Red October: Be Careful What You Wish For, Mr. Bannon, You Just Might Get It


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Steve Bannon is staging a slow-moving administrative coup in the United States in broad daylight and, at the moment, nothing is happening in response. So, it’s very easy to imagine Bannon actually pulling it off — corrupting the administration of elections on the local level to the point that it becomes very clear to the average American that the whole system is rigged.

Steve K. Bannon

And that, my gentle reader, will be the moment of truth.

The natural inclination of the liberal media will be to calm everyone down. As a part of the Establishment, they have a vested interest in making sure the average person doesn’t freak the fuck out and burn everything to the ground in a rage.

In a functioning democracy, this is a good thing because it keeps people living their lives and only really thinking about politics when they have to. But, sadly, the centrifugal forces at work on the United States’ political system have reached a critical point — we’ve crossed the event horizon of autocracy, if you will.

So, should Bannon get what he wants, what will be the reaction.

My gut reaction is…I don’t know. It could go either way. It’s very possible that because of how ineffectual the center-Left is on a systemic basis, that such an administrative coup will be met with a collective shrug. There will be long, angry Twitter threads from the usual suspect Twitter liberals. Pod Save America, Pod Save The World and Deep State Radio would have enraged conversations about how the United States is no longer a democracy.

Here are some reasons why we won’t have a civil war:

  1. It’s not in our nature to have a civil war.
    For all the hateful rhetoric on the part of the MAGA New Right, it’s possible that in the end, they manage to pull off a peaceful transition to autocracy. In fact, at first, at least, the chance from democracy to autocracy could be so subtle that only a few hysterical people like me even notice. For the average person, it will just be a replay of 2000, only worse: it will simply be accepted that the only way a Democrat can become POTUS is if that party also control Congress. People will say “the system worked” and move on.
  2. Republicans have gamed the system.
    It could be that by 2024 – 2025 the actual administration of elections will be so corrupt that it will be a fact of life that people shrug and take for granted. It will be the first step towards Americans becoming Russians in that they will no longer feel as though the government expresses the will of the people. And that will be that.
  3. Not Trump 2024
    Another reason why we could slip peacefully into autocracy is it’s not Trump who is the Republican nominee, but someone other than Trump. If this is the case, when I honestly don’t see why we would have a civil war. Autocracy is so popular within the United States –and the opposition to it is so weak — that our transition to an actual autocracy will in the end be so easy to pull off that there will be no need to resort to violence. Blue States will get angry, but, lulz, they always get angry, right Mr. Eastman?
  4. Autocracy is very popular in the United States
    A sizable portion of the United States’ electorate wants an autocracy. They want one so bad that they seem like a cult to people who aren’t all that thrilled at the prospect of one. So, it’s possible that they will wrap up the transition into autocracy without any violence at all. By the time people realize what they’ve lost, it will be way, way too late. The United States will be nothing more than a Russia clone with an identical political dynamic. There will be a MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” and we’ll still have President DeSantis (or whomever) 30 years from now.
  5. Anti-MAGA forces are just too weak willed.
    Again, it could be that when push comes to shove, the whole thing will be over before it even starts. There will be a lot of angry tweets on Twitter, but in the end, because Twitter liberals aren’t willing to risk anything in the real world, we slip peacefully into autocracy and that, as they say, will be that.

But, lulz, the average person won’t even notice — at first — that things have changed.

People will gradually stop voting. A MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention will be held. And, soon enough, the United States and Russia will become autocratic brothers in arms. It will be like the end of Animal Farm — we will look back and forth between the United States and Russia and we won’t be able to see any difference.

That’s one option.

The other option is we have a civil war that causes WW3 and billions die while the United States sorts out which vision of America has the better military. If we go down this path, then the “Fourth Turning” might happen not in 2025, but in 2023.

I still just can’t game out which one of these two options the United States will pick. Usually, if history is any guide, the Great Moments of History are very reliant on the tactical. Just look at the First Civil War itself — the case could be made that modern America exists because of some pretty specific, tactical events that took place at just the right time.

Here are some reasons why we will have a civil war.

  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 distablizing 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.

So, too, if there was a Second Civil War and things grew existential, the outcome of any such conflagration could be determined by things that would be impossible to predict at the moment.

All I know is, Bannon is setting up a very, very destabilizing situation by trying to pull a fast one on us. If he succeeds in 2022 with his administrative coup and nothing happens, then, well, the likelihood of a civil war grows far less. It will be clear by that point that the United States is going to slip peacefully into autocracy.

It will be in the 2023-2025 timeframe when there will begin a massive migration of center-Left Americans to other parts of the globe. Hollywood might relocate to, say Perth. Europe might see a huge influx of liberal-progressive expats not seen since The Lost Generation.

Who knows?

Or, to put it another way — I suggest you be grateful for this last year of democracy in America. No matter what, the death spiral that will either lead to autocracy or civil war will probably begin the moment we start to get results in Election Night 2022.

A few days after that, Trump will announce for 2024 and things will grow very, very unstable. Good luck. You’re going to need it.

Macro trends are not on America’s side. As I keep saying, 2024 is going to be it. It’s the year when either the United States turns into a Russian-style “managed democracy” or there’s a civil war. Now, this isn’t going to be a complete list of the 50 states, but I am going to highlight some of the states that may be more problematic should a Second American Civil War erupt.

Oregon
The state is really two states and, as such, is probably going to be a major flashpoint in any Second Civil War. What’s likely to happen is Portland will buck any attempt at a putsch on the part of bonkers Right wing nutjobs in the rest of the state and, as such, either there’s a really blood struggle in the state or there are a massive amount of political refugees from the Portland area as the rest of the state sides with MAGA.

Virginia
Again, this is really two states. There’s the NOVA-Richmond-Hampton Roads urban corridor and everything else. It’s very easy to imagine a situation — especially with Virginia’s historic ties to the first Civil War — where the state implodes as we grow closer and closer to a Second Civil War. Too many good old boys in the rural areas of Virginia might get wrapped up in the “Lost Cause” mythos and decide to seize places like Danville (the last capitol of the Confederacy) or Richmond (another Confederate capitol.) If nothing else, simply because of the larger population of the “Blue” parts of the state, there will be significant violence and political refugees as the Blues consolidate power.

Michigan
I don’t know as much about this state, but it definitely seems as though once the pre-war process of coups and political consolation begins that there will be at least a coup attempt on the part of the Far Right. Again, don’t underestimate how once you actually start murdering people that the dynamics of things change significantly. It’s very possible that there would be a coup in the state, it would fail, and there would be significant political violence as the state’s Blue population fought back and put the state firmly on the Blue side.

New York
Yet again, we have a situation where once politics fails us that the otherwise banal regional differences in a state tears it apart. New York City is far more progressive than the rest of New York State and, depending on how things work out, it’s possible that New York City could become a revolutionary hotbed to the point that is tears itself away from the rest of the state and proclaims itself a Free City. This almost happen during the first Civil War. If nothing else, there will be a serious jiggling of the relationship between NYC and the rest of the state to the point where it aligns itself in any Second Civil War with New Jersey and Connecticut in a way that update New York does not. Or, again, there could be significant political consolidation as Blues from all over the northeast flee to New York and the MAGA-friendly natives of the state flee elsewhere.

Maine
I really don’t know that much about this state other than a vague belief that the northern part of the state is far different than the southern part. It’s very easy to imagine significant consolation in the state one way or another as people flee to it as the rest of the country buckles. The state is big — if sparsely populated — and it’s strategic location near the Canadian border might be enough for it to be the home to large refugee camps.

Texas
Texas would be in an odd situation as the country fell into civil war because its long-term political trend is shifting Blue, but it’s part of the South and a lot of people consider themselves Southern and MAGA. So either it simply buckles into its own intra-civil war or the MAGA cocksucker fucktards push out all the Blues who flee to Blue States nearby. The end result would be a lot of pissed off former Texans who would be of great benefit to the Blue cause.

California
In a sense, the whole fate of the United States rests on what California does. If it simply bolts from the Union, then that significantly hobbles the Blue cause on the ground. California sitting on its hands and become its own nation in the event of a Second Civil War makes it far more likely that either Red states win or there is some sort of half-ass balkanization of the United States. But if California stays and fights, then they could provide not only the necessary economy and population for a Blue state victory — after many, many dead — but also something of a vision for what America would look like after we’re finished bombing ourselves into oblivion.

The Deep South
It’s very easy to imagine at the onset of a Second American Civil War most of the old Confederacy on a political level getting extremely excited and having a massive amount of momentum to either leave the Union outright or support the Republican controlled Congress’ attempt to brazenly steal the election. Then reality would sink in — all of the Southern states have significant African American populations and once politics is no longer a viable method of solving problems then the far more brutal dynamics of realpolitik would kick in. I just can’t imagine millions of African Americans lulzing a return to the Confederacy, no matter how badly the white political establishment of those states may want it. So, even though the South has a lot of people and a big economy, it would be, on a regional basis, too busy fighting a race war to really help the Red cause all that much. If things really grew as radical as I fear they will — probably because WMD are stolen and cities start to get vaporized — it’s the Deep South where you’re most likely to see some WW2 level atrocities as radicalized whites begin to murder blacks en mass.

As for the rest of the states, their ability to pick one side or the other is probably far easier and their biggest problem would be dealing with political refugees.

Red October: Stop Laughing At The MAGA New Right



by Ender

Only because of a specific set of circumstances are we not in Trump’s second term. The combination of COVID, Biden and Trump being astonishingly lazy and stupid combined to tip the hand of fate. And, yet, the next year could likely be the last few months of the traditional America that we’ve come to assume we’d always live in.

Steve K. Bannon

It’s easy to imagine that Steve Bannon’s plot at an “administrative coup” is successful in 2022 and when we lulz it, he only grows more powerful and more brazen in the years leading up to 2024. I don’t think people really appricate how dire things are becoming.

The center-Left just is not prepared for what is going to happen between now and January 2025. Trump’s “Big Lie” is now the heart and soul of the Republican Party on a systemic basis and, honestly, the only thing stopped us from peacefully becoming a Russia clone is the momentum within the MAGA New Right to turn to violence simply out of bloodthirsty arrogance.

Here are some reasons why we will have a civil war.

  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 distablizing 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.

It’s also easy to imagine at some point in the 2024 – 2025 timeframe that everything is in place for us to slip peacefully into autocracy and Trump just by being himself causes a civil war. One thing we have to begin to think about is Trump could be, in his own way a “reverse Yeltsin” in the sense that both men specialized in destroying things but with the exact opposite objectives.

Yeltsin wanted to bring freedom to Russia, Trump wants to bring autocracy to the United States. So, it’s possible that for all my handwringing about the possibility of a civil war in the United States, in the end, we simply slip peacefully into autocracy, just as the Soviet Union peacefully ceased to exist.

Here are some reasons why we won’t have a civil war:

  1. It’s not in our nature to have a civil war.
    For all the hateful rhetoric on the part of the MAGA New Right, it’s possible that in the end, they manage to pull off a peaceful transition to autocracy. In fact, at first, at least, the chance from democracy to autocracy could be so subtle that only a few hysterical people like me even notice. For the average person, it will just be a replay of 2000, only worse: it will simply be accepted that the only way a Democrat can become POTUS is if that party also control Congress. People will say “the system worked” and move on.
  2. Republicans have gamed the system.
    It could be that by 2024 – 2025 the actual administration of elections will be so corrupt that it will be a fact of life that people shrug and take for granted. It will be the first step towards Americans becoming Russians in that they will no longer feel as though the government expresses the will of the people. And that will be that.
  3. Not Trump 2024
    Another reason why we could slip peacefully into autocracy is it’s not Trump who is the Republican nominee, but someone other than Trump. If this is the case, when I honestly don’t see why we would have a civil war. Autocracy is so popular within the United States –and the opposition to it is so weak — that our transition to an actual autocracy will in the end be so easy to pull off that there will be no need to resort to violence. Blue States will get angry, but, lulz, they always get angry, right Mr. Eastman?
  4. Autocracy is very popular in the United States
    A sizable portion of the United States’ electorate wants an autocracy. They want one so bad that they seem like a cult to people who aren’t all that thrilled at the prospect of one. So, it’s possible that they will wrap up the transition into autocracy without any violence at all. By the time people realize what they’ve lost, it will be way, way too late. The United States will be nothing more than a Russia clone with an identical political dynamic. There will be a MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment” and we’ll still have President DeSantis (or whomever) 30 years from now.
  5. Anti-MAGA forces are just too weak willed.
    Again, it could be that when push comes to shove, the whole thing will be over before it even starts. There will be a lot of angry tweets on Twitter, but in the end, because Twitter liberals aren’t willing to risk anything in the real world, we slip peacefully into autocracy and that, as they say, will be that.

But there is one thing I can not stress enough: stop laughing at the MAGA New Right. They just aren’t funny anymore. We’re dealing with a lingering existential crisis that is going to come to a head one way or another. We’re still too far out for me to figure out if it’s going to be autocracy, civil war or military junta.

Yet, what I do know is the current status quo is so unstable that something pretty dramatic is going to happen. Again — all the conditions exist for us to slip peacefully into autocracy and that will be that. The average American is so complacent that if Bannon gets what he wants, the liberal media will tell everyone that “the system worked” and it’s just a fact of life now that one, the administration of elections is corrupt and two, even if Democrats get past that obstacle, the only way they can gain the presidency is if they also control Congress.

Then comes the MAGA-themed Constitutional Convention. In about 20 years, we’ll wake up and realize an entire generation of Americans has only known DeSantis (or whomever) as president. We’ll also learn that the Trump family is now one of the wealthiest in the world, rivaling Putin. We’ll hear isolated reports of well known anti-MAGA people mysteriously dying, but strangely nothing will ever come of it.

All of our media will avoid talking about politics and News Corp will own The New York Times AND CNN. Who knows, MSNBC might be sold off and merged with OANN or NewsMax at some cut rate price. We’ll also here the occasional story from the BBC about the burgeoning ICE camps with political prisoners, but most people who are Good Americans won’t really care or notice.

That is, of course, until they get drunk in a bar one night and rant about how much President Flynn sucks. They vanish within a few days.

The reason why this agitates me so much is this dystopian scenario of an American future under autocracy is not an abstract to me. I’ve enjoyed the luxury of being a loud mouth kook in a free nation my entire life. I’m just not someone who could even exist in a country like Russia.

So, I feel, in a very concrete way, that if we do slip peacefully into autocracy that my life is in danger.

The main reason why I don’t think the United States will have a Second Civil War is how weak anti-MAGA forces are in real terms. Or, put another way, if there is some sort of civil war in the United States around the time I predict it may happen, a lot of heroes are going to burst onto the scene in ways none of us — least of all me — can predict.

And, remember, if we did have a second civil war, it would not happen in a vacuum. The entire world would go up in flames at the same time. Any number of regional wars would flare up — some of them resulting in limited nuclear exchanges — and the world we woke up to on the other end of the conflict would be greatly reshaped.

But again, I just don’t know which choice we’re going to make. At the moment, you can make the case for either autocracy or civil war. You can even make the case for some sort of military junta.

In a sense, this option makes a lot more sense than either autocracy or civil war because it could be just the temporary fix to our problems. The scenario I’m thinking of is rather than what the Reds want, which is autocracy or what the Blues might want out of desperation, which is civil war, we would simply turn the reigns of power over to the military.

Once we did that, it’s easy to imagine the whole point of the exercise would be a convening of a Constitutional Convention that would address the concerns of both sides. This would be a way to take the existential issues of 2025 out of the hands of our undead politics and turn it over to a hopefully objective existential body that would help us become a more perfect Union.

There, unfortunately, so many problems with this on-paper ideal solution that it’s highly unlikely it would happen. What’s more likely to happen is either we slip peacefully into a MAGA New Right autocracy or Blue States grow so enraged that they leave the Union and all hell breaks loose.

The biggest problem is, of course, the U.S. Military on a systemic basis will do everything in its power to avoid this very solution, even to the point that the whole country collapses into anarchy. This would happen when the military simply refuses to pick a side when Trump fucks everything up like he always does and we just don’t know who the “real” POTUS is and Blue and Red States go for each others throats.

Another problem might be, that the not even the military will be able to withstand the forces tearing the country apart and the largely MAGA enlisted men pick the opposite side as the brass. So, instead of a unified military being able to step in for a few crucial months, everything collapses in on itself and we bomb ourselves into oblivion using illicitly seized caches of WMD.

Yet, all I can tell you is something’s gotta give.

The moment Congress flips and Republicans are in control of Congress again, things are going to get very dark and even more unstable. You really need to enjoy these last few months of peace and quiet, of traditional America, while you can.

Macro trends are not on America’s side. As I keep saying, 2024 is going to be it. It’s the year when either the United States turns into a Russian-style “managed democracy” or there’s a civil war. Now, this isn’t going to be a complete list of the 50 states, but I am going to highlight some of the states that may be more problematic should a Second American Civil War erupt.

Oregon
The state is really two states and, as such, is probably going to be a major flashpoint in any Second Civil War. What’s likely to happen is Portland will buck any attempt at a putsch on the part of bonkers Right wing nutjobs in the rest of the state and, as such, either there’s a really blood struggle in the state or there are a massive amount of political refugees from the Portland area as the rest of the state sides with MAGA.

Virginia
Again, this is really two states. There’s the NOVA-Richmond-Hampton Roads urban corridor and everything else. It’s very easy to imagine a situation — especially with Virginia’s historic ties to the first Civil War — where the state implodes as we grow closer and closer to a Second Civil War. Too many good old boys in the rural areas of Virginia might get wrapped up in the “Lost Cause” mythos and decide to seize places like Danville (the last capitol of the Confederacy) or Richmond (another Confederate capitol.) If nothing else, simply because of the larger population of the “Blue” parts of the state, there will be significant violence and political refugees as the Blues consolidate power.

Michigan
I don’t know as much about this state, but it definitely seems as though once the pre-war process of coups and political consolation begins that there will be at least a coup attempt on the part of the Far Right. Again, don’t underestimate how once you actually start murdering people that the dynamics of things change significantly. It’s very possible that there would be a coup in the state, it would fail, and there would be significant political violence as the state’s Blue population fought back and put the state firmly on the Blue side.

New York
Yet again, we have a situation where once politics fails us that the otherwise banal regional differences in a state tears it apart. New York City is far more progressive than the rest of New York State and, depending on how things work out, it’s possible that New York City could become a revolutionary hotbed to the point that is tears itself away from the rest of the state and proclaims itself a Free City. This almost happen during the first Civil War. If nothing else, there will be a serious jiggling of the relationship between NYC and the rest of the state to the point where it aligns itself in any Second Civil War with New Jersey and Connecticut in a way that update New York does not. Or, again, there could be significant political consolidation as Blues from all over the northeast flee to New York and the MAGA-friendly natives of the state flee elsewhere.

Maine
I really don’t know that much about this state other than a vague belief that the northern part of the state is far different than the southern part. It’s very easy to imagine significant consolation in the state one way or another as people flee to it as the rest of the country buckles. The state is big — if sparsely populated — and it’s strategic location near the Canadian border might be enough for it to be the home to large refugee camps.

Texas
Texas would be in an odd situation as the country fell into civil war because its long-term political trend is shifting Blue, but it’s part of the South and a lot of people consider themselves Southern and MAGA. So either it simply buckles into its own intra-civil war or the MAGA cocksucker fucktards push out all the Blues who flee to Blue States nearby. The end result would be a lot of pissed off former Texans who would be of great benefit to the Blue cause.

California
In a sense, the whole fate of the United States rests on what California does. If it simply bolts from the Union, then that significantly hobbles the Blue cause on the ground. California sitting on its hands and become its own nation in the event of a Second Civil War makes it far more likely that either Red states win or there is some sort of half-ass balkanization of the United States. But if California stays and fights, then they could provide not only the necessary economy and population for a Blue state victory — after many, many dead — but also something of a vision for what America would look like after we’re finished bombing ourselves into oblivion.

The Deep South
It’s very easy to imagine at the onset of a Second American Civil War most of the old Confederacy on a political level getting extremely excited and having a massive amount of momentum to either leave the Union outright or support the Republican controlled Congress’ attempt to brazenly steal the election. Then reality would sink in — all of the Southern states have significant African American populations and once politics is no longer a viable method of solving problems then the far more brutal dynamics of realpolitik would kick in. I just can’t imagine millions of African Americans lulzing a return to the Confederacy, no matter how badly the white political establishment of those states may want it. So, even though the South has a lot of people and a big economy, it would be, on a regional basis, too busy fighting a race war to really help the Red cause all that much. If things really grew as radical as I fear they will — probably because WMD are stolen and cities start to get vaporized — it’s the Deep South where you’re most likely to see some WW2 level atrocities as radicalized whites begin to murder blacks en mass.

As for the rest of the states, their ability to pick one side or the other is probably far easier and their biggest problem would be dealing with political refugees.

We Have To Begin Thinking About The Possibility That Trump Is Getting CIA Agents Killed


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I was listening to Pod Save The World recently when they said something strange — a top secret memo was leaked from the CIA saying agents all over the world were being rounded up and killed.

Both elements of this are strange. It’s strange that we would know about such a top secret memo in the first place and it’s strange that CIA agents are apparently dying at an alarming rate.

There are probably of plenty of non-Trump related possible explanations for this happening, but there is also the very real possibility that Trump has something to do with it.

Either because of his actions while in the White House or because of what he’s been up to post-presidency. But it’s one of those things that barring something unexpected, we’ll probably never know. Trump always — ALWAYS — gets away with shit and I question even if anyone would care if we learned he was selling off our on-the-ground intelligence off to the highest bidder in an effort to make a quick buck.

It definitely sounds like something Trump would do. And he’s such a greedy blabbermouth that it’s easy to imagine him agreeing to give Putin a list of all our agents in an effort to prove to Putin how powerful he was.

Trump really is a clear and present danger to American security in the long-term.

Stephanie Graham & Trumplandia’s ‘Banality of Evil’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how it’s become commonplace for ex-TrumpWorld toadies to write a book then try to get validation in the liberal media as part of a book tour.

Why is this happening?

The latest person to do this is, crazy enough Stephanie Graham who was notorious for not only never holding a press conference as White House Press Secretary, but being very, very close to First Lady Melania Trump. Those two for years were extremely tight.

But, here we are.

She’s doing a book tour and she’s saying everything people like me believed to be true during the four years of Trumplandia hell we went through, only after it doesn’t matter anymore. The fact that she might get some sweet, sweet cash from selling books probably has something to do with her changing sides. But here’s something interesting that Olivia Nuzzi write about this whole situation.

All I can think of is how, post WWII, the actions of the Nazis were described as, on a practical basis, as pretty banal. In fact, there’s even a phrase, “the banality of evil” to describe the situation.

And, I think, that’s what’s going on with Trumplandia. A lot of people who should have known better acted in their personal best interests instead of the interests of the nation and grew so drunk in their access to power that they didn’t care at all about the damage they were causing. In, fact, I would say that was what was really going on with the extended clusterfuck that was the first Trump impeachment — the administration was so spinning out of control that everyone began to completely ignore not just norms, but the law. It was only when they got caught that they started feeling bad and quitting.

It definitely looks as though barring something unexpected that Trump is going to run again and “win” in 2024 because of Steve Bannon’s 20,000 “shock troops” fucking up the actual administration of elections on the local level. And, really, it could be that all of Trump’s bullshit is nothing more than a prelude to the main attraction of someone like Mike Flynn, or Ron DeSantis, or Josh Hawley, or Mike Pompeo or…the list goes on….being an American Putin once Trump cues them up to be his fascist successor.

At the moment, I think we’re going to slip peacefully into autocracy, but for the unknown of Trump. He’s such a fucking idiot that he, unto himself, could be the very thing that pushes into an otherwise avoidable civil war.

Red October: Of Fiona Hill’s Warning


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Top Russia expert Fiona Hill said recently that, essentially, Russia’s present may be America’s future. I totally agree with her on that. And, yet, I would like to make some observations about what she said. Because, she’s right, it’s just there are some reasons why we may not slip peacefully into autocracy.

The Guns Of Red October
The thing that Ms. Hill may be underestimating is how much the MAGA New Right wants political violence. How much they want even the barest excuse to run around, murdering people like me in cold blood for political reasons. As such, the thing that would otherwise happen –we slip peacefully into autocracy — doesn’t happen because the MAGA New Right is so wrapped up in the glory of violence that they feel liberals are “forcing” them to commit, that they totally miss that they could get everything they want peacefully if they’re just patient.


Trumplandia Part Duh
Another quibble I have with her prediction is it doesn’t take into account what an abject, complete and total fucking idiot Trump is. He always says the quiet part out loud. He also takes the most stupid, lazy path to get what he wants and, as such, it’s easy to imagine that through sheer idiotic incompetence, Trump is personally responsible for a Second American Civil War.

American Self-Perception
There’s a chance that when Steve Bannon gets what he wants, Steve Bannon gets what he wants. In other words, there’s a risk that the moment Bannon strangles American democracy with his “20,000 shock troops,” that is the moment the average non-MAGA person in the United States is so startled at what he’s managed to pull off that the country buckles and we have a civil war.

So, yes, Ms. Hill is right. But the verdict is out as to how peaceful everything will be.

Are Steve Bannon & The MAGA New Right Making A Fatal Strategic Miscalculation About The 2022 Midterms?



by Ender

It’s occured to me that I may be so wrapped up with my “hysterical doom shit” for what might happen in 2024-2025, that I’ve totally missed something: Steve Bannon’s plans to end free and fair elections in the United States will ready by 2022.

It could be that Bannon’s plan is to strike not in 2024, but in 2022.

I could see this making a lot of sense to Bannon because if he can pull it off and nothing of note happens because of it, then no matter how idiotic Trump is in 2024, our peaceful transition to autocracy will be a foregone conclusion.

This if that was his plan, it’s high risk, high reward.

It’s high risk because it would be something of a sucker punch, and, as such, it’s possible not even the corporate shills of Morning Joe (or whatever) would be able to calm the populace down should it become clear that the will of the people has been obstructed through extremely brazen corruption of the system.

I don’t know how exactly it would play out, but Bannon gets his way and on a systemic level there is wide spread nullification of Democrat wins because of “corruption” then…oh boy. That would really up the ante on political violence which would, in turn, be something the new MAGA GQP New Right Congress could use to go after the Biden / Harris Adminstration.

Or something.

The point is — we have to stop assuming it will be 2024-2025 that we have to worry about. The Fourth Turning might happen a lot sooner than we think.

Fuck The MAGA New Right, Or — Untangling The Rhetorical Knot That Is Their COVID19 Talking Points


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Ok. This is going to take some brain power. But, here goes. When it comes to COVID, I think the MAGA New Right thinks (I use that term loosely) that it was designed in a lab in Wuhan and, as such, we should PRAISE Son Of God Donald Trump for the vaccine, but we shouldn’t take it to own the libs.

And, lib, you never know, it’s possible this is all a “plandemic” in the sense that it was big pharma who was funding the “gain of function” research in Wuhan and you don’t KNOW that Dr. Fauchi isn’t profiting personally from it, now do you? Something something something Jewish space lasers

.

Any change in behavior — however minor — to manage the pandemic is a brutal attack on lady liberty because “my body, my choice” and also you’re excited that Roe is going to be overturned soon.

To take the free vaccine would would somehow be a win to the libs and to Red China, so take Regeneron or horse dewormer instead. There can never be “Vaccine passports” or, God forbid, a vaccine mandate, even though there are a variety of existing vaccine mandates that have been on the books for generations.

The difference is mumble mumble mumble the politics are different mumble mumble and fuck you, lib.

Nothing short of reparation from China will do when it comes to COVID. And, if that doesn’t work, then nuke them and let Trump ride one of the bombs like Slim Pickins in Dr. Strangelove.

And, in the end, it’s all about “personal responsibility” and if the fucking lib still won’t shut up, just tell them “no it won’t” and claim that all the facts that they use are “bogus.”

Oh, by the way fuck Jesse Kelly.

A Scifi Explanation For ‘Havana Syndrome’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Here’s a free scifi concept for you, Hollywood. The reason why diplomats around the world are having their minds fried by some unknown device is there’s some industrial strength “digital telepathy” going on.

The point of being targeted is a digital mindreading device is draining their minds so intensively that they suffer intense side-effects.

Money please!

America’s Politics: A Status Check


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Some rando on Twitter told me to “calm down” today after I said my usual thing about how America faces the choice of autocracy or civil war in the near, near term.

Let’s do a back of the envelope status check on American politics. I’m not getting paid to do this and the people of VOX think I’m a crank, so lulz, you get what you pay for.

What makes doing this so difficult is, while in general terms I know we’re fucked, those fears a pretty much abstract. Going forward, it’s difficult to figure out what is important and what isn’t. But let’s have a go.

The first thing that comes to the forefront of my mind is the Republican Party is now fascist. It has been completely consumed by the rancid populism of MAGA. The Republican Party is dead and now is the Trump Party in everything but name. It has no ideology other than what whatever Trump wants at any particular moment.

As such, the question is, will it be Trump or one of his would-be successors who push us to the breaking point where we face the existential choice of autocracy or civil war. For the time being, Trump is in complete control of the Republican Party and any success or failure the party has in its objectives will be the direct result of Trump’s personal ability to achieve those goals. So, it’s easy to imagine a situation where Trump being lazy and stupid is handed power AGAIN through some sort of nullification crisis in January 2025 and he’s just too stupid to shepherd the country peacefully through what would otherwise be an inevitable transition to autocracy.

So, we have a civil war and bomb each other into oblivion because MAGA can’t bear to even think of the word “liberal.” Who wins in that situation, I have no idea.

If it’s not Trump, but someone like Tom Cotton, Mike Pompeo or Josh Hawley, then I doubt we’ll have a civil war because they’re politically adept enough to avoid one. The media will be purged, ICE’s camp infrastructure weaponized and I get pushed out a window because I refuse to fucking shut up about how much I fucking hate MAGA.

There are other things floating around our undead political system that are unnerving. The glorification of political violence by MAGA along with the rise of paramilitary groups is not exactly the sign of a healthy political system. The interesting thing about this is Trump — to date — hasn’t had the guts to go transactional. So, in that regard, Trump is definitely no Hitler. What Trump loves to do is dog whistle violent acts that he would like, but he simply has never been direct about it.

But if, say, Cyber Ninjas gets his hopes up by “proving” he “won” Arizona, that might change. He might go transactional and tell MAGA’s paramilitary arm to start doing specific things to facilitate his “reinstatement.” Or not. It’s possible he’ll continue to be a big old wussy (on a political basis.)

Yet, the issue is, what does this mean going forward? Do I need to “calm down” or am I right that we face an existential choice of autocracy or civil war at some point between now and January 2025.

Nothing is set in stone, however. It’s possible that we’ll drift into some sort of “lite touch” autocracy where it’s just Conventional Wisdom that the only way a Democrat can become POTUS is if Democrats also control Congress. Liberals will vent in the media while MAGA welds hard power and that will be that for a few cycles until someone like President Mike Pompeo finally has had enough and goes full autocrat because there’s no one to stop him anymore.

2012: The Year Everything Changed


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It used to be that there were all these predictions about how the Mayan calendar predicted the End Of The World in 2012 for some reason. Well, that obviously didn’t happen, but something did happen – 2012 was the year that white people in America began to reach a tipping point with their abstract fears about the changing nature of the country.

So, let’s think about what, exactly, happened in 2012 that caused the political hellscape that we currently enjoy. The most obvious thing is, duh, Obama won a second term. And I think the reason why there was a cascading effect from that event was a lot of Republicans thought Obama was some sort of political fluke caused by the perfect timing of the Great Recession right before the 2008 election.

When it became clear that Obama was actually the first wave of what everyone knew was coming — the advent of America being a minority majority nation, a lot of white people freaked the fuck out. It was the 2012 election that was the last election where Republicans were willing to work within the democratic norms that we all have come to enjoy for the last 240 odd years.

Something about what happened in Obama’s second term facilitated the rise of Trump, MAGA and the Republican Party becoming fascist. It was the high speed social transformation of Obama’s second term that really caused the Republican Party to pretty much be accurately represented by Trump.

If I was, like, smart and stuff, I would be able to give you a itemized deep dive of the specific events that caused conservative white people to freak out and fall into the arms of ding-dong Trump. But, I’m not that smart — and, as such, will never write for VOX, natch.

But it is curious. I think what may have happened is at some point between 2012 and 2016 Republicans realized they had lost the culture wars and, as such, they had to strike back with someone who was a “fighter.” After that happened, the rest took care of itself. Trump was a deranged lunatic, but the Establishment eventually realized he was not only hugely popular with the base, but he could win the 2016 election. So they lulzed everything for young hack MAGA judges and a plutocrat tax cut.

I love alternative history, so I often struggle to think up a way whereby we could have avoided the rise of MAGA and Trump. All I can think up is Al Gore winning the 2000 election. Even then, Obama is such a singular figure in our nation’s political history that it’s easy to imagine him winning anyway and causing MAGA to arise in response.

If you read the book The Fourth Turning, you would say that Someone Like Trump was going to pop up at some point between 2016 and, say, 2024. The demographic trends were going to cause someone like Obama to get elected and then, in turn, someone like Trump would get elected in reaction.

One last thing I think we don’t really appricate is how the introduction of the iPhone may have also sealed our fate. Once social media was no longer tied to our PCs, then things like “cancel culture” and the mainlining of things once seen as freaky was going to happen one way or another.

Anyway, the ultimate end game of this clusterfuck is a complete mystery to me. I have no idea what happens. I do know, however, that we’re going to face a choice of either MAGA autocracy or a civil war. Which one we will pick, I don’t know for the time being.