Trumplandia Has Fallen — Now What


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One of the stranger political events of my life is what didn’t happen — Trump turned out not to be an autocrat, but just a lazy idiot with autocratic impulses. Or, put another way, everyone — even me — fell into the trap of ascribing to Trump political acuity that he obviously did not, in fact, have.

So here we are.

Within a matter of days, something we all assumed was the “new normal” — Trumplandia — has vanished. The person who was in the center of the American experience for about five years, has dropped off the face of the earth. What I think will happen is we’re going to be in political neutral for about two years until the Republicans come back to power in Congress and the whole cycle starts up again.

An would-be autocrat (Trump? Pompeo? Cotton? Hawley? etc, etc, etc) will arise, use their base of support in Congress to win the election one way or another. All our fears will come true, just a few years late.

Enjoy your liberal democracy while you’ve got it — barring something pretty historic, the macro trends that caused Trump in the first place will cause a Trump-like figure (only this time younger and more focused) to win election and strangle it.

I keep saying — we’re an autocracy without an autocrat.

The moment the inevitable autocrat takes over, then, well, that’s it. We’re going to be no better than Putin’s Russia. And loudmouth people like me, who, to date, have had the luxury of a liberal democracy to allow us to shoot off at the mouth without the fear of the jackboot…will just fade away.

Holy Shit: Trump May Found His Own NSDAP — The Patriot Party


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Well, if you want to get in on the new Trump grift, I suggest you become active in the founding of The Patriot Party. History may not repeat, but it does rhyme, so it’s very possible that Stephen Miller will ghost write a Trump book called “My Struggle” then in four years we’re going to look back at the events of January 6th as Trump’s “Beerhall Putsch.”

Trump — or some member of the Trump family — will win in 2024 and we’ll go full Nazi. Though, I doubt The Patriot Party will be expansionist. It will be more about the country imploding into itself and doing away with the “liberal problem” once and for all.

Now, history rarely goes in a straight line, so it’s very possible that the Republican Party is going to tear itself apart for one election cycle. So, in that case, it would be closer to 2028 or even as late as 2032 when Der Fuhrer assumes control.

Though, at that point, Trump himself will be so fucking old that it might be something more along the lines of a the “velvet fist” — Lara Trump as POTUS and Mike Pompeo (or whomever) as Veep. There are now a half a dozen would-be autocrats waiting in the wings to finally strangle American liberal democracy.

It’s only a matter of time before one of them becomes president or vice president. No more than, say, a decade. Probably closer to four years. The macro trends that brought us this point of being an autocracy without an autocrat aren’t going anywhere.

The United States is going to be in political neutral for about two years no matter what. We’re just going to be in something of a political daze until the Republicans — or Patriot Party? — take over the Congress and we really REALLY have something to worry about.

And, as I’ve mentioned before, if Trump was smart — which he is not — he would put his political puck where macro trends suggest we WILL BE not where we ARE: he’d really try to rearrange American politics by banking hard LEFT when it comes to technology — become a neo-Luddite. Remember, Elon Musk is just a few years away from destroying 3 million (!) high paying trucker jobs via self-driving semis. If Trump — or someone in the extended House Trump — could make saving those 3 million jobs part of a political platform, well, you got yourself a powerful political movement.

It would have to be Steve Bannon to think that up, though. Trump, himself, is an idiot.

We now know what’s potentially ahead of us now. All the overblown fears that people like me had during the first Trumplandia Reich will be a lot closer to coming true once Trump founds the Patriot Party and we have our very own Red Hats (as opposed to Brown or Black Shirts) running around, beating the shit out of people like me around election time.

Pray.

Comparative Political History: The Paris Commune And The American Capitol Riot Of Jan. 6th, 2021


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I barely know anything about the Paris Commune, but I know enough to know that it may be the closest comparison one can think up when it comes to the Capitol Riot of January 6th in Washington.

But there are some pretty big differences.

If you look back at what happened on January 6th, we were extremely lucky for a number of reasons — the riot didn’t really have any leaders and it didn’t really have any long-term agenda or ideology. It was just a smash-and-grab coup attempt.

But imagine if there had been some sort of leadership on January 6th. They could have established a security perimeter around the Capitol. They could have taken hostages and they could have formed a “government” at the Capitol building.

If they had had any organization or forethought, they could still be there right now, hold up at the Capitol in their own “commune.” I doubt they would have called it a commune, but that’s what it would have been.

They had a very specific historic opportunity and — thankfully — they completely blew it. They “caught the car” and then didn’t know what to do with it. There won’t be a next time.

Any coup-like event that occurs in the future is going to require a shit ton more work by those involved. I still think given macro trends that while there may still be significant political violence in the coming years, it’s the 2024-2025 period we need to keep an eye on.

‘Catching The Car:’ The Capitol Riot, Reassessed


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The key thing we have to appreciate is what a fluke the riot at the Capitol was on January 6th. While future history may prove me wrong — I’m often wrong — it definitely seems as though a lot of things went wrong at the same time on that date.

What happened January 6th was a classic instance of “catching the car.” How else do you explain how gleeful many of the people who participated were? In the moment, most of the people involved had no idea the gravity of what they had gotten themselves into. It was all a big party.

Or, once the beating the shit out of people phase was accomplished by nastier aspects of the mob, it was a party to everyone else. I almost went to DC to “cover” the event for myself and I now find myself sheepishly blanching at what I might have gotten myself into had I gone. I probably would have charged into the Capitol to cover such a historic event, only to get arrested for trespassing, etc.

So, in a sense, I dodged a bullet.

Anyway, I think, in a sense, the terrorists have won in the short term and we’re all terrorized while the actual threat is back to near-zero. So, we’re going through all this pretty much for no reason. The moment people started getting arrested for their participation in the Capitol riot, I think the threat evaporated.

There may be isolated political violence over the next four years, but the Big Ugly has been punted down the road to the 2024-2025 time frame for a number of reasons. A civil war / revolution is coming…just not right now.

I Just Don’t See A Second American Civil War (Or Revolution) Anytime Soon


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We have every reason to be nervous. It definitely seems as though the United States is about to have some sort of civil war or MAGA revolution pretty soon. But I seriously doubt it…for now.

It may happen at some point around 2024-25, but not right now. The people who would be doing a civil war or revolution need to organize and marinate in their hate a few more years before they can actually pull it off.

Right now, it’s all abstract. Right Wing nutjobs in vague terms want to burn it all to the ground, but…they’re all talk for the time being. What made what happen on January 6th such a wake up call was they weren’t all talk for once and, what’s more, POTUS was the guy who pushed them over the edge.

Trump right now seems pretty chill. He’s almost in hiding.

So, unless he snaps in a rather unexpected fashion, I think we’re fine for the next few years. But, as always, anything can happen, I guess.

I’m Telling You, Folks, Big Tech Can Read Our Minds


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

A number of things have happened recently that lead me to believe Big Tech can read our minds via our electronic devices — specifically our cellphones. The most conspicuous abuser of this technology is Tik-Tok.

Now, let me be very specific — I’m talking about instances where my For You Page on Tik-Tok presents me information fits a very specific metric: information that no one but me knows. So, we can dismiss any instances where I’ve spoken to someone about something, or texted, or messaged, or posted about some bit of personal information. I’m talking about a very specific type of information.

So, I’ve written before about Tik-Tok presenting me with information about women who have a very specific phenotype. So specific, in fact, as to be down to that of an individual woman. It’s beyond spooky. The most recent instance of this happening is with something gross — ear gunk.

I’ve been having an excess of ear wax recently and, until now, absolutely no one knew this about me. But, lo and behold, Tik-Tok was serving me ads about how to reduce ear wax. I’m well aware that such niche ads are everywhere these days and correlation is not causation.

But it is, if nothing else….spooky.

One day, when MAGA becomes technology-hating Patriot Party– it’s possible it’s mind-reading technology that they will really get worked up about.

Now What


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I had a really interesting conversation with a conservative relative recently. The more I think about it, the more it epitomizes the state of the Republican Party now. He didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. He was given a permission structure to vote for Trump in 2020.

And….now he wants him to leave office early via impeachment or some other political solution.

Talk about whiplash!

What Republicans want is for anti-Trump people to see the Trump Era as value free so they can sit back and chuckle at all the young hack MAGA judges they got as well as the huge plutocrat tax cut. They want that so they can demand that the laws of politics snap back into place — suddenly we’re not talking about Big Ideas anymore, we’re talking about Kamala Harris wearing a tan suit.

Anything, but anything, to have us not talk about what just happened the last four-odd years.

And, remember, the point is that Trump isn’t an autocrat, but just a big olde ding-dong. That’s the thing people like me missed — Trump I kept ascribing to Trump political acuity and acumen that he just didn’t have. So, the United States is an autocracy without an autocrat.

All the conditions are there for us to slip into a Russian-style autocracy, but for one thing — Trump isn’t an autocrat.

The question, of course, is given how all the tools of autocracy exist to be picked up, will someone like Tom Cotton, or Josh Hawley, or Mike Pompeo or Ted Cruz finish the process that Trump began.

I honestly don’t know.

A lot depends on how, exactly, Trump ends his administration. There’s still a decent shot that he’s going to do one last thing that is so astonishing, so spectacular, that it punts our slide into autocracy down the road for a generation.

The Prospect Of A ‘MAGA Revolution,’ Reassessed


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have long suggested that any MAGA shithead cocksucker touting the idea of a “MAGA Revolution” was an idiot. And they are. They’re idiots for a number of reasons. One is, generally revolutions at least start off with a Leftist bent and also, well, any such “revolution” would likely be a civil war, not a revolution.

But, given the events of January 6th, let’s do a reassessment.

The only time I can think of that there was the prospect of a Right wing revolution was in the early days of the Nazi take over of Germany. The SA were a lot more radical than the the rest of the Nazi movement and they were quickly squashed with they got a little too uppity. The SA wanted a far more radical transformation of Germany life than Hitler was prepared to enact. So Nazism remained a somehow bland version of fascism for a lot longer than it might have otherwise. The really nasty parts didn’t pop out until a few years later.

As I understand it, it was the viciousness with which Hitler got rid of them that made people sit up and take notice that he was not the clown everyone thought he was.

So, is it possible there may be a “MAGA Revolution” sometime soon?

After January 6th, I have to say my answer is now a firm “maybe.”

The key to any such “revolution” would be Trump. If he really leaned into going transactional as he really began to lose his mind, then, yes, there might be significant rolling violence across the country that might be marketed as a “revolution.”

But the United States is a big, big country and the while things might get bloody and scary for a while, the moment Biden is in control of the U.S. Military, the dynamic of things changes rather dramatically. I guess the difference between a “revolution” and a “civil war” would be how much of any significant action on the part of MAGA had the thin veneer of legality to it and how much didn’t.

If it was a revolution, rather than a civil war, then at its onset, there would be some sort of SA / SS attacks on state capitals across the country. This, sadly, has already begun to happen. But, like I said, the United States is a big country both in geographic size and population, so while you probably could pull of a successful MAGA revolution in, say, North Dakota by simply seizing the a few cities, if you attempted any such “revolution” in a Southern state, all you would do is incite a race war.

Not that a lot of Turner Diaries reading Proud Boys wouldn’t want that, but a revolution, by definition, is even more radical than a civil war and a lot of conservative-but-not-MAGA people would likely blanch at the atrocities that MAGA “revolution” would entail from day one.

As such, what might happen is a combination civil war – revolution. In the sparsely populated Red States of the heartland, you might have secession, while in the South, you just have a regular old race war in conjunction with a “revolution.”

But all of that — at least for the time being — is rather dystopian even for me. A lot — maybe all of it — depends Trump. If he really and I mean REALLY loses his mind, then his followers may get their revolution – civil war sooner rather than later.

I still think it’s more likely to be closer to 2025.

So, as Mitt Romney would say we have to all “hold our breath” for a few more days to see which way things will go.

MAGA Trump Deadenders Are The Future Of The Republican Party


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Trump is probably going to be a modern day Watergate for the Republican Party. Its entire center of political gravity will shift so Trump is its be-all and end-all. I say this because that’s what Nixon became after Watergate.

Reagan was pretty much a Nixon deadender and he almost won the nomination in 1976. So, it makes sense that the Republican Party will either split into a pro-Trump and a lukewarm Trump factions, or Trump will simply consume the whole thing now. It’s also possible that if the Trump faction doesn’t take over the Republican Party that it will bolt into its own party. The Patriot Party, maybe?

So, I would keep an eye on people like Jason Miller as to the future of the Republican Party. If Trump or Ivanka aren’t the nominee, it could be someone like him who gets a lot closer to the nomination than you might think.

Or, maybe Miller will run for Senator. Or Governor.

I guess what I’m trying to say is things are a lot more up in the air than you might think.

Four Days That May Shake The World


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As I keep saying, I’m always wrong. Always. I make all these wild predictions and then…nothing. But the following is, if nothing else, entertaining in its own dark, disturbing manner. It’s possible that Jan 3rd to January 6th may be some of the most eventful in American history.

Here’s why:

The one year anniversary of the assassination of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani is on January 3rd. It’s easy to imagine Iran striking either in the Middle East or the American homeland in retaliation. Depending on what exactly occurred, that, in itself, could be Trump’s “Reichstag Fire” that makes him a wartime president.

Trump is already extremely unhinged right now, and it’s easy to see him wagging the dog right before Congress is set to certify the Electoral College vote on January 6th.

If you throw in Proud Boys in DC flipping out and causing a lot of mayhem in DC on or about January 6th as well, that’s the excuse Trump might need to invoke the Insurrection Act in DC. Additionally, as all of this chaos is going on, Pence might REALLY take things to the next level and nullify the certification vote by not doing him job.

That would really destabilize the country and…then…I don’t know. There are some basic elements of a successful coup that Trump hasn’t done. He hasn’t done his autocratic homework, if you will. So, in a sense, he’s thrashing about in desperation, making everyone else’s life hell because he’s not an autocrat at all, but a deranged ding-dong.

Ugh.

As such, while in the abstract it gives the Far Right a boner to think about how they can overturn the results of the election this way, the moment they actually do anything…it definitely seems everything will fall apart. For no other reason than Trump isn’t even an autocrat, but just a very lucky ding-dong. We’re an autocracy without an autocrat. We need to marinate in our pre-fascist juices for about one more election cycle before we finally descend into a Russian-style managed democracy.

But there’s one thing to keep in mind — Trump is no longer thinking in political terms, but rather strictly in terms of self-preservation. So it’s possible Trump is so deranged that he might force the issue of some sort of coup well before we’re ready and not even the rotting rage found within our political system will be enough to save him.

He may so enrage the 60% of the electorate who don’t support MAGA that all the people who have totally invested in Trump’s rise to power over the last five years might, at last, find him a lability and cut him loose. But what’s more likely to happen is we’re just going to punt all these problems down the road one election cycle and someone like Tom Cotton or Josh Hawley or Mike Pompeo will be the one to finally strangle traditional American democracy.

Trump is not an autocrat.

It’s a very curious situation we’re in for the next few days. And, really, if we make it past January 6th, that’s just the end of the beginning of this shitshow. It’s possible that once Trump doesn’t have ANY hope of overturning the election, he just explodes mentally and things grow extremely dire. So dire, in fact, that we might have some sort of snap impeachment and conviction of Trump, but not without him extracting one last pound of political flesh from the nation on his way out the door.

My fear, of course, is things grow really, really dark. That Trump goes the literal Hitler-in-the-bunker route. I hate to even think about the implications of that, but if we were honest with ourselves, it’s something we would begin to game out.