When Our Cold Civil War Turns Hot: The Scalise Attack As New Harpers Ferry

By Shelton Bumgarner

I saw on Twitter that someone out there in the surreal alt-Right echochamber is now openly talking about secession. I have seen several incidences where the bizarre Right that lives beyond InfoWars as suggested that the attack on Rep. Steve Scalise is up there with the Battle of Fort Sumner. That is, at least at this point, kind of grasping at straws. What these people are TRYING to say is that the tragic Scalise incident is something like John Brown’s attack on Harpers Ferry. That makes much more historical sense than the Battle of Fort Sumner, at least at this point.

What’s even more weird is that these bizarre, surreal Right wing nutjobs as blathering about this at a time when they have unprecedented power. There is effectively no check on the presidency and Trump is packing the judiciary with insane, young, whackjobs. So, really, the very people who are so upset with liberals have a vested interest, at least right now, in keeping the Federal government together as-in.

It makes me believe that maybe the only thing stopping open secessionist talk is the fact that Hillary Clinton lost. It makes me think that had Clinton won, one of the first crisis she would have had to address was a honest-to-God secessionist movement. What’s so troublesome is this problem isn’t going away. If you wanted to make a real historical analogy of all this, I might propose that we’re in, say, the 1857 era. We’re in that era of American history where the nation was tearing itself apart. So, should Trump lose in four years, watch out.

So, for the next four to eight years, we’ll be in a slow-mo Cold Civil War that will, in fits and starts, grind towards an actual secession of a few states. The actual make up of such a secessionist crisis is kind of puzzling.

Which states would bolt and why? Would it even be states at all, but rather some sort of coup in a few states? The reason why I suggest the latter is it is much more difficult for, say, South Carolina to bolt the Union because of, well, race. I just can’t see African Americans willingly joining disgruntled whites to leave the Union through some sort of secessionist convention. That leads to the idea of something a bit more violent and scary.

If not some Southern state, then which states would want to leave the Union? My guess is some state in the upper West where there aren’t any minorities. They would do it just out of spite. Though Texas is careening towards a bizarre enough Right wing hellscape that maybe they would be the state to do it.

Really, I just can’t see the Right being able to get enough leverage to start a secessionist crisis because Trump has a vested interest in keeping the government together. He’s much more likely to bend over backwards to give the insane, surreal 35% of the population that would be the most interested in secession everything they wanted. That would then make the whole situation moot.

That raises the issue of the center-Left seceding. I just don’t see that happening. While there was talk of California bolting the Union, that has subsided dramatically. That, then, raises the issue of why would the surreal Right be so fixated on leaving the Union despite getting everything they wanted.

That’s a tough one. I don’t have any answer to that. It would be a great historical irony if there was a secessionist crisis under Trump. The most likely scenario of that happening would be if in four or eight years a center-Left presidential candidate won. THEN, I could see Trump presiding over the dissolution of the Union quite easily.

But would there be a Second Civil War at all? Is it possible that we’re so divided that the “wayward sisters” that wished to leave the Union — whichever states they may be — would be allowed to “part in peace?” So, a lot of it would boil down to leadership. It could go either way. Either the Blue states bolt and join Canada or the Red states blot under a center-Left president and there (might) be a “hot” civil war. I’m not suggesting that a center-Left president would be more bloodthirsty, but I do think a center-Left president would be more likely to fight for the survival of the Union.

Regardless, we should all keep an eye on the surreal, bizarre extreme Right. That’s where tomorrow’s talking points for the Republican Party come from and before you know it secessionist talk may be something we all have to deal with.

Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

Cold Civil War: Steve Scalise’s Attack & A Possible Future ‘Reichstag Fire’ Event

by Shelton Bumgarner

It is very tragic that apparently a “Burnie Brah” was responsible for the senseless attack today on Rep. Steve Scalise and others. It raises a serious, scary issue though. If the Right is so quick to politicize an event like this where fortunately no one was too terribly hurt, imagine the consquences of an actual dramatic, violent and political event in this age of Trumplandia.

In other words, are we careening towards the conditions being right for the Dear Leader, Donald Trump, using a a major “Reichstag Fire” like event to attack civil liberties in a consequential manner? That is kind of deep. There are any number of possible scenarios one could map out.

It seems as though the weakest part of our modern civil society right now is the Internet. It isn’t too much to imagine Trump might seek to significantly regulate the Internet in an additional manner. Maybe a national PIN code to use it? A national “kill switch?”

And that’s just the high tech things Trump might push through should there be a major terrorist attack or another unhinged Bernie Brah does something tragic. We are in unprecedented times and I fear that anything may be on the table now.

What’s more, it seems as though Trump is baiting with all his might something like that happening. It really seems like he wants a major terrorist attack to take place. He certainly is doing everything in his power to make sure it happens. Important security roles remain unstaffed. He uses the power of the presidential bully pulpit to stoke fear and division in the populace.

All of this may be coming to a head.

And remember, we’re not even in the 2018 mid-term election cycle yet. Given that flipping Congress may be the only way to fix this problem, the forces of fear, paranoia and division than make Trump strong will double, triple their efforts to disrupt civil society and free and fair elections.

There’s just nothing we can do right now, it seems. Just nothing. We’re headed towards a dark and dangerous future and really all we have is our personal ability to engage. We really need to stop raging and begin to engage. We need to exercise our rights of free speech and public assembly while we still have them.

We have a madman as president and things are only going to get worse.

It’s all very tragic and I wish I could give you some quick, simple answer to all of this. But I can’t. We’re just going to have to continue to demand that our civil rights aren’t trampled upon. Once the inevitable Reichstag Fire event does happen, the real work of The Resistance will begin.

That’s when we’re all going to find ourselves having to deal with personal decisions we never imagined we’d have to make. We can’t get the EU to help us out of this bind. It will depend upon The Resistance to work towards justice. I might recommend setting up some snail-mail Committees of Correspondence just in case the worse happens.

It’s one way to at least sow the seeds of justice during a dark time.

Civil Cold War: Steve Scalise’s Alexandria Shooting In The Age Of Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner

The more I think about it, the more it seems pretty obvious that what a growing number of people are seeing as a “Civil Cold War” is really more a president’s era is a reflection of his or her personality. Since Donald Trump is a nut job, we have crazy thing happening on a nearly daily basis.

Let me take a moment to note that apparently Shakespeare In The Park has been doing updated Julius Caesar productions with the president of the moment filling in for the traditional depiction of Caesar for something like a decade and only this time around was there a problem. That’s example of what I’m talking about. When the president and his followers think the world is out to get them, they warp the world around them.

So, let’s address the tragic events in Alexandria. It seems as though there is a lot of “fake news” floating about the event. We don’t know for sure if the shooter asked if the participants in the softball match were Democrats or Republicans yet. We just don’t know.

But that hasn’t stopped people from assuming the worst, from freaking out. Then they turn to the dumb thing Kathy Griffin did with the squatty potty or Shakespeare In The Park and say, “Look, look what those damn liberals did.” It makes you wonder where all that rage is coming from, what existential issue is causing people to hate liberals so much. What do they want, for everyone to be forced to watch Keith Urban videos until the End Times?

I guess I think maybe there are two things at work that are feeding off of each other. On one hand, you have long-term issues in the collective American psyche. People are on the Right have gone beyond the surreal in their rage against liberals and the center-Left. That rage is such that it leaves me scratching my head. Meanwhile, the personality of the Dear Leader, Donald Trump, only feeds into this horrible situation and takes American civil society to the breaking point.

The combination of those two things has resulted in the Cold Civil War we are now in. And, sad to say, this Cold Civil War will grind on for as long as Trump is president. The complete civil meltdown in the United States right now between Trumplandia and The Resistance will go on for as long as Trump is president. And given how insanely conservative Mike Pence is, this era could go on much longer, and have much more devastating consquences than any of us ever imagined.

There’s no easy answer. That combination of general trends in our nation’s political history combined with Trump’s personal quirks will haunt us for decades. These are intractable problems. So, the events in Alexandra are tragic and unfortunate and I regret that they happened. But they could be the tip of the ice burg. We could see a smattering of such events here and there for four or eight more years.

I have suggested before that one way to fix these problem would be through technology. Maybe if Silicon Valley took just enough time to stop funding AR and VR to look into fixing the problems associated with Twitter with a new startup that did just that, maybe we could mitigate some of the issues we’re experiencing now. I have gone into great detail about my vision for such a service using Instagram, but I will give you some general thoughts now because it’s relevant.

We need a service that helps give content providers the feeling that they have a vested interest in using the service. So, in that sense, I could see this as an opportunity to disrupt the newspaper business as well as ameliorate some of the titanic issues facing the American Republic right now. Meanwhile, you would make at the core of such a service threaded discussion based on full pages posts. This may sound just like Reddit, but the vision I have is more an update of the old Usenet form of online discussion than anything else.

I propose this because maybe if a social media start up assumed you would write more than just 140 characters, and you did so in the context of a threaded discussion, maybe, just maybe, things would be a little bit better than they are now. A man can hope, right?

But we really need to address the origin of this Cold Civil War we’re in. If we engage each other instead of throwing rhetorical shit at each other, then maybe we can rise above this horrible situation we’re in. But, alas, I fear not until Trumplandia is defeated politically will that happen. Trump is simply too powerful right now and that power grows every time there is something outrageous that happens that divides people. Trump was voted in because he promised change and he’s doing just that.

But not for the better. Not at all for the better.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.