by Shelt Garner
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.