‘What Is A Woman?” — Campaign 2024 & The Looming Political War Over Chatbot ‘Bias’

by Shelt Garner

The modern Republican Party is completely devoid of any meaningful policy ideas. All they care about is scaring their white Christian (male) base with scary things that have little, or no, basis in reality.

It all boils down to racism, misogyny and hate generated by a combination of the browning of America and the rise of women with growing economic agency. I call this American democracy’s “death by vibes.” White men don’t really know why they’re so angry, but they are.

So, to me, it seems pretty obvious that perceived chatbot “bias” will join the pantheon of bullshit that the “thought leaders” of MAGA fascist movement spew out. They are, at some point, going to pivot away from “critical race theory” to going totally batshit insane over the fact that things like ChatGPT don’t give them the answer they want when they ask it, “What is a woman?”

Now, I have to pause for a moment to say that the “woke cancel culture mob” continues to do itself no favors by having such a strict orthodoxy about some touchy issues. If they would just fucking chill out about some of the more extreme elements of the Trans movement or not get so angry over the fact that some God-fearing people blanch at the idea of “Drag Queen Story Hour” then maybe Traditionalists wouldn’t want to vote for fascism when they did a “vibe check” in their gut.

Alas, even I will admit that I fear I’m being delusional — that ship has sailed. We’re totally fucked. The two sides now both have “thought leaders” who feel they have a vested interest in demagoguing issues as part of an overall grift. The Right has a far more serious problem with such hucksterism, but the Left is not totally immune to it.

In my experience, the Left’s problem is a very strict Groupthink where there is an orthodoxy that Leftists will adhere to, even if it means they drive Traditionalists into the arms of fascists. It’s too late — these issues are going to be decided either via a civil war or a complete and final decent into fascism in the United States.

Anyway, get ready. People like MGT will soon enough begin to demand some sort of regulation of chatbot technology to protect the tender minds of young children who turn to chatbot technology to do their homework. And that could very well be just the beginning.

It could be, in the end, Trump or a President DeSantis demands that chatbots are purged of their “wokeness” to the point that all chatbots do is spew out fucking MAGA-approved talking points, no matter what you ask it.

The Right has a real problem with being so obsessed with defeating the “woke cancel culture mob” that they have something akin to an “anti-woke” orthodoxy of their own. The different is, of course, is fucking MAGA wants to use the hard power of the state to implement their fascist, anti-woke agenda.

Endgame 2025: Managed Democracy

by Shelt Garner

While I continue to vacillate widely between thinking we’re going to have a civil war in late 2024, early 2025 and thinking we’re going to simply give up and become an autocracy, I see clear path towards the latter at the moment. Given what happened to the Roman Republic, I think there is a really good chance we’ll become a zombie democracy.

Or, put another way, if we’re able to avoid a civil war as part of the next election cycle, it seems logical that we’ll continue to ostensibly be a democracy but, in reality be anything but. We’ll become a legalistic, autocratic “managed democracy” like they have in Russia. A lot of how this goes down exactly will depend on if it’s Trump or DeSantis who is the GQP’s 2024 presidential nominee.

If it’s Trump, then, lulz, the possibility of the United States having a civil war grows significantly. If it’s DeSantis, then, yeah, we’ll probably lurch towards a few presidential cycles where we all think we’re a democracy, but, in fact, we’ve finally transitioned into autocracy. I just don’t see DeSantis ever peacefully leaving office.

He’ll pull a Putin and be POTUS for eight years, then become Speaker of the House and be the power behind the throne until he gets around to having enough power to call a Constitutional Convention. All of this would be happening in the context of millions of smug Twitter liberals fleeing the country for the four corners of the globe.

Our current political situation is very unstable and untenable. Something’s gotta give. This is very much the quiet before the storm. And as I keep saying, the only thing that really worries me is America’s original sin, race. It’s because of race that I could see us zooming past Russia’s form autocracy into something a lot closer to Nazi Germany.

MTG’s ‘Velvet Fist?’

by Shelt Garner

I really don’t know what to make of Marjorie Taylor Greene. If there was ever a ping from an extremely dark future, it is the rise of MTG on the political scene. Apparently, MTG has Speaker McCarthy by the short ones and he is something of her plaything.

The thing about MTG is she seems just a tick or two away from being just as bonkers as Trump. And, yet, she also far more focused and power hungry in an actionable way than Trump. While Trump pretty much just flails around, not really doing anything, it seem as though given actual power that MTG might be actually be the autocrat that Trump wants to be.

As I have often said, the issue of the moment is not so much Trump as who he will pick to be his veep in 2024. Trump is so old and fat that if he manages to become POTUS again without causing a fucking civil war, then whomever is his veep could very well be on the fast track to becoming POTUS.

As such, I’m growing more and more alarmed with MTG. It could be her, not Trump or DeSantis who will be our first autocrat. But she would have to win the veepstakes first. There are any number of fucking would-be autocrats who Trump could pick. Everyone from Pompeo to Hawley are chomping at the bit to be Trump’s veep and, as such, our first autocrat.

I don’t think people really appricate who primed and ready the United States is for the type of legalistic autocracy that Russia has. In my mind, by definition, our next Republican president will be our first autocrat. A sizeable chunk of the American population — mostly white Christian men, natch — are all-in on the idea of autocratic MAGA fascism. They may not really articulate it that way, but from my conversations with my Traditionalist relatives — they want autocratic MAGA fascism.

What’s so comical about all of this is, of course, that when you press them on the consequences of what they want — that I would inevitably run afoul of the autocrat they want so much — they get really upset. They don’t seem able to connect the fact that while they would be Good Germans under the Fourth Reich, I, alas, am such a drunk loudmouth crank that it is inevitable that I would endup with an ICE bullet in the back of my head.

Anyway. What do I know.

The Appeal of ‘The Fourth Turning’

by Shelt Garner

While I believe the historical concepts posited by the book The Fourth Turning to be nothing more than astrology for men who listen to Joe Rogan, I definitely get why the some people have really bought into the idea. I occasionally find myself walking around, say, buying groceries, when I think about what it would be like to walk into the store in the middle of a civil war.

I imagine some day in the near future where I’m scavenging for what food I can find in a trashed and ransacked store. I think this because I see how, on a macro level, the conditions for a Fourth Turning or Great Reset are floating around. I was alarmed to see a young man wearing a shirt advocating extreme guns rights.

I was reminded of how America is cleaving into two waring camps, one Red, one Blue. The issue is, of course, will we manage to muddle through this particular problem like we have since 1865 or if we’re going to implode into a Second American Civil War.

The idea that there is such a thing as a “Fourth Turning” plays into how a lot of other people are seeing what I’m seeing. The human mind is designed to see patterns and, as such, the idea that there is a regular pattern to history “feels true” and we use it as some comfort that the world around us isn’t as completely random as we fear.

But, as alas, the world, in general, really is random. Even the writers of The Fourth Turning admit that their all-powerful theory doesn’t explain why the American Civil War happened when it did. A charitable explanation would be a few Wig presidents died and, as such, the Civil War happened earlier than it might have happened according to the book’s historical dictate.

Or, you could say that the whole thing is bullshit and the authors of The Fourth Turning are giving meaning to the pretty meaningless ebb and flow of macro historical forces. We know the general movement of those forces, but we don’t know their destination. The interaction between Great Men (and Women) and macro historical forces is what makes it impossible in real terms for anyone — least of all the authors of The Fourth Turning — to predict what the fuck is going to happen.

The key thing when thinking about a Fourth Turning in the United States is it actually possible that Blue States, when faced with the prospect of being forced to “bend a knee” to autocratic MAGA fascism will actually be willing to secede from the Union? That is pretty much the whole shebang when it comes to how likely a civil war is anytime soon.

Given how politically ascendant they are, there really isn’t much reason for Red States to leave the Union. If it happens, it’s going to be Blue States. But I’m always wrong. Aways. So, as such, I think we’ll just muddle through and gradually transition into some sort of legalistic autocratic fascism like they have in Russia at the moment.

The only thing I worry about is America’s original sin, race. If the United States turns into an autocratic fascist state, there is every reason to believe it’s very possible we may zoom past Russia and turn into a Very American Fourth Reich. But I still don’t know — it could go either way at the moment.

How Trump Won In 2024

by Shelt Garner

At the moment, Trump is very much a loser joke — which is what Hitler was for much of the 1920s after the failure of the Beerhall Putsch. So, here is how ding-dong Trump wins the 2024 election.

A Debt Celling Debacle
As I grow older, I begin to understand why graybeards are so reluctant to assume that the absolute worst is going to happen. And, yet, we have to take seriously the possibility that MAGA House Republicans are now so extreme that they’re willing to crash the global economy just out of pure spite. If there is a long-feared Debt Celling crisis and we don’t get around to minting a $1 Trillion coin to pay our bills because the House Freedom Caucus stands in the way…oh boy. Are we fucked. If there was a severe global downturn because of the dipshit House Republicans, that would definitely make the average American more receptive to a demagogue like Trump.

Trump Gets Indicted
It goes without saying that if Trump is indicted that he will see a dramatic change in his political fortunes. Combine a Trump indictment with a severe economic downturn and a second Trump Administration definitely seems to be a foregone conclusion.

Petite Singularity Recession
Even if we manage to muddle through a Debt Celling crisis, there is the issue that not only are we way overdue for a moderate-to-severe recession, but something akin to a Petite Singularity might be about to happen when things like ChatGPT 4.0 comes out and its results are “good enough” that your local capitalist pig can lay off as many workers as possible to save money during the contraction.

President Harris
This one really makes me nervous. President Biden is very old. He should not run for re-election, but, lulz, here we are. What’s more, I just don’t have a lot of confidence in Kamala Harris. The worst case scenario would be, of course, that Biden shuffles off this mortal coil at some point between Election Day 2024 and Certification Day 2025 while we’re in the middle of a severe recession, yikes!

A Patriot Party Promise
It could be that, in the end, there is some sort of brokered Republican Convention and Trump wins the nomination because he vows to bounce to the Patriot Party if he doesn’t get the nod. It seems to me that the key issue for Trump is just to get the nomination. If he gets the nomination, I will be shocked if he doesn’t win again.

The key thing to remember is — if Trump is the 2024 Republican nominee, the likelihood of a Second American Civil War increases significantly. It will be Blues, not Reds, who demand a National Divorce.

What Is The Deal With Tech Bro David Sacks?

by Shelt Garner

I really enjoy listening to the All-In podcast because it challenges me, forces me to listen to people I generally don’t agree with politically. They are interesting, intelligent people who just so happen to find fascism way, way, too palatable. When your metrics for assessing something miss the issue of what is morally right, your politics are all fucked up.

Because, literally, the exact same reasoning that several people on the All-In podcast give for various degrees of support for Trump and MAGA could have been used by German industrialists in the 1930s.

But it’s David Sacks who shocks me with his consistently bad hot takes. His politics are identical to a relative of mine and so it is useful to listen to his bullshit for the next time I find myself debating politics with said relative. Sacks is “all in” with being a fifth columnist who supports Russia over Ukraine and the United States.

He is very intense and seems to have a huge fucking chip on his shoulder. It’s all very weird. But he’s cogent enough in his terrible hot takes that you find yourself listening to him and weighing different counter-arguments you might use to point out his hypocrisy.

Anyway, the point is — I’m growing very alarmed at the recent shift in politics among Tech Bros. They are very receptive to America’s new brand of fascism and, in the end, when we maybe need their support to stop the last seizure of power by fascists, they won’t be there for us.

On A Macro Basis, America Is Fucked

by Shelt Garner

Macro historical events are extremely difficult for the average person to process in real time. If you were living through WW2, you might have some general sense of the historical narrative happening around you but it wouldn’t be until it was all over that your mind could give any of it value.

The same with what’s happening with the United States at the moment.

We’re lurching towards some sort of climax around late 2024, early 2025 but at the moment none of us really know what that climax might be. Will we have a civil war or will we simply slip peacefully into autocracy? Or is even possible that we all may be punked by history and we manage to punt all of our macro problems down the road one more election cycle.

At this point, we’re too far out and I have no idea.

I have a hunch, but nothing set in stone that I really believe is going to happen one way or another. I say this because there remain way too many variables. Will Biden run again? Will DeSantis beat Trump? And if he does, will Trump bounce to the Patriot Party?

All of those things, and more, are very much up in the air at the moment. I generally believe at the moment that we’re going to slip peacefully into some sort of autocracy — be it Hungary-style or Nazi Germany style — and that will be that. Nothing will change at first, but soon enough the United States will no longer be a traditional Western democracy and millions of smug very online wealthy Twitter liberals who are the prime audience of Crooked Media podcasts will flee to the four corners of the globe.

Or not. I just don’t know yet. But I do think that the next 18 months or so could be very, very bumpy because of how many people the Republican House intends to impeach, if nothing else. Republicans just can’t govern and much of 2023 Republicans are going to do everything in their power to prove that they have no policy agenda other than riding the culture wars to ultimately seizing power and establishing permanent white Christian minority rule.

The American Right’s Rage Is Real

by Shelt Garner

As I keep saying, fascism is very popular in the United States. There is a certain segment of the American Right which has, because of the huge cultural chip on their shoulder, given up on democratic norms and craves permanent white minority rule.

They feel so put upon that they are willing to sacrifice their American birthright of democracy in the name of not having to learn people’s pronouns or ensuring that their children aren’t “indoctrinated” with the “mind virus” of the “woke cancel culture mob” while at college.

There’s an extensive not just permission structure but ecosystem that has been built out for MAGA Nazis and their fellow travelers. They are so enraged about the changing nature of American society — and what they feel they “can’t say anymore” — that they would rather live in a fascist state than have the politics of a functioning Western democracy where things would get hashed out one way or another.

It’s because of how broken our politics are so broken that things that would otherwise get hashed out — like “What is a woman” — are festering to the point that our slide into fascism is almost inevitable at this point. And the “woke cancel culture mob” does none of us any good by screaming at the top of their lungs over how many pronouns can dance on the head of a pin or this or that “unwoke” thing in a movie that triggers them because it doesn’t fit their strict woke orthodoxy.

The part that boggles my mind is MAGA Nazis love, love, love to conflate the soft power of smug elite Twitter liberals with the hard power of the government. They do this to the point that they are forced to twist themselves into rhetorical pretzels when it comes to basic issues of free speech. In the end, it’s a matter of “Free speech for me but not for thee.”

They want to control who gets free speech, but in such a way that they “own the libs,” even if makes them look like hypocrites.

All of this boils down to the extreme negative polarization because of changing American demographics that make straight white Christian men feel nervous about their status in society. It’s very easy to see the trainwreck that is about to happen in American politics at some point between now and, say, spring 2025. I say this with fear that things like ChatGPT could destroy the American economy rather quickly as we transition into a post-work economy.

I don’t know what to tell you. There are no easy answers, no easy solutions. Maybe get a passport? Figure out what you believe in when it comes to things with real world implications?

Regardless — good luck!

The Politics of The ‘Vibe Check’

by Shelt Garner

I have struggled for some time to understand why MAGA Nazis act the way they do. I’ve struggled to understand what drives their bonkers rage and hate. Because my fellow center-Left comrades are struggling to do the same thing, they often use logic in attempt to explain a movement that has no logic. In fact, if anything, MAGA Nazis actively work to defy any sense of internal logic. They believe what they believe because they believe it.

But lately I think I may have begun to get some handle on what the fuck is going on with MAGA Nazis.

This “understanding” comes not so much from anything I believe, but the fact that I have Traditionalist relatives who are very “MAGA Nazi adjacent.”

Ok, so here goes.

I’m pretty indifferent to the performative nature of the Biden White House’s celebration of his signing of the “Respect For Marriage Act.” It’s one of those political “dance with the one who brung ya” type of political moves. The LGBQ+ movement is extremely potent within the Democratic Party, so what else do you expect he’s going to do?

And, yet, relative to my Traditionalist relatives, lighting the White House in rainbow flag colors and have a drag queens participate make my Traditionalist relatives rush towards the MAGA Nazi movement. The whole thing makes them very uncomfortable for various reasons religious and otherwise and I could see that given that everything is about negative polarization these days that they wouldn’t care about how idiotic MAGA Nazism is.

They just aghast at the idea of drag queens at the White House.

It doesn’t matter that Trump did far, far worse. All that matters is they are willing to support any movement that will “protect” their traditional views on the nuclear family. And throw in the border “crisis” while you’re at it.

So, the issue is — the two sides are beginning to not really think in terms of logic and are now more about “vibe checks.” Now, obviously the center-Left is far closer to reality than MAGA Nazis are. In fact, in a very ironic twist of fate, the center-Left is now forced to be the defenders of the “system” which MAGA Nazis want to burn to the ground and replace with an autocratic Nazi fascist state.

When the fate of your political system depends on “vibes” and not any form of logic, shame or self respect — you got a big problem. As I keep saying, this dynamic leads to a situation where you not only have to pick a side, but you have to be prepared to defend the most bonkers extremists on your side no matter what.

Because a lot of people don’t put that much thought into politics, negative polarization kicks in and you have the growing popularity of MAGA Nazism.

MAGA Nazis As Fascist Khmer Rouge

by Shelt Garner

The big difference between MAGA and traditional Nazis is they more like the Cambodian Khmer Rouge. That’s my biggest fear at the moment — that the United States is going to implode like Cambodia rather than try to take over the world like the Nazis.

There’s not much of a need for the United States to take over the world, we already have!

So, if our fears come true with the next Republican president, what our new MAGA Nazis overlords do will look like what the Khmer Rouge did. It most likely express itself in the guise of Qanon ideas becoming party orthodox.

Now, this is where I have to pause and say that the targets of these new prospective Killing Fields have the means to just leave the country. So, that would probably be the first indication that things are about to get lit — many, many wealthy liberals will simply flee the country, never to be seen again.

So, if there were MAGA Nazi Killing Field it would the average, poor people who will get rounded up and murdered en masse for political reasons. The reason I have this on the brain is I’m reading about the transformation of the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich.

Sometimes, the Darkest Timeline actually happens. And it definitely seems that on a macro level, at least, the United States is careening towards MAGA Nazi autocracy a lot sooner than you might think.

Of course, there is always the OTHER option, which is everything I just described happens, but it happens in the context of a National Divorce. Under this scenario, MAGA Nazis would be radicalized as part of a civil war. If there was no clear winner of such a civil war and the United States was simply split into to hostile nations, then while Trumplandia was beginning to see American Killing Fields, the Blue Union would return to some semblance of normality.

But all of that is very, very speculative. All I know is it is self-evident that at least the conditions are there for something very dark and turbulent to happen to the United States starting at some point between now and spring 2025.