How Will This Cold Civil War End? Some Scenarios

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is pretty obvious that, as someone on Twitter recently said, we’re in a “Cold Civil War.” So, without further ado, here are some back-of-the-envelope suggestions as to how this clusterfuck will work itself out.

1. Dystopia: The Bad Guys Win
In this scenario, there is no impeachment, no nothing. All the lying works and the United States settles into a Russia like “managed democracy.” The Resistance kind of peters out simply from outrage burnout if nothing else. The States will become not-so-quasi-autocracy and will be so for the foreseeable future. This will all come about when we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was collusion between Trump’s Campaign and the Russians and the Vichy Republicans just shrug and because of gerrymandering and dark money nothing changes. Nothing changes at all.

2. Things snap back into place
Now, when I say this, I mean it in the context of general trends that have been ebbing and flowing in American history for decades. So, while it’s possible that things will “snap back into place,” it’s not like our gradual march towards a quasi-autocracy in all but name isn’t going to continue. That’s just a problem with late-era empires like ours. But, if we’re lucky, Trump might be a one term president and the next president will pick up the pieces and we’ll just look back at this four year period as a very strange aberration in our history.

3. Progressive Revolution
One intriguing possibility in all of this is the possibility that The Resistance will decisively defeat Trumplandia and the pendulum will swing to the center-Left in a big way. So big, in fact, that a lot progressive goals will be achieved during the heady days after the defeat. Constitutional amendments will be passed, reforms will be enacted. It will be looked back upon as a Second Reconstruction.

4. Hot Civil War
It is very possible that the only way that there will be a end to the Cold Civil War between Trumplandia and The Resistance will an actual, hot Civil War where people die and get hurt. I have my doubts about this possibility, but it’s very real. I don’t know how it would work out. It’s a struggle to imagine how an actual Civil War would play out in modern America.

5. Stalemate / Trumplandia burnout
It could be that this will be a chronic problem for the next eight years. That the lying will work, but only so much. The problems with the system will be just enough to get Trump re-elected, but not enough to allow him to do serious, long-term damage to the Republic. He’ll leave office, a Democrat will come in and everything will gradually just continue as it has been, only with the continuing sector of Trumplandia in the background.

My bet is on a less powerful version of the progressive Second Reconstruction. It would all be on political terms, so it wouldn’t be as effective as the Reconstruction after the Civil War, but I have hope that the base, The Resistance will grow so angry over the next few years that the Blue Wave we all hope will happen, will happen. That’s my hope at least. Maybe.

Cold Civil War:The Demise Of Blogging, & The Rise Of Trump In The Twitter Era

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

That a racist, bigoted, misogynist demagogue such as Donald Trump would become president in the wake of traditional blogging’s demise is an interesting and telling occurence. It raises some powerful questions for no other reason than we’re now in something of a Cold Civil War as America’s civil society struggles to understand what the fuck is going on.

For instance, when the president tweets, what is it? Is it “just social media” or is it an official statement from the President of the United States that should be treated as such. I lean hard on the latter. If the president writes it and it’s meant to be seen in public, then it’s an official statement.

But what’s interesting is Trump and his vile ideology prospers in a very narrow subset of social media. Twitter is kind of an interactive discussion between people’s bumper stickers. What’s even more interesting is you can, if you wish, block someone’s messages to you on Twitter.

The result of this is powerful. We come to expect that if we don’t like what someone is communicating to us, that we can eliminate that communication for good. That leads to a warping of the traditional communication cycle because people suddenly feel entitled to “safe spaces” because they’re afraid they’re going to get “triggered.” If they didn’t have the option of eliminating communication they didn’t like, maybe they would develop tougher skin and we wouldn’t be in half of the trouble we’re in currently.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s face pace and pithy style of communication has led to a Darwinian struggle of ideas. Instead of a marketplace of ideas, we have a jungle. Now only the strongest, more virulent strains of memes manage to grow in the Twitter jungle. There is a reason why we say a meme has gone “viral.”

So what does all of this mean in the context of Trump’s rise and the demise of blogging. Well, I am suggesting that if we still were talking about the once-powerful “blogsophere” that Donald Trump would not be president right now. Way back only a few years ago, before the rise of Twitter, you had the option of long, well thought out blogs that forced not only the reader but the writer to engage in something more than a bumper sticker’s wroth of communication. Instead of 140 characters, you had to wade through 500 or more words to fully process what was going on.

Is there any solution to all of this? Well, in my opinion, yes. I feel as though if Silicon Valley stopped being so obsessed with AR and VR long enough to revisit the issue of social media, maybe we might be able to dig ourselves out of this Cold Civil War. Silicon Valley made this problem, I feel it’s at least partially their responsibility to solve it.

I have gone into great depth on my Instagram account about how I, personally, would fix this problem but because I have no money, can’t code and don’t won’t to learn, I’m really just shouting out into the void. But let me briefly recap my concept. It’s very timely now, to say the least.

It seems to me that if you gave Verified Account holders a sense of stakeholdership in platform, then maybe they would generate better content and it would be less likely that celebrity trolls like Donald Trump would rise to prominence. So, I would give them the ability to create “Groups” in a service. The “Groups” would be given names devoted to any subject that a Verified account holder might feel their followers might find interesting. These “Groups” would be sub-divided into “Discussions.” These “Discussions” would be thread discussions made up of full pages posts about the topic of the “Group.” So, in a sense, you would kind of update the Usenet concept of 20 years ago. There are any number of concepts from that era that we’ve lost weirdly enough over the last few decades.

All of this would be even cooler if you had a newspaper chain like, say, Tronc, fund such a startup in the first place in an effort to self-disrupt the newspaper business. It’s a really intriguing concept to say the least.

The point of all of this would be that not only would it encourage better content, but given that the medium is the message, maybe if you had a full webpage to discuss a subject in the context of a threaded discussion, maybe it would be less likely that stupid, hateful, and loaded concepts like “Make America Great Again” would go viral and infect the body politic.

But, of course, none of this would happen in a vacuum. You’d have to design such a service from the ground up as something of a “Twitter Killer.” And it’s possible that Twitter isn’t going anywhere and all of this is pointless. Yet it is, at least, interesting to talk about.

I guess what I hope is if we somehow killed Twitter, provided a better, similar product that forced us to write in more than 140 characters, then then next adept politician who was adept at using social media might be a little less crazy. Of course, maybe I’m missing the bigger picture. It could be that we’re just going to have to wait until VR and AR get to the proper penetration in society before we have another shot at fixing the problems caused by existing social media. Or maybe social media video like Facebook Live or Periscope might be what we’re all talking about in four years during the next election cycle.

If we can’t kill Twitter, then it seems as though Twitter as a company has a responsibility to better handle its abuse by Russian-paid trolls and bots in four years. The Russians learned a valuable lesson in 2016, and they’re only going to come back worse and more determined in four years.

I just hope there’s something left in four years. There are no assurances that the Good Guys will win the Cold Civil War and it may still be raging yet in four or six or eight years.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com. He is always looking for people to write for him, though he can’t, at this point, pay.

Dig In For The Long Haul, Folks, This Cold Civil War Isn’t Going Anywhere

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

We really have to stop the constant outrage when it comes to Trumplandia. If you’re a member of The Resistance, you need to take a huge, deep breath and realize this is going to be a long haul. This isn’t going to be finished anytime soon. This is a epic power struggle that will be so heated that at times it will seem like it will careen into outright violence, much like the global Cold War did from time to time.

So, as I keep saying, don’t rage, engage. Use what Constitutional rights you have to make a difference on an local and individual level. The great irony of all of this is the only political solution may, in fact, be four years from now. That’s right, we may gnash our teeth, yell at the top of our lungs, and the only thing that actually fixes the problem is Donald Trump is voted out of office FOUR YEARS FROM NOW. Let that sink in. Think of all the damage he and the Vichy Republicans will be able to do.

And that doesn’t even begin to address the fact that should The Resistance be split into liberal and progressive wings or if Trump wags the dog by starting a war with North Korea or Iran, then it may be eight years before Trumplandia ends.

These are just cold hard facts. We just have to stop being constantly outraged. We need to address the more important issues of what Trumplandia wants to do to the liberal national social safety net, or whatever. Those cold hard issues are what we need to be thinking about in the forefront of our mind, not mentally masturbating about how Trump should be impeached sooner rather than later.

That just isn’t going to happen. So, get over it. Deal with the cards we’re given right now and move forward. This is a political problem with enormous consquences and not until we’re given another opportunity to vote will it matter.

So, just cool it. Save your strength. We haven’t even reached the end of the beginning yet. We’re getting there, but not yet. This is still about 1940 when it comes to a World War II analogy. We still have years and years of struggle ahead of us.

Talk To Me Internet: We Don’t Need No (Cold) Civil War

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It’s telling how we’ve reached this period of a long, drawn out scandal with no end in sight. Someone one Twitter called it a “Cold Civil War” and I totally agree. That’s exactly what it is. This is going to go on for a long, long, long time — like four, or six or even eight years. If The Resistance is split in 2020 and the economy is doing ok, then Trump could very well win re-election.

In other words, we really need to stop being outraged over every little thing Trump does that is, well, outrageous. We need to hunker down for a really long war of politics that we may, or may not win. At the end of all of this, Trump may end a complete eight year administration and position Pence to be his replacement.

In that case, it could be that the only thing that ends this hell we’re is people simply grow so weary of all the exciting news — and Republicans in general — that they eventually vote for The Resistance for no other reason than the same one that got us into this problem in the first place: it will just be the Democrats’ time to be in office again.

Of course, given how callow the Vichy Republicans are, the Russians could hack our election again or they could wag the dog and we’re just going to be fucked. This could be a new epoch in our history. We could be in a long-term dystpian nightmare with no way out at least as long as I’m alive.

Trumplandia: Life During A ‘Cold Civil War’

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Someone on Twitter mentioned that the United States is in the middle of a “Cold Civil War,” and I am apt to agree. I say this because I have been mulling how similar what is going on right now resembles a civil war in all but name and blood.

We have heroes, we have factions, we have shifting alliances. It’s weird how at this point there is little to distinguish the center-Right NeverTrump movement from the center-Left Resistance movement. Those two concepts now have common cause against Trump and the broader Trumplandia concept.

This works well with my personal belief that we really need to adjust to the new normal of Trumplandia. This is going to be a long, hard political fight and it may last about the same amount of time of a World War — four to six years. Let that sink in.

It is pretty obvious that the Vichy Republicans see Trump as a political gravy train and they’re not going to stop supporting him until long, long, long, long after we reach a devastatingly surreal moment in our nation’s political history. We’ve already reached that, but we’ve barely gotten to the end of the beginning of this political crisis.

It makes a lot of sense to see this as a Cold Civil War, at least in political terms. A war is easy to start and difficult to finish. And so, really, not until the base of the Democrat Party is as hysterical as the base of the Republican Party was in 2016 will anything change. We haven’t gotten there yet, I’m afraid. It’s going to take time. Probably four to six years. Let that sink in.

Remember, the only reason why Nixon was forced out of office was that there literally were tapes of him obstructing justice. Even if the pee-pee tape was real and we all saw it on FOX News, Trump would not be removed from office. And that doesn’t even begin to address the likelihood that The Resistance will be politically divided in 2020 and Trump will be re-elected.

There is just too much that could go wrong at this point when it comes to efforts to get rid of Trump through impeachment. In short, he’s not going anywhere for years. This really is a Cold Civil War and there are no assurances that the Good Guys will win.

All we can do is continue to fight the good fight.

Don’t Rage, Engage: The Time For Constant Outrage Is Over

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

So Jeff Sessions may testify in closed session this week after originally agreeing to do so in public. It has really hit home the last few days that none of the outrage that I feel or anyone else feels at this point is going to make any difference.

We really, really need to channel our urge to be outraged at the latest insane thing on the part of the Trump Administration in a more productive fashion. We need to realize that as long as the Vichy Republicans are in control, Trump’s not getting impeached.

So that means a solid two years, at least, before we can get down to the business of holding Trumplandia accountable. That’s a really, really long time given that the news cycle these days seems to be about 10 seconds. Hence, we really need to engage, not rage. We need to do our individual part to cross the political divide on a regular, daily basis.

We just can’t exhaust ourselves with outrage. It’s not productive and in the long run only helps the forces of Trumplandia. We really need to engage politically. Call your Congressperson. Talk to someone you think might be trolling you instead of blocking them right away. Read some. Pick up a book on leadership.

Something, anything, other than just getting mad and lashing this way and that over things we really have no control over at this point. In the fall of 2018, then we can be outraged. When the time comes to vote, vote. But stop just getting mad and then sulking.

’45’ — Lyrics To A Pop-Rock Anti-Trump Protest Song

This is a homage to Radiohead’s “Airbag.” It isn’t nearly as good and it’s kind of a back of the envelope first draft sketch at this point, but it’s fun to vent in verse. So you get this. If I could get a composer and co-writer then maybe something cool could happen with this.

45
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

it seems we’re lose to another war
that’s what I’m afraid of at least
when it’s all over we’ll feel the roar
when the leader of the world
pushes the red button
’cause he wants a Coke

[chorus]
we’re lurching towards doom
glancing at the TV with a sigh
we all realize we may die because of
45
45
45

we all can’t sleep I’m afraid
because in the day and age the danger
of 45 is all about
why am I the only one to see
how at deep range the possible rage

[chorus]
we’re lurching towards doom
glancing at the TV with a sigh
we all realize we may die because of
45
45
45

[bridge]
not much more to say I’m afraid
we’re all on our own
so don’t moan, don’t moan
hope is all we can have

[chorus]
we’re lurching towards doom
glancing at the TV with a sigh
we all realize we may die because of
45
45
45

‘But Her E-mails’ — Lyrics To An Old School Hip-Hop Anti-Trump Protest Song

I really like old school hip-hop and I know I’m probably doing this backwards ’cause the music probably usually comes first in such songs. But, I like how you can tell stories with old school hip-hop songs, so you get this. This song is meant to be kind of a quick run down of the disaster that Trumplandia has been in as soft and dance friendly a way as possible.

But Her E-mails
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

stay woke

now the time has come and we’re ready to dance
but before you shoot a glace at that hottie
let me break it down for you
we’re in a lot of trouble bro
we’ve got a loon for a president
who makes things tough for me and you
this didn’t have to happen
there was another choice that we had
but what did we do we voted for the fool
I want to shout this to the sky
but when I do all I get is sighs
the people who voted for 45
tell me again and again

but her e-mails
that’s what people say
but her e-mails
that’s what people say

45 has alienated our allies in ways big and small
makes you wonder who you’re going to call
who are we going to call when it all falls
45 doesn’t seem ready to lead
he’s a joke for people who are woke
some people complain about our lot
tell me they don’t like it one bit
but what can I say
all I can do is note in vain
there was another way
we could have avoided this pain
yet we all know that wasn’t our fate
thanks Anthony Weiner

but her e-mails
that’s what people say
but her e-mails
that’s what people say

now the president wants to cut the safety net
maybe drive your grandma to an early death
but don’t you fret you still can rock the free world
you’ve still got the right to vote
don’t be afraid to voice your opinion
though some people will get upset
just be sure to laugh and laugh
when someone wants to exclaim

but her e-mails
but her e-mails
but her e-mails

‘Jared Is A Punk’ — Lyrics To An Anti-Trump Neo-Punk Song

This is a silly homage to Judy Is A Punk. It’s just me venting. I wrote it really quick and it made me feel better. I wish someone would help me to make it better then perform it.

Jared Is A Punk
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

Jared is a punk
Ivanka is a runt
doesn’t say much
don’t hear him say
ye or nay
what gives with that
anyway

don’t know a bribe
they don’t like
no fuzz on that
no fuzz on that
no fuzz on that
no fuzz on that

they want us
to believe
they know
the right way
but there
are Russians
there are
Russians everywhere
what gives
with that I say

don’t know a bribe
they don’t like
no fuzz on that
no fuzz on that
no fuzz on that
no fuzz on that

Jared seems
so silent
though he has
great sway
his father-in-law
is a dick
what more
can I say
to my dismay

‘Don’t Rage’ — Lyrics To A Sad, Slow Anti-Trump Protest Ballad

I have come to believe that the only way to get out of Trumplandia is to engage people who disagree with us. These lyrics are about that. In my vision of this song, it would be a slow ballad like “Say Something.” You could probably garble it a little bit so it’s not quite as “woke” as I would like it to be.

Don’t Rage
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

[chorus]
don’t rage, engage
cross the divide and the pain
try to believe it when I say I have empathy
we can disagree without rage
we can try to engage each other I believe
don’t rage, engage

we’re falling apart I fear
there’s little we can say that
hasn’t been said before
we’re the same people
that’s obvious to see
why can’t you understand
are core beliefs are the same
don’t rage, engage

[chorus]
don’t rage, engage
cross the divide and the pain
try to believe it when I say I have empathy
we can disagree without rage
we can try to engage each other I believe
don’t rage, engage

the earth is all ours to share
if we don’t work together we’re all going down
we have to stop fighting each other so much
begin to engage for what it’s worth

[chorus]
don’t rage, engage
cross the divide and the pain
try to believe it when I say I have empathy
we can disagree without rage
we can try to engage each other I believe
don’t rage, engage

don’t rage, engage
don’t rage, engage
don’t rage, engage