‘Washington, Nous Sommes Ici!’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

If the absolute worst happens at some point between now and, say, April of next year and the United States simply collapses into warring Blue and Red States, it would not happen in a vacuum.

For about 70 years now, the United States has been the lynchpin of a stable liberal global order. If it effectively was no longer able to maintain that order, it’s likely everything would go tits up pretty quick across the globe. A series of regional wars would likely break out after the shock of America’s abrupt collapse wore off. All those wars would be marketed as “WW3.”

So, in a sense, you can’t talk about a civil war / revolution in the United States without talking about it from a global perspective. One upside to America being indisposed for a few years would be the rise of China would be hasented rather dramatically so at least we wouldn’t all die from WW3 breaking out between the US and China. In fact, by the time America sorted out if it was a Red State or a Blue State, the world might be so different that we simply wouldn’t be able to process at it at first.

Instead of having to wait 50 years for China to become a superpower, it might happen in five years. And, remember, what’s even more troublesome is there are no assurances that China and Russia won’t actually physically meddle in our domestic affairs during any implosion.

But, if it makes you feel any better, there is a chance that our NATO allies might also help us try to sort things out. So maybe some French soldier in the United States as part of the NATO Expeditionary Force might go to Washington’s crypt at Mount Vernon and say, “Washington, nous sommes ici!”

Or, put it another way, if the absolute worst happened, the implosion of the United States would be such a massive global clusterfuck that it’s ending would be equal to 1815 and 1945 when it came to historical milestones. At 70 years, we’re kind of early for something like this to happen. Usually, it’s closer to 100 years between geopolitical events that totally scramble the existing political order.

And, let me be clear about some things. One is, as I keep saying a succession of things will have to go wrong for Trump / Barr for the United States to implode. We’re hurtling towards a peaceful transition into a Russian-style autocratic managed democracy. Essentially, it’s already here. The only issue is, because of American self-perception, Trump needs to be a bit careful stealing the 2020 election so as to not crash into the American self-perception that we’re a “free” country.

Trump is so painfully stupid and ham handed that he could, in fact, very well single-handedly destroy the country.

But, again, a lot would have to go wrong for Trump to do that. Somehow, his fucking with the postal service, a fake announcement of a COVID19 vaccine and the “preliminary summary” of the Durham Investigation AND the fucking Russians hacking into our election systems would have to not get the job done by election night.

I just don’t see that happening.

Trump is going to “win” outright on election night and that’s it. A lot of liberals will get angry on Twitter but, lulz, so what.

Comparative Collapse: Soviet Union 1991 Vs. United States 2021


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Let me be absolutely clear — the only reason why I keep writing about the possibility of some sort of “collapse” of the United States into civil war / revolution is we have a 50 / 50 chance it is going to happen between now and, say, January 2021.

Either Trump “wins” outright and we slip into a Russian style autocratic managed democracy peacefully, or there’s a significant implosion of the United States that takes months, if not years, to sort out. There is never going to be what we otherwise would assume would happen — a peaceful transfer of power. Those days are gone. We are now in the age of white-knuckled power politics.

If the United States does “collapse,” the closest approximation in modern times to this event would be the a similar collapse by the Soviet Union. But the similarities between these two events extremely superficial — it simply involves a major geopolitical power imploding. That’s it. Otherwise, the two situations appear to be completely different.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was a unique event because everyone pretty much just stop believing in its central tenet all at once after years of decline. The whole thing was peaceful because the major political force in the Soviet Union — Russia — essentially had something akin to a political revolution in the months leading up to the Soviet Union’s demise in the guise of Boris Yeltsin declaring that Russia’s laws held precedence over those of the Soviet Union.

And, remember, the Soviet Union was, in a sense, a 19th Century dream that outlived its welcome after existing for just about the length of one lifetime. Communism simply could not adapt to the vigor of American Capitalism. At its heart, Communism was a lie and little more than Russian imperialism under a different name.

So when Russia stopped believing in Communism, the whole thing became moot. The coup of August 1991 was, in hindsight, nothing more than a final deathrattle.

Now, let’s look at the United States in late 2020, early 2021.

Any collapse of the United States will happen because a lot — a LOT — of things go wrong for Donald Trump. He’s well on his way to consolidating power by stealing the election in a rather brazen fashion and that will be that. Americans are too content, too politically apathetic and too generally indifferent to the rise of tyranny in the country to do the things necessary to stop it in its tracks at this late date.

There are two ways Trump could screw this otherwise foregone conclusion up — one, be himself. He’s a self-own artist. He’s just an idiot. So, that’s one major known unknown. Connected to that is if things move to fast the average person not on Twitter might get woke in a rather abrupt fashion. So abrupt that we careen towards something closer to a revolution than a civil war.

So, in a sense, any collapse of the United States would be a political collapse. The two sides simply would have no middle ground and, as such, would try to solve their differences through “other means.” A lot of gnashing of teeth is being done about what California might do if there were, say, dualing presidents. The lazy answer is that California will leave the Union. I find that stupid because that’s just the type of the Trump would want so he could really consolidate power. There’s a chance, however, that not even Trump could pull that office because, well, he’s just a fucking idiot.

The liberal fever dream is, of course, that Blue States will simply leave the Union, establish a liberal utopia (maybe in conjunction with Canada) and we will, at last, have a taco truck on every corner and drive through free abortions. But I just don’t see that happening.

Yes, there will be a lot of talk about Blue States leaving the Union if things get bad enough, but it seems as though it would be more a matter of Blue States not recognizing Trump as president and coordinating a reponse to that rather than they leave the Union and do some sort of New Coke USA.

Or, put it another way – once the collapse is actually upon us, it won’t be a matter of everyone no longer believing in our shared ideals, but that those ideals are interpreted in radically different fashions by Blue and Red States. There will likely be a lot of debate about Blue States simply leaving the Union, but in the end, that choice may be made for them — they may realize they can get a lot more support from center-Right-but-not-MAGA people if they market their struggle as a fight for the soul of a shared nation, not the creation of a new one — a New American Covenant, if you will. You might go with “Renewed American Covenant” if you wanted to sound a tick less radical, but lulz, no one listens to me.

And, remember, the United States is a voluntary union of states, at least since April, 1865. The Soviet Union actively did everything in its power to prevent some of its more restless Republics — like those in the Baltics — from leaving. So, the United States starts with a vast reservoir of legitimacy that the Soviet Union didn’t have when it really began to collapse all of a sudden.

The Soviet Union was RUSSIA and 14 other Republics. The United States is California, Texas, Florida and 47 other States. The Federal — especially the U.S. Military — has the “mandate of heaven” for millions of people who simply want to raise their kids, pay their mortgage and go see a nice movie every once in a while.

As such, those people will be completely sucker punched if the bolts finally pop off the Republic and Blue and Red States actively begin to plot against each other on the battlefield.

I still don’t think this is going to happen. Something pretty big would have to happen for me not to simply try to tune out after Trump “wins” election night and we become, at last, the Fourth Reich.

‘Surprise Me’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

First, let me say I have no revealed truth. I have no idea what is going to happen. But, for all my rambling about why I think Blue States could “win” a Second American Civil War if need be, I just don’t think the conditions are there for us to get that far.

The conditions are there for Trump to brazenly steal the election (one way or another) and get away with it. We’ll lurch into an American interpretation Putin’s Russia (at least on a political level) and that will be that.

Surprise me.

It seems to me that just like a lot of people were worried there might be a civil war in the collapsing Soviet Union and then it all happened rather abruptly and rather peacefully, the same thing is going to happen in America. But instead of ushering in an era of unprecedented freedom as happened in Russia, America is going to lose its freedoms one by one.

All the talk about civil war on the part of Right Wing agitators is more along the lines of such chatter in the closing days of the Weimar Republic rather than the Soviet Union. The Right is just nervous they won’t be able to consolidate power, and so they talk really loud about knocking heads. But things will never get that far because Americans are so politically docile that, lulz, what a joke.

Surprise me.

The momentum is on the side of the Bad Guys on this one. It seems to me the question is how far down the spectrum of tyranny do they manage to get before they realize they’ve done too much and pull back a little bit? I’m thinking we’re going to slowly drift towards the politics of modern Russia. In fact, the center-Left is so excruciatingly weak in the United States that nothing, in real terms, might even change immediately.

Any belated attempts to halt our sild into autocratic rule will be punished severely by Barr. The fascist response to events in Portland has already been normalized to such an extent that we could very well know that the practice of snatching people off the street has been taken nationwide and nothing, in real terms, happens. They could even add pushing people (like me!) out of windows and, again, it’s all a luz.

Something truly out of character for the average American — who would decide our fate — would have to happen. They would have to care. They would have to have an opinion.

Surprise me.

California & A ‘New American Covenant’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Dirt don’t vote. Dirt don’t fight. But what does vote and fight is people. Looking at the United States with a clear eye, it’s pretty obvious that MAGA-Qanon is very, very, very stupid for chomping at the bit for any type of civil war. They have a lot of big states with a lot of dirt. That’s it. They have a bloodthirsty 38% of the electorate in a personality death cult scattered across the 50 States and maybe 9 solid old Confederate States they could rely upon. But even then, the African American community in those states probably wouldn’t appreciate being put under a white power jackboot.

The basis of a New American Covenant.

The best I can do is they’re conflating what they’ve gotten policy wise by abusing our political system with all the “wonderful” things they think they can get if they just start murdering people in cold blood. But as I keep saying, if things grew existential, a lot of those soyboys drinking lottes at hipster coffee shops and smelling their own farts would turn into Rambo pretty quick for no other reason than they absolutely would have to.

In a sense, what people like Roger Stone and Michael Caputo are doing is the same thing with Blue States that Hitler and Tojo did about the United States in 1941 — they see their enemy through the eyes of ideology. With the Axis, it was the supposed “degenerate” nature of American culture. With MAGA-Qanon, it’s something very similar — they are ignoring basic human nature. If you stick a gun in someone’s face, they just might freak out and surprise you.

So, I guess what I’m saying is if the United States implodes and we can somehow convince California to stay and fight, then the Blue States have a pretty good shot at surprising those fuckers Stone and Caputo, just like the Greatest Generation surprised the Axis. What’s more, Stone and Caputo are such fucking misogynists, that they are totally oblivious to the untapped skills that unisex conscription by Blue States would be able to tap into.

One issue that needs to be address is — why would Blue States stay and fight in the first place? Why not just leave the Union and establish some sort of liberal fever dream utopia? Well, there a lot of problems with that. First, there are a lot of conservative military guys who simply would not brook leaving the Union. Why force yourself to write off Gen. Mattis out of some sort of delusional belief that Blue States could actually leave the Union without a serious beatdown by the U.S. Military. Also, think of it this way — a lot of America’s problems would be solved if the entire country was based on the implied ideology of California.

California is a big, prosperous, diverse state. It would be extremely shortsighted for them to leave the Union when they could help save the Union and unlock a massive amount of untapped potential in Red States by forcing them to undergo a Second Reconstruction.

Or, let me put it more concrete terms — not only is the end of the Union what our enemies want (Putin, Trump) but there’s no assurance that they would be able to successfully escape in the first place. It would make a lot more sense to appeal to everyone’s common sense of being American and to re-imagine that idea, rather than abandoned it altogether.

The United States has a lot — A LOT — going for it, but our politics is broken. We need a refounding. We need a New Covenant. We need a Second Republic. And the only way to do that is to get California to believe in the Union again by telling them that, in essence, it would be a takeover. California in the Second Civil War would play the part of The North in the First Civil War.

Look at it this way — abolition was a very, very radical 19th Century concept until out of sheer desperation Lincoln adopted it as a war aim. The same thing with my proposal — to your average blue collar guy in small town Alabama, basing a Second Republic on the ideals of California would be a pretty fucking radical proposal — until they absolutely had to accept it.

Let me be clear that I keep talking about this not because I want it to happen — fuck that — but that the fucking MAGA-Qanon assholes seem determined to murder people who would again like to enjoy a liberal democracy — like me!

I just want to finish my novel. And no one reads this blog, so it’s not like anyone is listening to me. And if they are, they probably think I’m both delusional and bonkers. Or, “delusional and stupid” as someone once called me.

A Curious Trump Statement


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Trump said something really weird recently. I can’t find the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of he how he “really” won the popular vote even though he obviously didn’t.

Usually when Trump says something weird like that, it’s because a similar idea is rolling around in his head. It makes you wonder if he is hedging his bets in some way. Maybe staking claim to that argument should Biden make the argument that he’s really the president in some post-election fiasco?

Regardless, it was an unusual statement given how we’re careening towards a enormous clusterfuck this fall.

How To Win The Second American Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I want to convey is how moronic it is for anyone — especially the Right — to want a civil war in the United States. The Right is ascendant in the United States and they are well on their way to getting everything they want through the collapsing political system of the country. Of course, in a sense, the Right is trying to avoid a civil war by hoping to snuff out the Republic in broad daylight. They hope that through the Durham Investigation, fucking with the postal service, fucking with mail in ballots in places like Wisconsin and getting the Russians to hack directly into our election systems that the whole thing will be a lulz and fuck you.

And they may very well succeed.

But let’s, for a moment, suggest they don’t. The absolute worst case scenario happens and we have dueling presidents come January 20th. The Right, because of Interior Minister Barr’s legal shenanigans, absolutely thinks Trump is president. Meanwhile, everyone else knows absolutely that Trump has strong armed the situation in a pretty brazen fashion — so much so that people take to the streets. A combination of Far Right paramilitary groups meet them there and a cascading series of events lead to an actual organized fighting war between the States.

Who wins?

This is a very murky situation that is difficult to game out. Red States, for their part, have the passion, organization and leadership to win the first round of this clusterfuck because they actually want a civil war. And, honestly, if the Blue States simply all attempt to leave the Union, then the Red States will probably win because the U.S. Military will do exactly what they did during the original civil war. Or, put another way, something akin to a dystopian Second Reconstruction will happen, with the Blue States being turned into military districts (or worse.)

That, too, is a very real possibility. It will be a very bloody situation, but, I guess, MAGA-Qanon’s war aims — to finally squash the “Blue Peril” — will be achieved. Trumplandia will be established and we all are forced to watch OANN and listen to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA” on repeat all day long. Trump gets his Constitutional Convention. We leave NATO and align with Russia. Trump serves out the remainder of his days as something of an American Brezhnev.

But let’s suppose Blue States stand and fight. This is where things get far less rosy for Red States. The crucial thing Blue States would have to do at this point is get the U.S. Military on their side. It might be difficult for Blue States to get the U.S. Military to pick any side, but getting the power of the U.S. Military on their side would go a long way to allowing them to win their war aims.

Now, one issue is, as it stands, the Blue States don’t even realize the peril they’re in. So, it would take a little while for leaders to emerge and for there to be any sense, at all, as to what the Blue State’s war aims were in the first place. But, in general, I suppose their war aims would be to restore liberal democracy to the United States. To accomplish that, one war aim would be to completely and totally destroy the Republican Party. As things grow more radicalized as the civil war progresses, it would make sense for the Republican Party to go full fascist and start rounding up liberals and minorities and murdering them in cold blood. I say this especially in the context of the rise of Qanon, which is nothing more than a Nazi conspiracy theory re-branded for the modern age.

I have come to believe that seen from a strictly realpolitik point of view, the Blue States have it in them to conquer the Red States. It may take longer than anyone would prefer. It may take a lot of blood and treasure to do it, but it can be done. One issue, of course, is the Red States are likely to play dirty. They may seize arms from the U.S Military such as chemical and biological agents (hell, even tactical nukes) which would really scramble everything.

And, to be clear, an actual civil war would unleash astonishing economic, political and social changes. There would be a Before and an After. But, hopefully, when it finally ended, we would be Americans again.

A Second American Civil War & The Lesson Of Ensign Pulver


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I spend way too much time these days thinking about the possibility of a looming Second American Civil War and I keep thinking about a few things. One is, I simply can’t find any logic for the Right wanting a civil war. It makes no sense. None.

On a political level, they’re in a position to get everything they want. Even if Trump lose, the gradual trend in American politics is rightward. The center-Left is weak and divided. The center-Left is so weak and divided that it’s very possible that all this angst over a second civil war is a whole lot of nothing because Trump is simply going to consolidate power after stealing the 2020 election. That’s a very real possibility. It will all happen on a political level, no violence needed.

And, yet, here we are.

A number of far Right militias are full speed ahead in their belief that we’re already in a civil war.

The other thing that I keep thinking about is the character Ensign Pulver from the World War 2 movie Mr. Roberts. All during the movie, Ensign Pulver — played by Jack Lemon — is a lazy cad. He is the movie’s comic relief. At the very end of the movie, however, he has Mr. Roberts’ job and he is shown as a hero. He’s risen to the occasion because he had to.

As such, I would suggest to Neo-Confederates and other political scoundrels to slow your roll with talk of civil war. Just because you have a very low opinion of Blue State people, doesn’t mean that when politics finally fails us and the issues of the day become far more existential in nature that they won’t be up to the task.

It’s easy to imagine a situation where once we have some sense of where things stand — and what each side’s agenda is — that Blue State citizens shock everyone — including maybe even themselves — by really putting a hurting on Red State folks.

One thing I will note is there are a lot of variables that simply don’t fit the second civil war porn of Neo-Confederates. One is how modern American women are not going to sit idly by if defeating Trump is no longer a political question but a war aim. That’s an entire untapped source of mindskill and potential soldiers.

Also, and I can not stress this enough — what the fuck does the far Right think is going to happen with African Americans. If they literally turn most of Dixie into white racist ethno states, then there’s a good chance that many African Americans will revolt against that situation.

So, I dunno. Apparently the civil war is already here.

I still think it’s an extremely dumb idea for the Right to advocate.

Ratfucking The Election With The Russians: The Case Against Donald Trump


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m just a nobody in the middle of nowhere. But I’m pretty good at abstract thought. I’ve been ranting about how Trump is going to steal the 2020 election as part of a quid pro quo with the Russians, but why do I think that? Here’s why.

Ratfucking an Election is Trump’s Thing
Just with the 2016 election alone, Trump did two major ratfuckings — he paid off Stormy Daniels just before the election and, in more general terms, was actively working with the Russians to tip the scales in his favor.

House Trump’s Blocking of Election Protection
Both the Trump Administration and the Republics in Congress really, really don’t want any investigation into what the Russians may be up to in 2020. They do everything in their power to stop any protection at all of our election or election systems. And we keep finding evidence that the Russians are already fucking with our election systems. And, yet, Republicans are completely indifferent.

Trump Keeps Talking To Putin
Since just about when Trump realized he might lose, Trump’s been talking to Putin on the phone about every two weeks. In fact, he is doing everything in his power to talk to Putin in private in September when, I think, the G20 summit is going to be held.

Trump Has Removed 1/3 of Our Troops From Germany
No one has any good reason for why this has happened. None. Trump, just out of the blue, freaked out and demanded this to happen in September. Very strange. It’s almost as if someone told him to do it for some reason. Maybe as part of a quid pro quo? And who benefits the most from such a move? Putin.

As such, it’s easy to imagine a situation where during one of Trump’s many phone calls with Putin, Putin suggests if he really wants Russian help so bad, that he do something concrete to show a good faith effort to help them out. What better thing than move troops out of Germany? It pisses the Germans off and, yet, there is plausible deniability. The deal gets the final go-ahead when Trump meets Putin in private at the G20. They shake on it. It’s the perfect crime.

Life During Trumplandia


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One way to face your fears is to think about them so thoroughly that you turn an abstract fear in to a more understandable concrete one. So, let’s think through what like in “Trumplandia” will be like once the Russians steal the 2020 Election for Trump because we pulled out 1/3 of our troops from Germany at their behest.

Well, some of this is easy and some of it is hard.

It’s easy to see that once Trump is AGAIN politically pardoned for everything he’s done while in office that he’ll take his consolidation of power to the next level — he’s going to purge the press.

This could happen any number of different ways. But I’m going to assume it happens two different ways — “German Industrialists” do House Trump’s bidden by, say, buying up companies like Twitter while House Trump itself will lean on media companies to change their tune about House Trump….or else.

The broadcast companies — because of their government licences — are easy. The New York Times might be a bit more difficult to bring to heel, but when you have the entire power and weight of the US Government at your disposal it’s easy to imagine Rupert Murdoch finally owning the paper at last.

So, on a practical level, the first thing the average person will notice is a lot of fresh faces on TV and some pretty strange changes in tone at The New York Times and The Washington Post. I don’t think a lot of people appreciate how central the NYT is to the media ecosystem, so once it’s neutered, that will change a lot.

All the major late night talk show hosts will vanish off TV and a wave of new people will pop up who strangely avoid talking about politics altogether. In a sop to liberals, they may be women and minorities, but they will completely stop talking about politics because “it’s not popular.” It’s even possible that something weird will happen with SNL as well.

But all of this will happen in one fell swoop, so fast that there won’t be anyone to, well, report about it.

Once House Trump gets the free press out of the way, then Trump starts to rant about the need for a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment.” This is where some sort of doublespeak “Second Bill of Rights” will be pushed through the MAGA dominated convention and, lulz, the United States will be officially transformed into Trumplandia.

The question, of course, is how will this affect the average person?

This is a very interesting question because on one hand, given how fragile and rotting out liberal democracy obviously is, it’s easy to imagine that this transformation will happen quite smoothly. And, yet, Trump himself is such a massive moron self-own artist, that things may get all fucked up. Instead of pulling a fast one on everyone, Trump could be so ham-handed in his smash-and-grab on the United States that people get really mad.

If that’s the case, then we’ll just continue to drift into an autocratic managed democracy in fits and starts. It will be Trump’s successor — Cotton? Pompeo? Don Jr.? — who will be able to do all the ratfucking that Trump obviously is desperate to do.

But one thing I think we really need to keep an eye on in Trump’s stolen second term is how much money Trump Org is able to suck out of our economy. Our economy is significantly bigger than Russia’s so it make sense that the House Trump could become the wealthiest “royal” family in the world pretty quick. All that ill-gotten cash can be turned around to bribe anyone who might get in their way going forward.

In the long run, it’s probably First Amendment rights that Americans will notice the erosion of the most. But by the time the “final pivot” happens with MAGA-Qanon it’s going to be way, way, way too late to worry about shit like that.

People like me are going to be told to “shut up if you know what’s good for you.” That will be the final answer from any MAGA-Qanon who happen to get into a debate with people like me.

The sad thing is, they’ll finally be right.

Mulling The Possibility Of A Reproductive Rights ‘Dred Scott’ Decision


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Two macro trends in the conservative movement make you say, “Hmmm.” One is how absolutely bloodthirsty MAGA-Qanon is becoming. They are so wrapped up in “owning the libs” that they are chomping at the bit to do away with politics altogether and just run around murdering people they don’t like.

The other macro trend is how absolute conservatives are in their desire to to something of a counter-revolution against the culture wars of the last few decades by stacking the Federal bench with as many young hack MAGA judges as they can possibly appoint while they have the power to do so.

This is an example of why I hate extremism.

Being so wrapped up in winning the culture wars after a number of social issues are already settled in the public eye might make conservative spooge their pants, but on a political front it might not be the best option for them. They are so consumed by their own Right wing echo chamber, that they are completely oblivious to the fact that if, say, not only is Roe V Wade overturned, but any form of contraception is effectively outlawed, that there might be significant backlash among a pretty big swath of voters, specifically — women.

Now, yes, I know we’re an autocratic managed democracy now and House Trump has destroyed American democracy under its jackboot. I know that lulz, nothing matters and I’m going to die in an ICE death camp soon enough. But there is a very real possibility that women across the political spectrum would be politically energized if there was something akin to a reproductive rights Dred Scott decision.

I can’t predict the future. I have no idea what is going to happen. But it is a long-term thing to keep in the back of your mind going forward.