The Curious Case Of Modern American Politics


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

On one hand, American politics has snapped back into something akin to “normal” now that ding-dong Trump has been deplatformed and kicked out of office. And, yet, there are some pretty crazy things happening here and there that are so wild that it makes you wonder not if we’re going to have a civil war of some sort, but when.

Here and there, there are pings that everything I’ve been worried about for the last few months is still there. We have the Cyber Ninjas in Arizona still hard at work to prove somehow, anyhow that Trump “won” the state through some nefarious deep state efforts. Trump’s absolute control over the Republican Party grows tighter and tighter.

And, yet, at the same time, its becoming clear that, in a sense, non-Republican Americans have moved on. The fact that there are a dozen would-be autocrats waiting in the wings to replace Trump the moment he bows out, doesn’t exactly make me feel any better.

The point — what should be happening, isn’t happening. Which is good. What should be happening is it becoming absolutely clear that Cyber Ninjas is going to “prove” Trump “won” and that Trump is going to start up his rallies again, demanding that he be named the rightful president because, lulz. That starts a nullification crisis and then a civil war.

For the time being, at least, we’re in a holding pattern to see what Cyber Ninjas finally pull out of their asses. And, at least as of right this moment, it seems possible that even if Trump does scream at the top of his lungs that he’s “really” POTUS that…nothing will happnen.

My guess is if this happens, we’re just not there yet.

It really will be the 2024-2025 timeframe when we face the very, very stark choice of autocracy or civil war.

And I honestly don’t know which one will will pick.

MAGA Republicans & The Threat of a Second American Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One of the many alarming things about American politics right now is how the American Right has been completely consumed by the cancer that is MAGA. This has been a long-coming process, but it is finally complete. Now, the only Republican who doesn’t believe Trump’s Big Lie is a Democrat.

Or, put another another way, things within the Republican Party have gotten so bad that for all the talk about Liz Chaney will potentially run for president, in reality, the only way she might do so would be as a modern day “War Democrat” if things got really, really bad.

The COVID19 pandemic laid bare how bonkers the modern conservative movement is in the sense they could not see the pandemic as a health crisis, but only as a political football to be managed. They hate science and it is now MAGA orthodoxy that Dr. Fauci was, I don’t know…out to make ready cash from COVID19 via the Wuhan lab and….was in cahoots with liberals to bring down Trump with it?

My personal theory about why Republicans love this Big Lie about Dr. Fauci is they hate science so much that once he became a political lightening rod, they keep wondering, “What’s in it for him?” So they pull the idea that he, personally, was making money off the Wuhan lab in an effort to understand this mystery. (Not that it’s even been proven that the Wuhan lab had anything to do with the outbreak.)

But it’s that kind of reliance on Big Lies that are now at the heart of the modern GOP. I often say that conspiracy theories are the last refuge of the intellectually dishonest and Republicans are a prime example of this. Because of macro trends in the American political system, they’re very, very angry and anything that doesn’t fit their FOX News-Qanon-OANN media narrative must be some sort of conspiracy designed to allow the globalist cucks to take over and take their guns.

So, the thing we need to appreciate is the Republican Party isn’t imploding, isn’t getting weaker and isn’t going to do anything but get closer to Donald Trump until, say, they have an unusually bad mid-terms in 2022. Pinning your hopes on this happening is danger for two reasons: 1) November 2022 is a long time and any number of batshit insane things could happen by that point 2)Mid-term elections usually are about getting the base to the polls and it’s very easy to imagine a scenario where center-Left people lulz voting and when Republicans take control of the House and Senate again, Trump gets the credit and he’s well on his way to becoming the nominee in 2024.

The people who take such glee from what they believe are indications the Republican Party is dying should slow their roll. What’s more likely to happen is the Republican Party will fight dirty and nullify any election of a Democrat if it has the power to do so.

Or there’s a civil war.

These two choices are on something of a continuum. In a way, tragically, it could be only a civil war that will at least give us the possibility of saving our liberal democracy by destroying the Republican Party once an for all. But I really don’t like that option. I’m a man of peace, a man of ideas. I just am taking autocratic threat posed by the Republican Party seriously.

As I’ve written before, there’s a greater-than-zero-sum-chance that the Cyber Ninjas recount in Arizona will “prove” that Trump “won” the state and that, in turn will cause Trump to run around saying we have to “nullify the Biden Administration.”

That, in turn, will cause a secession crisis when MAGA legislatures take Trump both seriously and literally.

The ironic thing about such a scenario is if we’re going to have a civil war, better to have it now than in the 2024-2025 timeframe. But again, I don’t want a civil war now and I don’t want a civil war later.

Anyway, the point is — we have to take the threat of the anti-democratic Republican Party seriously. They are going to come roaring back at some point and the sooner we get ready for that, the better.

Second American Civil War: A Critical Analysis


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I write a lot about the prospect of a Second American Civil War, and yet, as of right now it’s very much a fantasiam. The idea of a Second American Civil War is evoked more from a general unease about the state of the United States than any real sense that it might actually happen anytime soon.

The issue for me is the conditions are there for a civil war. The positions of the two sides have grown more extreme and absolute. There’s an alarming level of dehumanization that’s taken place in our political discourse. And it definitely seems as though the Right has embraced the glorification of political violence in a rather astonishing fashion.

I would suggest that that while we’re probably drifting in some vague manner towards something that might be described as a “civil war” it’s not going to just magically happen. For an actual “civil war” to happen as the modern American would understand it, you would need a political framework, a government and a military force. If you don’t have any of these elements, then you just have a bunch of frustrated MAGA motherfuckers who, for some reason, think wearing a mask is tyranny.

Even then, if we manage to make it to the 2024-2025 timeframe, there’s a good chance that American liberal democracy won’t go out with a bang, but with a whimper — we’ll just take it for granted that for a Democrat to become president, they also have to control Congress so the Electoral vote is certified. But because of gerrymandering and voter suppression that never happens again.

MAGA controls the United States for generations and we slowly grow poorer and more autocratic to the point that we’re indistinguishable from Russia.

And, yet, there’s a greater-than-zero-sum-chance that something unexpected happens between now and then that sparks an actual, honest-to-God civil war in the United States. It could be anything from the unexpected death of a major political figure to, say, the Cyber Ninjas recount in Arizona “proving” that Trump “won.”

The reason why the latter might cause us to buckle is it would give a fig leaf to elements of the Republican Party who are looking for an excuse, any excuse to take the next logical step when it comes to their refusal to accept a Biden win — nullification.

And given how impractical it would be to nullify a presidential administration, it’s a brief jaunt to seceding from the Union altogether. But there is a lot I can’t figure out or game out. Even if Trump ran around saying he was “really” president because of the sham Cyber Ninjas recount, there’s a good chance that outside of the far right echo chamber that it will be a lulz.

But maybe not. It could be that Trump will get some traction among MAGA legislatures and all hell will break loose. I honestly, at his point, don’t know which scenario to expect to happen.

Why I’m Not MAGA


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I could write a whole book on why I hate MAGA — and, in a sense I am via the novel I’m writing — but there’s one aspect of MAGA that sticks out above all the rest. That aspect is how MAGA craves transforming the United States into an autocratic white Christian ethno state like Russia.

My white hot rage against this desire on the part of MAGA is the one thing that allows me to tolerate all the dumb things that liberal-progressives have managed to think up to hurt themselves on a political level. I was not raised in a nation that was based on “blood and soil.” I was raised in a nation that was an idea that welcomed immigrants from all over the world and always strove to do better.

Everything else that I hate about MAGA stems from this desire on their part. Trump is simply a vessel for the racism, misogyny and bigotry that is associated with the “blood and soil” concept. The startling thing to me about all of this is I keep meeting otherwise intelligent, educated (and wealthy) people who have bought into the “blood and soil” concept totally.

It’s enough to fill me with a great deal of dread. It’s like a fucking Twilight Zone episode. Things have gotten so bad with a number of people close to me that I am beginning to take some of my more hysterical Trump-era fears far more seriously than I did while Trump was in office. As I keep saying, in the end, we’re going to have a very stark choice as a nation: autocracy or civil war.

The United States is far more politically unstable than the average person may believe. All we need is a little extra pressure put on the system and the whole thing may collapse in a rather abrupt, violent and cataclysmic manner. And, really, the United States is a slow moving train wreck at this point — the only question is what finally pushes us over the edge.

That’s probably my biggest pet peeve about Twitter liberals. They take such glee in pointing out the structural problems in the United States…but don’t take the time to make the obvious cognitive leap to what it all means. It’s like they see a historical train rushed towards us, but aren’t all that interested in helping us get off the tracks.

I just don’t see how the United States doesn’t either become an autocratic managed democracy like Russia or we buckle and start running around murdering each other for political reasons. I hope I’m wrong. I often am. But on a macro level, things don’t look so great.

The point of this is — I, for one, know which side I’m on. I’m on the side of the America I grew up in. Whatever fate that may bring me, I’m ready for.

America’s Stark Choice: Autocracy Or Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The United States is far less stable on a political level than we realize. If I have to spend this much time thinking about all the different ways we could buckle sooner rather than later, we got a problem. I generally believe that if there’s going to be any kind of modern civil war, it’s going to be in the 2024-2025 timeframe.

And, yet, we have to deal with the bonkers Cyber Ninja recount in Arizona that has the potential to be extremely destabilizing. If they do manage to pull a Trump “victory” out of their butt — which they definitely seem hellbent on doing — then there’s a good chance that Trump will pop out of his hidey-hole and scream at the top of his lungs that this “proves” that he won the 2020 election and, as such, the Biden Administration should be “nullified” (whatever that means.)

What’s more, that’s not the only way we might find ourselves in a hot civil war — the unexpected death of any number of major political leaders, for any reason, would do the same thing at this point.

The point is — the United States is at a breaking point. We’re primed and ready for a collapse of historic proportions pretty much at any point between now and January 2025. It’s pretty easy to imagine that MAGA Republicans in Congress will simply refuse to certify the election of anyone they don’t like and that will be when we face a very, very stark choice: do we become a fascist state or do we find ourselves in a hot civil war?

I don’t particularly want either outcome, but as I keep saying, the issue is no one will have a choice. We’re all going to have to make some existential decisions. There will, at last, be no middle ground. We’re all going to have to pick a side, any side and risk our lives by doing so.

The Rise Of American Fascism


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It used to be I had at least one conservative relative I had regular, friendly debates with. That has ended, ominously, however, because my conservative interlocutor finally was so detached from reality that I got mad and he said he didn’t want to talk politics with me anymore.

I try to be empathetic, so I find myself rolling around in my mind the topics we talked about in our last debate. The key take away I can think of off the top of my head is how much conservatives fucking hate science. It’s not that they don’t believe in it or that they deny it — they just hate it. This is the origin of their collective hatred of Dr. Fauci. In fact, Dr. Fauci was one of several instances where what my conservative relative started to say seemed like it was being beamed out of the Upside Down. It was surreal. It was bonkers. And it was dangerous.

Anyway, another re-occurring theme with conservatives is they “just want to be left alone.”

I assume what they mean is they think that just by being conservative, that just by having an opinion that doesn’t fit the “liberal media’s agenda” that they risk having their lives destroyed via “cancel culture.” I find it curious that conservatives get so worked up over the power of the liberal media when it’s also pretty obvious that for all the talk about the Republican Party dying it is actually growing more powerful as it marinates in its hate.

I struggle to figure out what the solution to how the United States is tearing itself apart. My fear is the only way there’s any solution is some sort of historic “reset” of our politics that involves an actual hot civil war. I could be a lot more empathetic to the concerns of American conservatives if they weren’t so hysterical that they were willing to throw their lot with fascism. Because that’s what we face right now — the rise of American fascism.

And, really, ironically, what has allowed us to doge the fate of the Weimer Republic for the time being is the Right is completely consumed with hero worship of a…ding-dong. Trump pretty much is an American Hitler…but for the part where he just talks a lot and never actually takes the next step of knocking heads. Trump is soooo fucking lazy and disorganized that while he has helped us lurch towards a Fourth Reich, he has also delayed its creation because of his, specific, personality quirks.

It’s not like Trump has the wherewithal to organize any sort of SA-type paramilitary group. So, a crucial aspect of the rise of American fascism doesn’t exist. We have a few would-be paramilitary groups but they’re small and disorganized at the moment. And, hopefully, will stay that way and never organize into one big jackbooted organization.

But let me be clear — the MAGA Republican Party isn’t dying. If we were still a liberal democracy, then, yes, you could make that argument. But we’re not that anymore –we’re an autocracy without an autocrat. What I mean by that is — all the conditions are there for an autocrat to turn us into a managed democracy like Russia…but for someone to actually do it.

And the one person who history would have do it — Donald J. Fucking Trump — is such a dingbat that for the time being we have a few years of peace. Either Trump will come back tan, ready and rested and take us into the dark night of fascism, or any one of seemingly endless stream of would-be MAGA autocrat presidents will do it instead.

And, as such, that’s why, as I keep saying, we face a stark choice between now and January 2025: autocracy or civil war.

How American Democracy Dies


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Right now, it’s been established that the only way a Democrat President can successfully name someone to SCOTUS is if Democrats control the Senate. What Republicans want next is establish that the only way a Democrat ever becomes president in the first place is if Democrats control Congress.

In 2024-2025, there is a serious chance that Republicans will make an all out push to make end American democracy once and for all by nullifying a Biden re-election via their control of Congress. And that, my friend, is going to be the moment of truth.

That is when the stark choice I’ve constantly been talking about will occur: autocracy or civil war.

Center-left people in the United States, because of Bush V. Gore, have been conditioned to shut up and accept defeat via a quirk in the system that is upheld by the courts. It is very, very easy to imagine a situation where there will be something of a closed loop when it comes to POTUS.

Because of voter suppression and gerrymandering, Congress will always be controlled by Republicans. In turn, it will become conventional wisdom that we just have to accept that Republicans will nullify any Democrat win and, lulz, sucks to be you. Then we just drift into a very autocratic future where MAGA gets to enact its vision of an America that is identical to Putin’s Russia.

There will be a lot of demonstrations and lots of chatter about how “weak” this or that Republican Administration is, but in the end 30 years from now we will have had a succession of MAGA Republicans who are more and more successful at maintaining power. Throw in a MAGA push to get a Constitutional Convention and there will become a point where we have an identical situation to modern Russia — a huge swath of the population will grow up to know no one but a President Pompeo or President Hawley.

And then gradually it just becomes accepted that ICE is our FSB and if you oppose MAGA you get pushed out a window or thrown into a weaponized ICE Camp. Cruelty will be the point for generations to come.

But.

And this is where we learn how “exceptional” America really is. Is the macro lunge towards autocracy simply the normal progression of our democracy or are things going to be more like the 1860s when we have a massive crisis and then pretty shocking renewal of our American Covenant? Trumplandia will be at its weakest during its birthing process.

It’s at least possible that MAGA Republicans will bungle the transition from democracy to autocracy and there will be a civil war. And, as such, given the strength of Blue States when it comes to their populations, political unity and economies, that instead of Trumplandia, we will have a very blood, very turbulent few years and come out the other side with our democracy redefined and stronger than ever.

The only reason why I frame things this way is to make it clear: there will be no middle ground. Everyone will have to, on an existential level, make a decision and pick a side. No matter if we become an autocratic managed democracy like Russia or if we have a civil war. The time for punting problems down the road has come to an end. We are no longer in normal times.

America is tearing itself apart and MAGA demands are going more radical. And, in a very weird way, one could say that their greatest strength going into whatever clusterfuck we stumble into is also their greatest weakness: Donald Trump.

Trump is — and always has been — nothing more than an avatar. And, as such, it’s easy to imagine he being the specific reason why what could otherwise be a peaceful transition into an autocracy might be bungled pretty severely by MAGA and they blow their opportunity to be a permeant ruling minority.

I have no easy answers for you. I can’t give you a Vox corporate liberal explanation as to what to do to keep your family safe when all this happens. Good luck. You’ll need it.

Contemplating A Secession Crisis In 2021


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As always, America’s fate may rest with the actions of a ding-dong. I say this because there is a down low political crisis brewing in Arizona. If Republicans finally manage to “prove” that Trump “won” the state and then other states that Biden won that have deranged Republican legislatures follow suit, there may come a point when we have a severe political crisis on our hands.

And it would happen a lot quicker than you think.

All that would have to happen is just enough states flip from Biden to Trump through the nefarious machinations of Republicans to “prove” that Trump “really did win” and we might get that 2021 civil war way too many people seem interested in.

It’s easy to imagine Trump getting really excited and at the news that he “won” and crowing at every opportunity. (Now, over the years, I’ve come up with many, many, many over-the-top dystopian Trump scenarios and he’s proven himself to be too stupid and lazy to actually do any of them. So this could be another example of this. But hear me out.) This causes the small population lily white states of the Mountain area to call snap state conventions to secede from the Union because, well, lulz, Trump “won” YOLO.

I don’t really think this will happen, but there is a greater-than-zero-chance that it just might…in 2021.

And, yet, if you’re a fucking MAGA cucksucker who wants to murder liberals in cold blood as part of a Second American Civil War…you aren’t really thinking things through. Yes, you can probably get six or so states with very small — and white — populations to “leave” the Union…but what are you going to do about the South, you morons.

You’re so wrapped up in the Glorious Cause of “making America Great again” by having a ding-dong president for life, that you are completely missing the issue of race. Race and a Southern secession crisis is not something you just wave your Miller Lite at and mumble something about how you’re figure that out when you get to it. The moment MAGA legislatures in the South attempt to leave the Union so they can suck Donald Trump’s political cock, you got yourself a race war.

Race relations in the United States are pretty shitty as it is. Throw in MAGA Nazis wanting to put African Americans under their jackboot in the South and…oh boy. That is not going to go well.

But given how idiotic MAGA people are on this subject — they really, really want a fucking civil war — I would suggest there are a few milestones to look for in the coming days. If these things begin to happen, then, yes, you can spooge in your AR-15 then clean it off and start thinking how you can murder people like me in cold blood because of cancel culture.

  1. Trump “wins” because Biden’s wins in a number of states are overturned by MAGA legislatures.
  2. Trump goes nuts and runs around saying he won and is actually still president. He won’t shut up about it and the fucking cocksucker MAGA people start to listen
  3. A number of MAGA Nazi state legislatures call secessionist conventions to leave the Union because, lulz, Trump is “really” president.
  4. The secession crisis smacks into the South and African Americans begin to freak the fuck out and something akin to a race war erupts.
  5. Average people begin to vote with their feet, with Red people in Blue states and Blue people in Red states fleeing their states because they fear for their lives simply because of a difference in political views with people around them in their neighborhoods.
  6. The two sides differences harden because of this political consolidation and the U.S. Military even begins to have problems with people leaving their ranks to side with the secessionists.
  7. Trump forms some sort of “shadow government” and calls up troops from the states that have “left” the Union.
  8. All hells breaks loose. There’s a civil war. A lot of people die. But at least Mary Sue won’t have to worry about being canceled after she yelled at a African American clerk for getting her order wrong.

    Ugh.

You Can Feel The Historical Forces Aligning To Cause Either A Second American Civil War Or Decent Into Autocracy


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It’s rare that you can actually see, first hand, significant macro historical forces at work. But that’s what we got right now in the United States. The crux of the issue, as is explicated in Ezra Klein’s “Why Were’ Polarized,” is white people are beginning to wake up to the looming inevitability of them being in the minority and a sizable portion of them don’t like it one bit.

All the fucked up shit going on in the United States spring from that fact. Everything from the fight over immigration (brown people scary!) to abortion (make more white babies!) to you name it comes from not “economic anxiety” but regular old racism.

There’s no such thing as reveled truth and I can’t predict the future, but I am enough of a student of history to know the America we have known for about 240 years simply isn’t going to make it through the passions of another presidential cycle. Or, if it does, it will only happen at the cost of a great amount of blood and treasure. Nothing short of a Third American Covenant [first: 1776 second: 1865)] will save our sorry asses at this point.

In other words — a civil war.

But that’s not the only option. We could just shrug when MAGA Republicans refuse to certify Joe Biden’s reelection and in January 2025 and that’s it. We’ll be run by hateful MAGA cocksuckers for decades to come. They will slowly at first, then faster and faster begin to crack down their pet peeves about modern America until they transform us in to Trumplandia.

But 2024 is it. That year will be make or break. But there won’t be any middle ground. The time for compromise will be over. You will have to pick a side, one way or another, no matter what the outcome is. And it will be existential. If there’s a civil war, then your personal safety will be decided by your politics. If its autocracy, then you either become a Good American or you get pushed out a window by a weaponized ICE agent.

As I keep saying, I have no idea what to tell you about how to prepare for this epic clusterfuck. I would suggest you get out of the country if that’s an option. But if it’s not, then make sure your personal politics align with the state you live in.

There are plenty of things that could happen that could punt this particular problem down the road. It happened in 2020, it could happen again. But Republicans are so far into fascism at this point that either they provoke significant political violence or they win and snuff out our liberties once and for all.

MAGA already glorifies political violence and it’s only going to get worse. But I have said over and over again, they are making a serious mistake on a strategic level by being so fucking bloodthirsty. If they were just patient and played by the rules, they could get everything they wanted in a peaceful manner. The entire system is already rigged in their favor in various ways. It’s when they overreach and steal the 2024 election in an extremely brazen fashion that the country will grow extremely unstable.

But, who knows. We might just shrug and let MAGA end our liberal democracy without any conflict at all.

The Macro Trends Hurtling America Towards Civil War Or Autocracy In 2025


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Here are some of the macro trends that are eating away at our political system such that by the time 2024-2025 rolls around we are faced with a stark choice — civil war or autocracy.

Harding of Political Positions
The two sides are beginning to harden their positions in the wake of Trump. Or, put another way, Republicans have become fucking fascists who hate democracy to the point that no amount of political ratfucking is too craven for them. The recent Georgia Jim Crow 2.0 voting restrictions being a prime example of this. The two sides are now just talking passed each other in any political debate and, as such, our politics is beginning to lock up in fits and starts to the point that by the time 2024 rolls around it will collapse and a sizable portion of the population will see violence as their last recourse.

Miscalculations On Both Sides
Both sides are making some major miscalculations about the other. The Right things that if all else fails they can start murdering people to get what they want –without thinking through the practical implications of such a move. Meanwhile, the Left isn’t really taking the Right’s transition into a bloodthirsty mob seriously and think they can somehow magically get what they want via politics.

The Republicans Are Fascists
MAGA is now full-blown fascism and this subgroup of the Republican Party is dragging the rest of the party with it. So in 2024 there will be a number of different junctures where Republicans will test to see if they can simply nullify Biden’s reelection, no matter what the result. Their thinking will be that given we’ve already come to accept someone can win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote by a hefty margin that people will lulz Republicans “legally” nullifying Biden’s re-election by not certifying the vote in Congress. There could be dueling Electors at this point as well to muddy the waters even more.

Income Disparity
A wide gap between rich and more does not a stable nation make. So, it’s easy to imagine that being another systemic breakdown that will make the nation ripe for some sort of violent event in 2024-2025.

A Glorification Of Civil War By The Right
I know from my webstats that there’s a huge amount of interest in a second American civil war out there in the aether. Some of this, I think, comes from good old boys drinking a Miller Light and smoking a doobie on the back porch gaming out what happens when dem dar libtards try to take away their guns. And some of it is simply, on an abstract level, a glorification of violence in the name of political ends that is extremely poorly thought out and completely detached from reality. What I mean by this is — while I know it fits into the FOX News narrative that the center-Left is a bunch of unredeemable soyboy numales who are so limp wristed they could never fire a gun — in reality it’s human nature that when things grow existential humans do tend to adapt in whatever manner necessary to stay alive.