Trump Is ‘The Mule’ From The Foundation Series

by Shelt Garner

I have repeatedly ranted about this off and on since Trump became president, but the fact remains — the “Network” of the Trump Era is waiting to be made in the guise of “The Mule” portion of The Foundation Saga.

The perfect person to play The Mule, of course, is 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer. If it was a movie and it was written well enough, McBrayer would easily win an Oscar for his performance given what would happen to him at the end of the movie. (Though, I guess you could stretch the whole thing out to at least two movies if you really thought about it.)

Now, I’m well aware that Apple+ is working on adapting The Foundation Saga, so it could be that they effort is ultimately how The Mule will come to be seen by a larger audience. It would be too bad, however, if it wasn’t made into a movie. The Mule is so much like Trump that I think audiences would really love it. It would be an ideal way to address the Trump Era in a non-preachy manner.

But what do I know. No one listens to me.

Getting More Serious With The Novel

by Shelt Garner

I continue to allow myself to be as delusional as necessary to finish this first draft. That’s pretty delusional, all things considered. By the metric of any “normal” person I’m a fool wasting my time in a very conspicuous manner. But fuck those people. I have a vision and I’m going to see it to completion.

I keep mulling screenplays and pushing them aside. The thing I’ve realized about being serious about storytelling is the amount of research that’s involved. You really need to reach as much as possible if you want to give your characters some nuance.

Anyway, my goal, at least, is to use August to buckle down and write as quickly as possible. To date, I’ve finished about a chapter a week and that’s way too slow. I’m going to try to shoot for something closer to three chapters a week. It helps a lot that I know how *I* develop a novel now, so that speeds things up a great deal.

I guess the reason why I think this novel has a shot is I absolutely believe that when I finally get around to shopping it to agents, America is going to be seething with rage that Trump stole the 2020 election in a rather brazen fashion and and so people will be interested in reading something like an allegory of the Trump Era. I believe Trump is going to steal the election in such an absolute way, that I know the conditions will be there for people to want to read something like what I’ve come up with.

Though, even if somehow a literal miracle from Jesus Christ himself happens and Biden manages to actually, somehow become president, I still think people will be interested in such a novel because, well, people liked Apocalypse Now and THAT came out after the event it meant to described was finished.

Anyway. I hope to get far more work done on the novel than I have to date. I’m just going to read and write as much as I possibly can. This is a really strong concept and the only thing stopping me at this point is how much I’m willing to delude myself.

What Fresh Hell Will August Bring

by Shelt Garner

August is the worst month of the year, in large part because all the “powerful people” are out to lunch on vacation. So, as fate has it nearly every year, some huge breaking news happens while they’re sipping margaritas somewhere remote and secluded that forces them to pay attention again.

Slate has an article they re-publish every year about this very thing. They propose abolishing the month altogether it’s so bad.

Anyway, let’s think up some bonkers scenarios for August.

While Trump is obviously going to ultimately steal the election in an extremely brazen fashion, he’s such an insecure idiot — and self-own artist — that it would be very easy to see him go way out of his way to provoke a war with either the DPRK or Iran. The conventional wisdom is that as long as a war with the DPRK didn’t go nuclear, the whole thing could be wrapped up in about three months — which would place us at just about when Election Day happens. People would be humming Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA” on their way to the polls and Trump breezes towards an easy (legitimate) victory. Iran is a lot trickier and less likely to be wrapped up in time. The DPRK is so crazy, of course, that they could very well engage in a limited nuclear exchange with the US which Trump might be blamed for and, well, that might help his re-election chances. There is the long shot chance that the United States and China might go at it, but that’s a pretty scary proposition.

World War III
In this scenario, it’s not just the United States and the DPRK or Iran who have at it, it’s the entire world. One way this might happen is the Russians, fearing Trump might somehow magically lose despite their best efforts to help him steal the election, decide to grab as much of Ukraine as they can while the going’s good. This destabilizes the world in general and some major hotspots flair up all at the same time. Several regional wars happening at the same time would be marketed as WWIII by the press. This is a very unlikely scenario — I mean, the Russians know they’re going to be successful hacking our election — so, lulz. But you never know. It is interesting, of course, to speculate on what the reaction among Americans would be to a general war between the Russians and the Ukrainians — would people even notice?

The Durham Investigation
Republicans have absolute bloodlust when it comes to the Durham Investigation into the origins of the TrumpRussia probe. They get all excited just thinking about it. What they want, of course, is a repeat of 2016 when there was an air of criminality surrounding Hillary Clinton for various reasons. While Durham is a good little thug and will likely wait until the weekend before the election to indict the entire Obama Administration including Biden, there’s a chance he might drop that particular turd in August to let it linger in the national consciousness for a few months.

The Second Great Depression Officially Starts
As you may know, the Republicans are dicks and simply refused to do anything about propping up the economy because, lulz, Trump’s going to indict Biden anyway, so fuck you. But there’s a chance, at least, that the economy, which has struggled the last few months (to say the least) will finally crater because of the lack of an extra $600 in the unemployed’s pockets, no $1,200 stimulus check and lack of eviction protection. It could be that by the end of August, the economy will finally be so bad that the mouthbreathing knuckle draggers of MAGA might, at last, sit up and take notice. If Trump’s approval rating begins to drift down towards 30-25% on a consistent basis, when the Russians hack our election systems as part of Trump’s quid pro quo with them (his part being removing 1/3 of our troops from Germany) the disparity between the polls and votes might be so dramatic that someone, somewhere might begin to ask questions. (This is, of course, a lulz, because fuck you, Bill Barr is going to make sure that’s not an issue and House Trump is able to consolidate power through a second term Constitutional Convention.)

Trump Finally Snaps
This, in a sense, is the absolute worst case scenario. But just as death be not proud, going bonkers be not proud. It’s not like when someone goes bonkers that they say, “Well, this is really going to hurt Republicans, so I’ll go bonkers now.” Nope. While, in general, I believe Trump will, in fact, inevitably go bonkers, it could be well into his stolen second term when it happens. But if this happened in August, just about the time he’s set to be formally nominated by the Republicans, it would be a political crisis of an unprecedented nature. The system is simply not designed for something that dramatic this late in the process. The issue about Trump going bonkers is at first we wouldn’t even notice it because he’s generally bonkers as it is. If he finally snapped, it would have to be REALLY BAD. So bad, so depraved, so offensive, that the entire country would grind to a halt while we figured out what to do. CNN would be giving us minute-by-minute updates as to what was going on. With this one, there’s simply no known endgame. It’s very possible that after about 24 hours of silence, Republicans would bounce to his defense, no matter what. They’re a death cult and they honestly would rather Trump nuke us all to hell than risk the abstract dangers of Communist progressive liberals attacking the sanctity of marriage. If Trump’s bonkers behavior go so absolutely bad at some point in August that Republicans simply, at last, had no defense of Trump other than “fuck you,” well, who knows what might happen.

Something REALLY Bad — And Unexpected — Happens
This would be something I simply can’t predict. Something so jaw-dropping that all the fucked up things that have happened so far in 2020 pale in comparison. I’m thinking things like either Trump or Biden grow gravely ill (physically) ill for some reason. The Senate Republicans finally figure out a way to knock Biden out of the race through their investigations of Hunter Biden or, I don’t know, COVID19 mutates and becomes far, far more deadly.

Countdown To American Fascism: Republicans Don’t Believe In Democracy

by Shelt Garner

Since 1800, Americans have enjoyed the peaceful transfer of power. That tradition will end with the 2020 election. In the end, we may have the first instance in American history where brute force determines the presidency, not the will of the people.

But a lot — A LOT — has to go wrong for Republicans for that to be an issue. Trump and his Republican enablers have assembled about a dozen different ways, in conjunction, that will make impossible for Biden to win. There won’t be one single thing that we can point to that we can get upset with, but a variety of things that make sure House Trump stays in power.

If it’s not slowing the mail down, it’s going to be the Durham Investigation. If it’s not the Durham Investigation, it will be the Russians hacking directly into our election systems. The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on. The point is, of course, that Republicans no longer believe in democracy. It’s surreal that Twitter liberals aren’t more alarmed by this.

What Republicans want is to pull a fast one on us all, so different people think different things were responsible for Biden’s loss. They want no consensus to form so while we’re all fighting over how it happened, they’re busy pushing people out of windows. Or purging late night hosts, or whatever. The point is they want if not absolute power, something akin to what is found in modern day Russia.

And, sad to say, the macro trends simply are not going to American democracy’s favor. Not until the Graying of American crosses the Browning of America will things begin to go back to “normal,” but even then it’s debatable. It could be that this is it — America will finally cross the Rubicon into tyranny in 2020.

This is how I could see it happening — a series of things go wrong for House Trump and their last battle is the 9/10ths of the law rule — I’m in the White House and I’m not leaving. I could see a scenario whereby MAGA supporters stage coups on the state and local level and hold those governments hostage. They say — unless you keep Trump president, we’re going to start murdering people, or start a civil war.

In the end, the center-Left buckles and Trump, lulz, stays in power. In quick succession House Trump consolidates power and for the next few decades a succession of either Trumps or fucking cocksucker fascists tight with House Trump accrue more and more power. ICE becomes the state police and the QAnon fucktards finally get their wish of any number of prominent Obama Administration simply going poof!

Now, remember, if we’ve gotten this far down the road towards tyranny, any “victory” over House Trump is going to be painfully short lived. The macro trends that led to the rise of House Trump aren’t going anywhere. There are at least a dozen would-be younger, more focused Trumps lurking in the political darkness who are prepared to finish the job Trump started. Some of them, like Sen. Tom Cotton, are rather giddy at the prospect of how much power they will be able to obtain once in power.

Now, there are a few wildcards that I can’t predict. One, the most important one, is Trump himself. He’s a massive self-own artist and there’s a reasonable chance that all of his plans to “flood the zone” with ratfucking won’t work because of his own political stupidity. If that happened, the country could be on the cusp of either revolution or civil war and finally his MAGA enablers in the Senate might finally tell him he needs to obey the Constitution and leave office. Though, who am I kidding –that will never happen. Maybe the revolution or civil war will happen and we’ll all have to pick sides in the Real World instead of trying score points on Twitter.

Another wildcard I can’t predict is the military. It might come down to who the military supports. But the military itself might be divided at that point between officers and enlisted so they aren’t very effective in keeping the peace. There is the slight possibility that there might, MIGHT be some sort of “Unity Government” whereby Biden is allowed to become president only under the condition that his Veep is Pence (or whomever) and Trump gets a full pardon. I could see House Trump indicting Biden at some point and if that doesn’t work, they demand Trump get off scot free in exchange for dropping the charges against him.

The point of all of this is Republicans no longer believe in democracy and they would rather have bloodshed that follow the will of the people. And they’re going to win because the center-Left simply is too clueless to realize what they’re up against.

House Trump isn’t going anywhere — ever. They are going to turn the United States in to a first-world Venezuela and we just have to start figuring out real-world contingency plans. And, remember, things would have to go wrong for House Trump on a pretty spectacular fashion for us to even get to the point where they weren’t able to brazenly steal the election.

So, I generally believe the likelihood of Trump leaving office for any reason is equal to the likelihood that the Senate would convict him: 0.

Countdown To American Fascism: Ode To Roy (Cohen)

by Shelt Garner

Apparently TODAY is 96 days until the election. Anyway. Something I’ve long predicted is shaping up to be our future: Trump is never leaving office. Now, I say that with some qualifications. What I mean is, he’s never leaving office willingly.

It seems as though should it become clear that Republicans, sated on a huge tax cut and 1/3 of the Federal bench being young, hack MAGA judges, have finally decided to turn their back on him — he’s still never physically leaving the White House.

And, remember, him actually getting to the point where we all agree that he’s lost and has to be removed one way or another would be the culmination of about three months of legal struggle. Every aspect of the election will be litigated and fought over in an extremely dramatic fashion. We simply won’t know who the president will be until the Electors themselves vote. Who can be a voting Elector will be up in the air to such an extent that there may even be competing Electors voting. And that doesn’t include the doxxing and threatening of individual human Electors that Trump is likely to do on Twitter.

This it the point where we make some observations. One is, Trump is his own worst enemy. He could very well be on his way to “legally” stealing the election, only to do some sort of massive self-own. Though, we have to note that should it begin to sink in to House Trump that there may be an Interregnum, there’s going to be some seriously surreal things that take place. A number of MAGA lowlifes will be appointed to positions with terms that last well into the Biden Administration. (This is DL already happening.) I could see a least two Republican SCOTUS seats rather abruptly opening up as well. Trump might also try to start a war with either the DPRK or Iran. Anything and everything is on the table.

And don’t forget that Trump is probably going to pardon as many people as he possibly can — including himself! — even if holds up in the Oval Office thinking he is still president.

As of right now, the only thing stopping Trump from lulzing the whole thing and simply staying in office no matter what is American self-perception. It’s not even a “norm” or a “tradition.” It’s about who we are as a nation, how we view ourselves. Just like how the Romans may have had an empire but never a king, having elections and the peaceful transfer of power is so much a part of who we are that we don’t even think that it’s possible it might not happen.

So, in a sense, should the absolute worst happen — which would be not really a civil war but rather rolling political violence in support of Trump’s claim to the presidency — we really would be crossing the Rubicon. Whatever the outcome, it would mark the end of the United States as we know it. Once you cut the seal on a violent transfer of power, it’s likely to happen again.

Literally the only thing stopping Trump from pulling all this off is he’s a moron. He’s not a political mastermind and, to date, he’s benefited greatly from some existential macro trends in American political culture. The violence might occur when he presses things to their absolute to such an extent that people will have to take a side, no matter what.

Then the issue will be what the military will do.

Germany & Trump’s Quid Pro Quo With The Russians For Direct Hacking Into Our Election Systems

by Shelt Garner

I have no inside information. I’m just some rando in the rural part of a “purple” flyover state who is paying attention. That Trump is so determined to pull 1/3 of our troops out of Germany right before the 2020 Election is a pretty brazen bit of skulduggery on his part.

Any crime needs three parts: means, motive and opportunity.

So, let’s go through these to show how completely obvious what it going on between Trump and Russia is right now.

Trump is calling Putin, on average, once every two weeks right now. He has the means to talk to Putin about hacking directly into our election systems, as does Putin to do the hacking.

Trump has already proven that he’ll do anything necessary to win. He has half a dozen different ways he plans to steal the election the fall — at least. So it what else would Trump do but ask Putin to help him out in a very direct way win the election. And what’s the best way for Trump to win, no matter what? Russians hack our election systems and hide it so well that we either never find out our don’t find out until Trump has so consolidated power that it’s politically meaningless.

Again, on Trump’s side, he talks to Putin all the time. On Putin’s side, the Republicans are begging any and everyone they can think of to fuck with our elections because they’re all fucking fascists who crave power for power’s sake.

Things have grown rather surreal within the MAGA Republican echo chamber. They rather breezily look forward to the Durham Investigation indicting the entire Obama Administration at some point between now and Election Day. So, it makes a lot of sense that all that matters is Trump remains in power. That’s all. That’s literally all they care about — The Dear Leader staying in power.

And, as I said, even if we somehow figure out this quid pro quo, it would have to be before the Electors vote. Otherwise, lulz, it would go down the memory hole and the Russians will simply keep doing it election after election.

The First Draft Of This #Novel is Going Reasonably Well #amwriting

by Shelt Garner

After making what feels like every possible mistake one can make when working no a novel, I’ve finally figured out how I, personally, develop and write a novel.

As such, things are beginning to move a lot quicker. The only thing stopping this novel from being, say, something along the lines of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is I, well, I’m not as good a writer as she is. That and I’m simply not as dark and twisted as she is. Getting as dark and serious as this thing needs to be to fit the genre is going to be a second draft struggle.

But, in general, for the moment, at least, things are moving swiftly. I’m plotting things out in a very methodical manner so when I actually sit down to write, there isn’t a lot of work to do. All I have to do is just follow the summary for that individual scene I’ve written and that’s it.

It helps a lot that I know the universe of this story very, very well. Really, all I have to do is just tell a subset of the massive universe I’ve come up with via the plot.

One thing I do need to work on is character. I have several books on character development that I need to read and re-read. But, in general, I’m pleased with how things are going, even though there remain some pretty big holes in the plot I have to figure out.

Countdown To American Fascism: ’96 Tears’

by Shelt Garner

During the 2016 campaign, I half-heartedly did something on YouTube called “High Information Voter.” I would go back to that name, but, alas, it has an unfortunate abbreviation. So, I think I’m going with Countdown To American Fascism. I may change this, however.

There are now 96 Days until Trump steals the 2020 election in a rather brazen fashion. The key thing we have to appreciate it what Trump wants is to throw so many different obstacles to a free and fair election into the mix that we’re overwhelmed by them all and, in the end, can’t point to one specific one that really did the deed.

So, if it’s not slowing the mail down to a craw, it’ll be the Durham Investigation indicting someone extremely close to Biden (or Biden himself.) If it’s not the Russians hacking directly into our election systems with Trump’s knowledge and support, it’ll be Little Green Men working to make sure somehow the polls themselves don’t feel safe. The list goes on.

Literally the only things holding back Trump from saying, “Fuck it, let’s just consolidate power now” is he’s a deranged moron, barely holding on to his sanity and the thin red-white-and-blue line that is American self-perception. Everyone, even people who “don’t have time for politics,” would be jarred if Trump is too brazen in his stealing of the election. Not that it really matters, however, it’s just too late.

The ultimate piviot of MAGA and people who “don’t have time for politics” will be to tell people like me, “This is the world we live in now. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll be quiet.” Since, by nature, I will never shut up about what a fucking cocksucker fascist Trump is, well, we all know how that is going to turn out.

One interesting thing is, while all signs point to Trump stealing the election in a way that lets conservatives who are not MAGA get to sleep at night, he keeps doing things that will make him after to ram that stealing down our throats a little harder.

Take, for instance, the $600 extra unemployment that people are getting that is largely propping up the American economy right now. It’s now apparently set to expire. If the American economy is in complete free-fall around election time, Trump may be so unpopular that when he steals the election in a forceful way because he has no choice, people might get really, really mad.

And, yet, even that won’t be enough.

The thing about fascism is all it cares about is power. That’s it. Power. It doesn’t matter how a fascist keeps power, as long as they do. They have no shame and will tell any lie, warp any law, threaten any person to keep it. So, in the end, Trump will still be in power even though everyone — EVERYONE — knows he stole the election.

By that point, however, lulz.

What are we going to do about it? Starting from the moment he feels safe about staying in power, he will rapidly consolidate he control over the country. Absolutely nothing matters but power and greed. Our lurch towards a Russian style “managed democracy” will happen in fits and starts starting in 2021, but in the end it will happen.

The demographics just aren’t on the side of liberal democracy in the United States. And, really, at this point, the issue is how many of the presidents between now and, say, whenever the Graying of America crosses the Browning of America will be Trumps and how many won’t. Once Trump steals the 2020 election, I would guess we’re going to have a solid 40-odd years of fascist Republican rule until the last of the Baby Boomers finally drop dead and Zoomers revolt against House Trump and, I don’t know, AOC becomes president.

Or, put another way, things are dark. America is a fascist state. It’s all over but the shouting at this point. We need to stop trying to score identity politics points on Twitter and begin to think, in practical terms how we’re all going to survive in a fascist state.

Mulling Screenplay Concepts

by Shelt Garner

For a time, I was all excited about having two creative “tracks” that I was going to have going forward. On one would be the novel I’m working on, while the other would be a screenplay. This, however, did not work out. I’m so completely consumed by the novel that I simply am not able to pull myself away from it.

But I continue to occasionally think about different potential screenplays. Being a screenwriter is much, much different than being a novelist because, well, Hollywood. I know myself well enough that if I did ever manage to finish a script I am so good at self-promotion — and socializing — that there would be a decent chance I would find myself in Hollywood (which is on the other side of the country from me) on occasion to hunt down family people to hand my script to. I’m fairly good at meeting famous people and so that part would be a cinch.

Screenplays have a whole different internal logic than novels. With a novel, you have to explain in a lot of detail why something happens. In a screenplay, lulz, you can think up the most bonkers conceit and get away with it with not a lot of explanation because that would really, really slow the story down.

I’ve been working on one idea for about a decade because it’s something of The Impossible Scenario. I love scenarios and there’s been one I’ve been working on for years and years that I simply can not figure out. But I’ve thought it through so much, that I find myself returning to it again and again. I won’t give you details, but imagine if humanity got an astonishing offer but with a catch — we had to work together as a race to figure the specifics of something out.

I like the idea that the audience would be on the edge of its seat as I walked them through the Biggest Event In Human History that kept getting hung up on the stupidest of differences between humans.

Another idea I have is The Martian, but for time travel. I have a decent method through which you could get some regular guy stuck in the past and you’d see how he if not escaped, at least made his life a lot better. But that one is problematic because I would want to do it absolutely hyper-realistic. So that might make it a bit more difficult to place it in the far past. I had the idea of maybe The Martian meets time travel meets Mad Men.

That would be pretty cool.

Anyway, one issue is buying FinalDraft. It’s so expensive that I think buying it would be the end of the beginning of the process of writing a screenplay. I would have gotten all my development finished and would be literally about to sit down and write when I bought it.

America As Fascist State

by Shelt Garner

Twitter liberals are so clueless. They clutch their pearls whenever Trump zooms past some norm and then come up with elaborate fever dreams as to how this is going to “bring down” Trump.

Trump is never going anywhere. Never.

MAGA wants the very nightmare that people like me fear. They crave it. They lust for it. That’s the whole appeal of the Qanon fucktard conspiracy theory. It gives them a framework for what they want — everyone who disagrees with them in jail or dead.

It’s because of this that darkness has officially fallen. It really happened the moment Trump was acquitted by the Senate. The pandemic kind of momentarily made it seem as though there was a chance for a free-and-fair election, but lulz, that’s over with.

Trump is a tyrant and we’re never fucking getting rid of him. Early in 2021, he’s going to consolidate power in any number of different ways. By about 2023, people — like me! — getting pushed out of windows will become common place and accepted part of life.

The only unknown is Trump himself. Trump is such a massive self-own artist that one could come up with any number of different ways might massively self-own.

But even if he did, it would be nothing more than a pause. The macro trends simply don’t point towards the United States being a liberal democracy anymore.

Maybe in about 40 years, once the last of the Baby Boomers are dead, then, maybe, we may gradually begin to drift back towards the America I grew up in. But, generally, we’re very much fucked.