What If Trump Held An Autocracy And Nobody Came?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It seems as though what is going to happen in the next year is something like this — Trump is going to “win.” Liberals will run around screaming we’re now Nazi Germany.

And, to a certain extent, we will be.

But a key issue is, for the average person, nothing will change. So, while we will definitely be Germany 1933-1934 when it comes to our political system, things will remain the same enough that, lulz, nothing matters.

And there in lies the rub.

While Trump is extremely stupid and politically greedy, it is, at least possible that he will hold back. He won’t overreach and some specific pressure points — like late night TV and SNL — won’t be touched. While Trump through Barr will rapidly consolidate power otherwise, in real terms, the average center-Right person won’t really notice any difference in their every day life.

And, really, even if Roe V. Wade and the ACA are killed, even that probably won’t make much of a difference. That being the case, if nothing else, indicates that Trump and MAGA-Qanon would be EXTREMELY STUPID to go for “total power” as Roger Stone would suggest.

If your opposition is so completely ineffectual in the real world that you can get everything you want and more, why push things by going full Hilter or Pol Pot? Why not just continue to consolidate power and give liberals the political valve of comedy? Why not let them laugh it up — when it comes to things that are actually important to House Trump — power and cold, hard cash — what difference does a somewhat biting SNL cold open mean to them?

One thing about Trump is he’s such a moron and a massive self-own artist that he could very well do the one thing that might push us into an actual civil war or revolution — begin to fuck with the everyday freedoms that the average person who is not on Twitter takes for granted.

I can’t predict the future, I have no idea what is going to happen, but Trump is so, so very stupid that he might do that very thing because he feels cocky and really wants to put a hurting on Alec Baldwin.

2020 Will Be A Replay Of 2016


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’ve seen enough, as they say — Trump is going to win the Electoral College and lose the popular vote (rather significantly.) America’s liberal democracy will finally die. But why do I think this?

The Durham Investigation
Barr’s “preliminary summary” of this investigation will play the role of the Second Comey Letter. Not only is the whole thing bullshit, but the summary will be bullshit too. A lot depends on how stupid and or greedy Trump and Barr get. If they’re smart, they’ll simply insinuate in general terms that Obama and Biden are criminals who will be prosecuted after the election. If they get greedy, they might really pull shit out of their asses in a way that is so brazenly false as to make people mad. But I think if they are pretty vague and open ended in all of this, that they get what they want — a replay of 2016.

The Russians Hacking Directly Into Our Election Systems
Just like with the polls in 2016, mysterious, the polls will be wrong in crucial states. Just enough to push Trump over the top in the Electoral College. We’ll all blame the Durham Investigation or the power of the “boat voters.” But soon enough, we’ll have to accept the results. The fact that the Russians fucked with our elections as part of a quid pro quo for Trump removing 1/3 of our troops from Germany will be like Who Really Shot JFK. After House Trump Republicans keep winning and winning and winning and winning the presidency, people might get woke. But by that point it will be way, way, WAY too late. Could be 40 years.

Trump Fucking With The Postal Service
This is more cover for the Russians. It gives Nate Silver a non-bonkers explanation for why the polls were wrong again.

News of a “Vaccine”
At some point in late October or very early November, the news will be full of breathless reports about a vaccine being approved. Boomers will have a “permission structure” to vote for MAGA-Qanon Trump again. In reality, all of it is bullshit and just more cover for the Russians to get away with the Crime of Century.

Trump Is An Autocrat
Orange Man is simply going to throw as much money and abuse of power at this particular situation so he “wins,” no matter what. All the momentum and logic is on his side because of that. He will “win” but only because he’s an autocrat. I just don’t see Americans having it in them to do anything about it.

But….

Ok, now that I have that out of the way, let’s talk about what could go wrong for Trump. Well, at this point, the only thing I think that might go wrong for Trump is, well, Trump. He has Barr, yes, but Trump is such a fucking massive self-own artist that there might come a point that even Barr struggles to control the situation post-election.

The thing that would have to happen — Biden winning by an absolutely massive landslide simply isn’t going to happen. And even if it did, Trump would go nuts and tell his supporters he “really won.” The thing about all the “things go wrong for Trump” scenarios is they all point to one thing: unprecedented political violence in the United States.

Everything from Trump taking “total control” (through Barr) at one end of the spectrum to an actual massive fighting civil war involving WMD on the other end of it.

Nothing I see indicates that people are willing to do what is necessary to defeat Trump in the real world. So, Trump wins. And, yet, we have to go back to the surreal, craven and bloodthirsty rhetoric swirling around the Righwing echo chamber. It’s possible that they would be so stupid that they were the one to start some sort of civil war and, as such, they take away one crucial piece of the political equation that has helped them and will continued to help them — apathy.

If MAGA-Qanon go nuts and start blowing shit up and murdering people in cold blood, a lot of center-Right people who enjoy Trump’s policies (tax cuts) but aren’t exactly thrilled with him as a person might get woke in a surprising fashion. But that’s extremely iffy.

What I’m really saying is if Trump and Barr are too heavy handed in their craven quest to turn the United States into an autocratic managed democracy, there might — just might — be a reaction with a cascading sequence of events they can’t control. Remember — it is possible that on a political level we could be an autocratic managed democracy but for the average American nothing would really change. Or if it did chance, it would continue to change like it has over the last four years — in fits and starts while Trump distracts us by being a racist, bigoted, misogynistic moron.

Or, let me put it another way — as long as the United State’s gently drift towards a Russian style autocratic managed democracy without things getting out of control and we go full Nazi, then House Trump is fine. The more I think about it, the more I realize what’s going to happen is our particular brand of managed democracy might be it’s own thing. It might be that Trump (at least for the time being) doesn’t do a lot of most dire abuses that I keep fearing.

So, in a sense, for the first few years of Trump’s second term not a lot will change for the average person just raising their kids. But as we approach 2024, Trump is going to make good on his demand to get “12 more years” and that will be the next major milestone.

But that point we’re really going to realize the United States is no longer a liberal democracy and House Trump can — and will — do whatever the fuck it wants.

Possible Blue And Red Second American Civil War Aims


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I hate living in terror of abstract fears, so let’s pace out the possible war aims of a “Second American Civil War.”

Red States
Red States would want to turn the United States into a dystopian hellscape. They wouldn’t come out and say it, of course, but they would want an America indistinguishable from modern day Russia.

Blue States
The Blue State war aims are a bit more complicated because they have wide variety to choose from. Does they want to leave the Union? Or do they want to stay and fight and transform the nation by doing so? On a basic level, I think Blue State civil war aims would passing a number of Constitutional amendments — maybe even calling a Constitutional Convention — that would take practical steps to end systemic racism, promote equality between the sexes and codify some much-needed political reforms like ending the Electoral College, overturning Citizens United and doing something about the Senate. (Ending the Senate, because it’s an existential part of the Constitution, would pretty much require writing a whole new Constitution — so dramatically reforming it makes a lot more sense.)

In both cases, whichever side won would have to do a Second Reconstruction. I’m growing more and more worried that WMD would be used in any theoretical Second American Civil War, which would not only lead to massive loss of life, but radicalizing both sides in the extreme.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

America’s ‘2024’ Problem


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Something about Obama’s second term galvanized and radicalized the Republican Party to such an extent that Trump was given a springboard to the presidency.

If Trump wins a second term — which I think he will because he’s going to lie, cheat and steal his way into it — it’s easy to imagine a situation where the Democrat Party will experience a similar radicalization. And, yet, these are not ordinary times. What’s more likely to happen is Trump will purge the media in his second term and make all traditional notions of civil society and liberal democracy in the United States moot.

Also, remember, a lot — A LOT — of otherwise well-respect, intelligent people have completely invested themselves in MAGA-Qanon. So much so, that they have said some pretty bonkers things in his defense. Things are simply are nearly impossible to defend if he’s not in power and they have to criticize the sitting president.

The list goes on. But the point is — the United States is careening towards a historic fork in the road. Either we turn into a fascist state or we have a civil war. We can not go this far down the road to tyranny without slipping into it directly or solving this particular debate about the soul of the nation on some sort of battlefield.

Now, let me put all of this into context. I’m a man of peace. A man of ideas. But I am also taking seriously the batshit insane rhetoric now found among a lot of prominent Rightwing “thought leaders.”

As such, everything indicates that even if it’s just rhetoric for them, that someone, somewhere is going to take is seriously and blow something up. This may happen no matter what for no other reason than in their organsmic love for Trump, they want to give him an excuse to seize “total power” as Roger Stone would have it.

I have written at great length that, really, the last defense of what’s left of our liberal democracy is nothing more than our self-perception as Americans. Nothing has indicated to me that even that will matter in the end, but for one thing — House Trump is a bunch of self-own artists.

They are well on their way to cruising into “total power,” but they’re such morons that they could very well do the very thing that all the point scoring on Twitter by Blue Check Liberals has never done to date — make people care.

When the average person looks up and realizes some basic freedoms they assume they would have as part of their American Birthright are gone in a rather abrupt fashion, then it’s possible we’re all going to need to bone up on our Lincoln.

A Reminder To The Russians That History Is Extremely Unpredictable


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Apparently, the Russians are looking at the possibility of a civil war in the United States with glee. They think Trump’s their guy. And “the worst the better” when it comes to civil war in the United States.

I would like to note that the Germans shipped Lenin to Russia in a sealed train, thinking it was a lulz. And we all know how that turned out.

So you just never know. While it’s obvious that the Russians think that Trump will either turn the United States into an autocratic managed democracy like themselves or the States will implode into civil war — sometimes “chaos agents” prompt chaos that turns around and bites the people who helped them in the butt.

I’m not feeling all that optimistic about the fate of the United States at the moment, but on a macro level, things may turn out in ways the Russians may live to regret.

‘Implosion’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

At this point, it seems clear that only some pretty serious self-owns on the part of House Trump will stop a significant consolidation of power on their part. They’re very much in a position to steal the election and then continue to, in fits and starts, strangle liberal democracy in the United States.

I honestly struggle to imagine any situation where this doesn’t happen.

Or, put another way, when your only hope of saving liberal democracy in your country is the possibility that the bad guys will self-own then you got a serious problem. There’s every reason to believe that Barr is a lot smarter than Trump and our slide into fascism will happen in a rather uneventful fashion.

But there are some things to take inconsideration.

One is Newt Gingrich, Charlie Kirk and a seemingly endless parade of other MAGA-Qanon “thought leader” are chomping at the bit for a civil war. Obviously, I think Trump is going to steal the election rather easily, but there’s a chance that the Right has so whipped itself into a frenzy that they might prompt something akin to a civil war simply because they can’t control themselves.

Remember, the key to any Trump victory is apathy on the part of the average American. The moment their own, personal experience is dramatically disrupted, there’s a chance a lot of people who otherwise don’t care about politics might get woke.

That would change the dynamic of the whole situation rather dramatically.

Another thing to think about is even though Barr is well on his way to turning the United States into an autocratic managed democracy, Trump is still his boss. And a fish rots from its head.

But, I think all of that is just white noise. There’s not going to be a civil war and our fall into fascism is going to be continue to be slow and methodical. For that not to happen, a lot of center-Right people would have to really shock me and I just don’t see that happening.

How Trump Wins The 2020 Election


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

  1. A COVID19 “vaccine”before the election.
    It doesn’t matter how real it is. All he needs is to allay the concerns of the elderly.
  2. The Durham Investigation
    At a minimum, it has the potency of the Second Comey Letter in that it implicates Biden (and Obama?) in criminal activity. Even though it’s all a lie.
  3. Trump’s fucking with the postal service
    This, in itself, is enough to shave off a few points off Biden’s lead
  4. The Russians
    The Russians are going to hack directly into our election systems as part of a quid pro quo for Trump removing 1/3 of our troops from Germany.

So Trump wins on election night. If he doesn’t, Barr does a massive power grab. Either we do something about that en mass, we don’t. Good luck.

This Is Going To Be An Unusual Election, No Matter What


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have said before that there are two different “tracts” when it comes to the 2020 election. On one track there is the traditional political dynamic of an American election. That track is what Biden is using.

Meanwhile, on the Trump side, politics is a moot point. It’s about tribalism and, if need be, force of arms.

In other words, the only valid outcome of the 2020 election for Trump supporters is a Trump win. Even if he does win, they probably are so ready to to knock some heads, that violence may happen anyway.

The point is — I continue to grow really aggravated by Blue Check Liberals who are completely oblivious to the cold hard fact that MAGA-Qanon is going to lie, cheat and steal (and maybe blow shit up) if it appears as if Trump isn’t going to win.

I still think Trump is going to “win” outright on Election Night for a number of reasons. And, really, if he doesn’t, then every day he’s not victorious is another day that we careen towards significant violence on the part of the Right. It doesn’t matter if they believe their own bullshit or not, someone, somewhere will and then there will be a reaction and then, well, yikes!

But that really is the absolute worst case scenario. More likely what’s going to happen is a combination of fucking with the postal service, the bullshit Durham Investigation and the Russians hacking directly into our election systems will hand Trump a victory pretty early on in the process.

Good luck, folks, you’re going to need it.

My Current Durham Investigation Predictions


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It seems to me that this is going to happen: Barr is going to come out and announce with great fanfare sometime in October that Durham’s “preliminary” findings are that Obama and Biden were directly involved in criminal spying on the Trump Campaign in 2016.

The implication will be that “for the sake of the country” they will hold off on actually indicting them until after the election.

Now, that’s the most logical outcome of this bullshit investigation into what was a legitimate and normal investigation into shenanigans on the part of the Trump Campaign.

But there is another option.

Trump / Barr might get REALLY GREEDY and they don’t do something as benign — but important — as doing something with the political potency of the Second Comey Letter.

No, they give the craven MAGA-Qanon hoards what they want — to see Obama and Biden frogwalked.

Now, none of this would happen in a political vacuum. Such an abuse of power on the part of the Trump Administration would likely cause rage in a lot of unexpected quarters. But Trump wouldn’t care — he gets the twofer of finally seeing Obama in “jail” and shaving off enough points of Biden’s lead due to the confusion right before the election that Trump can win just like he did and go about consolidating power.

I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But there is, at least, something of a spectrum to think about. I think a lot of my angst is for nothing because Barr is going to give Trump all the legal justification he needs to steal the election and do whatever the fuck he wants.

Ugh.

The American Political Crisis of 2020


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Trump isn’t Hitler.
The thing I often say is that history is given value and a narrative after the fact to make it easier to understand. While you’re actually living through it, you have no idea what is going to happen. Everything seems a chaotic series of random events.

So, we look back at the rise of Hitler and see that it was “obvious” that someone like Hitler was going to come about for various macro reasons. In fact, I would say the rise of Trump in the United States has definitely give me far more understanding of the historical context of Hitler than I had before.

Looking at Hitler’s rise then at Trump, it’s easy to make the assumption that our goose is cooked. While Trump is unlikely to try to take over the world like Hitler, he is probably going to significantly re-arrange not only the United States but the global order once he successfully steals his second term. And, in fact, I have come to believe that that is a forgone conclusion.

And, yet, the Wilmer Republic and the First American Republic are sufficiently different on some major, existential metrics to warrant doing a little bit of comparative political analysis. I’m not an expert on the rise of Hitler, but I know enough to give you a reasonably educated opinion.

One of the key differences between Hitler and Trump is Hitler was dealing with a homogenous European country with a history of autocratic rule. The United States, meanwhile, is far larger, has a significant non-white population and generally has a strong liberal democratic tradition.

And, yet, obviously, America’s democratic norms, traditions and institutions are all rotting to the point of non-functioning. As such, an extremely compelling case can be made for Trump following an almost identical path to absolute fascist power as Hitler. And very soon — probably about 18 months.

There is a known unknown, however, that make me question that snap judgement. It’s Trump himself. Trump has benefited from astonishing existential problems in the American political system that pretty much protect him from any form of accountability. He, quite literally, is an absolutely deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner.

It’s very possible that Trump, being the deranged moron that he is, could make a massive strategic miscalculation. He is so used to getting away with everything, that he rather abruptly (using Barr) makes a significant power grab. The power grab is so brazen and ham-handed that it sets of a cascading set of event that lead to the one thing that Trump can’t afford — the average person getting woke.

Even with this unknown, I still think Trump is going to pull it off. And, really, there’s only one last thing that might stop Trump from totally consolidating power. If Trump does consolidate power, he has two “flavors” of fascism he might choose from. He could go to autocratic managed democracy like in Russia, or he could go the Hitler route which is far more capricious, vicious and cruel.

If Trump had but a mere modicum of self-control or actual political ability, he has the Russian-style autocratic managed democracy in the bag. He can do that no problem. And, in all honesty, I think that’s our fate. It’s all over but the shouting. Just like impeachment, I’m going to do all this speculating about possible outcomes other than acquittal and then the very outcome I knew was going to happen all along, happens.

But we know that not only is Trump a self-own artist, he’s stupid and greedy, so it’s at least possible that he will attempt to go the Hitler route and go full despot before America’s self-perception has changed.

It’s at least possible that should he go full-despot and a lot of center-Right but not MAGA people are finally, finally, FINALLY forced to have an opinion about Trump one way or another that they may say fuck this and side with the “resistance.” As such, the United States might be looking less at a Second American Civil War and more at a Second Revolutionary War.

What I mean by this is the existing power structure of the United States might be completely swept away. It wouldn’t be like the Civil War where the North’s economic and power structure took over the defeated South’s, thus uniting the country under a common vision.

Nope. It could be that the two sides go at it in such a way that new leaders woud bubble up to prominence for no other reason than a complete failure of the old order. I find this extremely unlikely, but it is something to think about.

I say this because most of the existing power structure of the center-Left is completely ineffectual. If there was actually some sort of “revolution,” they would be the first to go. People with vision and guts would take over and make a lot of very hard decisions for the country that to date we’ve simply muddled through or punted down the road.

But such a dramatic change would have massive consequences and require a tragic and significant loss of life. (So, I really don’t want that to happen.)

Let me be clear this post is more about me making my abstract fears concrete so they don’t bother me so much. I think, really, the only issue before us a few more people might realize the jackboot is on our face, but there won’t, in real terms, be that much of a chance in any one person’s daily life — yet.