My Head Hurts

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

What happened tonight is very, very bad — over and above the physical threat Trump faced. The politics of Trump not only being nearly assassinated but also getting this picture out of the whole thing are astonishing:


Anyway. My gut reaction is this helps Trump. That he’s going to crush the Blues and….that’s it, he goes full tyrant through Project 2025 and….yikes. Or something. But, and this brings me no joy, the night is young. MAGA isn’t exactly know for its calm, relaxed reaction to things like this.

I don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone. I just want everyone to calm the fuck down. Blues have an election to win. I do think that Biden needs to drop out — NOW.

Civil War / Revolution Scenarios

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I keep writing about this over and over again. Here are three examples of me writing about the same thing — various scenarios involving a revolution / civil war starting in late 2024, early 2025.

Trump Wins
In this scenario, Trump wins one way or another and his second term agenda is so absolutely vengeful and radical that Blue states, probably starting with California, begin to leave the Union. To me, at the moment, this seems the most likely scenario. If a civil war happens, it’s going to happen because Blues, not Reds, get fed up and head for the exits.

Trump Loses
In this scenario, Trump LOSES one way or another and when he begins to rant at the top of his lungs that Red states need to do something about it, states like Texas, Arizona, South Carolina and Florida see who can be the first out the door. Of course, being center-Left this is the scenario that makes me feel the best. Even though I don’t want a civil war — I hate violence of any sort — I’d rather not have to be the one to rationalize why my side decided to destroy the country I love so much.

Honorable mention is somehow, someway Biden manages to pick just the wrong moment to shuffle off this mortal coil between Election Day and Certification Day and….oh boy. Mass chaos!

But maybe I’m wrong as I keep being told. Maybe MAGA really will, because of demographic trends, fade into oblivion and that will be that.

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.

I can’t predict the future. And I have no special insight into what may — or may not — happen in late 2024, early 2025. But at the moment, just around July 4th, 2024, I would say, yes, the USA is probably going to have a civil war soon.

I say this because we have a few scenarios ahead of us:

  1. Trump loses — no civil war
  2. Trump loses — civil war
  3. Trump wins — Project 2025 happens peacefully
  4. Trump and is deposed by Blues — civil war
  5. Trump wins, Project 2025 is too radical and Blues leave before he’s sworn in

    I have no idea of any of these might actually happen. But I am worried that they might. I’ve written so much about all of this over the last four years that I don’t know if there’s anymore for me to say at this point.

    Now, we just wait and see.

August Looms

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

August is the worst month of the year, by far. It’s so bad that Slate, long ago, proposed abolishing the month altogether. Usually, a lot — a lot — of horrible things happen in August for no other reason than the elites are all on vacation and nepobaby interns are holding down the fort.

There are many, many, MANY horrible things that could happen this August. The chief amongst them would be something to with either Biden or Trump. When it comes to the latter, I’m really worried because there’s absolutely no way that man could peacefully shuffle off this mortal coil without a huge freak out on the part of the MAGA mob.

And, remember, Trump is just an avatar of a general trends in our political system. He’s pretty much done what he was meant to do — be something of an autocratic transitional figure. There are a dozen or more would-be MAGA autocrats who are chomping at the bit, hoping to finish what Trump started.

Anyway, hopefully — hopefully — this time round maybe nothing bad will happen in August.

‘Heebie-jeebies’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I feel a bit of unease of late. While there are a number of reasons — some of them pretty concrete and big — for me to feel this way in my personal life, what I’m feeling is more….the Undertoad.

A sense of dread, as if something is lurking out there in the darkness of the future, waiting to pop out.

I don’t know what to tell you. I’m just going to try to be the best person I can be. I am worried about a few things that might potentially happen out there in the greater world. But, who knows, maybe this sense of foreboding is just a fluke. It could mean nothing — it usually doesn’t.

Ho Hum

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

This is supposed to be when weird things happen during the year. But as of right now…nothing. Things are pretty “normal.” I still worry about this fall and winter, but at the moment….things are pretty laid back.

But we are definitely in the “nadir” of the year when strange things happen for no reason. And don’t get me started about August. August is the blackhole of months.

The USA Is In Such A Fucked Up Situation

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

At the moment, it appears as though Trump could — glup — get an Electoral College “mandate.” But that would be just the beginning of the story. Trump is so dumb and lazy that he could go “full tyrant” and drive Blue States out of the Union, even with such a “mandate.”

Or maybe “drive out of the Union” is too strong a word. Blue States might just go into open rebellion against ding-dong Trump’s tyranny, which would lead him to throw troops at the problem, which would cause a bad situation to grow far, far, FAR more severe.

Three wildcards to this situation — LLMs being put into all those Boston Dynamics androids and the North Koreans whizzing H-bombs our way and what would happen to all the simmering hotspots that the USA is keeping tampered down.

I do think that Something Big is about to happen this fall and winter. I have no idea what it is, but for us to avoid a “Fourth Turning” like event, either Trump loses and no one listens to him when he starts to rant about a civil war, or Trump wins and even though he goes full tyrant, it’s all a lulz.

Just don’t know what we’re going to do, folks.

It’s pretty obvious that America is tearing itself apart. The successful election of Joe Biden in 2020 simply punted down the road a crisis that is brewing in the American political system. For historical context a lot of the shit that happened in 2020 with Republicans happened to a far lesser extent with Democrats in 2016 and so it’s logical to assume a similar problem will — only worse — will happen one way or another in 2024.

Here are some reasons why we will have a civil war.

  1. Republicans have come to glorify political violence
    Something you see a lot these days within the bullshit echo chamber of the MAGA New Right is the belief that because “liberals won’t leave us alone” that they are being “driven” to extremism. There’s a lot of leading not-so-vague talk as to what all this would ultimately mean. But it’s clear that for a number of “thought leaders” within the MAGA New Right that they have accepted that at some point in the future, they’re going to have to resort to violence to get what they want.
  2. Republicans no longer believe in democracy
    It is now clear that like any good fascists, Republicans no longer believe in democracy unless it’s for the specific purpose of gaining and keeping power. This view of the system they’re supposed to a part of leads them do extremely destabilizing things that help push the country to the brink.
  3. Trump 2024
    Just Trump being the 2024 nominee would, in itself, be enough to cause a civil war at some point in late 2024 – early 2025. He just has a special knack for “owning the libs” in such a way that if he stole in 2024 election and said the “quiet part outloud” that Blue States would grow so enraged that it would be they, not Red States, that left the Union and caused a Second Civil War. But Ron DeSantis is polling exceptionally well at the moment, so either Trump politically shivs him at some point, or he co-ops him, making him his VP, opening the door to DeSantis becoming America’s Putin at some point down the road a little bit.
  4. Steve K Bannon.
    Bannon and his toadies are actively working to destroy the framework that we use to administer free and fair elections. So, it’s very easy to imagine a situation where this gambit works in ways that Trump himself is too idiotic to pull off personally and it will be so egregious that, again, Blue States leave the Union and we have a Second American Civil War.
  5. Extreme negative polarization
    We’re in for a bump four or so years, no matter what, because negative polarization, on a systemic level, has reached a critical mass. When one of your political parties is fascist and would rather crash the global economy instead of even appear to work for the good of the nation — you got a problem.
  6. A lack of shared values
    As the big blow up on Twitter in the last 24 hours about a Stephen Colbert song and dance gag about getting vaccinated proves — we can’t even agree on what’s funny. A combination of this and negative polarization is leading to the United States being two nations, one Red, one Blue and when we get around to attempting to elect the next president, the system simply won’t be prepared for the passions it will stir up.
  7. A potentially historic miscalculation on the part of Republicans
    It’s possible that, much like European powers in the lead up to WW1, when the time comes and Republicans have a choice between peacefully transitioning us into autocracy or fucking with us all so we want to take up arms, they will choose the latter not because they have to, but because they want to. It’s possible that by the 2024 — 2025 period, Republicans will see a civil war as their only choice to consolidate power, even if it’s clear that they could get everything they ever wanted within the system they so obviously loath.

And, honestly, the only thing standing in the way of an autocrat becoming president in 2025 and seizing “total control” pretty quick is any potential cleaving between MAGA and the Republican Party that takes place between now and then.

Given what I’m seeing right now, it definitely doesn’t seem as though that’s going to be a problem. At this point, it seems as though Republicans will first win power in Congress in 2022, then win the presidency (one way or anther) in 2024 and that will be that.

The autocracy we feared during the Trump Era will come, just four years later than we all expected. But…

There’s a real chance that our transition from liberal democracy to autocracy won’t be as smooth as I think — there could be a civil war. One side — or the other — won’t accept the results of the election and the country will finally buckle. All the nightmare scenarios that I came up with in 2020-2021, will just happen in 2024-2025.

If what happened in 2020 is any indication, the first sign that we would have that something was amiss would be on the local level. Instead of people who simply do their job as Americans and do the rather perfunctory duty of certifying the win of A Democrat, this doesn’t happen. In crucial voting districts all across swing states, Bannon’s “spiritual shock troops” either refuse to certify the win of A Democrat, or they go so far as to YOLO things and switch the win to Trump.

As this happens, the tension in United States escalates day by day. The very rallying cry of MAGA in 2020 — “Stop The Steal” will be adopted by the center-Left when it becomes clear that the MAGA New Right is hell bent on brazenly stealing the 2024 election in broad daylight.

But remember, the center-Left has a very different personality than the MAGA New Right. The center-Left, for all it’s problems with “cancel culture” and being “woke” is still actually connected to reality. So, there would be a struggle between the natural inclination of centrist Liberals to let the “process work” and Leftists who would want to burn everything to the ground given how corrupted everything had become.

All of this turmoil on the local level would find elections in crucial states thrown into the political realm where MAGA state legislatures and Secretary’s of State would begin to actively ensure that A Democrat is prevented from winning. Every day between Election Day 2024 and Certification Day 2025 things would grow more and more unstable in the United States as it became clear that Bannon’s long-planned “administrative coup” was actually going to work.

There would be mass confusion. Lots of lawsuits

And, remember, if Trump is involved, as all of this is going on, he would do everything in his personal power to rile up both sides. If his ongoing, progressive cognitive decline has gotten bad enough, he might even go transactional.

It would be around this point that I could see Blue governors begin to make serious plans to leave the Union. A lot would depend on what California was willing to do. But it would definitely make sense that California would be the first state to call a Secessionist Convention in preparation of leaving the Union if the 2024 election is, in fact, stolen.

But by some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you could see some sort of summit of Blue Governors where they debate their plans to leave the Union if the very thing that the MAGA New Right wants — to turn the United States into an autocracy — actually happens.

And as we approached Certification Day in January 2025, the last step in the crisis would happen. If you thought Certification Day 2021 was bad, just wait until Republicans are actively going over and above what they did then when it rolls around in 2025. So, the system will have been corrupted at both the local and state level. And then if that doesn’t work, Republicans will again try to throw the election into the House and Senate to buy time, if nothing else.

So, let me be clear — anyone who thinks we’re going to have some sort of MAGA New Right revolution a la The Turner Diaries — is a fool. Any Second American Civil War we have is probably going to be started by Blue States leaving the Union out of disgust that the fix is in.

Therefore, by the time Certification Day 2025 rolls around, it could very well be a foregone conclusion that we’re going to have a pretty organized civil war. Republicans have no shame and don’t apparently care about the consequences of their actions, so, lulz, we could find ourselves in the absolute worst of worlds because not only are states actively thinking about leaving the Union around this time, but the whole process of figuring out who is POTUS will be languishing in Congress. Republicans, because they are politically blood thirsty and will cheat, will win the power struggle, but there’s a chance states will begin leaving the Union.

It won’t be deranged, individual MAGA New Right blowing stuff up in some sort of rearguard action. It’s going to be a Blue Nation verses a Red Nation. A lot of the same things that happened in the First American Civil War will happen in the second. The U.S. Military will implode as people from Blue States leave it to establish a new Blue State military.

But one thing we have to expect in late 2024 to early 2025 is a mass migration of people across the country as people no longer feel safe living in an area of the country that doesn’t fit their politics. It could be rather frightening.

If it were, God forbid, to happen, I would guess that a Second American Civil War will begin between Certification Day 2025 and Inauguration Day 2025. In other words, as Trump is being sworn in, mass chaos will have erupted across the United States.

Once the hollowed out American military turns it attention to the Blue rebellion at the behest of Trump, it won’t be too long before WMD are sized and used by both sides. Not only would America bomb itself into oblivion with its eyes wide open, but it will be done in the context of WW3 definitely breaking out across the globe because the US will be too busy imploding to ensure the continuation of the post WW2 global order.

How’s that for a New World Order.

Macro trends are not on America’s side. As I keep saying, 2024 is going to be it. It’s the year when either the United States turns into a Russian-style “managed democracy” or there’s a civil war. Now, this isn’t going to be a complete list of the 50 states, but I am going to highlight some of the states that may be more problematic should a Second American Civil War erupt.

Oregon
The state is really two states and, as such, is probably going to be a major flashpoint in any Second Civil War. What’s likely to happen is Portland will buck any attempt at a putsch on the part of bonkers Right wing nutjobs in the rest of the state and, as such, either there’s a really blood struggle in the state or there are a massive amount of political refugees from the Portland area as the rest of the state sides with MAGA.

Virginia
Again, this is really two states. There’s the NOVA-Richmond-Hampton Roads urban corridor and everything else. It’s very easy to imagine a situation — especially with Virginia’s historic ties to the first Civil War — where the state implodes as we grow closer and closer to a Second Civil War. Too many good old boys in the rural areas of Virginia might get wrapped up in the “Lost Cause” mythos and decide to seize places like Danville (the last capitol of the Confederacy) or Richmond (another Confederate capitol.) If nothing else, simply because of the larger population of the “Blue” parts of the state, there will be significant violence and political refugees as the Blues consolidate power.

Michigan
I don’t know as much about this state, but it definitely seems as though once the pre-war process of coups and political consolation begins that there will be at least a coup attempt on the part of the Far Right. Again, don’t underestimate how once you actually start murdering people that the dynamics of things change significantly. It’s very possible that there would be a coup in the state, it would fail, and there would be significant political violence as the state’s Blue population fought back and put the state firmly on the Blue side.

New York
Yet again, we have a situation where once politics fails us that the otherwise banal regional differences in a state tears it apart. New York City is far more progressive than the rest of New York State and, depending on how things work out, it’s possible that New York City could become a revolutionary hotbed to the point that is tears itself away from the rest of the state and proclaims itself a Free City. This almost happen during the first Civil War. If nothing else, there will be a serious jiggling of the relationship between NYC and the rest of the state to the point where it aligns itself in any Second Civil War with New Jersey and Connecticut in a way that update New York does not. Or, again, there could be significant political consolidation as Blues from all over the northeast flee to New York and the MAGA-friendly natives of the state flee elsewhere.

Maine
I really don’t know that much about this state other than a vague belief that the northern part of the state is far different than the southern part. It’s very easy to imagine significant consolation in the state one way or another as people flee to it as the rest of the country buckles. The state is big — if sparsely populated — and it’s strategic location near the Canadian border might be enough for it to be the home to large refugee camps.

Texas
Texas would be in an odd situation as the country fell into civil war because its long-term political trend is shifting Blue, but it’s part of the South and a lot of people consider themselves Southern and MAGA. So either it simply buckles into its own intra-civil war or the MAGA cocksucker fucktards push out all the Blues who flee to Blue States nearby. The end result would be a lot of pissed off former Texans who would be of great benefit to the Blue cause.

California
In a sense, the whole fate of the United States rests on what California does. If it simply bolts from the Union, then that significantly hobbles the Blue cause on the ground. California sitting on its hands and become its own nation in the event of a Second Civil War makes it far more likely that either Red states win or there is some sort of half-ass balkanization of the United States. But if California stays and fights, then they could provide not only the necessary economy and population for a Blue state victory — after many, many dead — but also something of a vision for what America would look like after we’re finished bombing ourselves into oblivion.

The Deep South
It’s very easy to imagine at the onset of a Second American Civil War most of the old Confederacy on a political level getting extremely excited and having a massive amount of momentum to either leave the Union outright or support the Republican controlled Congress’ attempt to brazenly steal the election. Then reality would sink in — all of the Southern states have significant African American populations and once politics is no longer a viable method of solving problems then the far more brutal dynamics of realpolitik would kick in. I just can’t imagine millions of African Americans lulzing a return to the Confederacy, no matter how badly the white political establishment of those states may want it. So, even though the South has a lot of people and a big economy, it would be, on a regional basis, too busy fighting a race war to really help the Red cause all that much. If things really grew as radical as I fear they will — probably because WMD are stolen and cities start to get vaporized — it’s the Deep South where you’re most likely to see some WW2 level atrocities as radicalized whites begin to murder blacks en mass.

As for the rest of the states, their ability to pick one side or the other is probably far easier and their biggest problem would be dealing with political refugees.

Or, put another way, we’re fucked. We’re totally, completely fucked one way or another. Either we turn into an autocracy or Red and Blue begin to murder each other in cold political blood. The usual outcome of all this bullshit that we have come to expect — simply muddling along until we come to some solution one way or another — is not longer a valid option.

It’s Like We’ve Collectively Given Up, Redux

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing about MAGA fascists is, on a historical basis, they’re ascendant. The winds of history on their side. It definitely seems as though America has collectively given the fuck up.

Or, put another way, there is a risk that it won’t be until things like Agenda 47 or Project 2025 are actually real before people sit up and take notice. My fear is that Trump will win simply because of the general ebb-and-flow of history…only to go full tyrant, which will cause all hell to break loose.

That, it seems, is a real possibility at the moment.

I don’t have any answer to what is going on going forward. I would really prefer not to have the USA collapse in early 2025 when Trump goes full tyrant and the a Blue General Strike causes the country to buckle and the U.S. Military to step in to do something about Trump — in effect, deposing him.

But I’m not prepared to believe any such thing will happen. It could be that Project 2025 will be implemented peacefully and that’s that. I will have to avoid ICE agents who want to murder me for being a loud mouth crank, but at least maybe I can finish my novel and query it.

The Biden Endgame Enigma

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m of the general opinion that a crisis is, by definition, when you don’t know how things are going to end. Well, we definitely seem like we’re in a crisis now — what the fuck is going to happen with Joe Biden?

All things being equal, Biden should drop out of the race and there be an open, brokered convention. It would be astonishing TV and the country would be glued to the proceedings. The dark horse canaidate would be, of course, Jon Stewart.

Stewart — even though he’s short (like me) would make for an amazing POTUS. He would be an American Zelensky — maybe in more ways than one if Red states start to leave the Union because he’s elected and not Trump. But there are plenty — PLENTY of great Democratic candidates that could fill the void left by Biden leaving the race.

I have two concerns — the President Hindenburg analogy and the possibility of an Election of 1872 situation happening. Biden is so old that he may just be too old to stop the rise of fascism, like President Hindenburg. Meanwhile, the Election of 1872 situation….yikes.

Anyway, no one listens to me. It seems like things might go either way between now and the Democratic Convention. Only time will tell.

Of Trump & ‘The Mule’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m getting some traffic on a post I did some time ago comparing Trump to the Isaac Asimov character “The Mule.” I’m assuming that either the Foundation series on Apple+ is going to feature the character. Or a movie is being made using the character. Or maybe someone, somewhere — with a lot more credibility — has also made the comparison, or is about to publish something that does.

But I’ve come to think maybe Trump isn’t The Mule — in strict terms the Seldon Plan would predict that someone like Trump would occur at some point. So, as such, Trump isn’t The Mule.

The Mule destroyed the Plan because he was totally unaccounted for.

But, in general terms, the point of the comparison remains — you could definitely use The Mule as a political allegory for Trump. I say this because only nerds would know something as strict as I do about The Plan and the point of the comparison is there — Trump is very Mule-like.

The Fascist MAGA Right Doesn’t See The Biden Administration As Legitimate

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The key thing we have to accept is the fascist MAGA Right is not only politically ascendant, but also fucking bloodthirsty. They have finally reached the point, it seems, where they’re willing to physically hurt people in the real world if they don’t get what they want.

The fascist MAGA Right clearly wants to murder people like me in cold blood if I stand in their way. Now, obviously, it’s all couched in the context of their anger being rhetorical.

But just on the face of it, it seems as though in the fascist MAGA Right mind, anyone who has power who isn’t them isn’t legitimate. By definition. They are craven and want absolute autocratic power to the fullest extent that society will give them.

And all of that leaves me very alarmed going forward. These facts leave me worried that even if we defeat the fascist MAGA Right in November, there will be a civil war because on a structural basis the Republican Party at the state level is so radicalized that they will leave the Union in protest.

Who knows. I can’t predict the future. I am very, very worried.