‘Something’s In The Air’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I feel an existential unease in the United States right now. I’m reading a new biography of President Grant right now, and it alludes to how in the late 1850s everyone saw some sort of conflict rushing towards them.

While I may openly mull some sort of armed conflict in the United States, be it civil war or revolution — or both — as of right now I have no actual reason to believe any of that is possible. The United States is to big and too stable for it to simply, well, collapse. If anything, it’s going to slip, with its eyes wide open, into some sort of autocratic managed democracy like what is found in modern day Russia.

That definitely seems to be our fate.

I say that because of Trump’s “Spaghetti Strategy” when it comes stealing the 2020 election. He’s simply throwing everything he can at it in an attempt to see what sticks. And, really, from his point of view, you could say that he knows that post-election, all he has to do is control the media narrative and he is going to win. People will grow too frustrated with the process. Or too nervous about armed conflict. Or to confused. Or what have you.

Again, as of right now, I have to agree with him.

But I do like a good thought experiment, so I guess you could speculate he and Barr might be setting themselves up for a historic miscalculation? Maybe? And the source of that miscalculation would they would not appricate that no matter how much they control the media narrative there’s a chance that the whole thing would smash up against American self-perception. Americans believe they live in a free country and the “soft power” attempt to steal the election Trump and Barr are hoping for might not work.

If it doesn’t then — since autocrats never lose — they might be a bit more ham-handed in their attempts to steal the election, which would only make matters a quantum leap worse. But I’m making a huge strategic bet on something that, to date, simply hasn’t been there — the average person who is not on Twitter being willing to risk things that are important to them in real life in an effort to protect the sanctity of the Republic.

For the last five years, Trump has faced no real accountability. He’s had his worst impulses blunted, but in general, he’s gotten everything he wanted because of the Vichy, callow nature of Senate Republicans, among others. And there’s no reason to believe that if Trump took “total control” as Roger Stone would suggest that the entire edifice of the Republican Party wouldn’t go along with it.

And, as such, the final arbiter of this particular situation would be the American people, the volk, themselves. If nothing happens, then the First Republic fails and we enter the Trumplandia Era of the United States. After about 40 years, when the last of the Baby Boomers finally croke, then we can think about maybe founding a Second Republic from the ashes of the old.

Something pretty astonishing would have to happen, at this point, for us to not to slip into autocracy. Something I simply can’t predict. We have our fate in our own hands, but nothing to date has indicated we really care all that much.

Prove me wrong.

Countdown To Implosion: A Very American Coup (And Counter-Coup)


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing about what’s going on right now is it’s difficult, if not impossible, to figure out how serious Trump is about staging A Very American Coup and how much is him simply hedging his bets. Trump may simply want a wide-array of options to choose from.

And, remember, Trump must know by this point that Russian hackers are going to (attempt) to directly change the results of the 2020 election by hacking directly into our election computer systems. As such, that MIGHT be the real explanation behind the odd decision on the part of the Trump Campaign to go dark with their advertising in key battleground states right before the election. Trump is lulzing it because he knows nothing matters at this point — the fix is in.

Anyway, let’s imagine he decides to go ahead with his Very American Coup. What happens?

The Coup
The key thing you have to remember is Interior Minister Bill Bar is going to fuck with the election in a very “Who, me?” kind of way. He did it with the Mueller Investigation and he’s going to do it with the election. In fact, I would go so far as to say his success in blunting the blow of Mueller Investigation has given him a very good understanding of what to do.

As long as House Trump controls the post-election narrative, they win. As things grow more and more unhinged, the pressure will be on Biden to accept “defeat” for the “sake of the country.” So, it’s easy to see a situation whereby somehow even though a coup takes place, The New York Times and others play right into Barr’s hands by not even recognizing that a coup has taken place.

And, really, Barr has every reason to believe he will win. So, it’s very possible that even if MAGA state legislatures simply seat Trump Electors out of spite, a wide swath of the mainstream press will go full Vichy on us. I could see this being the setup to not a civil war, but a fucking revolution.

In other words, House Trump and Barr pretty brazenly steal the election post-Election night by fucking with the selection of Electors. The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman in a ever-so-droll way, signs away the Republic. She poo-poos the notion that anyone has the right to object to this theft and goes back to telling randos like me that I don’t know anything about (access) journalism.

So, this would be a moment of truth. I honestly can’t tell you which way the public would go. There might be some protestings here and there, but Barr controls the media narrative so completely that The New York Times focuses only on the violences associated with these otherwise peaceful protests and that’s it. We turn into an autocracy without even putting up a fight. Remember, the Women’s March has some pretty huge peaceful protests every year and the national press lulzes them because it’s just a bunch of angry broads, amiright?

The Counter-Coup
This is very iffy because of what I describe above. But let’s say Trump, despite “winning” so absolutely brazen in his theft of the election that he enrages enough of the population that Nancy Pelosi finally, finally, finally, finally, FINALLY really begins to play white knuckled power politics with Trump. She begins a game of chicken with him.

Now, the thing to remember is, there are a lot of different things that would have to go wrong for Trump for this to happen. A lot. He’s going to bank on a hard 5-4 vote in his favor at SCOTUS if it comes to that. And he’ll be right. But it’s at least possible that out of sheer desperation, Pelosi drops an H-bomb on Trump’s plans to steal the election.

She announces soon after the last 5-4 SCOTUS vote a two pronged attack against Trump’s coup. First, the House will immediately impeach Trump the moment it comes into session in January. But it won’t be a “skinny” impeachment, it will be a 10 article political MOAB. Everything Trump — and Pence have done over the last four years, from Stormy Daniels to general abuse of power will be thrown into the expansive articles of impeachment. Now, if the Senate hasn’t flipped, then lulz, this is all smoke and mirrors.

MoscowMich does exactly what he did with the first Trump impeachment. But, let’s suppose the Senate does flip. If the country is obviously beginning to fall apart at this point — which would be the only way Pelosi would actually have the guts to do any of this — then there might be a real shot that both Trump AND Pence would be convicted.

This is where things get tricky.

In an effort to placate some very angry Biden voters, Pelosi says she’s going to step aside and have the Democratic House name Biden as speaker of the House, thus putting him in line of succession. The argument that Pelosi could make is that desperate times call for desperate measures and one coup deserves another.

Remember, this would NOT happen in a vacuum. The entire country would likely be on the cusp of implosion at this point. And Trump could very well send in the D.C. national guard (or whatever) to Capitol Hill and try to disperse any impeachment proceedings. But let’s suppose that doesn’t work for some reason, maybe a massive human shield of voters or something.

So both Trump and Pence are convicted — in no large part because Senate Republicans realize the country is probably going to descend into civil war / revolution anyway — and Biden becomes POTUS in a very roundabout manner. He proceeds to name Harris as his veep, and the Senate approves her at a record speed.

If things have gotten THIS BAD, then obviously Trump — who is probably barely hanging on to his sanity — will hold up in the White House. But it’s reasonable to believe that rather than play Hitler-in-the-Berlin-Bunker, he steals Marine One and races to, say, the very CSA-friendly Mobile, Alabama.

And that’s how the country implodes.

What The Fuck Is Wrong With The United States?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The United States finds itself at a crossroads.

Either we slip quietly and peacefully into an American interpretation of Putin’s Russia, or the whole thing collapses and may be the best man win. I say this because the one result we would otherwise expect — a peaceful transition of power — is simply no longer applicable. Trump would rather literally end the United States as a nation than leave office and risk personal criminal liability.

But this leads to a question: why?

It seems to me the issue is Obama’s second term. Which leads to the question, why did THAT get us to this point?

The only answer I have is our fate was sealed the moment WW2 ended. It was inevitable that a Baby Boom would occur and as those people grew older and generally more conservative they would drag the country long with them. Then throw in that the Republican Party has known since at least 1980 that long term demographic trends weren’t on their side and, well, here we are.

So, in a general sense, someone like Obama was inevitably going to become president and someone like Trump was inevitable going to become a president as a result.

I would make the case that we’re actually a little early for the fall of the United States. Or, at least, at the early end of a spectrum that goes out until about 2028. I say this because unlike Hitler, it wasn’t like the United States lost a war or anything. We actually won a war — the Cold War.

But here we are.

A country with domestic peace and prosperity and a long tradition of liberal democracy is now careening towards either despotism or a civil war / revolution. It’s all very surreal — especially for someone of my age living through it all.

I really don’t want either option, to tell you the truth. I would much prefer we linger in this twilight era in our nation’s history for the rest of my life. I could handle 40 more years of being just before a decent into final political oblivion. At least, then, I wouldn’t have to live with the New Order.

But this moment in time can’t last forever. Our destiny is waiting for us one way or another. I totally believe we’re going down the peaceful transition to autocracy route. That’s our fate as far as I’m concerned.

The only reason why I have a little bit of uncertainty is Trump is such a fucking moronic self-own artist that he may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and then turn around and destroy the country to protect his own hide. Things are really that tense and perilous right now.

Only time will tell, I guess.

So What’s Going To Be Our Modern ‘Harpers Ferry?’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil-war. All dreaded it — all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war — seeking to dissole the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.


I’m reading a lot about the Civil War now (for obvious reasons.) The thing that is clear to me is while it may seem as though a second civil war is inevitable now, it’s also very possible that it’s all going to be a big dud.

Trump, with Barr’s help, will consolidate power after he steals the 2020 election and we’ll just slip into autocracy with our eyes wide open. It’s possible that the center-Left in the United States is simply too weak, divided and concerned with identity politics to actually unite and do the hard work in the real fucking world to do something about Trump.

That’s a very real possibility.

And, yet. It’s also possible an actual civil war or even revolution may take place in the United States very, very soon. As such, it will probably open with a 9/11-level domestic terrorism event. John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry was the first real-world indication that the shit was about to hit the fan, that the country was, in fact, coming apart. Any modern equivalent of this would set off a cascading series of events which would buckle the United States into warring Blue and Red camps. Fox News would be raided by angry New Yorkers and MSNBC / CNN would be kicked off the cable in Red States. A multitude of people would feel unsafe because of their political views and there would be a massive migration that would consolidate the politics of Blue and Red States.

But what would be the actual event that caused all of that?

I’m thinking right now that if things go that bad, it would be a series of coordinated assassinations across the country on the part of MAGA-Qanon fucktards. They would think that by doing so they could “help” Trump consolidate power, but all it would do would enrage Blue State citizens off enough that they would begin to plot a significant reaction of their own. Another possibility is some crazy Qanon Representative might gun down a lot of Democrats in the House at some point when it became clear that we were in for dueling presidents.

All of this would be far more chaotic than my description might make you think. But I do think that we all need to have some sort of “bugout protocol” in place in case the long-feared Second American Civil War actually happens.

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.

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

‘We Don’t Need Your Civil War…’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m seeing with a great deal of alarm growing chatter on Twitter that the extreme Right believes that a Second American Civil War has already begun. This is very disturbing for a number of reasons.

But one thing we have to accept, as I’ve said before, is no matter what happens as part of the 2020 election, we’re in a new era.

And, yet, let’s go down the dark rabbit hole of a Second American Civil War. Let’s think about this seriously for a moment. It seems to me that the key thing we have to think about is there are likely to be a number of last-ditch efforts to avoid a civil war. Threats of secession, constitutional amendments and conventions and God only knows what else.

Sadly, it’s possible that they will all be for naught.

There’s a lot of talk about California leaving the Union if an actual civil war begins and the more I think about it, the more dubious that seems. MAGA-Qanon are seriously conflating what they’ve managed to get as part of their destruction of the American political system with what they think they might get by running around murdering people.

Yes, it’s very well possible that MAGA-Qanon, with the help of House Trump could strike a knockout blow against Blue States simply because they take the idea of an actual civil war far, far more seriously than most “coastal elites.” But as the opening days of the original civil war indicate, history doesn’t go in a straight line.

As such, once Blue States understood the gravity of the situation, there’s a decent chance that they won’t leave the Union, but fight for its soul. And key to winning that fight would be California staying in the Union. It’s easy to imagine a large military force from California swooping across the Great Plains and linking up with their compatriots in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

That would make the Blue States contiguous on a geographic level and then they could begin to strike east and south towards the heart of the old Confederacy.

But that’s all really very speculative at this point. It could be that while there will be significant political violence — no matter what happens in the fall — that Trump will simply use Barr to steal the whole thing in a “legal” fashion and he’ll consolidate power and that will be that.

Remember, it’s extremely likely that the Russians are going to hack directly into our election systems so Trump “wins” on election night. In fact, as of right now, that seems the most logical outcome to all of this. The Republic will die a political, not military death.

Going back to the tragedy of civil war again, if American really does implode, you have to think about the macro geopolitical consequences. Who gets the US Military? What happens if the DPRK attacks South Korea? Or Russia does a major military strike again, say, the Baltics? What are we going to do? Anything?

The whole thing is tragic and needless.

And, yet, I keep getting pings from different directions that definitely indicate something akin to a civil war might happen. MAGA-Qanon is really fucking bloodthirsty right now and in their craven quest for absolute power over the Blue States, they might get a lot more than they bargained for.

The New Normal



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We have to accept that the United States is no longer a liberal democracy. We’re now identical to the autocratic managed democracy of Russia. Really, at this point, the only issue is how quickly the end of the free press comes. My guess is it will happen rather abruptly sometime in 2021.

It will all happen “legally,” in the sense that no laws will be broken, but there is going to be a shit-ton of abuse of power. A combination of threatening to take broadcaster’s licenses and an “German industrialists” will fix the problem of the so-called “fake news.” We’ll wake up and CNN will be identical to OANN. And the New York Times will be force-nationalized then spun off to Rupert Murdoch.

Once the free press is dead, then Trump will have a free reign to do whatever the fuck he wants. We simply won’t even know he did it.

By 2024 the United States and Russia will be literally identical on a political level. Throw in Trump at some point demanding a Constitutional Convention and the First Republic has fallen. We’re just in the gauzy twilight period between the fall of the First Republic and when Trumplandia is strong enough that we notice how much things suddenly suck.

Something truly extraordinary would have to happen for Trumplandia not to come into existence. And, just like with impeachment, no one and nothing is going to save us.

In passing, I will casually note that Trump a self-own artist who only continues to survive because the tribal nature of post-politics America. He has an entire edifice designed specifically to enable him. And, really, the very thing that Trump seems to long for so badly — some sort of unprecedented political violence –is the very thing that might actually hurt his dream of becoming the Dear Leader.

Once you start murdering people for political reasons — as is already beginning to happen — the traditional rules of politics stop functioning. It’s a least possible that some pretty surreal and unexpected things might happen for no other reason than Trump is so dumb that he doesn’t realize that politics is actually good for him.

Anyway, I think a lot of the angst about a civil war is going to turn out to be overwrought. Trump has half a dozen things he can use so he “wins” on election night. But, like I said, he IS a self-own artist, so it’s at least possible that if we have some sort of “civil war” happens solely because Trump is a fuck up.

All I can say is either get out of the country now or be prepared to take a side. You’re going to have to risk the things that are important to you in the real world if stay in the United States. Get out while you still can.

The Politics Of Fascist America



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The United States is now fascist. This started the moment Trump was aquitted by the Senate. Trump is going to brazenly and successfully steal the 2020 Election in rather astonishing fashion.

In fact, his theft of the 2020 Election may be so staggering in its autocratic nature that it, in itself, may lead to another impeachment. But, obviously, American politics is now so broken that even if we all know Trump stole the election that there simply will not be the political will necessary to do anything about it.

So, that leads to an interesting question: what will the politics of Trump’s stolen, fascist term be like?

This is all very nebulous for a number of reasons. We know general trends, but the specifics of this absolute certain future remain difficult to predict. Once Trump is successfully in his stolen second term, it would make sense that he goes after the last institution that has any ability to check him: the press.

Once he uses his “German Industrialist” allies to buy up and the purge the free press, House Trump’s consolidation of power will accelerate considerably. He obviously is going to start ranting about the need for a Constitutional Convention and without a free press to slow him down, he’ll get it.

This leads to another, more specific question: how bad are things going to get?

Well, there’s a real chance that things could get far, far worse than any of us can possibly imagine. I say this because of Qanon. Once Qanon is the central tenant of the Republican Party, there’s every reason to believe House Trump will use this darkly vicious loony idea to use ICE to round up any and everyone they don’t like and put them in a camp — or push them out a window.

Remember, history is very, very strange at times. So, I would go so far as to suggest that Trump “unbound” will mean there are American Killing Fields. Using the support of the now completely Qanonized Republican Party, House Trump will murder in cold blood any and everyone they disagree with in a rather breathtaking fashion.

Given the momentum involved and the size of the population, I would estimate the death toll could begin to creep up to 10 million, maybe more. This is our future, this is going to happen. We might pause it now and again, but the conditions for this nightmare to happen are locked in.

Now, I will admit that sounds rather hysterical. But I simply can’t imagine any possible scenario where Trump in his second term doesn’t burn everything to the ground. The forces that he has unleashed are far more powerful than his ability to control them and, as such, watch out.

There is also a chance that a number of Blue States will be converted to military districts and Congress (and the courts) will be purged of anyone seen as not loyal to House Trump.

I could be wrong. I hope I am. If Trump doesn’t do all that and we simply drift into a quasi-autocrat situation, I could see the center-Left radicalizing much the way the center-Right in America did during Obama’s second term. So much so that by 2024, someone like Jon Stewart might run for office.

But it’s extremely difficult to sketch out anything that far out. All I know is, all signs point to House Trump ruling Trumplandia for around 40 or more years and then demographics being such that a new nation of some sort arising from the rubble of the United States.

It probably will be far smaller than the United States and the Blue States will hunker down to a Singularity of MAGA.

I hope I’m wrong with the dystopian nightmare I predict above. I really do. Something pretty spectacular that I simply can’t predict would have to happen, however. The macro trends are simply too powerful at this point for that not to be the case.