America’s ‘2024’ Problem


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Something about Obama’s second term galvanized and radicalized the Republican Party to such an extent that Trump was given a springboard to the presidency.

If Trump wins a second term — which I think he will because he’s going to lie, cheat and steal his way into it — it’s easy to imagine a situation where the Democrat Party will experience a similar radicalization. And, yet, these are not ordinary times. What’s more likely to happen is Trump will purge the media in his second term and make all traditional notions of civil society and liberal democracy in the United States moot.

Also, remember, a lot — A LOT — of otherwise well-respect, intelligent people have completely invested themselves in MAGA-Qanon. So much so, that they have said some pretty bonkers things in his defense. Things are simply are nearly impossible to defend if he’s not in power and they have to criticize the sitting president.

The list goes on. But the point is — the United States is careening towards a historic fork in the road. Either we turn into a fascist state or we have a civil war. We can not go this far down the road to tyranny without slipping into it directly or solving this particular debate about the soul of the nation on some sort of battlefield.

Now, let me put all of this into context. I’m a man of peace. A man of ideas. But I am also taking seriously the batshit insane rhetoric now found among a lot of prominent Rightwing “thought leaders.”

As such, everything indicates that even if it’s just rhetoric for them, that someone, somewhere is going to take is seriously and blow something up. This may happen no matter what for no other reason than in their organsmic love for Trump, they want to give him an excuse to seize “total power” as Roger Stone would have it.

I have written at great length that, really, the last defense of what’s left of our liberal democracy is nothing more than our self-perception as Americans. Nothing has indicated to me that even that will matter in the end, but for one thing — House Trump is a bunch of self-own artists.

They are well on their way to cruising into “total power,” but they’re such morons that they could very well do the very thing that all the point scoring on Twitter by Blue Check Liberals has never done to date — make people care.

When the average person looks up and realizes some basic freedoms they assume they would have as part of their American Birthright are gone in a rather abrupt fashion, then it’s possible we’re all going to need to bone up on our Lincoln.

A Reminder To The Russians That History Is Extremely Unpredictable


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Apparently, the Russians are looking at the possibility of a civil war in the United States with glee. They think Trump’s their guy. And “the worst the better” when it comes to civil war in the United States.

I would like to note that the Germans shipped Lenin to Russia in a sealed train, thinking it was a lulz. And we all know how that turned out.

So you just never know. While it’s obvious that the Russians think that Trump will either turn the United States into an autocratic managed democracy like themselves or the States will implode into civil war — sometimes “chaos agents” prompt chaos that turns around and bites the people who helped them in the butt.

I’m not feeling all that optimistic about the fate of the United States at the moment, but on a macro level, things may turn out in ways the Russians may live to regret.

‘Implosion’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

At this point, it seems clear that only some pretty serious self-owns on the part of House Trump will stop a significant consolidation of power on their part. They’re very much in a position to steal the election and then continue to, in fits and starts, strangle liberal democracy in the United States.

I honestly struggle to imagine any situation where this doesn’t happen.

Or, put another way, when your only hope of saving liberal democracy in your country is the possibility that the bad guys will self-own then you got a serious problem. There’s every reason to believe that Barr is a lot smarter than Trump and our slide into fascism will happen in a rather uneventful fashion.

But there are some things to take inconsideration.

One is Newt Gingrich, Charlie Kirk and a seemingly endless parade of other MAGA-Qanon “thought leader” are chomping at the bit for a civil war. Obviously, I think Trump is going to steal the election rather easily, but there’s a chance that the Right has so whipped itself into a frenzy that they might prompt something akin to a civil war simply because they can’t control themselves.

Remember, the key to any Trump victory is apathy on the part of the average American. The moment their own, personal experience is dramatically disrupted, there’s a chance a lot of people who otherwise don’t care about politics might get woke.

That would change the dynamic of the whole situation rather dramatically.

Another thing to think about is even though Barr is well on his way to turning the United States into an autocratic managed democracy, Trump is still his boss. And a fish rots from its head.

But, I think all of that is just white noise. There’s not going to be a civil war and our fall into fascism is going to be continue to be slow and methodical. For that not to happen, a lot of center-Right people would have to really shock me and I just don’t see that happening.

How Trump Wins The 2020 Election


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

  1. A COVID19 “vaccine”before the election.
    It doesn’t matter how real it is. All he needs is to allay the concerns of the elderly.
  2. The Durham Investigation
    At a minimum, it has the potency of the Second Comey Letter in that it implicates Biden (and Obama?) in criminal activity. Even though it’s all a lie.
  3. Trump’s fucking with the postal service
    This, in itself, is enough to shave off a few points off Biden’s lead
  4. The Russians
    The Russians are going to hack directly into our election systems as part of a quid pro quo for Trump removing 1/3 of our troops from Germany.

So Trump wins on election night. If he doesn’t, Barr does a massive power grab. Either we do something about that en mass, we don’t. Good luck.

This Is Going To Be An Unusual Election, No Matter What


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have said before that there are two different “tracts” when it comes to the 2020 election. On one track there is the traditional political dynamic of an American election. That track is what Biden is using.

Meanwhile, on the Trump side, politics is a moot point. It’s about tribalism and, if need be, force of arms.

In other words, the only valid outcome of the 2020 election for Trump supporters is a Trump win. Even if he does win, they probably are so ready to to knock some heads, that violence may happen anyway.

The point is — I continue to grow really aggravated by Blue Check Liberals who are completely oblivious to the cold hard fact that MAGA-Qanon is going to lie, cheat and steal (and maybe blow shit up) if it appears as if Trump isn’t going to win.

I still think Trump is going to “win” outright on Election Night for a number of reasons. And, really, if he doesn’t, then every day he’s not victorious is another day that we careen towards significant violence on the part of the Right. It doesn’t matter if they believe their own bullshit or not, someone, somewhere will and then there will be a reaction and then, well, yikes!

But that really is the absolute worst case scenario. More likely what’s going to happen is a combination of fucking with the postal service, the bullshit Durham Investigation and the Russians hacking directly into our election systems will hand Trump a victory pretty early on in the process.

Good luck, folks, you’re going to need it.

My Current Durham Investigation Predictions


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It seems to me that this is going to happen: Barr is going to come out and announce with great fanfare sometime in October that Durham’s “preliminary” findings are that Obama and Biden were directly involved in criminal spying on the Trump Campaign in 2016.

The implication will be that “for the sake of the country” they will hold off on actually indicting them until after the election.

Now, that’s the most logical outcome of this bullshit investigation into what was a legitimate and normal investigation into shenanigans on the part of the Trump Campaign.

But there is another option.

Trump / Barr might get REALLY GREEDY and they don’t do something as benign — but important — as doing something with the political potency of the Second Comey Letter.

No, they give the craven MAGA-Qanon hoards what they want — to see Obama and Biden frogwalked.

Now, none of this would happen in a political vacuum. Such an abuse of power on the part of the Trump Administration would likely cause rage in a lot of unexpected quarters. But Trump wouldn’t care — he gets the twofer of finally seeing Obama in “jail” and shaving off enough points of Biden’s lead due to the confusion right before the election that Trump can win just like he did and go about consolidating power.

I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But there is, at least, something of a spectrum to think about. I think a lot of my angst is for nothing because Barr is going to give Trump all the legal justification he needs to steal the election and do whatever the fuck he wants.

Ugh.

The American Political Crisis of 2020


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Trump isn’t Hitler.
The thing I often say is that history is given value and a narrative after the fact to make it easier to understand. While you’re actually living through it, you have no idea what is going to happen. Everything seems a chaotic series of random events.

So, we look back at the rise of Hitler and see that it was “obvious” that someone like Hitler was going to come about for various macro reasons. In fact, I would say the rise of Trump in the United States has definitely give me far more understanding of the historical context of Hitler than I had before.

Looking at Hitler’s rise then at Trump, it’s easy to make the assumption that our goose is cooked. While Trump is unlikely to try to take over the world like Hitler, he is probably going to significantly re-arrange not only the United States but the global order once he successfully steals his second term. And, in fact, I have come to believe that that is a forgone conclusion.

And, yet, the Wilmer Republic and the First American Republic are sufficiently different on some major, existential metrics to warrant doing a little bit of comparative political analysis. I’m not an expert on the rise of Hitler, but I know enough to give you a reasonably educated opinion.

One of the key differences between Hitler and Trump is Hitler was dealing with a homogenous European country with a history of autocratic rule. The United States, meanwhile, is far larger, has a significant non-white population and generally has a strong liberal democratic tradition.

And, yet, obviously, America’s democratic norms, traditions and institutions are all rotting to the point of non-functioning. As such, an extremely compelling case can be made for Trump following an almost identical path to absolute fascist power as Hitler. And very soon — probably about 18 months.

There is a known unknown, however, that make me question that snap judgement. It’s Trump himself. Trump has benefited from astonishing existential problems in the American political system that pretty much protect him from any form of accountability. He, quite literally, is an absolutely deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner.

It’s very possible that Trump, being the deranged moron that he is, could make a massive strategic miscalculation. He is so used to getting away with everything, that he rather abruptly (using Barr) makes a significant power grab. The power grab is so brazen and ham-handed that it sets of a cascading set of event that lead to the one thing that Trump can’t afford — the average person getting woke.

Even with this unknown, I still think Trump is going to pull it off. And, really, there’s only one last thing that might stop Trump from totally consolidating power. If Trump does consolidate power, he has two “flavors” of fascism he might choose from. He could go to autocratic managed democracy like in Russia, or he could go the Hitler route which is far more capricious, vicious and cruel.

If Trump had but a mere modicum of self-control or actual political ability, he has the Russian-style autocratic managed democracy in the bag. He can do that no problem. And, in all honesty, I think that’s our fate. It’s all over but the shouting. Just like impeachment, I’m going to do all this speculating about possible outcomes other than acquittal and then the very outcome I knew was going to happen all along, happens.

But we know that not only is Trump a self-own artist, he’s stupid and greedy, so it’s at least possible that he will attempt to go the Hitler route and go full despot before America’s self-perception has changed.

It’s at least possible that should he go full-despot and a lot of center-Right but not MAGA people are finally, finally, FINALLY forced to have an opinion about Trump one way or another that they may say fuck this and side with the “resistance.” As such, the United States might be looking less at a Second American Civil War and more at a Second Revolutionary War.

What I mean by this is the existing power structure of the United States might be completely swept away. It wouldn’t be like the Civil War where the North’s economic and power structure took over the defeated South’s, thus uniting the country under a common vision.

Nope. It could be that the two sides go at it in such a way that new leaders woud bubble up to prominence for no other reason than a complete failure of the old order. I find this extremely unlikely, but it is something to think about.

I say this because most of the existing power structure of the center-Left is completely ineffectual. If there was actually some sort of “revolution,” they would be the first to go. People with vision and guts would take over and make a lot of very hard decisions for the country that to date we’ve simply muddled through or punted down the road.

But such a dramatic change would have massive consequences and require a tragic and significant loss of life. (So, I really don’t want that to happen.)

Let me be clear this post is more about me making my abstract fears concrete so they don’t bother me so much. I think, really, the only issue before us a few more people might realize the jackboot is on our face, but there won’t, in real terms, be that much of a chance in any one person’s daily life — yet.

The United States’ Three Fates: Fascism, Civil War or Revolution


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

A lot of options face the United States right now but one — a peaceful transfer of power. That’s just not going to happen. Either Trump wins outright and we slip into tyranny or there is a civil war or revolution.

Fascism
In this scenario, Trump “wins” a second term and he continues to consolidate power gradually to the point that he gets those “12 more years” he keeps ranting about. This will happen either because he purges the media so, lulz, or he gets a Constitutional Convention. I will note, however, that Trump is not expansionist. The country is more likely to pull all its troops from everywhere across the globe and turn into something of a Hermit Kingdom. This, of course, will likely cause something akin to WW3. I could definitely see the United States form some sort of alliance with Russia after it leaves NATO. But it’s very likely that Qanon will be given free reign to round up and murder people a la the Khmer Rouge. Or, at least, Qanon would act in conjunction with a concerted effort to fill ICE Camps with the same types of people that Qanon wants dead.

Civil War
This would happen if there were dueling presidents, with a “Blue State” president and a “Red State” president. A lot depends which side gets the U.S. Military as to how, exactly this particular situation plays out. This is kind of a worst case scenario. A lot of things would have to go wrong for Trump for things to grow that dire. But he is a massive self-own artist, so anything is possible.

Revolution
This is much like the civil war scenario. The difference would be that even the U.S Military implodes and no institution is spared a radical transformation as the Red and the Blue go at each other’s throats.

And, remember, none of this would happen in a vacuum. The DPRK and the Russians might get involved. And maybe even the EU. But we have to begin to think seriously about how for the first time in living memory, the United States may be an active battlefield. Good luck.

Two Tribes — How The Blue States Could Win A Second American Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One way Blue States could win a Second American Civil War.

As I keep saying, that any Rightwing nutjob would actually WANT a civil war, really makes no sense. The moment you leave the realm of the political and enter an existential situation, all bets are off. It could go any number of different ways.

I guess, for me, the real existential question is why the Right now hates the center-Left with such a rage that they would care more about having the opportunity to kill liberals on the battlefield than be content with their continued political victories in Washington D.C. There’s something really wild going on on a macro level and I simply don’t have a ready answer.

Anyway, as you can tell from this map, Blue States — should they decide to stand and fight — have one clear way they could win the war. California is a huge, politically cohesive state that could easily supply the men and economy necessary to put the Blue States in a very strong position militarily. There aren’t a lot of people — in real terms — between California and, say, Minnesota and Wisconsin so, all things being equal, their forces could easily blitzkrieg across the largely empty (and Red) Great Plains. Once the Blue States are contiguous, they can press east and south into the heart of Old Dixie. Additionally, Florida — like Virginia — would likely implode because it’s actually on a political level several different states smashed together. South Florida is Blue while the rest of the state is various shades of Purple outside of the panhandle area.

I’ve also noted that, in general, Red States are far less politically united than Blue States. And, if I had any control over Blue State war aims, I would entice the African American community in the South to rebel en mass by telling them they would get some sort of reparations for slavery if they did so. Freed slaves were key to Union victory during the original civil war. If you have huge swaths of the population of Dixie in open rebellion against the fascist Neo-Confederates, then that particular problem might be wrapped up a lot quicker than you think.

But one thing you have to remember — this would not happen in a vacuum. We don’t know which side the U.S. Military will land on. We don’t know if desperate Red States won’t seize WMD and start using chemical, biological and tactical nukes on Blue States to slow their advance down. We also don’t know if the DPRK might nuke the States in some way during all of this or if Russian won’t throw aid to the Red States because, well, lulz.

The whole thing could grow far more messy and intractable than you might think. The whole country will, essentially, be burned to the ground should his happen. But the case could be made that should Blue States solve the central problem of the United States, that we might enter a second Gilded Age. (If the Red States win, we’ll probably just endup slaves to House Trump.)

I guess the ultimate endgame could be a lot more messy than that, will some sort of rump Red State USA surviving out of spite. I can’t predict the future, I don’t know.

Good luck everyone.

Only A Trump Victory Will Be Seen As Legitimate By MAGA-Qanon


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I see a lot of Blue Check liberals who talk about how, on a political level, the Trump campaign is “imploding.” “Love to see it,” they say. I find this very aggravating because they’re deluding themselves.

America’s political system has collapsed. As such, for MAGA-Qanon, there can only be one legitimate victor in the fall — Donald Trump. This means that any outcome that doesn’t involve Trump winning is to be challenged, maybe even in an armed revolt. The issue is, of course, that if Trump “wins,” then he’ll begin to aggressively consolidate power and so, lulz, that’s it.

So either Trump wins and turns us into an autocratic managed democracy our he loses and there’s significant political violence, up to and including an actual civil war. I just don’t see the result that a lot of Blue Check Liberals apparently believe will happen — that of a Biden victory and a peaceful transfer of power — happening. It’s just not a very likely scenario at this point.

The more difficult it is for Trump to secure a victory, the more radical and ham-handed he will become. This, in turn, will throw the country in turmoil because a lot of Biden people are unlikely to simply let this happen without some sort of real-world response. As Trump’s insanity and political criminality fuse tighter and tighter as the days progress, there are all kinds of nightmare scenarios involving actual violent clashes in the streets.

Should the absolute worst case scenario happen — that of dueling presidents — then all bets are off. The only real question at that point will be which president the U.S. Military sees as valid and how they decide to put down any major insurrection on either the Blue or Red side.

I guess there’s the possibility that major Blue States may simply leave the Union, but I find that a bit too much of a liberal fever dream. It would make a lot more sense for California to stay and fight than try to leave the Union and give Trump a massive political excuse to attack them with the U.S. Military.

Anyway, one thing is for sure — this fall and winter are going to be extremely historic. Either the United States turns into an autocratic managed democracy, or there’s something akin to a civil war. If there is a new American civil war, then soon thereafter, it’s likely World War III will break out as the DPRK and Russia see their opportunity to finally obtain their long term stragetic goals.

I will note that there is a chance that MAGA-Qanon will self-own even if Trump “wins.” They could now already be so bloodthirsty that even if Trump “wins” they will start murdering people they don’t like in cold blood. That, in itself, could evoke a significant response from Blue State governments.

Good luck