by Shelt Garner
Nowhere is it more obvious that we face the existential choice of autocracy or civil war at some point between now and January 2025 than when it comes to Biden, during the 2020 campaign, promising to be a “uniter.” I have traditionalist relatives and they often get really mad that he said this, given that he hasn’t done what they feel would “unite” the country.
This is a very murky issue because there is a lot to unpack.
First, if you say that Biden lied when he said that, then you have to address the fact that Trump said 30,000 lies while in office. Then, of course, your MAGA interlocutor will throw up their hands and say this is “bogus” because the “fake news” Washington Post is who collected that figure. Or, they’ll say most of those lies weren’t all that big and, besides, Biden lied when he said he would be a “uniter” and, as such, he needs to be impeached. Or some similar bullshit.
Another element to all of this is probably what was going on when Biden said he would be a “uniter” is he was trying to convey to those 100,000 independent swing voters in 5 purple states that are crucial to winning a presidential election that he would be a more traditional president, one who would governor everyone equally, not demand a quid pro quo for any and every action.
But that’s difficult for MAGA people to process because they’re so consumed with grievance and a fear that of losing status in the context of the browning of America that they’re too blinded with rage to be willing to process any sort of nuance like that.
The key thing to remember, though, is — but for Trump, I would say we’re going to lose our American democratic birthright in plain sight and there won’t be much struggle. If Trump would just get out of the way, after having served his political and historical purpose, then Ron DeSantis could become president and turn us into A Very American Autocracy.
Trump is a political monster, however, and he won’t retire. And because he’s such a fucking chaos agent there is a good chance that he, unto himself, could start a civil war in the United States. It’s not a big chance, but it does exist.
- An Effort to Stop Criminal Accountability
This is the one scenario whereby the MAGA New Right people who keep coming to this Website looking for a sooner-rather-than-later timetable for being able to murder people like me without criminal recourse might happen. If Trump really felt he might, at last, face some criminal accountability, he could very well begin to rant that Red States need to leave the Union because of how unjust it all is. I suppose he might, in general, demand in his usual dog whistle kind of way general political violence, but I doubt it. When you have an entire party — the Republican Party –with a cult-like devotion to you, why go for general violence when you can get entire states to leave the Union at your behest?
- A Ploy to Convict Biden / Harris in the Senate
In this scenario, it’s 2023 and Republicans have gone nuts. They have impeached both Biden and Harris out of spite. Now, for Trump to actively be trying to destroy the country, he would, of course, need to have some personal investment in it. So, this one only really works if he is the Speaker of the House and he thinks he can become POTUS again early. So, in a bid to scare the living shit out of the Senate, he, as Speaker, begins to demand Red States leave the Union in order to get what he wants. He says this just as a rhetorical flourish, but MAGA legislatures take him seriously and states, probably beginning with Texas, begin to convene Secessionist Conventions. An away we go.
- A 2024 Clusterfuck — MAGA Counter Revolution
This endgame was two parts to it. It could be that at some point in late 2024, after Election Day, it will be obvious to Blue States that the election was stolen and they have no recourse but to begin the process of leaving the Union. By the time Certification Day 2025 rolls around, we are in a full fledged Secession Crisis. The other possibility is that Trump wins outright — even though he’ll cheat no matter what — and by late January it becomes clear that Trump’s second term agenda is so fascist and radical that Blue States begin to leave the Union.