‘Lawfare’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

There are a number of instances that have occurred during The Age Of Trump that makes one think about the dynamic between Trump the Man and Trump the Idea. It really makes one wonder about the rise of Trump and what that rise means in the context of American political history.

Take, for instance, what happened with Bob Mueller’s investigation. The case could be made that a lot of the pressure to hold Trump accountable was dissipated because all of our hopes and dreams about getting rid of Trump were wrapped up in the idea that Mueller would somehow produce a report that would force Trump out of office.

It’s possible that had Trump not produced the conditions that caused Mueller to be the Special Counsel that his first few years would have been a lot more turbulent. And, what’s more, I think all of us were very oblivious to how potent Trump the Idea was to millions of white Christians who felt disenfranchised for various reasons.

Now Trump is the subject of four different criminal cases. I have a far more conservative relative — whom I love dearly — who has gone totally MAGA now that their choice of Ron DeSantis is no longer a option. Talking to this relative gives me a general sense of what’s bouncing around the far Right podcast echo chamber and it’s clear that the idea that the evil (yet also incompetent?) Biden Administration is using “lawfare” against Trump.

When pressed, my relative says that there is only one case that they think Trump may be guilty off — the secret documents case — and yet because of the extensive permission structure provided them by all those MAGA podcasts they listen to, even that one they think is “lawfare.”

When asked if Trump murdering someone might be enough to dislodge their support for him, I did not get a definitive yes – or -no answer. Yikes!

There are two major take aways from this situation.

One, white Christian (men) are enraged by the “bad vibes” they feel in the United States at the moment. They don’t really know what is making them so upset, but they know there is absolutely nothing that would cause them to put aside their rage at the center-Left to the point that they might believe that saving American democracy is more important that crushing the “woke cancel culture mob.”

And, what’s more, my conservative relative completely dismisses the idea that Trump might go full tyrant if he’s given a second term in office. They point to how Trump was “all talk” during his first administration and believe the same will be the case in a second term.

Oh boy.

All signs point to that NOT being the case. Which makes me wonder what my conservative relative’s reaction will be when Trump gets into office and starts to do all the tyrannical things he clearly wants to do. Given that I could very well find myself in a Trump-branded concentration camp because I refuse to shut up about Trump being a fucking cocksucker, well, lulz.

The other thing to note is all of this bitching and moaning about “lawfare” will be a precursor to Trump going after anyone who opposes him with the Justice Department once he is in power again. And, really, the only reason why I think Trump might not be successful in this consolidation of power is, well, Trump. He is such a ding-dong — and a lazy one at that — that he could very well go full tyrant in such a way that principled Traditionalists — such as my relative — may sit up and take notice.

I continue to believe we are careening towards a very dark and turbulent future staring in late 2024, early 2025.

The America MAGA Wants

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We have already as a nation collectively accepted that someone can lose the popular vote by millions and still win because they win a few states that are crucial to the Electoral College count. What MAGA wants is to take things to a step further.

MAGA craves an America where we just give up. What I mean by this is MAGA, once they have power again, will fuck with the administration of elections to the point that it’s clear that we’re a Russian-style “managed democracy” and MAGA will run the country for the foreseeable future.

Trump has already told us that he wants paper ballots and no mail-in voting. What’s more, it seems as though should Trump become POTUS again that he will actively use the Justice Department to go after any one he sees as a potential political threat. He will simply say, “the Democrats did it to me, now I’m returning the favor.”

And those possibilities are just the beginning. Under the right circumstances, it definitely seems as though as part of the MAGA consolidation of power, we might face a Constitutional Convention at some point in the not-so-distance future.

Now, there are some problems with this hysterical doom shit on my part.

One is, well, Trump.

Trump is so fucking lazy and stupid that if he becomes president again he will probably thrash around in such a tyrannical fashion that even Traditionalists, who would otherwise be the “Good Germans” of American autocratic life, might sit up and take notice.

It’s one thing to use the Justice Department to go after your political opponents, especially with its gospel on MAGA podcast that “lawfare” has been used against Trump, and it’s quite another to snatch people off the street and throw them into a Trump-branded concentration camp.

Another issue is the United States is a huge, diverse nation and it would take a deft political hand in the best of historical circumstances for someone to successfully transition the United States into what it seems we’re drifting towards at the moment — an autocracy.

So, it seems reasonable to assume that because Trump is so dumb and lazy that he won’t even try for a Constitutional Convention to make it legal for him to run for a third term. He’ll just do it. And he could very well do any number of brazenly illegal things that will be challenged at SCOTUS. Because Trump is so outrageous and brazen in his tyranny, he will lose at SCOTUS. But it won’t matter because Trump will just ignore the decision.

As such, Trump could very well force the country to the breaking point. We will all collectively have to decide if we’re a nation of laws or if we have so given up that Trump can just be a tyrant and it’s all a big lulz. I think THAT is Trump’s ultimate historical purpose — to either destroy America as a Republic based on laws, or to cause us to fight it out in a revolution / civil war until one side or the other gets to run things.

I don’t want a revolution / civil war. That would really suck, as the movie “Civil War” proves. But, on an abstract basis, it definitely seems as though late 2024, early 2025 MAY be *IT*. We, as a nation, will be forced confront a fork in the political woods and I honestly have no idea which path we will pick.

‘Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Theatre?’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

There are two things going on at the moment that make me think of the quip about, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the theatre?”

One of them is the possibility that the bird flu bouncing around America’s farms might jump to humans. Yikes. The idea that the Black Swan event I’ve been thinking might happen in 2024 to throw the presidential cycle up in the air would be ANOTHER pandemic is quite jarring.

And from what I can tell of bird flu, it would have the potential to be far more severe than Covid was. I’ve heard rumors that we have some sort of vaccine for bird flu so…maybe I’m worrying for nothing?

The OTHER issue that makes me think about that quip is RFK Jr. running for president. I have a very conservative relative — whom I love dearly — who recently tried to browbeat me into supporting weirdo RFK Jr.

It’s a testament to how fucked up our politics are that any conservative would think RFK Jr. would be anything but a wasted vote on a kook by someone like me. Every day, I realize that even though I’m an political Independent that I’m “Riding with Biden.”

One thing I’ve noticed is a number of far Left people who are somehow my Facebook friends have totally lost their minds when it comes to Biden. They are so far Left that their arguments against Biden are indistinguishable from MAGA’s.

Crazy. Just crazy.

There’s A 50 / 50 Chance Trump Will Be Deposed If He Wins

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing that all the fucking smug Twitter liberals dance around whenever they hysterically talk about what a second Trump term would be like is the practical implications of what happens if Trump goes “full tyrant” starting in 2025.

Now, I have to point out that the general macro political trend in the United States is towards autocracy. In fact, at the moment, the United States is an autocracy with an autocrat. In other words, but for the fact that MAGA isn’t in power, we would be an autocracy NOW.

What’s more, if history had picked ANY ONE ELSE but Trump to guide America into autocracy, it would be done peacefully, gradually and without much fuss. But Trump is SO FUCKING LAZY AND STUPID that there is a really good chance that the moment he’s in power again, he’ll thrash around in a very tyrannical manner.

The key group of people when talking about any possible “overthrow” of Trump would be the people who would otherwise in any transition to autocracy be quite content — Traditionalists. If Trump wasn’t such a fucking moron, he would gradually move the Overton Window of tyranny and by 2028, we would just shrug when magically he was able to run for a third term.

But this is Trump we’re talking about, so there’s a decent chance that Trump will be so dumb and lazy in his move to transition us into autocracy that Traditionalists might actually sit up and take notice. If Trump’s tyranny is as chaotic and egregious as it seems clear it will be, then even Traditionalists might become aghast.

Of course, I have to qualify all of this by saying it’s not like Traditionalists would join in, say, a General Strike. But they might just stand down when it became clear that Trump’s political days were numbered.

There are two ways I could see Trump being deposed.

One is political — his abuse of power is so astonishing that he gets impeached and, because of a successful General Strike, he is somehow, magically successfully impeached in the Senate.

The other, darker possibility is the wheels totally fly off our political system and not even a General Strike is enough to get rid of Trump and when the American economy craters because of the strike, the U.S. Military feels compelled to step in. I suppose they could force SCOTUS to “review” their existing decision on the 14th Amendment insurrection clause and that would be the legal cover they would need to forcibly remove Trump.

But it would not be rainbows an unicorns if we deposed Trump. The moment Trump was removed from office — one way or another — any number of Red States would head for the doors and civil war would start.

So….lulz?

The Radicalization Of Traditionalists Is Quite Alarming

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One of the many signs that the bolts are popping off the United States as we careen towards the 2024 presidential election is the clear radicalization of the otherwise principled Traditionalists in my life. Traditionalists are the backbone of any stable democracy and the idea that they would go full MAGA because of “vibes” is very disturbing.

What I mean by “vibes” is the fact that a lot of Traditionalists don’t have a problem with gay people or abortion, but they feel these things should be done in private and with shame attached. In other words, they just don’t want to have to think about it or talk about it. They know being gay or having an abortion exists, but they see them as a “personal problem” that should be treated as personal disaster.

That’s why Traditionalists in principle are against being gay or having an abortion but they would be cool with it if someone in their family turned out to be gay or if they had to have an abortion. Now, I think this means they’re big ol hypocrites, but lulz, America may have a civil war soon because of these “vibe” issues.

The Traditionalist in my family — who I love dearly — have grown so radicalized that their ONLY red line when it comes to MAGA and Trump is the personal. At the moment, they are willing to give up their American birthright of democracy willfully and with a bit of glee if it means abortion is illegal and trans people magically vanish from any form of public discourse.

When I bring up the idea that Trump may go full tyrant on us if he’s re-elected, they dismiss the idea that such a thing is possible because he was all talk the first time, so it makes sense to them that he would be all talk the second go around. And the, in general, support Trump rounding up undocumented people and putting them in camps….even as they just give you a blank stare when you try to tell them the nitty-gritty of such a plan.

“I just want to be left alone,” is their mantra to the point that they don’t give you a yes-or-no answer when you ask them if they would support a National Divorce should Trump lose the 2024 election.

All of this is very personal to me because I *do* think Trump will go full tyrant if he’s re-elected and, as such, there’s every reason to believe that if Trump builds out the infrastructure round up undocumented people he might throw loud mouth cranks like me into the mix as well.

Then and ONLY THEN, will principled Traditionalists take notice. When I get snatched off the street because I won’t stop calling Trump a fucking cocksucker no matter what, THEN they will begin to have second thoughts about their support of Tyrant Trump.

If that is in fact the case, the specter of Trump potentially being deposed in some way begins to become a viable scenario. Talk about bonkers! But, wait, it gets worse — if Trump is deposed in some sort of Blue Glorious Revolution, then, of course, Red States would probably leave the Union in protest.

Ugh.

Team Biden Really Needs To Work On Its ‘Border Crisis’ Messaging

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

My most recent political conversation with my far more conservative relative — whom I love dearly — was extremely alarming for a number of reasons. This was the first time when it was clear to me that they were so radicalized that they were all-in for the type of Christian Nationalism that Trump and MAGA features.

My relative — who I feel should know better — has established an extensive permission structure for them to vote for the fascist Trump. Now, this relative — who I love dearly — loves to wallow in the culture wars. That’s why they loved Ron “Tiny-D” DeSantis so much.

Now that Tiny-D is out of the picture, they’ve become a hard core Trump supporter. This is a prime example of how Trump the idea is far more potent than Trump the man.

The curious thing about this situation is the energy for my relative’s conversion to MAGA comes from his outrage over the “crisis at the border.” Yes, my relative has bought into the Fox News-constructed outrage over the “woke cancel culture mob” and the “gay agenda,” but, at the core of their support for MAGA is their concern over what’s going on at the border.

What bothers me my relative keeps asking, “Why doesn’t Biden do something?” and I kind of struggle to give any cogent answer. My relative totally ignores my pointing out that Biden “tried to do something” about the border, only to get shot down because Trump wants to run on that crisis.

As such, my intelligent, college educated Traditionalist relative is willing to end 250 years of American democracy because they’ve established in their mind an extensive permission structure based on what they see as Biden’s inability to do anything about the “crisis at the border.”

This is very alarming!

What’s more, when remind my relative about all the tyrannical things that Trump has made very clear he will do given a second term, they totally disregard that we should take Trump both seriously and literally. Given that I’m someone who might very well get rounded up when the Trump-branded camps open…yikes.

And, I suppose, the only Red Line for my relative is, well, me. If Trump snatches me off the street because I won’t shut up about how I think Tyrant Trump is a cocksucker, then, well, my well-meaning relative might be given pause for thought. Of course, it will be tool late, then.

It’s clear that the two sides are beginning to harden their positions to the point that there is a non-zero chance that if Trump loses later this year that his possible demand for a National Divorce to stay out of jail may actually get some traction and, lulz, we have a civil war.

When pressed on this particular scenario, my Traditionalist-now-MAGA relative did not really give me an answer as to what they would do which is a “Not, great, Bob,” type thing.

While my relative may be a lost cause for various reasons, I would suggest Team Biden TRY to explain why they’re not doing more at the border. But it all may be a lulz in the end because Trump could murder someone on TV and he would still be 60,000 votes in five swing states away from being president.

Fascists In The Family

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Holy shit. This weekend was the first time that I felt my far more conservative relative had crossed the Rubicon into pure cut fascism. Now, before I begin, my conservative relatives have been VERY GOOD to me and very gracious to save my sorry ass on a number of occasions.

So, this is not personal. This is just an alarming political observation.

I bring this up because I have a regular monthly political discussion with one of my intelligent, college educated conservative relatives. I have been trying to avoid these conversations of late, but this time we got into it.

The most alarming part of the conversation was that my relative — whom I love dearly — was officially all-in for MAGA and Trump. They continue to have reservations about Trump the man, but they are totally willing to give up their American democratic birthright to the autocratic aspirations of Trump the idea.

It’s all very alarming. When pressed, my conservative relative agreed with me that only something like Trump murdering someone would be a “red line” that would prevent them from supporting him in the 2024 general election.

Now, there is obviously a lot to unpack here.

The key thing that I notice is how similar to 1850s antebellum America the conversation was. Replace “trans rights” or “abortion” with “abolition” and all the arguments on both sides would be identical.

I pressed my conservative relative — whom I love dearly — about the idea of a National Divorce and they did not dismiss the idea out of hand. It seemed as though the idea of smug Twitter liberals talking down to them would determine if they were willing to tear the country asunder or not if, say, Trump lost the 2024 election.

All of this is very much a potential dystopian hellscape. The only glimmer of hope that I could find from the conversation is what my conservative relative — whom I love dearly — my do if all the as of now rhetorical things Trump could do in his second term became a reality.

There is a very small chance that if Trump did, in fact, go full Tyrant on America that that, unto itself, might cause my principled conservative relative to sit up and take notice. That, of course, sucks because we would have to go through the chaos and turmoil of having a full-blown tyrannical president.

I say this because my far more conservative relative simply can not believe that Trump would actually do all the tyrannical things that he very clearly says he wants to do in a second term. They totally dismiss Trump’s autocratic, tyrannical leanings because he wasn’t able to implement his autocratic rhetoric the first go round.

As such, if Trump literally does go full tyrant in 2025 there is a very small possibility that, on principle, my far more conservative relative might balk at such policies. Of course, that won’t help ME much because I could be dead after an ICE agent shoots me because I won’t shut up about how I think Red King Trump is a fucking cocksucker.

All I can say is late 2024, early 2025 could be fucking lit. We could see a series of surreal events not seen since the end of the Civil War.

We’ve Given Up

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

What the fuck are we going to do about Trump. He tectonic demographic and political history forces that have put him in the situation he’s in are so powerful, so potent that it definitely seems he’s going to become POTUS again, no matter what.

Then the shit is REALLY going to hit the fan.

A second Trump Administration would be a total, fucking catastrophe in a way not seen since 1865. It would be truly ironic if we found ourselves caused by a civil war that Lincoln wanted to prevent in 1860 and one that Trump wanted to cause in 2024.

It’s really going to be interesting to see how bad things get. Everything is so fucked up and there doesn’t seem to be any ready way to fix things going forward. Trump is so dumb and yet so powerful as an idea to the MAGA fascist New Right that, lulz…virtually ANYTHING could happen between now and early 2025.

Some More Idle Musings About Trump & Hitler From A Political History Standpoint

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The 2024 election could very well give political historians a great deal more insight into Hitler’s democratic assumption of power in 1933. I say this because Trump is demonstrably a weak candidate at this point. And, barring some Black Swan event, he should be in line to lose to Biden in a pretty dramatic way.

But because of two issues, Trump could STILL become POTUS.

One is how fucked up our political system is. Even semi-functioning democracies like ours have a political ebb and flow to them on a macro basis and as such, Trump remains 60,000 votes in five swing states away from being POTUS, no matter what the fuck he does.

The man is above the laws of the state and of politics. He could eat someone. He could murder someone. He could marry Ivanka. He. Can. Do. Anything and STILL be 60,000 votes in five swing states away from being POTUS again.

The other issue is Trump’s supporters like the “idea” of Trump. They want a white Christian ethnostate where there those sweet, sweet white babies are plentiful and gay people know to be quiet and stay in the closet. Which makes you wonder if that’s what happened with Hitler as he rose to power. To this date, people continue to debate how inevitable it was that Hitler, specifically would become the leader of Germany.

And if Trump is re-elected this year, then the case could be made that the two men are a lot more similar than you might think. Both had a certain momentum to their rise to power and, as such, when the time came, History Found A Way to part the seas so they could take over their nations.

But we’re not there yet. It could go either way. On paper, at least, Trump should lose. But, then, on paper, there was no reason to believe Hitler would be named Chancellor in January 1933.

And yet he was.

As such, I think there is a 50 / 50 chance at the moment that Trump will become POTUS again and all hell will break loose. Some stunning events could happen starting in late 2024, early 2025. Things that we’ve simply never seen before in American political life.

Political opponents might be snatch off the street or flee the country. Thousands of wealthy, well educated people might vote with their feet and leave the country. The idea of “show your papers” might be the central issue of the day. A Constitutional Convention might be a very real possibility.

What’s more, it’s possible that Trump will be so bad at being a tyrant that the Poors in Blue States who don’t have the means to leave the country might actually pull of a General Strike the crashes the economy and forces the U.S. Military to do something about Trump. (Not that I’m advocating anything.)

Anyway, I’m waiting for some future historian to write “Hitler And Trump, a Dual Biography.”

There Is An Economic Element To What Divides America At The Moment — Abortion

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Someone far more even keel than I has long poo-pooed my somewhat hysterical fears about a the potential for a revolution / civil war starting in late 2024 – early 2025 because, in his opinion, there is something absent: an economic element.

He suggests that you can only have a civil war / revolution if there some sort of economic component to the causes of such a conflict. With the original Civil War, it was, of course the economics of slavery that caused the United States to buckle.

But as I have proposed before, abortion is an economic division in the United States and, as such, could be the cornerstone of any revolution / civil war in the United States that might start in the next 18 months.

Trump’s hero, Viktor Orban of Hungary.

Do I really think a civil war is going to happen should Trump be re-elected? I dunno. I honestly don’t know. It’s a least a POSSIBILITY, but not a probability. At this point, the only reason why I give the idea any mental energy is how absolutely dumb and ham-handed Trump would be in any effort to transition the United States into an autocracy.

Anyone else in his position — ANYONE ELSE — would be able to do it in such a way that there was no civil war and we would transition to, at a minimum, an Hungary-like autocracy in due course.

But Trump is so fucking dumb and stupid that he, unto himself, could push the United States to the brink.