Could Trump Start A Second American Civil War Starting in Late 2024, Early 2025?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have written at great length both why we might slip peacefully into autocracy and why we might have a civil war. As I write over and over again, I vacillate wildly between believing it’s obvious that we’ll simply shrug then become an autocratic MAGA state and believing it’s inevitable that Blue States will refuse to “bend a knee” to fascism and, as such, leave the Union.

However, here are some reasons why we will have a civil war, starting around late 2024, early 2025.

  1. Republicans have come to glorify political violence
    Something you see a lot these days within the bullshit echo chamber of the MAGA New Right is the belief that because “liberals won’t leave us alone” that they are being “driven” to extremism. There’s a lot of leading not-so-vague talk as to what all this would ultimately mean. But it’s clear that for a number of “thought leaders” within the MAGA New Right that they have accepted that at some point in the future, they’re going to have to resort to violence to get what they want.
  2. Republicans no longer believe in democracy
    It is now clear that like any good fascists, Republicans no longer believe in democracy unless it’s for the specific purpose of gaining and keeping power. This view of the system they’re supposed to a part of leads them do extremely destabilizing things that help push the country to the brink.
  3. Trump 2024
    Just Trump being the 2024 nominee would, in itself, be enough to cause a civil war at some point in late 2024 – early 2025. He just has a special knack for “owning the libs” in such a way that if he stole in 2024 election and said the “quiet part outloud” that Blue States would grow so enraged that it would be they, not Red States, that left the Union and caused a Second Civil War. But Ron DeSantis is polling exceptionally well at the moment, so either Trump politically shivs him at some point, or he co-ops him, making him his VP, opening the door to DeSantis becoming America’s Putin at some point down the road a little bit.
  4. Steve K Bannon.
    Bannon and his toadies are actively working to destroy the framework that we use to administer free and fair elections. So, it’s very easy to imagine a situation where this gambit works in ways that Trump himself is too idiotic to pull off personally and it will be so egregious that, again, Blue States leave the Union and we have a Second American Civil War.
  5. Extreme negative polarization
    We’re in for a bump four or so years, no matter what, because negative polarization, on a systemic level, has reached a critical mass. When one of your political parties is fascist and would rather crash the global economy instead of even appear to work for the good of the nation — you got a problem.
  6. A lack of shared values
    As the big blow up on Twitter in the last 24 hours about a Stephen Colbert song and dance gag about getting vaccinated proves — we can’t even agree on what’s funny. A combination of this and negative polarization is leading to the United States being two nations, one Red, one Blue and when we get around to attempting to elect the next president, the system simply won’t be prepared for the passions it will stir up.
  7. A potentially historic miscalculation on the part of Republicans
    It’s possible that, much like European powers in the lead up to WW1, when the time comes and Republicans have a choice between peacefully transitioning us into autocracy or fucking with us all so we want to take up arms, they will choose the latter not because they have to, but because they want to. It’s possible that by the 2024 — 2025 period, Republicans will see a civil war as their only choice to consolidate power, even if it’s clear that they could get everything they ever wanted within the system they so obviously loath.
  8. SCOTUS sides with MAGA on the “Independent Legislature” concept.
    I really don’t know that much about this idea other than it would pretty much give MAGA free reign to ignore the popular vote and use its power over state legislatures to deny Democrats the White House for, well, forever. Once it dawns on Blues that they simply will never be allowed to take the White House again, that might be the final breaking point.

All of this is rolling around in my mind as I read a book about the ascent of the Nazi Party in Germany in the 1930s. The more I learn about the details of how the Nazis consolidated power, the more I worry that if Trump is the 2024 Republican presidential nominee….we are in serious fucking trouble. We aren’t in so much trouble if someone like DeSantis is the nominee because he’s so slick that he could probably ease us into Putin-like autocratic rule.

But Trump is such a fucking malignant ding-dong and his incoming agenda for his second term would be so radical that it’s easy to imagine Blue States beginning to make plans for a “National Divorce” that would, in turn cause a Second American Civil War. There are some big differences between 1930s Germany and 2020s America.

There is the issue of size and how the country is pretty decentralized, all things considered. So, if states like California and New York (or at least New York City) agree to take the jump together, they might have a fighting chance. Things are still too far out, so the specifics of how things might happen are still very murky. But here’s a scenario that I’ve gamed out.

If what happened in 2020 is any indication, the first sign that we would have that something was amiss would be on the local level. Instead of people who simply do their job as Americans and do the rather perfunctory duty of certifying the win of A Democrat, this doesn’t happen. In crucial voting districts all across swing states, Bannon’s “spiritual shock troops” either refuse to certify the win of A Democrat, or they go so far as to YOLO things and switch the win to Trump.

As this happens, the tension in United States escalates day by day. The very rallying cry of MAGA in 2020 — “Stop The Steal” will be adopted by the center-Left when it becomes clear that the MAGA New Right is hell bent on brazenly stealing the 2024 election in broad daylight.

But remember, the center-Left has a very different personality than the MAGA New Right. The center-Left, for all it’s problems with “cancel culture” and being “woke” is still actually connected to reality. So, there would be a struggle between the natural inclination of centrist Liberals to let the “process work” and Leftists who would want to burn everything to the ground given how corrupted everything had become.

All of this turmoil on the local level would find elections in crucial states thrown into the political realm where MAGA state legislatures and Secretary’s of State would begin to actively ensure that A Democrat is prevented from winning. Every day between Election Day 2024 and Certification Day 2025 things would grow more and more unstable in the United States as it became clear that Bannon’s long-planned “administrative coup” was actually going to work.

There would be mass confusion. Lots of lawsuits

And, remember, if Trump is involved, as all of this is going on, he would do everything in his personal power to rile up both sides. If his ongoing, progressive cognitive decline has gotten bad enough, he might even go transactional.

It would be around this point that I could see Blue governors begin to make serious plans to leave the Union. A lot would depend on what California was willing to do. But it would definitely make sense that California would be the first state to call a Secessionist Convention in preparation of leaving the Union if the 2024 election is, in fact, stolen.

But by some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you could see some sort of summit of Blue Governors where they debate their plans to leave the Union if the very thing that the MAGA New Right wants — to turn the United States into an autocracy — actually happens.

And as we approached Certification Day in January 2025, the last step in the crisis would happen. If you thought Certification Day 2021 was bad, just wait until Republicans are actively going over and above what they did then when it rolls around in 2025. So, the system will have been corrupted at both the local and state level. And then if that doesn’t work, Republicans will again try to throw the election into the House and Senate to buy time, if nothing else.

So, let me be clear — anyone who thinks we’re going to have some sort of MAGA New Right revolution a la The Turner Diaries — is a fool. Any Second American Civil War we have is probably going to be started by Blue States leaving the Union out of disgust that the fix is in.

Therefore, by the time Certification Day 2025 rolls around, it could very well be a foregone conclusion that we’re going to have a pretty organized civil war. Republicans have no shame and don’t apparently care about the consequences of their actions, so, lulz, we could find ourselves in the absolute worst of worlds because not only are states actively thinking about leaving the Union around this time, but the whole process of figuring out who is POTUS will be languishing in Congress. Republicans, because they are politically blood thirsty and will cheat, will win the power struggle, but there’s a chance states will begin leaving the Union.

It won’t be deranged, individual MAGA New Right blowing stuff up in some sort of rearguard action. It’s going to be a Blue Nation verses a Red Nation. A lot of the same things that happened in the First American Civil War will happen in the second. The U.S. Military will implode as people from Blue States leave it to establish a new Blue State military.

But one thing we have to expect in late 2024 to early 2025 is a mass migration of people across the country as people no longer feel safe living in an area of the country that doesn’t fit their politics. It could be rather frightening.

If it were, God forbid, to happen, I would guess that a Second American Civil War will begin between Certification Day 2025 and Inauguration Day 2025. In other words, as Trump is being sworn in, mass chaos will have erupted across the United States.

Once the hollowed out American military turns it attention to the Blue rebellion at the behest of Trump, it won’t be too long before WMD are sized and used by both sides. Not only would America bomb itself into oblivion with its eyes wide open, but it will be done in the context of WW3 definitely breaking out across the globe because the US will be too busy imploding to ensure the continuation of the post WW2 global order.

How’s that for a New World Order.

So, here goes. Here’s how the individual states would handle A Second American Civil War, probably starting in late 2024 when it becomes clear that Reds are going to brazenly steal the election. I don’t think this is going to happen — I think we’re just going to slip peacefully into autocracy — but it is at least possible. I’m NOT going to do every state because, lulz, I don’t know the internal politics of each state well enough to do it right.

California

If Blues really decide to have a National Divorce, it will be California that probably is at the forefront serving the papers. And the key issue is — war aims. I think at first the war aims of the Blues will be to simply start, say, the United States of Canada. It will only be much later in any conflict that Blues get sucked into fighting the longer-term goal of maybe establishing the United States of North America. And that would happen because Trumplandia could possible begin a Final Solution for POC within its territory and, as such, the second phase of the civil war would be one of liberation. But that’s extremely speculative on my part.

Everything will hinge on what California wants to do. If it simply wants independence for itself, that’s a lot different war than if it joins with other Blue States to establish a new, larger state. But whatever happens once the 2ACW starts, California will be the “Arsenal of Democracy.” If they want to establish a Blue Union, then California would put itself on a war footing. It would call up a few million young men and women into a new Blue Army and away we go. A lot would depend on the state of the US Military, but the case could be made that it might implode, leaving the individual states with the ability to fend for themselves.

California would quickly secure Oregon and Washington then swoop through the plains states to link up with major Blue States in the old Upper Midwest. They would crash into Texas in the south and that would be a Battle Royale, though it’s possible because Texas is shifting blue that Texas might simply implode into an intra-state civil war and Blues could secure the state a lot easier than one might otherwise expect.

But the point is — as goes California, so goes the Blue Union cause.

Texas
Texas is a state that is really difficult to game out because while MAGA has turned into a Red stronghold, on the ground, the state is shifting Blue long term. As such, when our national politics finally collapses and we’re dealing with the existential it’s possible that Texas will simply implode. There could be a massive intra-state civil war that leaves it open to Blue Union forces from the West to swoop in and take it over. Or, at least, a lot of it over. But between when the civil war starts and when Blue Union troops come to the rescue, we could all be talking about the Siege of Austin as MAGA surrounds that particular blue dot in a purple state and want to wipe it off the face of the earth.

In a sense, Texas probably has the most to loose from a 2ACW. Texas would probably be the site of a huge amount of fighting as the difference between the Blue shift in the state’s practical politics slams up against the autocratic state government. Or, put another way, Texas is a lot less stable than you might think. It will likely be the source of a huge amount of domestic political refugees who will either endup in camps, or simply flee the state altogether, only to return when (hopefully) Blues win the civil war and there’s a Second Reconstruction.

Oregon
The thing about this state is it’s ripe for a huge clusterfuck. Of all the places in the Union in the lead up to any potential 2ACW, Oregon is the state I could most likely see some sort of “Troubles” taking place. There could be a pretty bloody Battle of Portland as all the crazed Far Right Militia’s swoop down on the city and decide to end the “Antifa Problem” once and for all. Then, of course, there’s pretty good chance that all of that will be for naught when California troops come from the south and consolidate Blue control over the state. Not that it won’t come at a very, very blood cost. But California is just too powerful not to be able to seize both Oregon and Washington in the early stages of any 2ACW. Even if California simply wants to go it alone, the mass chaos of Oregon might pull them into the state for some sort of peacekeeping mission.

The Plains States

Outside of Texas, the Plaines states may see their fates during a 2ACW largly out of their hands. They could shift from Blue to Red and back again as the two sides fight it out. They have small populations and economies and if California wants to link up with Blue States in the old Upper Midwest, then, they may see their extremely Red politics change in a rather abrupt, violent manner. These states are an example of why it would be so dumb for Red States to want a civil war — the values of small plains states are being forced upon Blue States and Blues aren’t really doing anything about it. But if there was a civil war, the Red Plains States would be forced to change their ways rather quickly.

The Old CSA (At least some of it.)
At first, a number of states of the old CSA would explode into joy if there was a 2ACW. States like Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina would have you believe they are already half way out of the Union as it is because of the evil libtard “groomers” and, as such, if Blue States left the Union the populations of the old CSA states would be very, very happy. But. And this is a big but, as the war progressed and everything went to shit there would be a natural inclination on the part of white Christians in these states to make POC scape goats. There would be a rapid radicalization of the politics of these states to the point that something akin to a race war might break out. Or, if not that, then at least Nazi-style concentration camps would be established with the aim of enacting a Final Solution once and for all. This would, in turn freak the Blue States out to the point that even if they were free of the United States, they might rejoin the battle simply to stop the Final Solution from happening. This is all extremely speculative, of course, but I’m simply gaming out what already exists and then assume the worse.

Florida
I used to think that Florida would break up into about three states, given how diverse it is, but no more. I think it would be a fully autocratic state under DeSantis — even if he was POTUS at this point — and a lot of young men from Florida would face up against young men (and women) from California as the war progressed and got worse and worse for everyone concerned. The already fucked up politics of Florida would grow significantly more radical to the point that it was a one party fascist state.

Georgia
The thing about Georgia is Atlanta. If there was a 2ACW, then it’s possible that within the state it would be Atlanta versus everyone else. Atlanta would be a very Blue stronghold and the rest of the state would be so Red that it could all get very bloody. Of course, Blue forces from outside the state could swoop in at some point and help take stabilize the situation.

Virginia
As I’ve said the last time I wrote this scenario up, Virginia is two states that hate each other. Of all the states of the Union that might find destruction as part of a 2ACW, Virginia is at the top of the list — even more so than Texas. The state would collapse into coups and counter coups. The rural Red parts of the state would go all Pol Pot on the Blue parts of the state and there would be a lot of political scores settled by extremely radicalized rural Reds who wanted to make sure drag queens of the woke cancel culture mob could never teach their kids critical race theory again. I wish I was joking or exaggerating, but I’m not.

Heartland

The so-called “American Heartland” is where the worst fighting of any 2ACW would take place. States like Ohio and Indiana would be diehard supporters of Trumplandia and they just would not go down without a fight. It would be the type of fighting not seen since the end of WW2. And it would be happening in what was once the most stable country in the world. As I’ve mentioned, a lot would depend on what Blue war aims were. If they just wanted to start the USoC, then my dark fears probably won’t happen. But if, for some reason, those war aims change and the issue becomes bringing the US back together again (probably with Canada by this point) then, well, all bets are off. It would be a very bloody pitched battle.

New York City

A 2ACW might be a tale of two cities for NYC. On one hand, there’s a chance NYC could become something akin to a Free City and on the other it could get nuked by Trumplandia. Any 2ACW would probably see the city flooded with refugees, maybe even including yours truly. But one thing is for sure — the long term tension between Upstate New York and NYC will grow in the event of a 2ACW to the point that NYC may break away politically in some way. Update New York has a lot of room for political refugees and, as such, you could see the population of some of the Update New York cities might balloon as a result.

New England
I think in the even of a 2ACW that New England would be flooded with political refugees to an unprecedented extent. People fleeing all parts of Trumplandia would go to New England, potentially in hopes of getting across the border to Canada. Should the Blue Union unite with Canada, then, of course, that dynamic would change.

In closing, I would note three things. There’s not going to be a 2ACW if Blues don’t have any leadership. They currently have no effective leadership, so a lot of abrupt heroes would have to bubble up to the surface once it became clear that Blues had to leave the Union. Also, all of what I’ve described above has to be taken into the context of very real possibility that WMD would be used by both sides as the war progressed. And, remember, if the United States is too busy bombing itself into oblivion, then the prospect of a “Great Reset” in the guise of WW3 is a very, very real possibility.

Ageism Is Real

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Of all the personal attributes that a person may have, age is probably the most absolute. You can change your gender. You can change which race you self-identify as — but you can’t change your fucking age. I bring this up because on a Tik-Tok claiming that Taylor Swift is “the most famous musician in the world” I made a light hearted observation that The Beatles would object.

Well, proving that I’m right to turn off comments on my own Tik-Toks, I got the following response to my comment:

You are a 50-60 year old man making 5-6 Tik-Toks a day from the comfort of your home — do better.

Oh boy. There is a lot to unpack here. I don’t quite know what any of this has to do with the simple fact that, in general, The Beatles remain the most famous musical act in the world. Or, to put a more fine point on it — it shouldn’t be a huge deal to suggest that it is at least up to debate.

No need to jump down my throat for simply pointing this out. I guess this Tik-Tok comment resonates with me at the moment because I’m feeling a little overwrought with existential angst as I approach my 50th birthday. It forces me to face that I really haven’t done much with my life in way, way too long and even if I did something amazing with my life in my 50s that would not change how little I’ve done since I left Seoul the last time.

Ugh. It’s all very existential and angst causing.

All you can do is make the best of where you are, I guess. I can’t change the past, I can only “do better” as the roast on Tik-Tok suggested.

I Really Struggle With What The Fuck ‘Being Woke’ Means

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It seems as though “wokness” means everything and nothing to MAGA people. As best I can tell, “woke” is simply a shorthand for “things we don’t like” in the minds of MAGA cocksuckers. They believe this to the point that people like Rep. Jim Jordan, when asked how Republicans are going to balance the budget, simply say, “we’re going to eliminate wokeness from the government.”

What does that even mean? And how would you do that without slashing things like Social Security or even the defense budget?

In a sense, it all boils down to white Christian Republicans doing a “vibe check” and whatever rubs them the wrong way is….”being woke.” The definition of “being woke” changes as necessary to help Republicans win votes. In general, I suppose “being woke” is when you don’t think being gay is a sin, you believe that systemic racism exists, you believe when should have bodily autonomy and believe that the tax system should be equitable. (The list goes on, but those are the main points.)

Anyway. For me, being, “wokness” is more about when someone has a very strict Leftist orthodoxy that they adhere to, to the point that they attack people like me simply because I don’t even know what the proper Leftist orthodoxy is — even though we’re on the same fucking side when it comes to begin against MAGA.

Regardless, we’re fucked. I still think we face the existential choice of autocracy, civil war or military junta in late 2024, early 2025. But, then, I am always wrong, so lulz.

The Bullshit That Is Destroying American Democracy

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

So. One of my Traditionalist relatives — who I love dearly — was quick to point out that a “transgendered rapist will be housed with women” headline in the New York Post as yet more proof that the “woke cancel culture mob” is destroying white, straight Christian America. All she did was read the New York Post headline at first until I asked her to the entire article.

As I suspected, turns out this particular instance of the “woke cancel culture mob” had nothing to do with the United States, but rather Great Britain….specifically Scotland. But plenty — PLENTY — of other readers of the Post headline will not read the article and assume that all of this yet more proof that the “woke” are putting their knee on the neck of God fearing, common sense white people.

“Probably some state like California,” these clueless MAGA cocksuckers will think to themselves.

The fact that the Post failed to mention that this particular situation — which is a huge controversy across the pond — did NOT happen in the United States is a prime example of how God-awfully fucked the United States is. We are heading towards the existential choice of autocracy, civil war or military junta with our eyes wide open.

The two sides have hardened their political stances to the point that either MAGA turns us into an autocratic fascist state, or we have a civil war because Blue States refuse to “bend a knee” to Red States. (We might also have a military junta for a while, but that is just “in theory” type of thing.)

But I am the first to admit that I’m ALWAYS WRONG. So, lulz. It’s possible that we’ll just punt this particular problem down the road again another four years. Or, more realistically, we’ll become an autocracy under President DeSantis or President MTG but it will happen so gradually that it will LOOK like I was wrong, when, in fact, I will be right but we will only notice it when we, I don’t know, invade Canada in 20 years.

Buckle up.

I Want To Go To NYC Sometime Soon In Honor Of My 50th Birthday

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m pretty much a starving artist at the moment so it definitely looks as though my upcoming 50 birthday is going to be extremely uneventful. It will come and go without any thing of note happening. I will note, however, that it was my 31st year, not my 30th that was Big for me — I went to South Korea the summer of my 31st birthday.

As such, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself for being a broke ass motherfucker. At some point this year, I’d like to take a quick trip up to New York City. What I really want to do, of course, is return to Seoul for about two weeks.

But that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

And, yet, I do hope to return to Seoul one last time before I drop dead. There are very few expats still in Seoul from my time there, so I could pretty much jump right in and stir up trouble in the expat community without anyone realizing who they were dealing with.

The question, of course, is when that visit might happen. At the moment — I just don’t know. And, really, the world is so big that I probably shouldn’t limit myself to just visiting Seoul. But I have a very strong personal attachment to Seoul.

Ideally, I would do a round robin of East Asia, starting in Tokyo, then flying over to South Korea then finally going down to Southeast Asia before flying back home. That’s the dream, at least.

But, of course, a lot is going to have to change for such things to happen. If I managed to write a breakout first novel then, yeah, I might be able to return to Asia. For the time being, though, just being able to visit New York City again for a weekend would be pretty cool.

There remains a part of me that is idly interested in visiting not New York City or Seoul, but LA. It would be a lot of fun to see if my hunch that I have a very LA personality would pan out the way I think. I think I’m probably be willfully delusional on that front, but I am, as the late Annie Shapiro said, “a delusional jerk with a good heart.”

So, lulz.

I do have a little bit of a hunch that Something Big is going to happen to me later in life. Of course, some of that is just me being my usual delusional self, but I do know my personality and skillset well enough to know that I might manage to pull off a third “hat trick” of some sort.

Only time will tell exactly what that hat trick might ultimately be.

My Never-Ending Angst Over Being A Male Author Writing From A Female POV Using Third Person Intimate

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

A certain segment of the “woke cancel culture mob” believes that, by definition, a male author writing from a female POV is illegitimate. These are the same people who believe that The Bechdel Test is an immutable law of storytelling and if your story doesn’t pass it, you might as well just give up.

When I started working on my first novel, I was completely oblivious to the controversy over this subject. I just read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series and really liked it. I liked that he wrote in third person intimate and when the time came, I just adopted the way he did things because it seemed to fit my personal writing style.

As this novel project has progressed, however, there have been a few times when I have been very clearly admonished against writing from a female POV using third person intimate. Being the ornery person that I am this has only served to make me angry.

Not only is the point to tell a great story, but I find it unfair to presume that just because I’m a man that I can’t write from a female POV. Of course, to some members of the “woke cancel culture mob” that’s not even the point — it’s not so much that I can’t write from female POV as a man, it’s that I shouldn’t.

I fucking hate this test.

Fuck that. And fuck you if you believe that.

It’s because of thinking like that we got Trump. Ugh.

As I’ve written before, I hate orthodoxy of any sort because it restrains one’s ability to think freely, to admit when you’re wrong and to see the world for what it really is.

Anyway, now I feel very self-conscious, insecure and paranoid about what I’m doing — but that won’t stop me from continuing to do exactly what I’m doing. Some of this comes from I’m simply unwilling to bow to the “woke cancel culture mob” this late in the process and some of it comes from I know I can overcome the obvious obstacles of writing a female character in a compelling, honest way as a male author.

At this point, my biggest fear is that writing from a female POV as a male author will just add to the already nearly impossible odds I face when it comes to getting traditionally published. But no one ever got anywhere in this world without taking a risk. So, here I am.

Only time will tell if the risk I’m taking pans out or not.

Why I Don’t Want To Self-Publish My First Novel (At The Moment)

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It’s very possible that, in the end, I self-publish this novel I’ve been working on for a number of years. And, yet, at the moment all I can say is fuck off to all the self-publishing advocates on Tik-Tok who want to bring me down and shit on my dreams of getting traditionally published.

The whole point of this project, from the beginning, has been to see how far I can get before I have to resign myself to self-publishing. I have improved so much as a writer and a storyteller because I have set my expectations so high. I know how difficult it is to get traditionally published but, as I keep saying, no one ever got anywhere by playing it safe.

So, here I am.

The reason why I keep writing about this is I feel insecure. I keep doing a gut check to see if I do, in fact, really want to go the traditional publishing route. And, to date, I continue to believe that I do.

It’s just I keep seeing Tik-Tok after Tik-Tok from self-publishing advocates who want to make me feel like shit for going the traditional route. Ugh. Fuck those guys.

I have found that self-publishing people are extremely touchy. When they’re not shitting on my dream of getting traditionally published, they freak out if you even so much as suggest that that that route is not for you. They seem absolutely convinced that anyone who doesn’t go the self-publishing route is a fool.

Well, as the late Annie Shapiro said of me, I’m a “delusional jerk with a good heart” so maybe I am a fool — but I know my true north and I’m willing to risk failure. But I absolutely believe in myself and, as such, I would at least like to see how far I can get before it hits me that getting traditionally published is out of the question.

I have to admit, of course, that it is rather disheartening when it sinks in that I could be in my mid-50s before I get published — and that’s if I stick the landing. But some of that angst is out of my control. I can’t help that I let my age slip up on me.

I’m 20 to 25 years older than the typical person writing their first novel and Just have to deal with my status as a late bloomer. I can’t go back in time and change when I decided I had something to say to the point that I was willing to throw myself into the process of writing a novel that I wanted to publish traditionally. The whole debate over being self-published or traditionally published gives me a headache.

I know my vision for this project and I’m willing to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune associated with the struggle to get through the gatekeepers.

American Democracy’s ‘Death By Vibes’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Something I’ve noticed about talking to Traditionalist relatives is they often can’t really tell me what they’re upset about. They are, in abstract terms, alarmed at the prospect of being “canceled” by the Woke Cancel Culture Mob because they believe being gay is a “sin.”

But that’s about it.

So, in a sense, the fate of American democracy rests on “vibes.” White Christians don’t really know what is bothering them other than they do a vibe check and don’t like where things are heading. Usually their rage at the rapid changes in America causes various keywords like “pronouns” and “trans rights” and “wokeness” to pop out during the conversation and but I just don’t believe they they even really understand what makes them angry.

For various reasons, there is an extensive permission structure for Traditionalists to slip into supporting the autocratic fascism of MAGA. Things are changing too fast for their liking to the point that they’re willing to use the hard power of the state to crush the “vibes” they feel the “woke cancel culture mob” is making them endure.

One thing that bothers me is the Left continues to play into this “death by vibes” that American democracy faces by having such a strict, touchy orthodoxy about certain things. Hollywood continues to make “woke” movies for itself, not realizing that the average person in the suburbs of a swing state just want to watch a good movie with a compelling story.

So, when someone who lives in one of the 5 presidential swing states goes to see a movie that is so “woke” that it distracts from the plot of the movie, those ever-important undecided voters feel the vibes are all wrong and think seriously of voting for a fucking MAGA person.

That’s an extremely simplistic description of what’s going on, but it’s something to think about. America continues to cleave into two nations, one Red, one Blue and the key question of the moment is will we continue to drift peacefully into autocracy, or are we going to have a civil war.

For purely selfish reasons, I prefer we don’t have a civil war. Not only do I not want to have to dodge explosions, I would also like the opportunity to try to get my first novel published. Ugh.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. The two sides are receding away from each other at an alarming rate and at the moment it definitely seems as though we face the cold, hard choice of autocracy, civil war or military junta in the late 2024, early 2025 timeframe.

But, thankfully, I’m always wrong. So, we’ll see.

Self-Publishing Advocates On Tik-Tok Sure Do Love To Shit On People Like Me Who Want To Attempt To Traditionally Publish Their Novel

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I totally validate anyone who wants to self-publish their novel. If you abide strictly by the cold, hard metrics of the real world, self-publishing definitely makes a lot of sense. You have to be wilfully delusional to believe you can get traditionally published — especially if you’re an old, CIS white male like me. But, guess what — I am wilfully delusional.

What bothers me is many self-publishing advocates on Tik-Tok seem to want to go out of their way to shit on my dream of being traditionally published. They pick apart all the problems with getting traditionally published. I’ve seen everything from how statistics are against you to the fact that you can’t pick your cover being cited as reasons to go the self-publishing route.

Jesus Christ is it all very annoying. Fuck off, you assholes.

I have a huge chip on my shoulder when it comes to my writing, so huge, in fact, that I’m willing to risk everything to pursue my dream of proving a point by getting traditionally published. From the very beginning, the point of the project has been to see how far I could get into the traditional publishing process before it became absolutely clear that I was going to have to self-publish.

The reason why this is at the forefront of my mind is not just the fact that I’m gradually leaving the “wilfully delusional” stage of the march towards attempting to be traditionally published, but I am constantly bombarded with a deluge Tik-Toks by self-publishing advocates who keep going on and on about how I’m an idiot to even attempt to get traditionally published.

I know one of the reasons why I keep seeing these self-publishing advocates on Tik-Tok is there is a massive cottage industry around self-publishing and so people are trying to make some money by facilitating others following them down that path. Even though I know this, I’m still fucking aggravated by how insistent all these self-publishing advocates are that I should give up my traditional publishing dream.

A big part of the whole process of going the traditional publishing route is how difficult it is. I’m going to be forced to go outside my comfort zone the moment I finish my novel and have to convince a gatekeeper that my “baby” is good enough to actually get traditionally published. The whole thing is exciting and dangerous and risky and I often find myself feeling pretty insecure about it all — hence how much I bitch and moan about self-publishing advocates shitting on my dream.

Anyway. I’m not ruling out going the self-publishing route. That may, in fact, be what ultimately happens. But not yet. I’m prepared to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in my quest to be traditionally published. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see which comes first — civil war or me seeing my novel in the hands of readers.

MTG: Trump, Part Duh

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m growing more and more alarmed that everything we were afraid malignant ding-dong Trump was going to do, malignant ding-dong Marjorie Taylor Greene will actually do. I’m beginning to think that given the dynamics of modern American politics that it’s not Ron DeSantis we have to worry about, but MTG.

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Dalton, Ga., on Jan. 4, 2021.

A lot of conservatives — especially my Traditionalists conservative relatives — love the *idea* of DeSantis. But, from all the accounts I’ve seen, DeSantis doesn’t have much personality. He’s all thug and no fun. It’s just not very entertaining to the great unwashed masses. MTG, meanwhile, is just like Trump only younger and just enough more focused to be really, really dangerous. She’s got a craven nature to her that is alarming. She wants power and once she gets it, she could very well know how to weld it in a way that lazy, stupid Trump never could.

It’s easy to imagine Trump picking MTG as his veep, him winning in 2024 — if he doesn’t manage to start a civil war along the way — and because he’s so fucking fat and old that he shuffles off this mortal coil and MTG becomes POTUS.

So, I think we should definitely take the threat of MTG seriously. The same metrics and corruption in our system that put Trump into the presidency could very well do the same thing with her. If it happened, all everyone will talk about is how much it’s just like Trumplandia, only worse because MTG knows what’s she doing and has the energy to implement her dystopian vision.

America is in big trouble and I have no ready answer as to how to avoid autocracy or civil war between now and, say, spring 2025. Good luck.