V-Log: Boris Johnson Is Playing With Fire #Brexit #StopTheCoup

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m not British and as such I feel I have limited say in all of this. But I am a student of history and politics and so here’s a rambling v-log about what might happen in the coming days in Great Britain.

I don’t want anything dramatic to happen, but it definitely appears as though the conditions are now there for it to happen. But I have my doubts. I think either Johnson will win or the whole thing will be punted. The leadership of Parliament would really have to surprise me.

Otherwise, meh.

An Observation About The #Brexit Crisis

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

In a lot of other countries, the events going on in Great Britain right now would be seen as a precursor to a revolution. The reason why I say this is it would not take too much for Remainers to reach a tipping point where they turn radical.

By “radical,” I mean they start to take concrete action to do something about Brexit and / or overthrow the government. Just watching events from the States, it definitely seems as though if Parliament rebelled against Boris Johnson that it would have a lot of support amongst the populace. It would not be too much to assume that under the right circumstances, things like seizing the BBC on the part of the Remainers might not be off the table.

And, yet, this is the UK. And I still don’t see any indication of radicalization. This is a low key crisis, but still a political one. Usually for there to actually be a revolution in a liberal democracy, someone, somewhere in power has to screw up. They have to misjudge things on a strategic level. So, while the conditions are there for something dramatic to happen, I’m not convinced it actually will happen.

If does happen, it’s more likely to happen after Brexit is formalized, not before.

The Internet Is Everywhere & Nowhere

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

The thing about saying anything on the Internet is it’s not like there’s really sense of “practical obscurity.” Yes, there is the so-called “Dark Web,” but in general if you write about something or someone, there’s a better than even shot that the topic is going to find out about it.

For instance, I have written a little bit about Taylor Swift. I am completely indifferent about Swift. I just don’t care. She produces reasonably good pop music but any interest I have in her has to do more with her position in pop culture than anything else. She, as a person, evokes little more than a “meh.”

Anyway, I’ve noticed that a minor little trickle of people have looked at these posts. No one reads this blog, so anyone reading it for any reason catches my attention. Meh.

How A Liberal Plutocrat Could Game The Electoral College

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

The sad thing about liberal rich people is they’re dumb-dumbs. They’re so busy quixotically running for president that they don’t think about how they could practically use all their billions to do something great for America.

And the thing about it is, in real terms, it wouldn’t even be that expensive relative to the power it would give them. The Electoral College is a numbers game. One thing about several mid-West states is they’re nearly vacant. But the infrastructure for more people is still there. So, what Tom Steyer should do is pick three or four low-population states in the mid-West. Then in each pick a small-to-medium sized city. Setup a loan forgiveness program that would do something along the lines of this — if you move to one of these cities and promise to live for seven years, the program will forgive a huge chunk of your college loans.

You might even be given low interest loan to start a new business. I mean, fuck, if you have billions of dollars to play with, why not? The point of this would be to bump up the number of liberals in, say, Nebraska so there might be two additional liberal Senators in Congress. Throw in a few additional safe Democratic Electors and you might just right America’s ship of state.

If this idea was anywhere near as successful as it needed to be, the reaction to would likely be furious and even violent. Republicans have a political bloodlust that Democrats simply don’t have the taste for. I’m growing to believe that Republicans are so wrapped up in their surreal and extreme partisitionship that, well, we’re fucked people.

The end, that’s it. There’s nothing we can do. But sometimes it’s fun to daydream a little bit.

The Low Key, Systemic Crisis At The New York Times

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

It’s interesting how great The New York Times is on a tactical level and how bad it is on a strategic level. Be it the lead up to the Iraq War or normalizing Trump’s authoritarian inclinations, The Gray Lady collectively seems to need to go to therapy.

Now, I’m of the opinion this stems from the paper trying to play it completely down the middle in a time when to do so is a grave disservice to its audience. The paper as a whole wants to be completely objective. Unfortunately, we, as a nation, are in a chronic existential crisis. And, yet, I honestly don’t see any ready solution to the problem.

It’s not like The Paper Of Record can adopt advocacy journalism. So, I think we’re stuck with this particular problem long term.

Having said all that, I think it’s interesting to imagine a day when Rupert Murdoch finally got his life-long wish to own The New York Times. The crazy thing about such a thing is it’s not like people would go along with him turning it into a clone of FOX News. What would happen is all the brand-name liberal reporters would bounce. It would be the journalistic equivalent of the fall of Constantinople. A lot of other medium-sized newspapers would be flooded with some pretty spectator talent.

Or, they would band together to start a new newspaper that was The New York Times in all but name. It’s amusing how conservatives think if only they own The New York Times, they would make it’s generally liberal audience tag along.

Let’s Check In With Taylor Swift, Shall We?

by Shelton Bumgarner

Oh, Tay-Tay. I still believe that Taylor Swift is DL one of the weirdest celebrities out there. Now, I’m not picking on her. I’m just making an observation. The reason why I believe this is Swift obviously very, very sensitive about how people perceive her.

The latest indication of this is the videos associated with her most recent releases. It’s my impression that for some time now some members of the extreme Right have assumed she was one of them because, well, what she looks like. They thought was obvious that she was an insane racist bigot just like them because she was what they imagined the “perfect” American looked liked.

Guess what! She’s not!

So, given how incredibly sensitive she is, Swift has gone way, way, way, WAY out of her way to show what she really believes. I’m impressed with her willingness to do this, even if, in a sense, it’s about four years too late.

But, really, the issue for me is now her politics but her music. Swift is in a unique position to change the musical world. Her fans are likely to follow her anywhere and it should would be nice if she would come out with an rock album. I would even settle for a “pop rock” album. Yet, I don’t see this happening. She’s the absolute “center” of pop music and I don’t expect her to go rock anytime soon.


Oh well.

Trump’s Worst Case Scenario Survival Playbook

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

The funny thing about Trump is he’s yet to face an external crisis. All his existential issues have been self-caused. He keeps shooting himself in the foot, in other words.

His latest self-own is his own sanity. Any other president would have the Mueller Report behind him and he would be safe to cruise into a second term. But this is Trump we’re talking about. So of course people would finally begin to notice that Trump is obviously not well mentally. So, let’s imagine the absolute worst case scenario for Trump. Let’s see what might happen.

The scenario begins with Trump having a formal press conference with some head of state sometime in his second term. Let’s say it’s August 2023. He’s ruined the economy, we’re a near politice state and the camps are in full force. In real terms, the only aspect of the old America we know is the free press. Or freedom of speech, at least. Otherwise, Trump’s vision of America is complete. Plutocrats run the country while the poor are sick and pay all the taxes the the rich feel is theft.

So there Trump is, talking, when he just out of the blue whips his dick out and starts to stroke it furiously. Right there, on TV in the middle of the afternoon. He finishes himself off and continues the press conference as if nothing has happen.

Now, I believe absolutely nothing would happen in the long term. There would be shock for about 24 hours, but then the Republican talking points would pop up. No one there saw it happen — even though CNN and MSNBC reporters keep talking about it. It’s a “deep fake” is what the talking points would say. Or whatever. There’s simply no way Trump would face any consequences. None. Zero.

That’s it guys. That’s our fate. And if Trump did finally face an crisis not of his own making, he would use it to suspend the Constitution and rule as a dictator. All of this is because Trump is an avatar for some deep and dark existential problems in modern America. It’s not like he’s going to lose re-election. And Tom Cotton will likely win in 2024.

I guess the point of this is I need some hope. Something concrete has to happen to give me some indication that for once the bad guys won’t win. I don’t see that happening. I think I’ll just keep working on my novel. That makes me feel better.

The Existential Crisis That Is #Brexit

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

In a sense, the political fates of the United States and the United Kingdom continue to be intertwined on a macro level. The thing about what’s going on in both nations is they each face systemic, existential problems. With the United States it’s the attempt on the part of the Trump Administration to turn the very idea of America from open and aspirational on an international level to one of “blood and soil.” Meanwhile, the British have a far more convoluted crisis.

With Great Britain, there is actually more than one crisis. There’s the obvious crisis of Brexit itself and in what exact manner it will take place. But there’s an even deeper problem — is Great Britain going to continue to exist in the first place? A simple and superficial sketching out of the future give you any number of endgames that result in Scotland leaving the UK altogether. I think that’s why Trump was babbling about “not hearing about England that much anymore.” He was struggling with Boris Johnson telling them was a chance that England may lose everything because of No Deal Brexit.

I only keep writing about this because I guess the idea that the people of the United Kingdom might take control of their fate once and for all in opposition to Brexit gives me some hope that Americans might do the same when it comes to Trump. I continue to think that there is a 99% chance that anything dramatic that happens to UK on an existential level will happen after No Deal Brexit, not before it.

The reason why I say this is from America, at least, neither side appears to have radicalized to the extent necessary to stop Brexit before it happens. Remainers are simply too disorganized. Just like MAGA in the United States, Brexiters are willing to use “new rules” to get what they want. Not until Remainers radicalize will anything happen. (Not that I want this to happen, of course.)

And, so, what little hope I have about the whole situation stems more from just the general uncertainty of the situation than any sense that what I want to happen — Remainers right the ship of state and save the country from itself — will happen. If that did happen, of course, then maybe Americans would be inspired to address the systemic problems that Trump represents. Or something.

But it’s not to be, at least as of right now. The bad guys will continue to win.

‘A Very British Revolution’ #Brexit #StopTheCoup

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Let me be clear — I’m just a random American in the middle of nowhere. I’m not advocating anything I write here, just noting from a historical and political standpoint some events that may — or may not — happen.

Revolutions in modern liberal democracies are rare, almost unheard of. The closest I can think of is the riots in France in 1968. Otherwise, things have been pretty copacetic since the end of World War II. So that’s why I’m not really all that worried about what’s going on in Great Britain right now. Nothing concrete has happened to make me think we’re in any type of precursor to a revolution in the UK. But just for fun, let’s pace out a scenario where there was actually something akin to a revolution in Great Britain in the next few days. I’m not a British constitutional scholar by any stretch of the imagination, so any mistakes I make I apologize in advance for them.

A Matter Of Perception & A Crisis Of Legitimacy
To date, the Brexit process has just been a chronic political headache. It’s moved along in fits and starts gradually moving towards what seems to be an inevitable No Deal Brexit in late October. The recent move on the part of Boris Johnson to suspend parliament, however, has at least popped the seal on Pandora’s Box, if not opened it outright.

Some of this stems from the existential questions it has brought to the fore. That the Queen would simply do Johnson’s bidding to enact what growing numbers of people see as a parliamentary coup has sparked some outrage on the part of a lot of people on Twitter. That #abolishmonarchy was trending at one point today on Twitter is the type of thing that in the past would have been a huge ping from the future as to what might lay ahead. Just as student of history, it seems the British monarchy has survived so long in part because it has stayed out of the way. Add to this Queen Elizabeth evokes medieval devotion and it would superficially seem the Windsors will cruise peacefully into yet another century of power. And, yet, from a revolutionary-political perspective that people are beginning to see the Queen as a part of the problem does not bode well. It is at least possible that the fate of the Windsor’s continue power is now wrapped up in what the outcome of Brexit is.

This plays into something else — revolutions, once formally begun, by definition have a dynamic all their own. The Islamic revolution in Iran in the late 1970s was originally as socialist revolution. As such, what could start off as a simply people protesting what they perceive as a coup could very well morph into a republican revolution.

And here’s a side note — another reason why I think the UK is simply going to slouch towards No Deal Brexit is far as I can tell, is new, more radical, leaders have not begun to bubble up. In fact, neither side is really all that radical at this point. A night of large protests in London do not a revolution — republican or otherwise — make. Now, it is my impression that there is the possibility that there might be a question of legitimacy in the coming days. Johnson tells Parliament to stand down and it’s possible they won’t do it. This act of defiance has been called The People’s Parliament.

Now, take a deep breath.

I honestly don’t know how valid The People’s Parliament notion is. But it’s existence would be a crucial step towards some sort of revolution. It would give the populace something to rally around and would be an instant revolutionary government. Then things get really murky in ways I know absolutely nothing about. What happens when the Government the Parliament begin to give orders that the other opposes? Who would have the authority to give these directions? How likely would it be that different part of the government might abide by different orders?

This is all just a fantasy, but it is “fun” to think about. If things have gotten this bad, then we reach another milestone of a revolution — protesters become revolutionaries. There would be demands. They might start to seize the organs of state such as the BBC and the police. This is likely when new leaders would begin to be seen in the media. I could definitely see one of the demands of the revolutionaries being the abolition of the crown and some sort of written constitution.

But wait, there’s more. This is just what would be happening in London. The Scots would likely see this as their moment. They might unilaterally declare independence as the revolution progresses. I have no idea what would happen or even if I have any of this right in the first place.

At some point, of course, Brexiters would also radicalize.This is where things are no longer fun to think about. It may be, tragically, that if things have grown this radical, that actual violence would occur between the two sides and a civil war breaks out. Again, this is all me simply sketching out a scenario. I have no idea if I’m anywhere close to being right in any of this.

Then the endgame would be up to the fates. Either the revolution succeeds and a new Republic of England is formed, or it’s crushed and something a lot more long the lines of Airstrip 1 comes about. Or maybe I’m being a bit too American in my hope for a successful revolution. Revolutions are only cool long, long, long after the fact. Even then, their consequences often suck. So, really, I hope for some sort of peaceful middle-of-the-road solution to the Brexit mess and that will be that.

#Brexit — Some Scenarios

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m an American. As such, I have a limited right to comment on what’s going on in Great Britain right now. But just for fun, I’m going to use my native enjoyment of scenarios to go through what might happen in the UK next regarding Brexit.

A Revolt
This seems like the least likely of outcomes. As of right now, the UK seems to be drifting towards some form of No Deal Brexit. People are angry, yes, but nothing concrete has happened that would be the tipping point that would radicalize one side or the other. It’s my impression that there is an element of Parliament that is claims they will defy the Government and stay in session no matter what. Should they do that and Boris Johnson send government forces into the Commons to forcibly dismiss them, that might be the tipping point needed to turn a lot of otherwise chill Brits into revolutionaries. Of course, the unsettling aspect of this I don’t know what the endgame would be. Once you rile up people in a liberal democracy to the point that they want a revolution, all kinds of wild events can unfold. That’s what democracy is designed to prevent. Whatever it is that might happen, however, would have to happen in the next few days. Otherwise, meh.

Nothing Happens Until No Deal Brexit Occurs
In this scenario, it’s not until No Deal Brexit actually happens that the revolution then civil war happens. Things are so dire that a lot of people who supported Brexit will realize the error of their ways. This would be the necessary spark to not only tear the UK apart, but even maybe have it become a republic. Again, let me stress that I’m working with just enough information on this subject to get me in trouble. This is just for fun.