by Shelt Garner
Blue leadership is completely ineffectual to the point of being meaningless. They’re the gang that can’t shoot straight. So, unless something pretty dramatic happens that I can’t predict — America is going to become an autocracy.
The Dobbs decision is just a ping from that inevitable autocratic future. Abortion rights were always a firebreak for other rights. And now that Roe has been overturned, the path is clear for Republicans to use their hard power to win the culture wars that they lost to the soft power of Democrats.
This is where I start to grow concerned about my own future. I’m a loudmouth crank and I often get drunk and shoot off at the mouth. Whenever I mention the very dark potential future where I might get arrested by ICE (or whomever) at some point in our autocratic future for being a loudmouth crank, my bed rock conservative relatives just roll their eyes and think I’m hysterical.
But let’s take a serious look at my concern on this issue. What I’m really worried about is the one thing that I’ve enjoyed the most for my entire life — the right to speak my mind — would be so abridged by, say, President DeSantis that at some point in the future I would be rounded up like I was in Putin’s Russia or something.
How possible is this, really?
For the time being, no very possible. Even with America’s now inevitable slide into autocracy, the last right to go will probably be the individual right of an American to get drunk in a bar and rant about how President DeSantis can suck their cock.
So, in a sense, my Traditionalist relatives are right — to a point. But, and here in the key thing to remember — form follows function. President DeSantis isn’t going to over night make it effectively illegal for cranks like me to rant about what a dick head he is.
He’ll go after people in the media first, probably threatening to revoke their broadcast license for being too “woke.” That will be the first step. This will be subtle and my Traditionalist relatives probably won’t even notice the purge of late night talk show hosts who will be replaced by people who will no longer talk about politics.
But, again, form follows function.
The latter stages of DeSantis’ consolidation of power will be the weaponization of ICE. Throw in a the calling of a Constitutional Convention and there will come a point when freedom of speech will be so curtailed that, yes, even some rando like me in the middle of nowhere might find myself being visited by ICE, who will ask what this is they hear about me talking bad about the president.
And THIS will be when, of course, my Traditionalist relatives — who I love dearly –will come to me and tell me to shut up for the sake of the family. And I will politely, or maybe not so politely, tell them nope. They had their chance to make common cause against autocracy and they decided they hated the woke cancel culture mob that wanted to make everyone gay too much and hence here we are.
So, yes, logically, I do have a concrete reason to fear that at some point in the future the very thing that my Traditionalist relatives think is ridiculous — being apprehended by ICE — could, in fact, happen. It may be 2035 when it happens, but macro trends would indicate that it will, in fact happen.