The Dark Truth At The Heart Of Trump’s 2020 Election ‘Big Lie’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

In the end, the point of Trump’s “Big Lie” is the MAGA New Right no longer sees the concept of a liberal democracy with an ebb and flow as legitimate. Everything is now an absolute zero sum political game. Compromise, by definition, is weakness and, as such, must be crushed.

Any policy or law that helps the common good but doesn’t demonstrably help the cause of Trumplandia must, too, be crushed.

The end game is minority white autocratic rule — or civil war.

A prime example of this is how the MAGA New Right thinks Fox News is a bunch of RINOS and they now have gravitated towards OANN and NewsMax. The MAGA New Right WANTS to be given a media narrative that only makes sense if you’re preparing for the violent overthrow of a liberal democracy that will usher in a long-term autocracy.

Because, lulz, that’s what they want.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg on such bullshit. They don’t want an investigation of the January 6th insurrection not only because a honest investigation probably will implicate some pretty powerful people in the Republican Party, but they still support the aims of the insurrection itself.

They are enraged that Mike Pence did his job and didn’t throw the whole process into chaos after they made it clear to him they wanted him dead for not doing just that.

It’s shit like this that make me think that it’s pretty clear that no later than 2024-2025, we’re going to be faced with the existential choice of civil war or autocracy.

It’s difficult for modern Americans to wrap their minds around the idea of a civil war, while an autocracy is a lot easier so they assume that’s what’s going to happen. But I beg to differ — no fate but what we make. There’s a greater than zero chance that the MAGA New Right bungles our transition from liberal democracy to autocracy and there is an organize murder of Americans by Americans for political reasons — a civil war.

It’s not like I want this, far from it. But there’s a reason why I have sent off for a new passport. It will come in handy when I’m in a refugee camp in Maine near the Canadian border.

Why Is Dr. Fauci Such A Lightening Rod For The MAGA New Right?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Any discussion of how the MAGA New Right has a craven hatred of the otherwise prosaic Dr. Fauci has to address a central issue: deep down inside, Trump craves the validation of liberal elites. It’s what drives him. It eats him away inside so much that he ran for president to force them to take him seriously.

Add to this that Dr. Fauci wouldn’t kotow to Mad King Trump and it was extremely difficult for Trump to fire Dr. Fauci and you have the makings of a battle royal.

Also, even more important to understanding all of this is every moment we’re fighting over Dr. Fauci is a moment we’re not talking about how Trump, personally, caused 600,000 excess COVID19 deaths through his rank incompetence.

As such, it’s a win-win for the MAGA New Right to turn Dr. Fauci into a boogie man. They don’t have much of a winning hand when it comes to COVID19, so they hate on him to such an extent that just the invocation of his name is so loaded as to cause a fight between a progressive and a MAGA New Right person.

If January 6th taught us anything, it’s that it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. So, given how much I love dystopian scenarios, this particular tragedy writes itself.

Should, God forbid, anything happen to the poor man, Republicans will be quiet for about 24 hours with vague statements about “thoughts and prayers.” Then, once they have their talking points figured out, they’ll say this is an issue of mental health and OBVIOUSLY they can’t be held responsible for the tragedy.

Fucking cowards.

The Dangerous Idiot — Cyber Ninjas, The Arizona ‘Audit’ & Trump


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

What makes Trump so dangerous is he keeps being himself when it comes to the sham Cyber Ninjas “audit” of the 2020 Arizona presidential election results, which leads you to wonder if something like a far worse version of January 6th could happen because of it.

Chauncy Gardner, only far more dangerous.

That’s the thing about Trump and January 6th — he had absolutely no idea what the endgame for his ranting would be. He’s not smart enough to do the basic autocratic plays necessary to pull off an actual coup, so he just ranted about the Big Lie in abstract terms.

So, Trump and his toadies went through all this trouble to see if they could get Pence to not certify the election, but they didn’t really think through the political or historical consequences of their actions. There was no guile, at least on Trump’s part. His January 6th machinations were little more than a very stupid political grunt.

The same thing with what’s going on with Cyber Ninjas in Arizona. Trump knows he wants to become president as quickly as possible — even if it means destroying the country in the process — but he’s a spoil little brat and thinks if he just uses The Secret enough that the law of attraction will make it happen. And, so, the rest of us are left wondering what’s going to happen.

To date, nothing has happened.

But Trump has begun to talk in concrete terms about the “decertification” of election results in states across the country and he honestly thinks he’s going to be “reinstated” because of such bullshit, even though it’s not, in anyway, possible.

And, as such, my prediction that we could go from “decertification” to “nullification” to “secession” seems a fair bet for a possible near future crisis.

But there’s a hitch.

On paper, it definitely seems as though my dystopian civil war scenario is possible. But at the same time, for such a thing to happen, Trump would have to not only go transaction in a concrete way, but Republicans in critical states would have to take him seriously and literally.

What Republicans like Trump want, I think, is simply have the abstract idea of decertification as a talking point to rile up the base and to make money. They see it as a possible way to maybe give Trump the option of being Speaker of the House when Republicans inevitably flip that chamber in 2022.

And, yet, as January 6th shows, it’s possible that things will take on a momentum all their own and if Trump rants about “decertification” enough, the the base will demand something be done about it. Then elected officials in MAGA states across the country will feel so much pressure that “Decertification Conventions” will be held.

Before you know it, because of mission creep, we go nullification then secession.

Then you start talking about the provisional Trumplandia federal government and how many Republicans are willing to jump off a cliff to join this new Red State collection of states.

But I think that at the moment, that’s really pushing things. Trump is all talk and a scaredy cat to boot. He just doesn’t have the autocratic chops to do all these dystopian things I come up with. This is something he’s proven again and again.

As such, I think we’re going to kick the crisis of civil war down the road until the 2024 – 2025 timeframe.

You Can’t Make This Shit Up: I Witnessed Facebook Anti-Vaxx Disinformation Dissemination IRL



By Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


So, there I was, talking to a bartender who in April 2016 would have been equally split between Trump and Bernie, when a guy walked up to him and showed him on his phone what was obviously a Facebook post. The guy said with baited breath that somehow through some sort of nullification process that all the COVID19 vaccines we have were about to no longer have emergency approval.

The person who said this was so absolute in his conviction that this Facebook was factual that it got ME doubting things. So I looked on Twitter to see if this was some sort of breaking news I didn’t know about.

Surprise! Nope.

So, apparently, there is some serious bullshit bouncing around Facebook when it comes to the various COVID19 vaccines. I’ve talked to some of my conservative relatives and it’s an absolute struggle to get them to agree to what is simply a cold hard fact: vaccines safe lives. And when once we are on the same page, they act like they’ve made some sort of horrible concession that they’ll never forgive themselves for.

So, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s very possible that the fall and winter could be something of a crisis AGAIN when it comes to COVID19.

What If You Held An American MAGA Autocracy And 40% Of The Electorate Supported It?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The sense I get is my prediction that America in late 2024 to early 2025 will face the existential choice of civil war or autocracy is holding up. There’s a chance the Cyber Ninjas “proving” Trump “won” in Arizona or Speaker Trump might force the issue earlier, but, in general 2024-2025 seems to be it.

I’m so involved in my own center-Left echo chamber that it’s easy for me to forget that there are people who actually support Trump’s bullshit. They’ve become a lot more self-conscious about it, but they still support him. Not everyone, obviously, New Right talking head Jesse Kelly is all in on “Trumpism without Trump” and whenever you call him on some racist or asshole thing this would entail he just shrugs and says, “Welcome to the New Right!”

Anyway, this leads me to think a lot about what the endgame of an autocracy would be if we pick that option instead of civil war. What’s going to happen is Twitter and people like Norm Ornstein will grow apoplectic that our democracy has finally died. Meanwhile, MAGA New Right people will become quite smug.

Just as with Putin’s United Russia Party (I think that’s it name) the Republican Party will be the infrastructure for the autocracy and that’s it. At first, nothing will change. But then, in fits and starts the vice grip of autocracy will follow its function and the media will be purged. It will grow so difficult to vote that voting rates plunge.

There will be the occasional mass protest here or there that is promptly ignored. And, all my rhetorical quips about people — like me! — being pushed out of windows by ICE will be a pretty cold, hard realty.

And it will be taken for granted as just “life in America” like gratuitous gun violence. At some point, wealth liberal job creators will have seen enough and they will leave the country entirely. Until, of course, President Pompeo gets mad and makes it almost impossible to either get a passport our get out of the country.

Form. Follows. Function.

I guess what I’m trying to say is — when autocracy comes to America it’s going to be surprisingly popular. At least with those who still identify as Republican. That’s what they want, they want an autocracy. The only time they will grow unhappy with this new arrangement is when it becomes personal. Then they will get upset — in private — and regret what they allowed to happen.

Too late, shit for brains.

I have to accept that given what a loud mouth I am, that once I don’t have the luxury of living in a liberal democracy I’m going to run afoul of our new autocracy rules. I joke a lot about getting pushed out a window, but, sadly, that could very well be my fate if we have a President Pompeo or Cotton or Hawley or even DeSantis.

All the people who thought I was hysterical about that possibility over the years will shrug and say I had it coming.

Amuck In America: Chris Pratt, Steve Bannon, The Elusive Trump-Burnie Supporter & Me


Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m on one of my regular writer’s retreats and I went to a nearby bar for dinner. The bartender was very vocal about everything he thought was wrong with America.

It soon became obvious to me that in 2016, he was the guy who supported Trump and Bernie Sanders equally. He was just angry in general about “the Deep State” and felt everything would be fixed with term limits and tort reform.

Once I got over my shock at what I was encountering, I decided to use him as an “in” to the the angry mob that elected Trump president in 2016. I’ve been toying with the idea of if I was Steve Bannon, who would I pick at the next Trump. The only person I can think of at the moment is Chris Pratt. He’s personable, conservative (for Hollywood) and would be easy to use as the type of Trump-like empty vessel that Bannon loves.

Now, there are a few problems.

The biggest problem is much of the nation is once bitten twice shy when it comes to that type of candidate. So, it makes sense that that gambit is no longer viable. From a political operative perspective, you probably need to spend your energy on Pompeo, or Hawley or Cotton or DeSantis. You just can’t get away with running a Trump-like dingus again.

Anyway, the fact that I actually talked to a guy who in April 2016 would have been equally interested in Trump and Bernie kind of blows my mind. All I know is, he fit the bill of that type of mythical voter.

Texas, California & A Second American Civil War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Holy shit.

I saw this on Twitter and had to comment. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just talking into the aether when it comes to my fears that at some point between now and January 2025 the United States is going to face the existential choice of civil war or autocracy.

So, when I read the above imagine on Twitter I almost gasped — this is just the type of talk that one would expect from a modern antebellum America. On a basic level, I just don’t know what exactly California is doing to Texas that is so bad to warrant bloodshed on a mass scale.

All things being equal, the United States — Texas and California included — is a stable and prosperous nation. There’s no need for the individual states of the United States to be at each other’s throats. Also, as I have mentioned repeatedly on this blog, there’s a big difference between being in peace afforded the luxury of being a latte sipping soyboy and having to put your blood on the line to defend your personal freedom.

As such, at the moment, it’s easy to see why a ding-bat Texas nationalist might think California would collapse like a “rotten door” as Hitler might say. I would suggest that if the United States actually buckled AND California felt it was in its self-interest to fight the good fight against seditionist Red States that we would all be very impressed with how well they will fight.

A lot of what the MAGA New Right thinks about places like California is complete self-serving bullshit that once put to a test is going to come back bite them. In other words — California has a huge population and economy that could easily be converted to a deadly weapon of war should it be put on a (civil) war footing.

And, yet I doubt anything can stop the momentum, the dead hand of history, that is hurdling us towards civil war or autocracy.

Our Democracy’s Death By A Million Norms


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’ve read the book “How Democracy’s Die,” it seems as though the authors think one of the ways for a democracy to survive once it reaches a historic death spiral is for the pro-democratic forces to make a point of staying within norms.

Oh boy.

For the United States, at least, doing this would be a very dumb idea.

The entire Republican Party wants to destroy American democracy and establish permanent white, autocratic Christian minority rule. Currently, Democrats follow democratic norms and the Republicans don’t. We’re beyond the event horizon for this happening in the United States, so I think we should just say fuck it and fight fire with fire.

We have the choice of autocracy or civil war before us and I’d rather go down fighting. Now, obviously, I can’t predict the future. So, the case could be made that if you “went down fighting” against the autocratic Republicans that you would be making a civil war inevitable when it might, not, in fact happen.

I don’t know, America just feels like it has an undead democracy already. I would just rather show some guts on a political level than just let Republicans walk all over pro-democratic forces.

‘The United States Of Canada’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

All of my dystopian hellscape scenarios about the potential for a coming Second American Civil War to date leave out one important thing — any civil war would not happen in a geopolitical vacuum.

So, it’s very likely that Canada — at least — would get sucked into America’s civil war black hole if that particular seal was broken. As such, it’s easy to imagine there not really being a definitive conclusion to any such civil war. It could be that the United States could literally split into the USC (United States of Canada) and, uh, Trumplandia.

That’s been the flaw in a lot of my back-of-the-envelope scenarios about a Second American Civil War — I assumed that one side or the other would win completely. But it’s possible once all is said and done there will be the USC and Trumplandia. The creation of these two states would be EXTREMLY MESSY and BLOODY, but, lulz at least the good old boys of Trumplandia will, at last, be “left alone.”

Fuck those guys, by the way.

Now, I suspect that if the USC is born that California won’t join the Union at the beginning of any civil war. California, as I keep writing, is something of a wild card because it has such a huge economy and united polity that it’s kind of a nation-state unto itself. Anyway. Canada fucking hates the United States, but it only has 35 million people. The American refugees alone during any Second American Civil War would be enough to transform Canada into something that could join with most of the Blue States to form the USC.

I don’t want a civil war. But the MAGA New Right definitely seems fucking determined to have one.

The DeSantis Paradox


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing about Ron DeSantis is he’s very VERY popular with bedrock conservatives who remain leery of Trump as a person. As such, it’s easy to imagine DeSantis drafting off of Trump’s popularity to win the Republican nomination in 2024.

Given that the entire Republican Party is now anti-democratic and craves an autocratic white ethno state, even DeSantis would end up being an American Putin before it’s over with.

But there’s a huge roadblock to this fate: Trump.

Trump wants to be president again NOW. And it’s very possible to imagine him becoming Speaker of the House in 2023, impeaching Biden and Harris and getting them pushed out of office when he threatens Senate Democrats with a civil war if they don’t do his bidding.

Though, to be fair, I’m probably giving Trump a huge amount more guile than he actually has. He’s just playing himself. He’s gotten a great deal of success by not doing any hard work and just being himself. As such, he feels he has no need to do any hard work that would allow him to actually become the tyrannical idiot that he so obviously craves becoming.

Anyway, back to DeSantis.

If he can get past Trump — which is a huge if — then a lot of the conservative Republicans who hate Trump and say Trump only became president because of all the free publicity he got from evil liberals are going to be in something of a pickle.

Is the liberal media all powerful king makers or are they not.

Are they a reason to burn the entire country down because of their power, or are they not? If they can’t stop DeSantis (which they won’t be able to ) then that definitely will go against the liberal-media-as-all-powerful that a lot of conservatives have come up with.

But, honestly, why am I spending so much mental energy on this. The entire conservative movement is based on recursive arguments and negative polarization. Even if DeSantis becomes president, they will just hand wave their previous arguments about how they helped Trump win the presidency with all their free publicity.

All they will care about is “secure borders” and a strong economy and making sure the “Marxists” of BLM don’t turn their children into America hating-Leftists through Critical Race Theory. Of course, when DeSantis takes things into the realm of the autocratic because, lulz, there’s nothing to stop him, they will become Good Germans and tell people like me who were right all along to shut up if I know what’s good for me.

Good times!