by Shelt Garner
I predict that 2024 will be one of the most significant years in American political history. America will face a stark choice — autocracy or civil war. There will be no middle ground. Everyone will have to make a choice, pick a side.
Right now, I simply can’t predict which direction America will go. Will we implode post election day 2024 into civil war or our our zombie liberal democracy finally just be dead instead of undead.
But let’s take a moment to imagine what life in autocratic America might be like should we not have a civil war.
One thing to consider is, even as our politics finally slides into a Russian-style managed democracy it’s possible that on the cultural side nothing will change. It’s possible that in an effort to prevent any kind of organized opposition to our new fascist government that some of the darker things I fear that might happen won’t happen — at least for a lot longer than one might imagine.
The reason why I say this is Trump was a would-be autocrat and because we had zero political will to do anything about him, there was something of a draw. Trump had political power and cultural power was given over the the center-Left. Trump had “hard” power and people like the late night talk show hosts had soft power.
If that happened again, I would come across as Chicken Little — again — to traditional conservatives who would continue to rant about Cancel Culture and how liberals run everything.
And, yet, form follows function, so it’s easy to imagine President Cotton or President Hawley taking things to the next level and lurching us towards a true fascist state. It’s easy to imagine a point during the 2025-2030 era where there would be an aggressive purge of media outlets, probably via threatening their broadcast licenses.
Once that was accomplished, then the rest takes care of itself. The already existent ICE camp infrastructure is weaponized and ICE starts to push people like me out of windows or throw us into camps to be “re-educated.”
In addition, it doesn’t seem too much to imagine that a MAGA fascist president would aggressively pull troops out of various nations across the globe and even, maybe leave NATO. We would become Fortress America and, soon enough, the entire world order would go tits up as various simmering border disputes exploded. There might even be limited nuclear exchanges resulting in hundreds of millions of deaths.
In the end, should the fascists take over, I don’t see them leaving power at any point during my remaining years on this earth. Ultimately, it would be the excesses of such a fascist government that might be its downfall. But the damage would already be done.