A Review of David French’s ‘Divided We Fall’

by Shelt Garner

I was very pleased with David French’s 2020 book “Divided We Fall” about the prospect of secession in the United States. While he came at the idea from a #NeverTrump point of view, he echoed many of the same things that have been rolling around in my mind for some time now.

Here were the things that stood out from the book:

Fascist Tech Bros
It’s a testament to how fast things are moving that things about Silicon Valley that French takes as gospel seem rather dated in 2023. While, in general I suppose “Googlers” still lean progressive, just in the last few years it definitely seems as though there Tech Bros of banked Right recently. See, also, David Sacks. As such, all of his hysterical fears about “woke” Silicon Valley companies going after conservatives in the even of a “National Divorce” are quaint. I’ll admit that there remains a center-Left bias on a system basis within major American corporations, but I suspect that says more about the state of highly trained, well educated people than it does how “woke” they are. In general, knowledge workers are more progressive than their blue collar counterparts. (That is a very broad generalization, of course.)


Another think that really stood out to me reading his book was how he really, really did not want to admit what a massive fucking clusterfuck any sort of attempt at a “National Divorce” might be. He bent over backwards to paint the most sanguine scenarios possible, when, in fact, there’s no way a National Divorce would not spark a Second American Civil War that would probably kill millions. America is just too big, too soaked in WMD on military bases across the country for the two sides to not bomb the other into oblivion if it came to that. It’s telling how copacetic his scenarios depicting Calxit and Texit were in real terms. There was little or not violence and, in real terms, we somehow magically had enough leadership that when the country gave up being united we somehow, equally magically, didn’t blow North America up.


Even French’s depiction of WWIII caused by a National Divorce seemed based on unicorns and moonbeams. If the United States was too preoccupied with collapsing to do anything about keeping the post WWII liberal order intact, WWIII will happen and it would be a massive fucking culsterfuck. Potentially nearly a billion people might die as the result of a series of limited nuclear exchanges. As such, the whole thing would definitely be a “Not great, Bob” situation.

Soft vs. Hard Power

One thing I found interesting about French’s book is how close he comes to talking himself into being MAGA. All the grievance politics of MAGA were there, but somehow he has decided to remain “#NeverTrump.” It will be interesting to see if this stance will change if Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer Ron DeSantis becomes the GQP nominee in 2024.


I found French’s arguments for a renewal of American federalism pretty much identical to why there should be a National Divorce. Any attempt at neo-federalism would only add to the centrifugal forces that are tearing the country apart. Rather than prevent a National Divorce, giving the states more wiggle room would only lead states with similar political views to want to join forces to make a more…perfect Union.

End of the Woke Era

French’s conservative bias definitely comes out when he bitches and complains about “wokeness,” especially on college campuses. He does this to the point that I don’t quite understand why he is a #NeverTrumper. It really seems to bother him. In fact, given his Christianity and pro-Life beliefs, I am at a loss as to why he would destroy his conservative talking head career to be #NeverTrump. It’s very curious. But the issue for me is — the excesses of the woke era are a luxury of a peaceful nation. I suspect should things grow…existential…that people will be too busy dodging fucking bullets to worry about their fucking pronouns.

Overall, “Divided We Fall” is a really thought provoking book. I say this especially as someone who more progressive than French. My biggest complaint is how pollyannaish he is about any form of National Divorce. If states start leaving the Union — be they Red or Blue — it would be the biggest fucking catastrophe since the worst times of the French Revolution. It would not be orderly and it would not be peaceful — millions will die around globe for various reasons as a direct result of it happening.

Any Second American Civil War Would Be Messy

by Shelt Garner

One of the less clued-in arguments against the idea that some sort of civil war might happen in the United States at some point in the near future is the idea that there are no “Red” or “Blue” states because there are elements of Red and Blue in all the states.

If history is any indication, this fact would be just a speed bump towards the country collapsing. In fact, one of the things you would likely see be one of the last steps before any Second American Civil War would be a mass intra-national migration of domestic political refugees as Reds in Blue states and Blues and Red states fled to a state that better fit their political views.

And, what’s more, the flashpoints of any Second American Civil War would be the very spots that did not fit the overall political mentality of the state it was in. So, for instance, logically, if there was a 2ACW, Austin would be a massive problem for Reds and would be the site of a huge amount of fighting as the civil war progressed.

Another example would be somewhere like Virginia where the entire state would probably collapse into a massive clusterfuck because rural Virginia hates metropolitan Virginia and vice-versa. If there was a civil war, the two sides would fight it out within Virginia in a very bloody manner with no winners.

So, spare me talk that a civil war can’t happen because of how diverse individual states are politically. All that political diversity means in real terms is when the collapse comes the whole thing is going to be castrophic, bloody and messy in a way not seen in America since 1861 – 1865.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting…Trump Indictment

by Shelt Garner

First, I have serious doubts that Trump is about to get indicted this week, next week or ever. And, yet, apparently The Powers That Be are sufficiently worried that he IS going to get indicted next week that they’re “preparing” for that possibility.

Whatever that means.

So, should we expect any political violence if and when malignant ding-dong gets indicted?

In general, I don’t think so. But I do think that Trump being indicted will only add gas to the fire that is burning away at the base of American civil life. This is especially the case if Trump loses the GQP nomination because he’s been indicted. If Trump loses the nomination to DeSantis because he’s finally so toxic because of being indicted then, oh boy.

This is because Trump could very well bounce to the Patriot Party and if he loses the 2024 election because of this, then he could very well, unto himself, start a civil war by ranting about how Red States need to leave the Union.

But, who knows. I’m always wrong.

Second American Civil War Questions

by Shelt Garner

Would it be Blues or Reds who secede?
I still believe at the moment that if there is a civil war, it will happen when Blue States refuse to bend a knee to autocratic MAGA Nazi fascism. But, I suppose, there are a few scenarios you could game out where it’s Reds. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Trump loses the GQP nomination, jumps to the Patriot Party and then when he loses, demands Red States leave the Union and the take him up on it.

How bad will it get in Virginia, Georgia and Texas?
Of all the places that would suffer the most because of a civil war, I think Virginia is top of the list. At least in the context of a ground war. The state is really two states fused together who hate each other and given that it has a MAGA-lite governor at the moment, I could see him throwing his lot with the Reds and the urban, more populated parts of the state balking at this decision and a massive Yugoslavia-like intra-state civil war breaking out where many, many people die for no damn reason. Other states that could have real problems are Georgia (because of Atlanta) and Texas (because on the ground the state is slowly shifting blue.) Honorable mention is Michigan where apparently a lot of far, far right people are itching to stage a coup.

Would WMD be used?
I think it goes without saying that if the United States buckles into civil war that a lot of WMD will be seized by both sides and that will be where a lot of people die. A lot. A horrific amount. When you have both sides throwing tactical nukes at each other then, oh boy.

What about race?
On paper, at least, the African American community in the Deep South should rebell in massive numbers if MAGA Republicans there decide to go full Nazi in the context of a Second American Civil War. But, lulz, who knows. It’s definitely something to worry about whenever you think about a National Divorce. The current political stalemate in the Deep South would be overturned if there was a civil war, with both sides growing more radical in their expectations and, as such, trying to settle with violence what they weren’t able to with politics.

Would outside nations get involved?
The moment the United States is too preoccupied with blowing itself up to keep the post-WW2 order in line, WW3 is probably going to break out and a number of America’s enemies will take advantage of this unprecedented situation. My big worry is the DPRK might start throwing H-bombs our way in a belief that it could finish what any civil war might have started.

Would mission creep redraw the political map of North America?
Just as the US would have gotten involved in any Canadian civil war had Quebec left that nation, so, too, will both Mexico and Canada probably get involved in any American civil war. And that doesn’t even begin to address how NATO and maybe even China and Russia might be drawn into the conflict.

How long would a Second American Civil War last?
A lot depends on what the war aims were of both sides. I think, in real terms, if Blues simply want to leave the Union that any war could potentially be short but devastating. But if there is mission creep and there’s war over who gets to unite North America under the banner of a new nation, then, well, gulp, we’re talking closer to the typical 5 or so years.

Is Someone Actually Listening To My Hysterical Scenarios?

by Shelt Garner

Because I have absolute no life, I study my Webstats to such an extent it’s really rather shameful. Having said that, I will note I’ve noticed an uptick in people poking around this site with something of an agenda.

I really pulling this out of my butt because I have no idea what is really going on, but given some of the links that people out in the aether are interested in, I wonder if….maybe people are beginning to take my hysterical predictions for 2024 – 2025 seriously?

Who knows.

If they are, it’s very, very flattering.

Generally, no one listens to me. Ever. For any reason. And when they do, they get mad at me. So the idea that even a tiny number of “normal” people might actually be taking my foreboding about the next 18-odd months seriously is enough to make me sit up and take notice.

Anyway. I really hope we don’t have any sort of civil war. It would be much better if we just slip into autocracy and I find to find some way to avoid crossing our new autocrat, President Ron “Tiny D” DeSantis. I have a novel I’m working on and Freedom of Speech would be the last thing that he would strangle, giving me time to maybe get my novel published.

Known Unknowns 2023 – 2025

by Shelt Garner

Will I Sell My Novel?
I’m not getting younger and with a real risk that we may have a civil war, I’m worried that a combination of ageism and a systemic collapse of the United States will prevent me from even getting close to selling my first novel.

Is Jon Lovett Leaving Crooked Media?

Lovett has been unusually salty during Pod Save America advertising promos of late. And then there was that moment in time when he outwardly at least seemed to be “quiet quitting” by not showing up to work. I think I’m over thinking things, but there definitely is an unusually high level of hostility of late between Lovett and the other Crooked bros.

Will Lindsey Graham Be Outed?
I saw a blind item on Tik-Tok that suggested that something might happen to “out” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. I find this very, very dubious. I don’t care if Graham is gay or not, but the political implications of his relationship with the MAGA base being changed by the thing that everyone assumes about him to be verified would be interesting.

Is Trump Going to get Indicted & Will It Matter?

I’ve been told for some time that Trump facing some accountability is just about to happen and squat has happened in real criminal terms. So, the idea that Trump might ACTUALLY get indicted over the Stormy Daniels imbriglio is not something I take all that seriously. And, yet, it definitely FEELS like this time may be different and Something Big might be about to happen. I asked a Traditionalist relative if they would vote for someone who was indicted and they said no. I have my doubts if the choice in their mind is between an indicted person and someone who Tucker Carlson tells them is a “groomer” and the leader of the “woke cancel culture mob.” So, lulz. I don’t think it’s going to matter if Trump is indicted.

Who Wins The Republican Nomination?

At the moment, seems that Trump is going to win the GQP nomination pretty handily. And, yet, it’s also at least possible that something happens and Ron “Little D” DeSantis wins in an upset. At the moment, at least, it definitely seems as though it’s too far out for us to figure out which way things are going to go. It really could go either way. And whichever way things ultimately go, we’ll look back and think about how obvious it was that that was the only option.

Will #NeverTrump Implode if DeSantis is the Nominee?

I am beginning to believe that the #NeverTrump movement is going to face a real crossroads at some point between now and spring 2025. Either they give up and support Ron DeSantis, or we have a civil war and they become something akin to the War Democrats of the First American Civil War. There’s no middle ground for them. But I do think if DeSantis is the Republican nominee that a few major #NeverTrump “thought leaders” will bounce out of the cause back into the Putin-esque arms of a DeSantis-lead Republican Party.

Will Trump Bounce To The Patriot Party?
This is a real mystery at this point. It could go either way if Trump loses the GQP nomination. He’s just as likely to collapse into a puddle and support DeSantis as he is to go crazy and bounce to the Patriot Party and split the Republican ticket. The likelihood of Second American Civil War increases significantly because if Trump ran as a member of the Patriot Party and lost, then he would be a lot more likely to demand Red States leave the Union than if he was the nominee and simply won.

The Horace Greeley Endgame

Given the president’s advanced age, we have to take seriously the possibility that he may shuffle off this mortal coil at some point between 2025. The closer we get to that crucial few months between Election Day and Certification Day, the more it’s possible that some pretty basic political assumptions we have about the 2024 election would be thrown out the window because we’re suddenly dealing with the untested President Harris. Any student of history will tell you this kind of catastrophe kind of writes itself.

Will We Have A Civil War?

A lot depends on Trump. He is dumb that it’s easy to imagine him, unto himself, being the reason why we have a civil war. If he somehow loses the 2024 election he may begin to rant about the need for Red States — starting with Texas — to leave the Union because he got his feelings hurt. I vacillate widely as to how likely this is. At the moment, I just don’t know. Could go either way.

….Or Does Autocracy Come To America?
When it comes to autocracy in America, there are two main scenarios. Either Trump is our new autocrat and it’s not until his successor that our transformation into a Hungary-style illiberal autocracy is complete or a President DeSantis becomes America’s Putin from the get-go.

Good luck, folks.

Of ‘Wokeness:’ A Tale Of Two Dresses

by Shelt Garner

It occured to me, if you want to know what “woke” means, the following situation pretty much sums it up. On one hand, we have Emily Ratajkowski wearing a sheer — but tasteful — dress to the Vanity Fair Oscar after party and getting a lot of hate for it. Meanwhile, trans icon Hunter Schafer wears what what is demonstrably a more provocative dress to the same event and she’s heaped with praise.

Now, to me, what happened is Emrata suffered at the hands of Internet misogyny culture while Schafer’s fan base is so ecstatic that she’s living her best life as a woman that she gets praise.

Or something like that.

There has been something of a kerfuffle over some Right-wing “thought leader” not being able to give a cogent explanation of what being “woke” is on a TV show. Obviously, being “woke” at this point pretty much means “whatever goes against the MAGA fascist agenda.”

But upon giving it some thought, here is what the woman came up with later, after the show.

Looking closely at this new explanation she gave, it looks like total bullshit to me. If I was forced to give a non-silly, non-partisan definition of being “woke” I would use terms “systemic racism” and “transgender rights” in it somewhere.

Let me be absolutely clear — I generally support transgender rights. What I *DON’T* support is when the “woke cancel culture mob” freaks the fuck out about people like Dave Chappelle simply expressing their disagreement with the ideological conventions of the Trans movement.

I say this because, you can yell at me all you like about how Trans people are dying and, as such, we have to protect them to the point that even free speech is limited — but you’re missing something very important by saying that.

And that is the touchiness of the Trans movement is driving Traditionalists into the arms of MAGA Nazi fascists who if they ever gain the presidency again will definitely give the Trans movement something to cry about. Or we have a civil war and then everyone — Trans people included — will have a lot more problems on their hands than a Dave Chappelle joke.

Anyway, this is an intractable problem that is, again, probably going to only be solved with the “woke” era ends because we have a civil war or turn into an autocracy.

We Have To Have A Frank Discussion As Society About The Looming Need For a #UBI

by Shelt Garner

With the release of ChatGPT 4.0, it is yet even more apparent that there is a risk that huge swaths of the American economy may be eaten by AI far sooner than we would like. The first test of this will be, of course, the coming Hollywood writers’ strike.

If studios can successfully write professional-grade scripts using ChatGPT, then, well, there you go. Before you know it, instead of subscribing to a streaming service, we’ll all just pay $15 a month to access to the body scans of Hollywood stars so an AI can pump out very, very specific entertainment to us on a regular basis.

The end of mass media will have arrived.

But I’m really growing alarmed that a lot of high end, white collar jobs may goo poof within a few years as AI grows better and better. And we’re just not prepared for what happens when everyone from semi-drivers to tech bros simply don’t have any jobs available to them anymore.

As such, we need to start thinking about how we might implement a Universal Basic Income. The obvious way to me seems we “bribe” plutocrats by replacing the entire tax system with a 30% VAT while also having some sort of montified UBI deployed.

That seems to be the type of thing that might allow us to get a UBI.

But there is the darker scenario where we, well, have a civil war / WW3 and it’s not until after THAT is all sorted out that things like AI really begin to take off, much like TV and WW2.

Who knows.

Jesus, I Hope I’m Wrong

by Shelt Garner

It definitely seems as though the United States is careening towards autocracy or civil war starting at some point around late 2024, early 2025. My thinking is –we just aren’t going to make it through the passions of the 2024 presidential election cycle.

When your best case scenario if your country slides peacefully into autocracy, you’re definitely in a “Not great, Bob,” situation. But that’s where we are at the moment. I just don’t see the United States being able to punt the structural problems of our democracy down the road anymore.

Late 2024, early 2025 is it — Something Big is going to happen.

It could be as dramatic as civil war, or it could be something far more subtle where someone like a President DeSantis becomes America’s Putin and we are an autocracy in all but name. What I mean by this is, it’s possible that we could become a zombie democracy, with the only indication of anything having changed be how many smug Twitter liberals now live outside the country to do their smug podcasts.

We’ll all wake up in 20 years and wonder why Canada is being invaded to “save it from the woke cancel culture mob.”


But there is, of course, the far darker scenario — there is a National Divorce with either the Reds leaving the Union or the Blues leaving the Union. I don’t want either one of those things to happen, but it’s something we have to start taking seriously.

It could happen. It really could.

But who knows. It’s still too far out for us — or at least me — to get some sense of what might actually happen. One scenario is Reds leave the Union instead of Blues because Trump doesn’t get the GQP nomination and when he splits the conservative vote he freaks out and demands Red states leave the Union because he’s an idiot, not realizing they want to take him up on it.

Anyway. God good luck, folks. You may very well need it.

A Darkness Looms

by Shelt Garner

We have all feared that there might some sort of moderate-to-severe recession in America in 2023 for a variety of reasons. With the demise of Silicon Valley Bank and the risk that the United States may default because Republicans are cocksucker, it definitely seems as though those fears may be realized.

My overarching fear is, of course, that all the conditions are being established for a massive political and historic clusterfuck in late 2024, early 2025 as I have long predicted. If the American economy is in some sort of Great Recession 2.0 on Election Day 2024, the probability that MAGA Nazis will seize power in the United States once and for all.

Or, of course, Blue States refuse to bend a knee to autocratic MAGA fascism and we have a National Divorce and, as such, a civil war. So, it’s going to be Blues, not Reds, who start any civil war we may have in the future.

There is, of course, the small possibility that somehow, someway we’ll punt the massive structural problems that America faces down the road.

But I have my doubts.

It definitely seems as though we face the existential choice of MAGA autocracy or civil war. That’s it. One of the two. Either or or. And if the United States is suffering from a moderate or severe recession at the time we all go to the polls definitely seems as though we’re pretty fucked.

But the issue is that I simply can’t predict the future. I have no idea what is going to happen, I just am working on hunches and gaming out macro factors down the road.