“…Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness”
The Declaration of Independence
by Shelt Garner
For about five years now, the laws of politics have been suspended. Trump has experienced little or no accountability for his autocratic inclinations. And, in a sense, what we face now was always going to happen — the only thing standing in the way of his dream of being an American Putin is the 2020 Election.
Once he gets past that obstacle, he will finally achieve wealth and power beyond his wildest imagination.
And, really, if we see Trump as sort of an inverse of Gorbachev, then even if there was some sort of “counter-coup” on the part of Nancy Pelosi, Trump still wins. Or, put another way, the dead hand of history is now so powerful that some truly astonishing would have to happen for America’s slip into autocracy being rather prosaic.
So, in a sense, I think we need to start thinking about either leaving the country (if you can) or begin making arrangements for how to placate Big Brother win the time comes. I honestly think that’s our fate. We just don’t have it in us to do what is necessary to push back against the rush towards autocracy we find ourselves in on a macro level.
But, for no other reason than to make myself feel better, let’s imagine a scenario where Trump’s natural inclination to self-own gets in the way of his final consolidation of power. The only way I could possibly see this happening is if Trump and Barr’s attempt to secure the presidency through owning the media narrative somehow falls apart.
Something no one — especially me — can’t predict happens that suddenly changes the state of play on the ground.
A key issue is while Barr is The Brain to Trump’s Pinky, Trump is still fucking screw up. If things got tricky in an American obviously near revolution, I just don’t see Trump handling that situation very well. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman can sell her soul for access all she wants — Trump is not a political genius.
Donald J. Trump, 45 President of the United States.
He is nothing more than a deranged version of Chauncey Gardner from Being There. That’s all he ever has been — he’s just a vessel, an avatar for some pretty fucked up existential problems in the American political system.
Before I go any further, let’s be clear — in my mind, all my running scenarios about how we might manage to have some sort of “Renewed American Covenant” is nothing more than me having way too much mental energy and maybe nerves about living in an autocracy. Trump was never going to get convicted in the Senate and as of right now, it seems that Trump is never leaving office for any reason, even if it means burning it to the ground. So, this is a serious flight of fancy. It’s meaningless. But it is fun, I guess, to daydream.
So, for Trump to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory, he would have to ring the Liberty Bell, if you will, in the hearts of the average American. He would have to do something — or be personally blamed for something — that went against the American sense of what it means to be, well, American.
That I have to essentially bet that something I can’t predict is how the nation I love is saved is not really all that great a situation. And, even then, I’m working on the assumption that that would just be the BEGINING of something that might lead to some sort of national renewal. And to get that Renewed American Covenant we would have to go through an unprecedented tragedy that I really, really don’t want it to happen.
This is just me trying to console myself by turning the abstract fear of what might happen into a more manageable concrete scenario I can roll around in my mind.
Or, put another way, I love to run scenarios and this just happens to be one that I can use to figure out how to get America back on track (if only after a significant shake up.)
But I guess it is possible that at some point between Election Night and Trump’s final consolidation of power in January, he screws up. Whatever he does is so bad that a lot of conservative-but-not-MAGA people abandon him. So much so that there is something of an Apocalyptic Rock Fight between MAGA-Qanon and everyone else.
So that would be the setup for a Second American Revolution. Trump, through Barr, gets a thin veneer of legality to his second term and yet somehow he screws the plan up and there’s some sort of “revolt” (probably starting somewhere like New York City).
“a historic miscalculation” https://t.co/ij2RoxX6se— Shelt Garner (@sheltgarner) September 25, 2020
He tries to put it down using the Insurrection Act, Something Bad happens as a result and finally, finally, FINALLY a few conservative-but-not-MAGA people begin to at least tacitly accept some sort of organize resistance-in-real-life-where-you-might-get-hurt-or-lose-your-well-paying-job happens.
This is all very serious, folks. This is not a video game. This is not an angry Twitter thread.
This would be real life.