization to at least attempt a straight autocratic play. While I could definitely see Trump riding the wave towards a civil war, it’s difficult for me to believe that he has the mental facilities necessary to actually start one himself.

    But in 2024-2025, we will have the passions of a presidential election to strain the system and MAGA cocksuckers chomping at the bit to not only “own the libs” by knocking their heads, but being willing to simply nullify any POTUS result they don’t like.

    THAT kind of stuff is what would push the United States into a civil war, if we don’t simply turn into a MAGA autocracy.

    Let me say again, however, that I can’t predict the future. We may somehow, magically, muddle through this clusterfuck long enough for Republicans to recalibrate for white people being in the minority. There’s no way that’s ever going to happen, but I guess we can pin the entire fate of the country on such a pipe dream if it helps us sleep at night.

America’s Undead Liberal Democracy


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

On a personal level, I’ve found that American political system now lacks the grease necessary for a functioning liberal democracy. I simply can’t talk politics with my conservative relatives because we live in different factual universes. We can’t agree on facts. And our strongest beliefs are at such absolute cross purposes that we can’t have any political conversation at all.

This is not good.

If people who disagree politically — especially people who are related — can’t engage in any political discourse then your liberal democracy has a pretty big existential crisis on its hands.

Because what happens is either one side begins to feel disenfranchised and comes to see the attraction of political violence or they tune out and you have an autocracy. That’s why we face such a stark choice in 2024: civil war or autocracy.

There are no easy answers. I have no idea what’s going to happen one way or another. But I do know that, if you just look at macro trends and do some back-of-the-envelope extrapolations we are so fucked. We’re in for some historic political instability in the next few years, culminating — one way or another — in the 2024-2025 timeframe with autocracy or civil war.

Again, I don’t have any easy answers for you. I have no idea what you should do. But it is definitely something to keep in the back of your mind going forward.