by Shelt Garner
To anyone paying attention to American politics, it’s difficult not to be overwhelmed with a sense of impending doom, of dread — The Undertoad. The Republican Party no longer believes in democracy — in fact, won’t shut up about this fact — and because of macro trends they are ascendant.
So, all things being equal, Republicans will, starting January 2023 begin the process of extinguishing American what’s left of American democracy once and for all. The Republican Party has radicalized to the point that even though they probably would win the 2024 without cheating, they will do so anyway.
Once Trump (or whomever) becomes president in 2025, the final transformation of the United States into a Russian-style white Christian ethno state will begin. And I personally know a number of people who will be quite happy that this is happening — until, of course, someone they’re related to — namely ME — crosses our new autocratic regime and they have to figure out how to get me out of a Trump branded re-education camp.
It will all happen gradually, too. And that, in a sense, is why autocracy is so insidious. Most of the people who are screaming at the top of their lungs for an autocracy don’t even realize what they’re doing — all they know is they’re personally afraid of being canceled by the “woke mob” and if that means the end of American democracy, so be it. “The United States isn’t a democracy, it’s a republic. Are you going to question the wisdom of the Founding Fathers?” they say.
And when we’re finally an autocracy, they will sit back smugly that the evil woke mob is finally vanquished and they never have to worry about Democrats ever holding important offices again. They will think this until, as I mentioned, someone they love runs afoul of the autocrat. Then they will sit up and take notice because they’re fucking hypocrites.
But as I keep saying, there are macro political trends coming to a head between now and Certification Day 2025 that we just can’t stop. It would have to take something truly astonishing for us not to face the existential choice of civil war or autocracy. It’s happened once already — the pandemic — so, I suppose it’s possible it could happen again.
This brings up the idea of a potential civil war. At the moment, I think we’re going to slip peacefully into autocracy and that will be that. Nothing will change at first, but mysteriously we’ll all wake up 20 years from now and somehow Ron DeSantis is still POTUS. A mass migration of center-Left people will have occured. The United States will be out of NATO and aligned with Russia and the Constitution will have been changed in accordance with an “American First” world view.
Back to civil war. While I struggle with the idea of a civil war, I also know it’s at least possible. The key metric we have to keep any eye on is how bad things get when Republicans take control of Congress. If they are as bad as I fear — repeated impeachments of both Biden and Harris, for instance, then the prospect of a civil war increases significantly.
But any Second American Civil War would be one of those things that happen for immediate tactical reasons that I can’t game out. A lot depends on the specific circumstances, the specific sequence of events between Election Day 2024 and Certification Day 2025.
If Republicans steal the 2024 election in such a brazen manner because they just don’t fucking care anymore, there is a real chance that a number of major Blue State governors will hold some sort of emergency summit to decide how they’re going to react. If California decides to join forces with New York, Illinois and Massachusetts to leave the Union — or to simply deny that Trump (or whomever) won the election, then we’ll have a civil war.
But I have to stress again that a civil war would happen for reasons that I can’t predict. A lot of personalities and touch choices would be involved in ways that I can’t predict years in advance. Yet, of course, there is a real risk that things will break in such a way that a civil war — based on the state level — will break out and the United States bombs itself into the Stone Age using WMD.
Yet, as I keep saying, all signs point to us slipping peacefully into autocracy. But only time will tell.