by Shelt Garner
What makes MAGA so dangerous is they voted for Trump in the first place because he was “the guy from The Apprentice.” That’s why people like me were so alarmed by Trump — on paper, he was an autocratic and if elected would turn us into a Russia clone. Of course, everyone got fooled when it turned out Trump was a very lazy idiot who talked a good autocratic game but was too much of an idiot to actually use some pretty basic autocratic political plays to get what he wanted.
But, in a sense, Trump has shown other — more focused — politicians that a large segment of the American electorate wants an autocracy. My nightmare is there dream. And one thing we have to remember is unlike the Nazis, MAGA Republicans aren’t expansionist. In fact, they will be content to pull American troops back to Fortress America and align with other autocratic states in an effort to have “peace in our time.”
As such, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where once MAGA inevitably controls the government again that they establish a Trumplandia autocracy that lasts for generations to come. America will be just like modern Russia — occasionally, there are large protests but nothing comes of it. And those protests that do happen are often broken up by the FSB — in autocratic America it will be ICE.
While I hate violence and definitely don’t want a civil war, on an abstract, rhetorical level, while on paper it is now a near-certainty that America is going to slip peacefully into a MAGA autocracy, there will be a moment — probably in the 2024-2025 timeframe — where we will be given the option of having a civil war to prevent that from happening.
That option is not something I can’t game out in any specific manner because it would happen because of specific set of circumstances. Any civil war in the United States about three years from now would happen because MAGA bungled what would otherwise be a political history gimmie.
And, of course, there are no assurances that even if there was a civil war that “the good guys” would win it. A lot of people could die — even get nuked! — and we endup put back together as an autocracy. So, I dunno.
But the thing we have to keep at the forefront of our mind is political form follows function and it is inevitable that once MAGA Republicans take power again that they’re going to turn us into an “illiberal democracy.” Things probably won’t change that much at first, but soon enough a MAGA Republican POTUS with a MAGA Republican Congress will purge the media, weaponize the existing ICE infrastructure and people like me start to get pushed out of windows.
The most alarming thing about this — besides me getting pushed out a window — is there will be millions of good natured, God-fearing normal educated people who will be quite content with this New Normal. Any excesses that this new Trumplandian government does will be rationalized away (until it gets personal and then they’ll get upset in private.)
As I keep saying, I wish I was smart enough to tell you what to do about all of this. If I was that smart, I could write for VOX and dance around on Tik-Tok talking about marginal tax rates.