How To Survive The Civil War

by Shelt Garner

Let me begin by saying I’m not an expert. These are just my person suggestions. And, what’s more, there’s no reason to believe the United States will have another civil war. So, in that sense, this is all just mental masturbation. But here goes.

  1. Figure Out What You Believe In
    If the United States really does collapse into civil war, things are going to be existential — in the real world. As such, it will be no time for you to be wishy-washy and say you’re a “centrist.” Pick a side and be willing to die because you go through a checkpoint and you picked the wrong side.
  2. Be Prepared To Move
    If the country really does collapse, there are going to be a lot of domestic political refugees. So, if your politics doesn’t match that of the part of the country you live in — get ready to bug out.

    The following I don’t advocate. I’m just being honest with you.
  3. Become Something of a Survivalist
    If the United States really does have a civil war, you’re going to have to be handy with a gun. Learn to hunt. Learn how to negotiate for basic supplies. Things might get dark.

    Good luck.

A Grand Bargain?

by Shelt Garner

I have to admit, that sometimes I feel like we’ve waited long enough — let Trump win so we can sort out one way or another if we have the gumption to depose the motherfucker.

I don’t know how that would work out — and it wouldn’t in a way because it would cause a civil war — but I’m growing really frustrated with the idea that MAGA Nazis are always just one election away from turning us into a fascist state.

Having said that, imagine Trump loses.

There is a real chance that Trump will rant about the need for a National Divorce so he, specifically doesn’t go to prison. This raises the interesting issue of how we might placate him so the country doesn’t collapse into horrific violence.

I could imagine a situation where Trump rants about the need for a National Divorce and states like Texas begin to leave the Union. I could see that out of desperation the be a huge amount of pressure put on Biden to pardon Trump for the sake of saving the unity of the country.

But I don’t know. It seems as though that by definition if Trump loses and states begin to call up secessionist conventions it will be quaint to think you could stop that momentum by pardoning him. But I think there’s a chance we all might try in desperation if things got bad enough.

And I can’t predict the future. There is still a chance that somehow, someway, we will muddle through the 2024 election without any of the “hysterical doom shit” I keep worrying about coming true.

But I don’t know…..I’m worried.

The Fire Next Time: Will America’s Possible Collapse Into Civil War / Revolution Mark The First Use Of AI Soldiers?

by Shelt Garner

When it comes to AI and robotics, I generally think everything is going to suck because of human nature — just like generally, everything sucks with the Internet these days.

So. Lets combine my OTHER dystopian fears — the idea that the USA will soon collapse into civil war / revolution because of fucking Trump.

Wars usually are where a lot of “cutting edge” technology is first used. And, as such, it would make a lot of sense for the first use of “AI soldiers” might be in some sort of post-apocalyptic America where Red and Blue have finally decided to settle their political differences in the streets.

I don’t want anything like that to happen. I’m not advocating anything. I’m just…worried….that we really are totally, completely fucked and AI bots are only going to make a horrible situation even worse.

2025: Tyrant Trump

by Shelt Garner

There are a few things we have to take into consideration before we think about Trump’s second term. The first is, we have to work on the basic assumption that Trump is simply going to ignore the Supreme Court if they rule in any way he doesn’t like.

So, if he fires several hundred thousand civil servants using his Schedule F idea, then, lulz, he’ll just do it no matter how much SCOTUS rules against him. He will invoke Andrew Jackson and go about his business.

Another issue we have to think about is the total fucking chaos Trump is going to cause when he begins to build out the infrastructure necessary to put millions of undocumented people in concentration camps. Just providing these people with food and housing will be a logistical nightmare.

What’s more, I have serious doubts with the idea that a variety of other people that Trump doesn’t like — everyone from trans people to loudmouth cranks like me — won’t find themselves in any sort of dragnet that Trump begins to employ across the country.

And I’m sure there are all sorts of bonkers counter-revolution things that Trump will do as early as possible in 2025. One key issue for me is if Trump will have the abstract thinking ability to propose a Constitutional Convention that would pass Amendments that would make America a white Christian ethnostate. It could be he will be so stupid that he just announces that he’s going to stay in office the rest of his life because “he deserves it.”

No matter what happens if Trump wins in 2024, we have to accept that the U.S. Military will ultimately decide the country’s fate. If the country collapses into chaos, whomever can convince the U.S. Military to take their side will determine who has power.

Of course, there’s a non-zero chance that not even the U.S. Military will stay stable. It, too, could collapse for a variety of reasons. Then you have WMD that might begin to be lobbed here and there across the country in the context of a global WW3 erupting.

Good times!

I just don’t know what to tell you. It could be that Biden wins and we muddle through another four years. But….I have my doubts.

Counterfactual — What If Mike Pence Had Choked On Jan. 6th?

by Shelt Garner

I don’t really know enough to give you any sort of realistic, detailed counterfactual on what might have happend had Vice President Mike Pence gone along with Trump’s January 6th coup attempt, but let’s do some thinking about it.

The key thing we have to contemplate is how close we came to a civil war on January 6th, 2021. Given what we know of what the coup plotters wanted to do once they got Pence to punt on the certification of Electoral votes….oh boy. It seems as though they believed they wanted to use the extra time to get state Republicans to approve rival Electors that they could use the muddy the waters.

And, remember, there would have been a ticking clock to all of this — January 20th would be just days away. And the moment January 20th rolled around and we STILL didn’t know who POTUS is — especially in the context of the Insurrection Act having been invoked — then, well, it seems clear the country probably would have devolved into chaos.

At this point, it’s possible that the U.S. Military might have stepped in to sort things out. But the point is — Pence bought us all time by destroying his political career and we’ve squandered it.

Now, we’re careening towards a disaster just as big, if not bigger.

Death By Vibes

by Shelt Garner

One sign that the country is in deep, deep trouble is how the Right has constructed out of whole cloth all these conspiracies about how “woke” corporations are going to do all these horrible things to them at some point in the near future.

It is now gospel within far Right podcasts that unless Trump becomes POTUS again, that “woke” banks will deny them services simply because of their political views. And the list goes on. They have convinced themselves that just by being conservative, the “woke cancel culture mob” is going to destroy their lives and drive they and their families into the streets.

They have only the vaguest proof that this is going to happen. In short — they have vibes.

MEANWHILE, these very same MAGA Republicans totally ignore a growing amount of evidence that suggests that in cold, hard ways all the tyrannical things that Trump plans to do the moment he can. And it’s not like he’s hiding it. All he does is talk about the tyrannical things he wants to do.

Whenever you bring up any of these tyrannical things to a MAGA Republican, they piviot to all the weird conspiracy theories they’ve heard from far Right podcasts about what they believe “woke” corporations are planning to do. They either do that, or they try to mitigate or rationalize out of existence the dangers posed by things like Project 2025 by saying, “I look at Project 2024 and it just looks like a regular policy agenda to me.”

Oh boy.

All of this yet again makes me think about what will happen if Trump goes full tyrant on us in 2025. The key issue is — Trump is so lazy and stupid that he just doesn’t have the political chops to transition the United States into a Russian-style autocracy without there being SOME backlash. Even Putin, who had a tradition of autocracy and a nation in chaos, gradually transitioned the country into an autocracy.

So if Trump goes nuts and goes full tyrant the moment he’s in office again — the shit is going to hit the fan. I can only assume there will be a spectrum of far Right podcasts listeners should this happen.

On one end of the spectrum will be people who are all-in to Trump’s tyranny. They will be proactive Good Germans who cheer on the country’s transition into a white Christian ethnostate — they will be getting what they have longed for and there will, at last, no chance that a “woke” bank will come after them for listening to Joe Rogan.

MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER END of the spectrum, there will be people who will blanch at the tyranny and chaos that Trump will cause. It is these people that we have to keep an eye on. If these Traditionalists simply sit on their hands should their be a Blue General Strike, then maybe, just maybe, we might be able to depose Trump in some way.

But, plot twist, if that happens, then there probably will be a civil war as Red States leave the Union in rage that Trump has been deposed.


The Conditions Exist For An Election Catastrophe Starting In Late 2024, Early 2025

by Shelt Garner

I continue to just not know one way or another what to expect this fall. It definitely SEEMS as though the conditions exist for us to collectively lurch into a dark and uncertain future because of MAGA Nazis.

But, at the moment, I just don’t know.

A lot will depend on how close the election is in the fall. If it’s really close, then, oh boy, buckle up. There would just be too much of a temptation for MAGA Nazis to pull some sort of shenanigans.

But, really even if it’s NOT close, there are no assurances that Trump won’t rant about the need for a National Divorce for the pure personal reason of him not wanting to go prison. The country is primed and ready for us to destroy ourselves on way or another because of “vibes.”

The two sides just don’t like each other and MAGA Nazis, in particular, because of macro changes in culture, thing the center-Left is out to get them. The believe this so much that they often pull some pretty crazy scenarios out of their asses just to justify the absolute worst things they can think of for people who simply don’t agree with them.

A lot will hinge on states like Texas. If Trump loses and he really leans into the idea that conservatives need their own nation so they can be “left alone” then….maybe? Maybe Texas, because of how fascist and autocratic their state Republican Party is, could call up a secessionist convention?

And if Trump wins, it’s not like things are going to be all that peacefully. My key fear is that Trump is so lazy and so fucking stupid that he might go full tyrant on us to the point that he’s deposed in some way, which, in turn would cause….Red States to begin to leave the Union.

As I’ve said before, that leaves the following scenario as the only way we may it out alive in 2024 — Biden wins, Trump rants about the need for a National Divorce and no one listens to him. Then he announces his run for 2028 and we punt all of the structural issues that might cause the greatest nation in the world to collapse because of “vibes” down the road another four years.

Of ‘Woke’

by Shelt Garner

Because we live in an age devoid of nuance, it’s really difficult to pin down exactly what being “woke” means. It seems to me the whole notion of “wokeness” is more about the *fear* of being “canceled” by the “woke cancel culture mob” than it means something concrete.

And to figure out who is “woke” and why, requires one to juggle a few different causes in one’s mind at once.

One issue that has prompted the debate over “wokeness” is social media. Social media allows the most extreme points of view to dominate the discussion of any subject. Meanwhile, it is clear that a lot of GenZ people honestly do have different cultural tastes than their older peers.

As such, social media causes the most sensitive of GenZ people to put the fear of God into older people who fear being “canceled” for the slip of the tongue or something similar. I can tell you from my own life that I know people who are on a hair trigger for the possibility that their life will be ruined because they’re recorded by someone saying something that “doesn’t fit the media narrative.”

But again, all of this is very murky.

It is interesting than comics are often the ones who bitch and moan the most about the “woke cancel culture mob.” I think that may say more about older comics not understanding the comedy tastes of GenZ than it does there being some sort of raging band of woke people who scour the earth for people to cancel.

The more I think about it, the more I struggle to understand it all. I’m a loudmouth crank at times and I have, indeed, been attacked by people on my Left who are extremely touchy about the usual “woke” things. But these incidents are actually few and far between — but they leave a mark because of how fucking annoying they are.

But wait, there’s more.

Because MAGA Republicans, by nature, work only in bad faith, they have latched onto the idea of “wokeness” as a catch all for anything that they disagree with. To the point that they don’t even know what it is they think “being woke” actually means.

If pressed, I would say “woke” is a form of cultural Leftism that is has a sometimes absurd orthodoxy that is hypersensitive. Or something. It’s one of those “I know it when I see it” type of things. I don’t feel comfortable getting into too much detail about such things because, well, “woke people” might get angry at me. (Which kind of proves my point about the fear of being canceled is more powerful than anything “woke” people might actually be able to do.)

But I also think it’s a very, very small number of people who qualify as “being woke.”

But because of the bad faith arguments of MAGA Republicans and the nature of social media, that tiny minority of “woke” people has a huge amount of influence on the cultural as a whole. It all boils down to the FEAR of being “canceled” by the “woke cancel culture mob,” even if pretty much most of the “canceling” that happens is just regular old accountability.

So, in some sense, the fear of the “woke cancel culture mob” that a lot of older people have is simply the generation gap. They just don’t understand younger people and they have a wistful anger towards people they feel should know better.

Anyway. I’m sure I’ll get canceled one day.

Now To Finish This Damn Novel

by Shelt Garner

I’ve finally reached the point where all I have to do is finish the latest iteration of the third draft. I think once I finish this latest version of the third draft that I have one more version to go before I feel as though it’s “finished.”

Once I reach that point, then I going to turn the novel over to someone I know who has offered to go through the third draft and give me detailed suggestions on each scene in the novel. My hope is that doing this will be a way that I can have some sort of developmental editing of the story.

It just doesn’t seem like I’m going to be able to afford *any* editor of the novel before I begin to query it. Or, to put it another way — it would take me over a year to save up the money to do such a thing and I’m not getting any younger.

As such, I will probably begin the querying process for the novel at some point after the July 22nd deadline. It may be as late as August or September, but it will definitely begin this year.

Of course, in the back of my mind there is the lingering fear that all hell may break loose this fall. There is a greater-than-zero chance that the United States, the greatest nation in the world, may collapse into the anarchy of revolution or civil war in late 2024, early 2025 because of “vibes.”

Only time will tell. It would definitely be poetic if that was the endgame of all my hard work on this novel over the years — everything works out but the end of the world happens.

The Center Shall Not Hold