Are We a ‘Constitutional Republic’ or a Democracy?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The simple explanation for why MAGA Republicans are so adamant that the United State is a constitutional republic rather a democracy is it’s a form of debate nullification. It gets MAGA Republicans, who are fucking fascists, a retort against liberal-progressives who talk about how MAGA Republicans are a “threat to our democracy.”

MAGA Republicans hear this so much that they have come up with, “Oh yeah? Well fuck you, the United States isn’t a democracy in the first place, it’s a constitutional republic!” Then it becomes obvious that the two people talking can’t even agree on the terms they’re using and the conversation trails off to something else.

There is so much wrong with the growing insistence by MAGA Republicans that we can’t defend democracy because, lulz, the United States isn’t even one to begin with. They have a number of talking points thought out about all of this, everything from “Are you going to challenge the wisdom of the Founding Fathers?” to a garbled, misinterpretation of Alexis de Tocqueville.

That this is even an issue, is also something of a tell as to the agenda of MAGA Republicans. That they get so wrapped up in this dumb conflation about the nature of our Constitution tells us that they don’t believe in democracy and they want to establish a white Christian ethnostate. Or, more specifically, rather than work within the bounds of our democracy and change their policy agenda to win elections fair and square, they’re so fucking racist that they want to play lesser democratic elements of the Constitution like a xylophone so they can establish an autocracy and that will be that.

The point is — another reason why this is a tell is the idea that the United States is a “constitutional republic” is not mutually exclusive with it being a democracy. It’s both and has been, to varying degrees, since its conception. It’s only now, when MAGA Republicans are looking for some retort to evil libtards that the two equally true concepts have been muddled by MAGA Republicans’ partisan needs.

I would note that “What form of government does the United States have?” is following the same path as any number of other hot button issues where the two sides are so far as apart that they can’t agree on the basics. If you bring it up MAGA Republicans laugh at you, use a joke they heard on some fetid MAGA podcast and then you spend all your time not talking about the issue, but wading through bullshit designed to make it impossible to even debate the topic at hand in the first place.

It’s happened with gun control. It’s happened with the Green New Deal. It’s happened to a variety of topics and it’s happening with the very basic idea of the Untied States being a democracy. If that’s not a sign that at some point between now and spring 2025 we’re going to have a civil war, turn into a MAGA autocracy or have a military junta, I don’t know what is.

This is where I have to bring up the great irony of this bullshit. I have people in my family to believe “the United States isn’t a democracy.” I love them dearly, even if I’ve actively given up debating politics with them because of shit like this. The irony is that given that I’ve made it very clear that I’m not going to ever stop ranting about how much I fucking hate the MAGA Republican movement, should the United States turn into an autocracy, it’s inevitable that I’m probably going to be sent to a camp.

THEN, of course, my Traditionalist conservative relatives will sit up and take notice and have to figure out how to get me out of my concentration camp. Once things get personal — their only red line other than violence in the streets — then they will start to get upset about America no longer being a democracy. Then, of course, it will be fucking too late. This is not an abstract to me. I’m never going to be a “Good German” and any shift on the part of the United States into autocracy poses real risks for me, personally.

But my Traditionalist relatives scoff at these fears or just don’t want to talk about it. They hate the soft power of the “woke cancel culture mob” SO MUCH that they willing to give up their American birth right of democracy so they can live in a white Christian ethnostate, even if it puts my life in real danger.

Jesus, Is MAGA Adopting The Qanon ‘One’ Salute? Talk About Form Following Function!

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

So, tonight, at the very end of Trump’s deranged rally in Ohio, a number of people near the front of the crowd were raising their hands in Trump’s direction. It looked like they were doing the Nazi Roman salute, but the way they had their heads down, I initially thought they were maybe praying as Trump did some sort of insane benediction.

Form….
…follows function

Well, turns out — would you believe — that what they were doing is sticking out one finger in a “One” gesture that has something to do with Qanon. Given how closely this gesture resembles the Nazi salute…oh boy. And given that the whole Qanon bullshit is pretty much an modern day anti-Semitic conspiracy theory the implications of this are pretty dark.

As I keep saying, I still think that ultimately MAGA will result in more deaths than the Nazis. I hope I’m wrong — I almost always am — but if the MAGA faithful all begin to make a One Salute whenever they see Herr Trump…well, that’s not exactly the greatest sign for our future.

‘What Constitutes a MAGA Republican?’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

A MAGA Republican is a fascist. And what does that mean? Well, in this particular case, it means they not only have absolute fidelity to dingus Trump, but they are racist and misogynistic in the extreme. They hate the browning of America and the rise of economically liberated women.

Often they frame what they believe in the context of the “woke cancel culture mob” wanting to ruin their lives for “just for being conservative.” There is an intense sense of aggrievement on the part of MAGA Republicans, to the point that they are willfully blind to the complete lack of popular policies on the part of MAGA Republican leadership in the name of “owning the libs.”

In fact, that is the central tenant of the MAGA Republican movement — owning the libs. They will believe any lie, follow any conspiracy to its logical extreme and ridiculous conclusion as long as they feel the warm glow of there having been libs “owned.” MAGA Republicans are so consumed by the culture wars that they have no policies other than whatever Trump rants about at any particular moment. Their fidelity to Trump is as absolute as a Christian’s to Jesus.

Another important element of the MAGA Republican movement is they no longer believe in democracy. In fact, they go out of the way to make it clear that the United States is NOT a democracy at all, but rather a constitutional republic. They say this because they know the more people vote, the less likely it is they win elections. MAGA Republicans also believe that, by definition, any election they lose is rigged against them.

MAGA Republicans want to establish an autocratic, white Christian ethno state in the United States. They are growing to see violence as means to a political end. And, ultimately, should Trump either go transactional or his second term’s radical policies be too much for Blue States — there could be a civil war.

And, typically, pick the most extreme Right wing hot take on any subject and that’s what MAGA Republicans believe. MAGA Republicans also believe that their Dear Leader Donald Trump is, by definition, above the law and even if the authorities have him dead-to-rights with it comes to {name a law} then it’s all a Deep State conspiracy to get him out of the picture. They believe this to the point that there is a good chance that Trump could be cooling his heels in prison and he would STILL win the 2024 presidential election.

The endgame of all of this is still very much up in the air. On one hand, the United States could stagger into some form of autocracy. This works on the assumption, however, that Trump will somehow get out of the way so a more palatable political figure, like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, can be America’s first autocrat.

But, as history has shown, Trump is a fighter and, as such, he is a political monster who refuses to get out of the way, long after he has served his historical and political purpose.

So, it’s at least possible that Trump, unto himself, could cause a civil war and destroy the most powerful democracy the world has ever known. Good luck.

Is The United States A ‘Constitutional Republic’ or A Democracy?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It’s becoming MAGA Republican orthodoxy to dress up their autocratic desires — and to own the libs — by being very adamant that the United States isn’t a democracy, but rather a “Constitutional Republic.” That Republicans quibble over nomenclature like this is a tell — they have very unpopular policies (such as there are) and rather than change them to win elections in a liberal democracy, they would rather destroy America’s democratic birthright.

There’s a lot to unpack here.

One of the signs to me, at least, that the United States is probably going to slip into autocracy is my Traditionalist relatives, who should know better, parrot this MAGA talking point. What they’re really saying is not so much that they believe that the United States is a Constitutional Republic, but rather they don’t believe in traditional liberal democracy anymore.

They hate it when people vote because they know that the more people vote, the less they win and the more pressure they feel to maybe, I don’t know, change with the times? What they want is to be able to play the more obscure, undemocratic elements of the Constitutional to ensure that they, at a minimum, establish an “illiberal democracy” like there exists in Hungary, in the United States.

And my Traditionalist relatives are all-in on this canard. They talk about how democracy is “mob rule” and how Alexander de Tocqueville warned about the dangers of democracy. (Which, I think is a disingenuous or even downright wrong interpretation of what he wrote about the United States.) And, what’s more they even say shit like the Founding Fathers didn’t want democracy and you’re not doubting their wisdom, are you?

This is all bullshit. The reason is, while, yes, we are a Constitutional Republic also, at least until recently, a very stable Western democracy. There were democratic norms and, in general, the general movement of American pollical life was towards more democracy and a broader definition of who could vote. So being a Constitutional Republic is not mutually exclusive with being a democracy.

All of this, of course, is a cover for how desperate white angry Christian (men) are to establish a white, autocratic Christian ethno state in the United States for various reasons. They are afraid of the browning of America, the rise of economically liberated women and a growing secularity in the country. They point to things like the “woke cancel culture mob” because that is lot easier to sell on a political basis than, “I want to take your democratic birth right.”

The rise of Republicans believing that the United States is a Constitutional Republic is a clear sign that we’ve lost Traditionalists and, as such, we are careening towards an autocratic state the moment — any — Republican becomes POTUS. That’s all she wrote. If someone like DeSantis becomes president, then we’re going to have A Very American Autocracy and we’re going to wake up in 20 years and wonder why he’s still POTUS.

Millions of wealthy liberals will leave the country to the point that the “liberal brain drain” will replace “scary brown people at the border” as a boogie man for the American MAGA Right. On paper, all things considered, that seems to be a foregone conclusion.

And yet, there is a wildcard — Trump.

Trump is such a fucking malignant chaos agent that he could, personally, start a civil war in a variety of ways between now and, say, spring 2025. I’m not saying he will, but there is definitely a greater-than-zero-sum chance that it will happen.

Anyway, I just don’t think we’re prepared for how bumpy the next few years will be. MAGA Republicans have all the political momentum — despite their snowflake bellyaching — and either they get what they want, which is an illiberal democracy, or we have a civil war of some sort.

Figure out what you believe in the real world and what you’re willing to suffer for. Or just leave the country, if you can.

Biden Needs To Call MAGA Straight Up Old Fascists, Not ‘Semi’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The case can be made that if Biden frames the 2022 elections in as start as terms as possible — fascism versus democracy — that we might see an unexpected upset in November. I have extremely low expectations at the moment. And I’ve already begun to game out how dark the period between January 2023 and January 2025 will be in the United States.

We all may be anti-fascist soon enough.

But if we can somehow hold the line against the rising tide of MAGA tyranny, then we will definitely be in a little bit of a better position going into the massive clusterfuck that will be the 2024 election cycle. I can not impress upon you enough how potentially dramatic and violent the 2024 presidential cycle might be. I just don’t see it being a free and fair election because the entire point of the Republican Party at this point is to steal the 2024 election. That’s all they want. All they want is to establish an autocracy in the United States. And all they have to do is gain power once — once! — and that’s it.

The key issue to remember is we can’t punt the existential crisis America faces down the road anymore. Everything is coming to a head in late 2024, early 2025. By definition, if a Republican wins in 2024, we’re going to go down the path of autocracy. If we’re lucky, we settle somewhere around Hungary or Turkey. If we’re not so lucky, we endup somewhere between Russia and Nazi Germany.

Things are really that dire.

Barring a Unity Ticket for 2024, however, I do think that if Biden begins to articulate why the MAGA New Right is old school fascism, that that will really help to clarify in the minds of voters an general unease they probably are feeling already about the extremism of the Republican MAGA New Right.

Things are so volatile when it comes to the Republican Party, even if Democrats were able to miraculously win the 2024 election fair and square Republicans probably would either steal the election or grow extremely violent. What happen on January 6th would pale in comparison to the amount of violence we will see if Republicans lose — or aren’t able to successfully steal the 2024 eletion.

Those motherfuckers really are out for blood, I’m afraid.

CNN’s Current Transformation Portents The Fate Of US Media Under A Very American Autocracy

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

So, once Trump or DeSantis is POTUS in 2025, what’s going on with CNN right now is going to happen to all American media. The shift will happen subtly, behind the scenes and under the rubric of “objectivity.” But will happen. And what’s probably going to tip the average person of that something has changed will be a mistake or overreach on the part of the autocrat.

The most obvious place for this to happen would be late night TV. While CNN is lurching towards MAGA via “objectivity” late night hosts could just be purged in a rather abrupt manner — probably because the autocrat threatens the broadcast licenses of their networks.

But the issue is — because form follows function there is going to be a point in the near future when the only way Americans can get any news that the autocrat doesn’t want them to know about will be to watch the BBC. The only way this isn’t going to happen, of course, is if there’s a civil war. Then that’s a whole different set of changes.

And, yet, again, the point is — America is careening towards autocracy at an alarming rate. We really are an anocracy and we’re far less stable than people would like to admit.

It will be shenanigans like what’s happening with CNN that is how freedom of speech will initially be curtailed — it will be plutocrats working within the system who chill free speech, not the government doing it. Though, obviously, that will come soon enough once the MAGA SCOTUS overturns New York Times V. Sullivan.

Enjoy freedom of speech while you have it, folks.

Either Trump Gets Away With Espionage Or We Probably Have a 2nd American Civil War

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The last few days’ news on the Top Secrets at Mar-a-Lago front definitely indicate that things are coming to an alarming head soon. And we, as a nation, are going to have to confront the very real possibility that either Trump is let off the hook somehow or he’s indicted and he probably starts a civil war in an effort to protect himself personally.

Now, I can’t predict the future. But I do know that a lot of MAGA Republicans, maybe the majority of them, want to own the Libs and the “woke cancel culture mob” so much that they are willing to protect Trump, even if he was literally selling American secrets to the Saudis, Russians or North Koreans. There is going to come a point where they cross the Rubicon when it comes to even being willing to sacrifice their lives in the name of that malignant orange dingus.

And maybe this particular scandal is, unto itself, the thing that causes that to happen. The MAGA faithful do a gut check and they realize that Trump engaging in espionage is really just another thing they have to accept and rationalize away in the name of establishing as white Christian autocratic ethnostate. You know things aren’t going swell for your Republic when you realize that even if you did somehow neutralize Trump, there are a dozen other would be autocrats willing to jump in and finish the job Trump started.

And that, really, is kind of the political quandary we find ourselves in. Trump has accomplished his political and historical duty of being a transitional figure as we slide into autocracy. The problem is, of course, is Trump refuses to get out of the way and, as such, he grows more and more unstable and the country as a whole careens towards a very dark fate.

The reason is — if the Justice Department finds itself absolutely forced to hold Trump accountable and indicts him, I honestly have no idea how bad things could get. To date, Trump has not gone transactional outside of one speech right before the January 6th Insurrection. But if Trump honestly felt there was a real chance he would not only get indicted but booked and ultimately have a court trial he could really go crazy and start insinuating some pretty insane things. Everything from demanding Red States begin the process of leaving the Union to even maybe some sort of deranged demand that a Second Constitutional Convention be called. (Remember, given precedent, it’s very likely that MAGA state legislatures would name the members of any such convention and, by definition, it would go rouge and codify MAGA into any new Constitution.

What makes this particular situation with Trump so unqiue is it’s very, very serious and Trump isn’t POTUS anymore so he can’t hide behind the “only way you can do anything about me is impeachment” defense. Things are so bad that there is even a growing choirs of people who want Biden to pardon Trump over this matter for “the sake of the nation.” As I’ve written before, the only way I would ever support such a thing is if Trump, in exchange, agreed retire from political life.

Anyway, it’s at least possible that the moment of truth when it comes to Trump is upon us. If we ultimately we STILL don’t have the political will to do anything about Trump, then the next fork in the road will be at some point in late 2024 – early 2025. Either Trump and MAGA brazenly steal the 2024 election to the point that Blue States begin to leave the Union, or he wins out right and his second administration agenda is so radical that we definitely might have a 1860 type situation on our hands where Blues, seeing what Reds have in store for the country decide to preemptively bounce, causing a National Divorce and a civil war.

Or, put another way, the United States is so unstable at the moment that Trump getting a very well deserved indictment could be the catalyst that destroys the country. Or, if maybe not “destroys” it, definitely changes it in the sense that the National Divorce that I think Blues will do would be caused early by Reds. America is so bad politically at the moment that I don’t know if it will be Reds or Blues who ultimately demand a National Divorce.

I’m not VOX. I have no idea what to tell you. There are no easy solutions. Get out of the country? Invest in gold? Or maybe just figure out what you’re willing to suffer for and go from there. That’s one thing you’re going to need in the real world going forward, no matter what happens.

What Is To Be Done About Trump?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Trump is like America’s UTI that is always just about on the cusp of going septic and nearly killing us. The key issue is that Trump is nothing more than a vessel, an avatar for the rage of white Christian (men) about the changing nature of the United States. A lot of it, obviously, has to do with the white Birth Dearth, but that is the subject of a different post.

But it is very clear to me — and others — that the issue at the moment is that one of the two major American parties believes that, by definition, Trump is like the fucking Pope — infallible. What’s more he’s not just infallible, but he’s above the law to the point that by definition any law he breaks is invalid. and subject to attack.

It’s so bad that MAGA, which purports to be all about “law and order” goes after the FBI of all things, just because they are doing their jobs and trying to enforce laws. Of course, as others have mentioned, the issue is MAGA wants order but no law. That’s the crux of autocracy — that laws are applied only when in service of the overall goals of the autocrat.

MAGA is so absolutely devoted to dingus Trump that they are totally prepared to burn the county to the ground in order to protect him. It is difficult, at this point, not to believe that MAGA wants something akin to an Americanized version of Nazi Germany. They want a nation of blood and soil where the Leadership Principle of Der Fuhrer means whatever Trump wants, he gets. I still struggle a great deal to figure out what about Trump is so appealing to MAGA. Reading about Hitler, I can kind of “get” why he was able to take over Germany in the wake of WW1. But Trump, I still don’t understand.

He is so stupid and lazy that it’s difficult to understand why anyone, regardless of education or class would give a shit what he has to say. And, yet, here we are with millions of people — some of whom should know better — who are waiting with baited breath for Trump’s second, far more radical term.

And, in the end, I again have to say that we face the existential choice of autocracy or civil war. We’re either going to become something of a political clone of Russia (the DeSantis option) or we have a civil war (the Trump endgame.) There is absolutely no middle ground. It just doesn’t exist. You have to pick a side and if you call yourself a “centrist” at this point, you’re really complicit in the rise of American Nazism (MAGA)

Trump, as a political entity, is an extremely dangerous flaw in our political system. He is so weird and apt to do anything to save his own skin that he could literally, unto himself, cause the end of the United States as we’ve known it for close to 250 years.

I have no solutions. I have no idea what to do. I guess get ready.

The MAGA New Right Catastrophe of 2022 – 2025 (& Beyond)

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I hate to talk about the pseudoscience of The Fourth Turning, but it’s an handy way to talk about what I fear will happen between now and January 2025. All systems are go for a significant change in the lives of everyday Americans, we just don’t know if it will be a final descent into autocracy or if it will be something akin to a civil war / WW3.

The chief reason why I believe this to be the case is the absolute fidelity that dingus Trump continues to have over the MAGA base. No good can come of this situation. I say this because it seems as though a lot Twitter liberals, who should know better, continue to assume that just because they “hope” that Something Will Change in regards to Trump should he be indicted, doesn’t mean it will.

Or, put another way, a lot of brand name people on both the Right and the Left seem to think there is some limit whereby Trump will get the hint and step aside for the good of the nation, or, for the good of Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party, if nothing else.

And, welp, I just don’t think that’s the case.

I think Trump, in his own very stupid way, is prepared to literally destroy the United States rather than personally either have to move aside for DeSantis or to go to jail. Have we learned nothing from what happened around January 6th? As such, we are primed and ready as a nation for a historic catastrophe. The likes we haven’t seen domestically since the First American Civil War and internationally since WW2.

There is a real greater-than-zero-sum chance that there really will be a Great Reset. That, in a sense, we’re going to have an End of, maybe not The World, but A World. The World we’ve all assumed we would live in after WW2 ended in 1945. And it could all begin to unravel at pretty much any moment now. All we don’t know is the specifics.

Are we going to peacefully slip into autocracy after the 2024 election and turn into a MAGA-themed Fortress America, or are we going to enter a period of rapid, violent change that will stun us all. And, would you believe, at this point, it all really depends on what ding-dong Trump does?

I continue to struggle with the implications of Trump simply refusing to get out of the way. Everyone really, really wants Trump to get out of the way for Ron DeSantis so he can become America’s Putin. And, yet, Trump is more likely to bolt the Republican Party with his MAGA base than he is to give up on his quest to become POTUS in 2024.

One other thing — the conditions for grave instability in the United States starting at (check’s watch) any fucking moment are right there in front of us. Biden is very old and Harris is young and untested. If something, God forbid, happens to Biden, then we could have a situation where there was no veep and Trump could suddenly find every reason to demand to be named Speaker of the House should Republicans take the House this year.

I just want you, gentle reader, to realize the gravity of the situation we face between now and January 2025. We’re one heartbeat away from a Great Reset. I mean, if Trump goes the Scalia route and simply peacefully shuffles off this mortal coil in his sleep — America’s cities would be burned to the ground by very paranoid, very angry MAGA New Right people.

Trump isn’t going anywhere, though, most likely and we’re all going to have to deal with the consequences of that. It’s going to get very, very messy, very, very quickly. Millions — even billions — of people could die, depending on the specifics of any supposed “Great Reset” or “Fourth Turning.”

2022 – 2025: The End of Pax Americana

by Shelt Garner
@sheletgarner

We live in very dumb times. When the word “liberal” is now so toxic that you can’t even use the very true phrase “liberal world order” without crazy, frothy nutjobs on the Far Right growing very upset and paranoid, you live in very dumb times.

But the point is — since 1945, humanity has lived with unpreceded peace and prosperity because of, well, the “liberal world order” associated with Pax Americana. And since the fall of Communism, things have only gotten better for everyone involved.

And then MAGA slithered out of its black lagoon.

The thing about the decline of the American Empire is it’s happening in real time before our very eyes and, yet, we can’t process it. The average person is too busy raising their kids and paying their taxes to give the very abstract concepts that are happening all around us much thought.

But there is a very real chance that no matter which direction the United States goes — autocracy or civil war — we will see the end of Pax America and, as such, WW3 will happen. Remember, all that has to happen for WW3 to be declared is more than one major regional war break out at the same time. So, as such, even if what happens is dingus Trump in his second term pulls out of NATO and pulls troops out of ROK, then, there you go, WW3 on a plate. Because what would happen is the US leaving NATO would be a crushing blow to the post-WW2 liberal order.

As Trump “brought the troops home,” China would fill the massive geopolitical vacuum and invade Taiwan just because of, well, YOLO. At the same time, the DPRK would attack the newly undefended ROK. Then maybe Iran attacks Israel. Then maybe India and Pakistan have at it –with nukes!

The point is — we’re past the Event Horizon now. We’re in the danger zone. Something big, really big is probably going to either happen at any moment or no later than January 2025 around certification day. The bolts are popping off the United States at an alarming rate and there’s a good chance that if we don’t become an autocracy, we have a very nasty civil war with WMD used by both sides.

Regardless, not matter if we become an autocracy or have a civil war, there is going to be a Great Reset or Fourth Turning (or whatever the fuck you want to call it) and many, many people are going to die for a very dumb reason. This is it, we’re at the end of the beginning of Pax America.

I fear I, personally, will have to flee my home for political reasons when everything begins to collapse. My politics don’t fit my location. At least I havea passport.

Good luck.