by Shelton Bumgarner
The America I grew up in is dead. The dystopia is here. I don’t know how long it will last, but if we’re lucky somewhere around 40 years. But it could be I’ll never know if and when it ends because I’ll be dead.
It’s over because no matter what happens with Trump, the forces in America society that caused Trump remain. And if it’s not Trump, it’ll be Don Jr., or Tom Cotton or someone equally authoritarian and nefarious. The chief reason why the dystopia is here is Democratic leadership did not take the rise if MAGA seriously. Though, in their defence, if Trump had not won in 2016, a MAGA-type person would have won in 2020 or 2024. It was simply a matter of time.
When one of a nation’s major political parties loses its mind, it’s inevitable that they will gain power at some point. And when they take power, they will never leave because they follow “new rules” that value power over everything else. Or, put another way, the intersection of power politics, absolute greed and Evangelical Christian obsession with bringing about the Second Coming produced a force of politics that only cared about obtaining — and keeping — power forever. Democrats are so busy worrying about their precious “agenda” and keeping moderates in their caucus happy that they’ll simply are not prepared to do what is necessary to defend American democratic traditions alive the 20 or 30 years necessary for the Browning of America to kick in.
So, really, the question is how quickly things go from simply norm destruction to actual changes in government. My guess is Trump is going to make a massive power grab at some point in the 2020 election cycle. If it goes wrong, there will be something of a revolt on the part of Blue States. He uses that as an excuse to abolish Blue State governments indefinitely. America will become a prison. The issue will become where all the creatives and information workers escape to.
Do they go to Canada or Europe? It won’t be thousands who flee, either. It could be millions. Until, of course, The Thousand Year Trump freaks over the brain drain and makes it impossible for the very people they hate so much to leave the country. Given human nature, of course, that won’t stop the United States from descending into something resembling modern day Venezuela. This will only hasen our collapse into authoritarianism. The camps for immigrants will simply become cames for anyone who crosses House Trump or its successor ruling family.
I used to think there was the possibility of some sort of happy endgame. I no longer do. At this point, I simply wonder if I die in a House Trump re-education came sooner or later. Will it be sometime in Trump’s second term or will it be closer to 20 years from now? Regardless, if Blue States try to leave the Union, House Trump will abolish their state governments. All those young hack parison judges that The Federalist Society has recommended to Trump will close ranks.
There’s a chance that freedom of speech will linger. But freedom of assembly definitely is done for at some point during Trump’s second term. There will be something akin to the failed coup in Turkey that Trump will use to purge the last vestiges of the “deep state.” Tyranny will descend upon the United States and we will be no different than the managed democracy of Russia. Remember, Putinism was originally a popular movement caused by divisions in Russian society. And to some extent is still is. The same with MAGA. MAGA doesn’t care about anything about absolute power. When a small — but wealthy and powerful — minority of your electorate no longer believes in the benefits of democracy, then there’s nothing you can do.
I knew the America I loved was over when I realized we have to fight so hard on a daily basis to simply have a functioning civil society. Darkness has fallen on the land. Democrats have failed us.
All I can do to vent my frustration over all of this is write a novel. That’s all I got. It distracts me from the political hellscape engulfing the country I love.