Ronald McDonald will be the Hero of the Next American Civil War

 

Let there be no mistake. The recent gun attack by a crazed liberal against a GOP baseball game in Virginia is an absolute tragedy. There should be no Democrat who legitimately cares for this country and its citizens who is not sending prayers to Steven Scalise and his family during this difficult time. To anyone not able to take a moment to reflect on how toxic the political atmosphere has gotten where people think nothing of taking lives of those who differ in political belief, you are as complicit as Trump. When given the option, you willingly chose the low road. No one forced you to hold yourself to a lower standard.

If anything, a dignified and respectful response by Dem supporters would have been tactful and showed a sign to all that this kind of violent behavior is truly limited to fringe supporters. But upon reading tweets and comments of the lemmings, the overall tone is ‘well, they had it coming’. Really? The prospect of mass death?

Ok, I get it. These people support an unpopular president and are trying to pass ineffective health care out of spite for the past administration, among other things. But have they forced you out of your home, coerced your employer to fire you, contacted your bank to tank your credit rating and close off bank accounts and held your child hostage at gunpoint while demanding money they feel you owe them? Because if not, why in sweet hell are you wishing for their literal death?

The fact that the ‘civilized’ left can’t take a break for 24 hours to reflect on the Americans and their families who have been shaken from this violent act reveals something much more darker. And it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

Although everyone lives in day-to-day compartments of their lives thanks to the immediacy of social media, few people lift their heads up to look out to the horizon to see where things are headed. It doesn’t take an MIT graduate to conclude that things are not going to end well for Trump at some point. In fact, it’s very feasible to consider that not only Trump, but the GOP itself will be deeply wounded for years to come.

I’m not just talking about the 2018 midterm elections. But if we were, consider that sentiment in even deeply red states has turned against the GOP to where Republican strongholds have shifted to right-leaning or even toss-up. Look at Virginia. Look at how close special elections were in Kansas and Montana which should have been absolute blowouts by any standard in past elections. Almost every district in the country has shifted left by some margin. We’re not just talking about the Dems protecting their seats in 2018 and picking up a few toss-ups. We’re literally talking about any districts previously won by the GOP at margins of +15 or less moving to toss-up or left-leaning.

What this means would be the Dems taking back both chambers of Congress in 2018, all congressional committees being run by Dem chairmen to push the Trump investigations to the fullest of speed and even setting themselves up for a supermajority in 2020. And if it is true that Ryan and McConnell were complicit in supporting the flow of laundered Russian funding into GOP coffers, then we’re also talking about the top brass of the GOP being taken out. Lasting harm to the GOP brand. In fact, the GOP itself would either fracture into 2-3 parties or would have to completely rebrand itself and try to position itself to slightly right of center, in order to win independents back. This is all very real. In fact, rather likely.

But social media lemmings can’t see that far ahead and prefer to live in the fog of present-day. And this is why things are becoming further toxic. On both sides.

And that brewing toxic atmosphere is beginning to see the words ‘civil war’ being whispered out of the lips of pundits or the tweets of those unable to see the forest from the trees.

One thing that is worrisome is when considering Trump’s childish behavior. Look back at last fall when it was apparent that Trump was not only going to lose, but possibly badly. And Trump invoked the notion of violent protests in the event of a ‘fixed election’. Now look ahead and imagine the climactic end to his current administration. Even if it’s not impeachment. Even if it’s just him getting beaten handily by a Dem candidate in 2020. He will not go quietly. That writing was already on the wall in 2016. But it’s different now. Because he’s up to his neck in the prestige of the office. But if you factor in the prospect of him and his family being prosecuted? If he was invoking violent protests from the idea of losing the 2016 election, imagine what he will be invoking to his base if/when it appears that he may have to go to jail for the rest of his life. Don’t think for a second that he won’t be calling for his base to pick up arms.

And while the prospects of that are scary. Let’s keep in mind a few things. If you look beyond the big, angry words being uttered online by supporters, we still have the fact that 65 million people voted for Clinton and just one lunatic from all those voters went far enough to shoot at people. Ok, maybe rioters at some protests, as well. How many is that? 200? Ok, for sake of argument, let’s say 1 million Dem supporters have done something remotely violent when expressing their political sentiment. That’s still 1 out of 65 Dems. You can also make a similar case of those on the right who hung effigies of Obama. We’re talking fringe actors here. Even fringe of the fringe, if you really look at it statistically.

But have a little faith in the average diet of Americans in red states that contributes to their lethargy.

And, yes, it’s important to note that when Trump’s back is truly against the wall, he’ll call out to the base for support. And try to use their potential rage as political leverage to get the courts to rule in his favor. But we’re talking about people sitting on sofas with a smartphone in hand. With some angry thumbs typing away with a snarly look on their faces. And in red states where obesity levels are at the nation’s highest. And fast food restaurants per capita are also predominately red. It’s a lot to ask for to get people headstrong enough to get off the couch, hop in the truck and head off to a rally without pulling over upon catching a whiff of the KFC they are passing by. And then there’s the reality of: Do I want to risk losing my job over this? (munch, munch) Do I want to risk going to jail over this? (slurp, slurp) Do I want to risk not being able to play with my kids anymore? Or worse, not use my smartphone?????

People get cut off in Walmart checkout lines, blow a gasket and forget about it one hour later. The rage over Trump in the rearview mirror would last a week at best. And the strongest reaction will be from the fringe of the fringe of the fringe. And whose resolve gets tested when they pass by a buffet and join back into the herd lifestyle and they see all the other non-fringe lemmings gleefully chowing down on ribs and grits. That’s the resolve. An absolute avalanche of lethargic routine to contend with.

Don’t call that the base for civil war. That’s hardly enough to warrant a domestic dispute.

Mad King Trump: Mulling Ivanka Trump as Trumplandia ‘Regent’

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It has been floated in at least one major publication article the notion that maybe the Trump family could appoint a “regent” for Mad King Trump. It is not without at least a limited amount of precedent. Woodrow Wilson’s wife essentially served as regent after he had a stroke.

So, I guess the idea is without invoking the 25th Amendment, Vichy Republicans could, instead of impeaching and convicting Trump — which would never happen — might suggest that Eric, Don Jr. and Ivanka run the country on a day-to-day basis given that, well, the Vichy Republicans have no spine and would never otherwise do anything about Trump even though he’s nuts.

I don’t know how, exactly, this would play out. It would be extra-Constitutional, to say the least do such a thing formally, but maybe a year from now the Republicans in desperation, might announce that effectively a regency has been announced and Trump will get to play with this tinkertoys and tweet all he wants but without any real power behind it.

It would be pretty insane in some respects because it would acknowledge that we’re no longer a Republic, but we’ve finally lurched into something like a quasi-imperial system. Since about 2000 we’ve had this situation, but announcing a Regency, even informally, would pretty much be the end of the traditional American system of government.

And, yet, it would have its advantages. A Regency would be a ready fix to Trump. It’s something that would, at least for the amount of time it took to figure out how to finally get rid of Trump, placate both sides and maybe begin the healing process. Maybe.

The Constitutional purists would scream bloody murder, but if everyone else agreed to let this happen de facto, then maybe we might be able to put this tragic era of Trumplandia behind us sooner.

Coming Soon To A Talking Point Near You: The Pence Pivot

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Ok, maybe it won’t be all that soon, but it does seem inevitable that at the very moment people like me get to gloat that everything we’ve been saying about Trump from the beginning is true, the GOP will pivot to Vice President Mike Pence and say Donald Trump was worth it because Pence will now be president.

Whoa buddy.

Like I said, we got a ways to go before that happens. It could be years, in fact, before the Vichy Republicans finally, finally get a backbone and start to think about getting rid of Trump in any meaningful manner. That doesn’t begin to address any number of twists and turns that could happen between now and then. A wag the dog major regional war in Iran or North Korea. Or any number of other distractions that will draw out and prolong this tragic episode in American history.

But there will be people the moment it is obvious that Trump is doomed — probably whenever The Resistance happens to flip Congress enough to do the deed itself — who won’t blink an eye in going from defending Trump to singing the praises of Pence.

While there are some advantages to Pence like he’s sane and he actually has a traditional conservative ideology that he follows, there are some serious downsides that will probably lead to trouble down the road. He is so extreme in his conservative ideology that nothing good will come of it. The divisions that Trump has stoked and benefited from will still be there under a Pence administration. I mean, it’s not like all the people who have been alienated because of politics are suddenly going to hold hands around a campfire the moment Pence becomes president.

And, remember, should Pence become president, it will be after a long, drawn out and devastating scorched earth political war on the part of Trump and his ilk. I just don’t see Pence being up to the challenge of healing the wounds that Trump has caused.

Apparently, Pence’s favorite president is Andrew Johnson and it would be truly ironic if, by the time Trump finally is impeached and convicted that The Resistance is so riled up that they come after Pence for no other reason than, well, they’re pissed off. This would bring up the bizarre situation — should the Senate be so polarized that they can’t approve his replacement — that we might have effectively a legal, Constitutional Coup whereby the Congress gets rid of Pence for political reasons and Nancy Pelosi becomes president.

This is a huge longshot. It’s very, very unlikely to happen. As is, in real terms, the likelihood that Trump will be impeached and convicted in the first place. But it is, at least possible. Though I side on the possibly that the Vichy Republicans would be more likely to impeach and convict Trump between election day and the new Congress being sworn in late 2018 just so they would have the opportunity to seat the new veep.

Though there is the huge, huge longshot that maybe, just maybe, the Vichy Republicans in late 2018 out of sheer desperation might convince Trump to step down in exchange for Pence naming Ivanka Trump as Veep. That would be really bad, but if things got desperate there’s a small chance it might happen.

But the whole point is — there isn’t likely to be any healing over Trumplandia because there will never be a point when Trump supporters admit that this whole experiment was an abject, avoidable quirk. This has got to be the worst mistake by the American electorate since Prohibition and there will never be that moment in time when both The Resistance and Trumplandia agree that Trump was a tragic mistake.

What will happen, instead is, The Resistance will be celebrating the end of Trumplandia at the very moment Trumplandia will morph into Pence-istan. Or something. A new, just as divisive concept will rise from the ashes of Trumplandia as all the Bible-thumpers run around like a chicken with its head cut off praising Jesus that a New Age has arrived where all there home school children can finally be forced into gay conversion therapy should they come out.

So we will go through all this rigmarole politically, probably for years and we will never have that moment of bi-partisan clarity when we realize, together, as a nation, that Trump was a fluke, a horrible mistake that we now have to somehow fix the damage that was caused by it.

Instead, we’ll go to our individual corners, lick our wounds and go back at it. It will probably, at least on Twitter, take a few seconds for that to happen. Probably the duration of time between when the Senate finally convicts Trump and when Pence is sworn in.

Let that sink in.

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

Um, POTUS Is Under Active Personal Investigation For Obstruction….Now What?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Happy birthday, Mr. President, you’re under investigation for obstruction of justice!

I’m not really outrage over all of this, I’m more bemused by the odd silence on the part of right wing nutjobs who told me it would be end times if Hillary Clinton became president because she would inevitably be under personal investigation.

Well, guess what!

This is an example of how Trump and all his insane rhetoric is tearing civil society apart. It’s not like all the people who I’ve alienated because of my absolute desire to defeat Trump in 2016 are going to, like, start being my friend again.

The damage is done. There’s no going back, at least for the time being.

So, I can talk about engaging people all I want, but in real terms nothing is going to happen. Nothing of any substance is going to change. Even if Trump is impeached and convicted, the people who were conned by him won’t come back and try to break bread with me.

That ship sailed a long, long time ago.

We’re just going to have to deal with the consquences.

Blaming The Media For The Scalise Incident In Alexandria Is Bonkers

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Bonkers.

Just Bonkers.

Donald Trump specifically and the extreme Right in general has been rhetorically using violence-lace rhetoric for years now and they have the gaul to blame liberals and the media for what happened today in Alexandria to Rep. Scalise.

I don’t want to be outraged. I really don’t. I want to engage. I want to address the people who think like this, I want to engage them. But it’s difficult. It is so very difficult. They are so ardent, so completely bonkers in their surreal determination to have it both ways that it’s nearly impossible to have normal political discussion with them.

The people on the Right who believe the root of all evil comes from liberals and the media are so tightly wound, so quick to believe any insane conspiracy theory that it’s really is nearly impossible to have a rational discussion with them. They are the political equivalent of a cornered cat you’re trying to give a bath to.

It just isn’t going to work out for anyone involved.

The raises the question: is there anything we can do at all? Are we all just doomed?

That is a good and painfully timely question. If we can’t figure out to get passed all the bullshit and address the gaping divide between the two sides then Trump and Trumplandia will not only survive but prosper. We you love America, you’re going to have to face the cold hard fact that those insane Right wing people who won’t listen to you are eventually going to have to be dealt with in a constructive fashion beyond simply blocking them on Twitter.

The two sides can only hold up in their individual “safe spaces” for so long before everything falls apart and we either have an actual civil war or something dystopian and sinister happens, something far worse than what we have right now.

But it’s tough. I understand that. I know it’s tough for me. I don’t really want to do as I suggest. I just want to get mad and rage against every stupid thing the extreme Right says. I wish I could give you some ready answers, but I can’t.

The closest I can give you is some suggestions as to where all this came from. I think three factors, each of which feed on each other, are at work. One, Baby Boomers are turning into old codgers. Two, technology is allowing us to have “safe spaces” so our political skins are really thin. Third, Donald Trump has tapped into a dark, scary aspect of the American psyche that I don’t fully understand.

That’s a beginning. The solution to our problems will be found once we figure out how to address those issues. We can’t get rid of old codger Baby Boomers, but maybe we can do something with technology to address the problems Twitter has introduced.

And then there’s Trump.

His mercurial personality is so difficult to get a hold of, that I just don’t know what to say. He’s really difficult to understand for no other reason than he seems able to hold to contradictory political beliefs in his head quite easily without addressing the underlining hypocrisy and paradox.

Anyway. I guess only time will tell, folks. Just remember to try, at least to engage, not rage.

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

The Struggle Is Real (Redux): How To Address Trump In Art

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am struggling to write a novel that addresses, head on, this new era of Trumplandia that we live in. It’s kind of a scifi satire, of sorts, and I just when I think I’ve figured out how I’m going to write is, Trump does something so batshit insane that I realize it’s much more difficult than expect to do anything with all of this.

I guess the reason why I’m having trouble grappling with Trumplandia is it seems ever-changing, ever shifting in is exact nature. There’s no set ideology and so it’s difficult to figure out how to satirize it. it’s difficult to take it to its logical extreme when you don’t know what it is in the first place.

But this brings up the broader issue of how art can and should address Trump. As I have written several times before, it seems as though the art world is so busy raging against Trumplandia that it isn’t actually producing much art that helps us process it.

What’s worse, when art does do things to help us process this weird, tragic, bizarre era we are in — like, for instance Shakespeare In The Park — the Right loses its shit. The Right is so absolutely hell bent on establishing an autocracy in the United States, they are so humorless and mean spirited, that nothing less than absolute devotion to the Dear Leader, Donald J. Trump, in all aspects of society can be tolerated.

It’s all very sad.

It’s also kind of unnerving. Art is something that despots of all stripes want to control or destroy and the fact that Donald Trump now that he’s in power can’t handle it is disturbing to say the least. That quality is another aspect of all of this that makes it so difficult to get a grasp on.

As I understand it, before Trump went nuts later in life, he was something of a patron of the arts in the New York City area. Weird. Just too weird. Don’t understand what happened. Something happened to Trump over the last 20 years that is inexplicable. He turned from a self-aware celebrity to a ranting, conspiracy theory loving unhinged madman.

Really, I guess I’m trying to do my part with my novel. I’m trying to channel what artistic ability I may have into something productive art-wise. As I have mentioned before, the big dogs seem rather quiet about Trumplandia. Though I am heartened by the notion that there are here and there a few signs that Hollywood and Broadway are beginning to do the art that we need right now.

I still think Hollywood should do something with The Mule part of The Foundation Saga. That is really weirdly timely in this era of Trumplandia. And, as I have mentioned before elsewhere, there are any number of different other works of art that could be used to address Trump. It’s just a matter of someone doing it.

It will be interesting to see when the protest songs will begin to pop up. Though there have been a few “woke” pop songs produced since Trump came to office, none of the has gone full protest. I think it’s going to be one of those things that we may have to wait until Trump — God forbid — wins re-election and everyone is weary of Trumplandia before we’ll get any real protest art.

Anyway, like I said, I’m doing my part. It’s a struggle, but I’m at least trying. In some ways, it’s a lot of fun working on a novel that deals so directly with the zany nature of Trumplandia. We’ll see what happens, I guess.

‘Drain The Swamp’ — Lyrics To A Woke Country Pop Rock Song

These lyrics are meant to be a homage to Lynyrd Skynard’s Swamp Music and Charlie Daniels’ Uneasy Rider. That’s the goal, at least. I don’t really have a beat, but in my imagination it’d be something country rock in its stylings. Maybe a little funky too.

Drain The Swamp
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

ol Trump tells me
tells me all the time
that he’s going to drain the swamp
drain the swamp, drain the swamp

I look all around
all I see is swamp creatures
making their way down D.C. way
got me singing the blues

[chorus]
when are we going to drain the swamp
like I keep being told
when are we going to drain the swamp
am I being played for a fool
all I want is someone to
drain the swamp
drain the swamp
drain the swamp

the people know when they’re being lied to
we know what to do
we know what to do
come election time
we’re going to ride the blue wave
getting in there someone new

[chorus]
when are we going to drain the swamp
like I keep being told
when are we going to drain the swamp
am I being played for a fool
all I want is someone to
drain the swamp
drain the swamp
drain the swamp

[bridge]
people tell just wait and see
give ol Trump a chance
believe me I have
but that time has been had

the swamp is going to be drained
soon enough
soon enough
soon enough
but only once ol Trump is thrown
out on his butt

‘Eve’ — Lyrics To A Woke Pop-Rock Song

I feel inspired because, well, my little summer breeze of a celebrity crush of the moment is Eve Peyser of Vice Magazine. She’s beautiful and she inspires me, and I’m looking for different angles to me complaining about Trumplandia, so you get this. These lyrics are a homage to “Levon” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. I like how it tells a story and this is kind of me trying to tell the story of this tragic day when people seem to be getting shot left and right. This probably has a little bit too much of Levon built into its structure, but that could be fixed with someone serving as co-writer and the light touch of a good composer.

Eve
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

Eve stands in her new apartment’s little room
checking her computer now and then
to see if we’re still standing or not
things seem to be falling down all around

Eve lives in Brooklyn at the center of it all
her thoughts are jarred now and again by the news
we interrupt this breaking news for more breaking news

chorus
Eve is worried about our fate
Eve is worried that we’re on thin ice
Eve hopes we make it through this dark time
maybe wisdom will prevail

things are dire it’s true
but Eve has a plan to make things work out at last
she’s going to do her part
to keep things together
it may be just a walk in the park

now she takes a sip of wine
smiles again at her small little room
the one she fits in so perfectly
wondering at the fate
that brought it to her life

chorus
Eve is worried about our fate
Eve is worried that we’re on thin ice
Eve hopes we make it through this dark time
maybe wisdom will prevail

[bridge]
the future is never set
maybe we’d defeat hate just yet
she says with a sigh
things might just work out fine

the day isn’t over yet
so maybe it can end well
just yet
just yet
just yet

‘Brooklyn’ — Lyrics To A Woke Folk-Pop Ballad

I saw a picture of Eve Peyser of Vice Magazine in her new apartment on Twitter and she said she fits perfectly in a “strange small room” perfectly. Her obvious beauty and wit has inspired me yet again and given that I am _assuming_ that the apartment is in Brooklyn, I decided to write a poem-meant-to-be-sung about the picture. Given that I have Trumplandia on the brain, it’s “woke” as well. But this is meant to be a homage to Simon & Garfunkel’s “America.” Or that song “Budapest.” It’s supposed to tell a story about a place. That’s the goal, at least. This is, as always a first draft. Like “America,” there’s no traditional chorus. Your vocalist would have to figure out where the emphasis would be.

Brooklyn
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

she fits in a strange small room
in her new Brooklyn apartment
perfectly
her broad smile belies
the reign of the mad king
the one we all think about and wince
though for a moment she’s at peace

Brooklyn is the center of it all
her new apartment with its strange small room
the one she fits in so well
leaves us all to pause
to dwell on the meaning of it all

the streets of Brooklyn hum
with the busy people brooding on vice and sin
their voices can be heard to Montreal
maybe in French if they have the gaul

Eve with the raven hair
with her lovely countenance
makes Helen green with envy
it all happens in her new apartment
it all happens in her new apartment
it all happens in her new apartment
the one with the strange small room

Cold Civil War: Steve Scalise’s Attack & A Possible Future ‘Reichstag Fire’ Event

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is very tragic that apparently a “Burnie Brah” was responsible for the senseless attack today on Rep. Steve Scalise and others. It raises a serious, scary issue though. If the Right is so quick to politicize an event like this where fortunately no one was too terribly hurt, imagine the consquences of an actual dramatic, violent and political event in this age of Trumplandia.

In other words, are we careening towards the conditions being right for the Dear Leader, Donald Trump, using a a major “Reichstag Fire” like event to attack civil liberties in a consequential manner? That is kind of deep. There are any number of possible scenarios one could map out.

It seems as though the weakest part of our modern civil society right now is the Internet. It isn’t too much to imagine Trump might seek to significantly regulate the Internet in an additional manner. Maybe a national PIN code to use it? A national “kill switch?”

And that’s just the high tech things Trump might push through should there be a major terrorist attack or another unhinged Bernie Brah does something tragic. We are in unprecedented times and I fear that anything may be on the table now.

What’s more, it seems as though Trump is baiting with all his might something like that happening. It really seems like he wants a major terrorist attack to take place. He certainly is doing everything in his power to make sure it happens. Important security roles remain unstaffed. He uses the power of the presidential bully pulpit to stoke fear and division in the populace.

All of this may be coming to a head.

And remember, we’re not even in the 2018 mid-term election cycle yet. Given that flipping Congress may be the only way to fix this problem, the forces of fear, paranoia and division than make Trump strong will double, triple their efforts to disrupt civil society and free and fair elections.

There’s just nothing we can do right now, it seems. Just nothing. We’re headed towards a dark and dangerous future and really all we have is our personal ability to engage. We really need to stop raging and begin to engage. We need to exercise our rights of free speech and public assembly while we still have them.

We have a madman as president and things are only going to get worse.

It’s all very tragic and I wish I could give you some quick, simple answer to all of this. But I can’t. We’re just going to have to continue to demand that our civil rights aren’t trampled upon. Once the inevitable Reichstag Fire event does happen, the real work of The Resistance will begin.

That’s when we’re all going to find ourselves having to deal with personal decisions we never imagined we’d have to make. We can’t get the EU to help us out of this bind. It will depend upon The Resistance to work towards justice. I might recommend setting up some snail-mail Committees of Correspondence just in case the worse happens.

It’s one way to at least sow the seeds of justice during a dark time.