by Shelt Garner
These days, you hear a lot about how much our democracy is in peril. Add to this the fact that about 38% of the electorate doesn’t believe we’re a democracy in the first place and, well, lulz. As we approach the first step in our decent into the existential choice of autocracy or civil war, here is what we can expect when we finally are, in fact, no longer a democracy.
The Great Liberal Brain Drain
When it becomes clear that we’re no longer a democracy, probably at some point in late 2024 to early 2025, many, many, many wealthy liberals are simply going to leave the country. In fact, it could become so bad that the very people who crow about, “If you don’t like it, then leave” will be the very people who suddenly freak the fuck out when this very thing happens. We’re going to go from Fox screaming hysterically about scary brown people in caravans headed towards the border to them complaining constantly about how liberals are leaving the country. At first, of course, they will be gloat and be full of glee at this prospect….until it gets to the point that even they realize the economic impact of this happening and all they will do is complain about how wealthy liberals are fleeing to the south of France (or wherever). But make no mistake about it — it’s going to happen. The moment it’s clear we’re an autocracy, wealthy liberals will flee the United States en masse.
The Passage Of The Republican Agenda
At some point after 2025 when Republicans know the coast is clear, Republicans are going to abolish the Senate filibuster and cram threw their entire agenda that they’ve been hoping to pass the last few decades. ACA will be gone. Abortion will be banned in all the states. Social Society, Medicaid and Medicare will be gutted, “reformed” and privatized. Taxes for plutocrats will be lowered, while the poor will have to start to “pay their fair share.” There may be a lot of protesting, but, just like with Russia, ultimately…lulz, nothing matters.
Plutocrats Will End The Liberal Media
If what happened to Russia is any indication, at some point after 2025, we will begin to see MAGA-friendly plutocrats begin to buy and otherwise make huge investments in Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount, etc to the point that in a subtle way the idea of there being a “liberal media” will begin to seem quite quaint. And what our new fascist overlords can’t get that way, they will get via brute force — they will threaten harsh regulations and broadcast companies licensing. I would suggest you keep an eye on things like The New York Times and PBS as well. If somehow, magically, The New York Times is sold to, say, Elon Musk and you look at PBS Newshour and is identical to Hannity then, well, America is an autocracy.
A Constitutional Convention
Now, this is where a lot of people who still believe in the system, believe that all we have to do is wait for the Justice Department to indict about two dozen people and we’re all going to be saved — I’m looking at you Mueller, She Wrote — will think I’m being “terribly negative.” But we’re already just a few states away from a Constitutional Convention being called and one of the long-term goals of the MAGA New Right is for this to happen to “pass a balanced budget amendment.” But given how such a convention would be populated — by people selected by state legislatures — it’s very, very, very easy to imagine that the moment it convenes, it will go rouge and decide to dramatically change the Constitution. The MAGA New Right agenda will be codified in the Constitution and things like birthright citizenship, a weak executive and God only knows what else will be gone. That will be the central political issue of the day at some point after we’re finally no longer a democracy. And all the bullshit gaslighting that Republicans have been using for decades will be used to get it all passed. And the center-Left is just too weak, so, lulz, we’re fucked.
The Weaponization of The ICE Infrastructure
As all of this is going on, the already existent ICE infrastructure will be weaponized so loudmouth crank drunks like me will find themselves in a lot of hot water. And, given that I, by nature, just can’t shut up, I fully expect that in the end I’m probably going to die in an ICE camp. Or something. Something bleak and dark.
There is another option. And that option is our autocracy will be a Very American Autocracy in that, relative to, say, Russia, it will be “light touch” — but still exist. Or it might be that our decent into a Russian-style autocracy will be so gradual after some initial gloating on the part of the MAGA New Right that we won’t really notice any changes at first. And this will happen because the center-Left in the United States is soooooo fucking weak and so wrapped up in what pronouns to use that the autocrat will simply go about his business and not really care about the “soft power” that the liberal elites might have. And, besides, the liberal elites won’t even live in the country anymore, so…lulz?