How And When Will A Second American Civil War Start?

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

We’ve reached the point in our immutable march towards MAGA autocracy, civil war or military junta at some point between now and spring 2025 that we need to start trying to make concrete our abstract fears.

So, let’s take a Second American Civil War. What are some practical elements to such an event happening that may — or may not — cause it to happen in the first place.

The first thing we need to contemplate is what would cause a 2AMC in the first place. There has been a lot — A LOT — of talk by Very Important Experts about how if there is a 2ACW that it will be rolling political violence on the part of Reds who feel stymied in their efforts to establish a white Christian ethnostate. The thinking goes that at some point in the immediate future all the good old boys who drink Miller Lite at the cabin shooting off their AR-15s will finally get so fed up with the “woke cancel culture mob” that they will spontaneously begin to shoot at liberals.

Or something. Something like that.

I’m just a drunk crank in the middle of nowhere, but I call bullshit on this prediction because Reds are politically ascendant and, as such, have no reason to do such a thing. They’re putting all the pieces in place for them to be able to steal the 2024 election in a pretty brazen manner. Starting with local election boards refusing to certify any Democrat win, the fix will be in.

Rather than having a Western democracy in the guise of our constitutional republic, it will become accepted that the administration of elections is now so corrupt that it is effectively impossible for a Democrat to win high office peacefully in the United States. Twitter liberals will flee the country en mass and that, sadly, will be that.

That’s what I believe is going to happen, by the way.

But. There is a greater than zero sum chance that instead of us slipping peacefully into MAGA fascist autocracy that it will be Blues who refuse to bend a knee and begin the process of not blowing shit up randomly, but actually having states leave the Union on a political basis.

Now, this is where things remain murky and very, very speculative. At the moment, there is no reason to believe Blues would take the step of calling Secessionist Conventions so they could start a Blue America Union. So, if it did happen, it would be one of the biggest and most unexpected political developments in the United States since, well, the first time it was attempted in 1860 – 1861.

I love a good scenario, so if you want my hot take on how the Secessionist Crisis of 2024 – 2025 would go down, it would be something like this. The first indication that things were going to be different would be that local MAGA controlled election boards in swing states would simply not do their job. They would balk at certifying the election of the 2024 Democratic presidential candidate.

The reason why this is so important to what happens next is would introduce a level of uncertainty into the process that could easily be exploited by because so much of the Federal bench is now made up of young MAGA hacks who will do the bidding of MAGA when the time comes. I’m well aware that this did NOT happen in 2020….but we were very lucky. It’s very possible that the process of the corruption of the administration of elections will be much farther along by 2024 and, I don’t know, the election might be closer.

Each election has a personality of its own, if you will.

Once MAGA controlled election boards simply refuse to do their jobs because they don’t like the result, then one of the great ironies of the modern age will happen — suddenly, it will be Blues who will be screaming at the top of their lungs about “Stop The Steal.”

Let me pause here to note that America is tearing itself apart in ways big and small to the point that I just don’t see us making through the passions of another presidential cycle without Something Bad happening. That Somethng Bad could be, as I mentioned, autocracy, civil war or military junta.

But back to the scenario.

Once election boards in swing states balk at doing their jobs, the clock will begin to tick as to what the fuck is going to happen. And if SCOTUS validates the “independent legislature” concept this would be the point where everything would go off the rails. MAGA controlled legislatures in swing states could simply take control of the administration of elections that that point and pretty much just do whatever the fuck they wanted.

This is the point when we would reach a crisis. Just a few days after Election Day 2024, there would begin to be talk amongst a lot of Twitter liberals about either simply voting with their feet and leaving the country for good or even giving up on trying to “Stop The Steal” and having states call up Secessionist Conventions to give at least a thin cover of legality to trying to leave the Union.

Now, remember, all of this would be happening in the context of an old as hell POTUS who could very well just drop dead in the middle of this crisis, making an already very bad situation even worse.

The key element as to any Secessionist Crisis would be, of course, California and maybe New York City. If there was such popular outrage in Blue states that the 2024 election was going to be stolen in broad daylight that election officials in the deep blue states simply could not ignore the demand to leave the Union, then well, we’re going to show.

Meanwhile, NYC would be important because that’s where Trump Tower, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post are physically located. If hordes of enraged New Yorkers sacked those places in the middle of any Certification Crisis, then, well, that would be very bad as to the continued unity of the country.

If we turned on CNN in late 2024 and saw Trump Tower in New York City in flames, then, well, that would probably prompt retaliation on the part of Reds across the country. Which would would cause a cascading series of events that would definitely turn a Certification Crisis in to a Secessionist Crisis.

And all of this would be happening in the context of Trump freaking the fuck out and demanding blood. He might go so totally nuts that he, unto himself, could push the country into not just “chaos” but an actual civil war with two governments fighting it out.

There is just so much about this scenario that I can’t game out. I’m not an expert and I can’t predict the future. So, take that into consideration.

At this point, all eyes would be on California. Either they maybe call up a Secessionist Convention just to placate enraged liberals in the state or they maybe call some sort of emergency summit of Blue governors to discuss what happens next.

Then we bump up against two crucial questions. What about “purple” states and what happens with the U.S Military?

There are a number of states, like Virginia, which are purple. Virginia, specifically, is actually two states who fucking hate each other fused together because of history and geography. So this is when something that would make a lot of people sit up and take notice would happen — not only would there potentially be coups and counter coups in state houses across the country, many, many Reds would leave Blue states and Blues would leave Red states.

All this happening virtually overnight would put ever-more pressure on the Federal government. It would begin to dawn on people that the United States, the richest most stable country in the world was about to collapse into not just “rolling political violence” like The Troubles in Northern Ireland but an honest to God civil war like the one that happened in 1861 – 1865.

This brings us to the other issue — what the fuck would the U.S. Military do?

Well, I simply can’t game this out. There is a spectrum of things the U.S. Military might end up doing. Everything from simply collapsing as the Red enlisted go one way while the Blue officer corp goes another way to some sort of martial law / military junta happening. (If you really wanted to be paranoid, the fact that bonkers Gen. Mike Flynn’s brother is in control of the U.S. Pacific Command might suddenly become VERY IMPORTANT at this point.)

I really can’t game out what happens now. Either Blue States leave the Union en mass, establish their own Federal government and military or the U.S. Military steps in and we have a military junta for a little while until passions die down.

Or Blue States could choke and we slide into autocracy, with millions of wealth Blues leaving the country for good.

So, here goes. Here’s how the individual states would handle A Second American Civil War, probably starting in late 2024 when it becomes clear that Reds are going to brazenly steal the election. I don’t think this is going to happen — I think we’re just going to slip peacefully into autocracy — but it is at least possible. I’m NOT going to do every state because, lulz, I don’t know the internal politics of each state well enough to do it right.

California

If Blues really decide to have a National Divorce, it will be California that probably is at the forefront serving the papers. And the key issue is — war aims. I think at first the war aims of the Blues will be to simply start, say, the United States of Canada. It will only be much later in any conflict that Blues get sucked into fighting the longer-term goal of maybe establishing the United States of North America. And that would happen because Trumplandia could possible begin a Final Solution for POC within its territory and, as such, the second phase of the civil war would be one of liberation. But that’s extremely speculative on my part.

Everything will hinge on what California wants to do. If it simply wants independence for itself, that’s a lot different war than if it joins with other Blue States to establish a new, larger state. But whatever happens once the 2ACW starts, California will be the “Arsenal of Democracy.” If they want to establish a Blue Union, then California would put itself on a war footing. It would call up a few million young men and women into a new Blue Army and away we go. A lot would depend on the state of the US Military, but the case could be made that it might implode, leaving the individual states with the ability to fend for themselves.

California would quickly secure Oregon and Washington then swoop through the plains states to link up with major Blue States in the old Upper Midwest. They would crash into Texas in the south and that would be a Battle Royale, though it’s possible because Texas is shifting blue that Texas might simply implode into an intra-state civil war and Blues could secure the state a lot easier than one might otherwise expect.

But the point is — as goes California, so goes the Blue Union cause.

Texas
Texas is a state that is really difficult to game out because while MAGA has turned into a Red stronghold, on the ground, the state is shifting Blue long term. As such, when our national politics finally collapses and we’re dealing with the existential it’s possible that Texas will simply implode. There could be a massive intra-state civil war that leaves it open to Blue Union forces from the West to swoop in and take it over. Or, at least, a lot of it over. But between when the civil war starts and when Blue Union troops come to the rescue, we could all be talking about the Siege of Austin as MAGA surrounds that particular blue dot in a purple state and want to wipe it off the face of the earth.

In a sense, Texas probably has the most to loose from a 2ACW. Texas would probably be the site of a huge amount of fighting as the difference between the Blue shift in the state’s practical politics slams up against the autocratic state government. Or, put another way, Texas is a lot less stable than you might think. It will likely be the source of a huge amount of domestic political refugees who will either endup in camps, or simply flee the state altogether, only to return when (hopefully) Blues win the civil war and there’s a Second Reconstruction.

Oregon
The thing about this state is it’s ripe for a huge clusterfuck. Of all the places in the Union in the lead up to any potential 2ACW, Oregon is the state I could most likely see some sort of “Troubles” taking place. There could be a pretty bloody Battle of Portland as all the crazed Far Right Militia’s swoop down on the city and decide to end the “Antifa Problem” once and for all. Then, of course, there’s pretty good chance that all of that will be for naught when California troops come from the south and consolidate Blue control over the state. Not that it won’t come at a very, very blood cost. But California is just too powerful not to be able to seize both Oregon and Washington in the early stages of any 2ACW. Even if California simply wants to go it alone, the mass chaos of Oregon might pull them into the state for some sort of peacekeeping mission.

The Plains States

Outside of Texas, the Plaines states may see their fates during a 2ACW largly out of their hands. They could shift from Blue to Red and back again as the two sides fight it out. They have small populations and economies and if California wants to link up with Blue States in the old Upper Midwest, then, they may see their extremely Red politics change in a rather abrupt, violent manner. These states are an example of why it would be so dumb for Red States to want a civil war — the values of small plains states are being forced upon Blue States and Blues aren’t really doing anything about it. But if there was a civil war, the Red Plains States would be forced to change their ways rather quickly.

The Old CSA (At least some of it.)
At first, a number of states of the old CSA would explode into joy if there was a 2ACW. States like Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina would have you believe they are already half way out of the Union as it is because of the evil libtard “groomers” and, as such, if Blue States left the Union the populations of the old CSA states would be very, very happy. But. And this is a big but, as the war progressed and everything went to shit there would be a natural inclination on the part of white Christians in these states to make POC scape goats. There would be a rapid radicalization of the politics of these states to the point that something akin to a race war might break out. Or, if not that, then at least Nazi-style concentration camps would be established with the aim of enacting a Final Solution once and for all. This would, in turn freak the Blue States out to the point that even if they were free of the United States, they might rejoin the battle simply to stop the Final Solution from happening. This is all extremely speculative, of course, but I’m simply gaming out what already exists and then assume the worse.

Florida
I used to think that Florida would break up into about three states, given how diverse it is, but no more. I think it would be a fully autocratic state under DeSantis — even if he was POTUS at this point — and a lot of young men from Florida would face up against young men (and women) from California as the war progressed and got worse and worse for everyone concerned. The already fucked up politics of Florida would grow significantly more radical to the point that it was a one party fascist state.

Georgia
The thing about Georgia is Atlanta. If there was a 2ACW, then it’s possible that within the state it would be Atlanta versus everyone else. Atlanta would be a very Blue stronghold and the rest of the state would be so Red that it could all get very bloody. Of course, Blue forces from outside the state could swoop in at some point and help take stabilize the situation.

Virginia
As I’ve said the last time I wrote this scenario up, Virginia is two states that hate each other. Of all the states of the Union that might find destruction as part of a 2ACW, Virginia is at the top of the list — even more so than Texas. The state would collapse into coups and counter coups. The rural Red parts of the state would go all Pol Pot on the Blue parts of the state and there would be a lot of political scores settled by extremely radicalized rural Reds who wanted to make sure drag queens of the woke cancel culture mob could never teach their kids critical race theory again. I wish I was joking or exaggerating, but I’m not.

Heartland

The so-called “American Heartland” is where the worst fighting of any 2ACW would take place. States like Ohio and Indiana would be diehard supporters of Trumplandia and they just would not go down without a fight. It would be the type of fighting not seen since the end of WW2. And it would be happening in what was once the most stable country in the world. As I’ve mentioned, a lot would depend on what Blue war aims were. If they just wanted to start the USoC, then my dark fears probably won’t happen. But if, for some reason, those war aims change and the issue becomes bringing the US back together again (probably with Canada by this point) then, well, all bets are off. It would be a very bloody pitched battle.

New York City

A 2ACW might be a tale of two cities for NYC. On one hand, there’s a chance NYC could become something akin to a Free City and on the other it could get nuked by Trumplandia. Any 2ACW would probably see the city flooded with refugees, maybe even including yours truly. But one thing is for sure — the long term tension between Upstate New York and NYC will grow in the event of a 2ACW to the point that NYC may break away politically in some way. Update New York has a lot of room for political refugees and, as such, you could see the population of some of the Update New York cities might balloon as a result.

New England
I think in the even of a 2ACW that New England would be flooded with political refugees to an unprecedented extent. People fleeing all parts of Trumplandia would go to New England, potentially in hopes of getting across the border to Canada. Should the Blue Union unite with Canada, then, of course, that dynamic would change.

In closing, I would note three things. There’s not going to be a 2ACW if Blues don’t have any leadership. They currently have no effective leadership, so a lot of abrupt heroes would have to bubble up to the surface once it became clear that Blues had to leave the Union. Also, all of what I’ve described above has to be taken into the context of very real possibility that WMD would be used by both sides as the war progressed. And, remember, if the United States is too busy bombing itself into oblivion, then the prospect of a “Great Reset” in the guise of WW3 is a very, very real possibility.

Buckle Up — MAGA Fascists Are Winning The Propaganda War

By Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

So. I had a wide-ranging political discussion with my Traditionalist relative this weekend and…it did not go well. Or, it did go well in the sense that we didn’t yell at each other. But I do think I got at least a little bit of insight into what the fuck is wrong with American politics right now.

The key thing we have to understand is the fascists are winning the propaganda battle. Republicans are good at latching on to a few concepts and banging them into the minds of Traditionalists in such a simplistic manner that the actual issue is conflated and lost. So even my relative — who is educated and just happens to be on the other end of the political spectrum as me — brought up those MAGA chestnuts like how “the woke cancel culture mob” is not only “grooming” little kids to be gay, but also he thinks that infanticide is something that people like me actually support. (I don’t.)

So, there are a number of key issues which MAGA fascists have managed to successfully lodge a Big Lie into the minds of people who should know better, but generally don’t have the time to come up with a complex political opinion. Traditionalists like my relatives are very, very, very receptive to fascist concepts — even though they don’t even know that they are.

There are two big issues to realize about this.

One, this is not an abstract to me. In the end, if we become a MAGA themed fascist autocracy, then I’m fucked. I’ve had the luxury of living in a Western democracy where I could be a drunk kook and rant at a bar about how much I think President DeSantis can suck my dick. When I’m no longer living in a Western democracy….uh oh. I may very well find myself throw into a Trump branded ICE camp because I shot off at the mouth.

That sounds hysterical at the moment, but that’s the ultimate endgame to living in a MAGA fascist state.

Meanwhile, the other issue is my Traditionalist relative, who works at a big multinational corporation, feels he has a personal reason to hate the “woke cancel culture mob” — apparently because of the “sensitivity training” of his huge company in a relatively conservative state, “there are so many things he can’t say.”

And THAT difference between what a Blues think is socially acceptable and what Reds think is socially acceptable in, say, a workplace environment has grown so different that Traditionalist conservatives feel they have no other choice but support the rise of fascism in the United States. Well, the whole country is in deep, deep trouble.

So, again, between now and spring 2025, the United States is going to face the issue of choosing between autocracy, civil war or military junta. And, at the moment, I think we’re just going to slip into autocracy in the context of millions of Blues simply leaving the country because they can.

I don’t know what else to tell you. We’re fucked. Good luck.

At Some Point After 2030, Neo-Luddites (Gaians) May Be The New Crypto Bros

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

If you assume that the United States is in for a severe political crisis between now and 2025, one that may linger until around 2030, then you find yourself wondering what happens at that point.

Well, I think there’s a good chance that things like Extinction Rebellion will fuse with a general rejection of technology to the point that there may be something akin to a “Neo-Luddite” Movement. It may call itself something else, like Gaianism or something, but it’s coming.

It will happen because of the very practical nature of how all the AI and automation goodies that Elon Musk is working on will come to a head at some point in the 2030s and probably transform the economy in ways none of us can possibly imagine.

If hard AI is running a huge chunk of our society and economy…then are we even still in control? And that might be the agenda of the Gaians. They would want a return to “human control” and, with it, a return to all those jobs that have been thrown into the dustbin of history.

We might even see something along the lines of a real world Butlerian Jihad where any form of hard AI is destroyed. Or something like that. It may be short lived because the benefits of hard AI to the environment will become so apparent…or it may not. We may have some sort of freaky Twelve Monkeys problem in the 2030s.

Anyway. Good luck.

‘Wars & Rumors of War’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The imagery of the “semi-mobilization” in Russia is alarming, to say the least. It definitely feels as though we’ve entered a new stage of the Russo-Ukrainian War one that might see an escalation between the two nations either now before it snows or in the spring.

Add to this that Russia has cut Europe off from its gas reserves and we really do have the winter of our discontent rushing towards us. But the question is, of course, is Russia going to remain stable going forward or is this mobilization the first step in a rapid decline in the stability of the world’s largest nuclear power?

I honestly don’t know. But history would definitely indicate that that is a real possibility. Repeatedly in Russian history major political debacles have caused massive political change.

Or, put another way, the world is a lot less stable than you might otherwise think. It’s at least possible that we’ll look back upon 2022 as a modern day 1937, where we got a shot across the bow that a world war was brewing. It seems to me very possible that what might happen is the United States for some reason withdraws from the global order — be it because of civil war, military junta or MAGA themed autocracy — and that is the thing that pushes into something akin to a new world war in 2024 – 2025.

The point is — Pax Americana is in its last days. We’re about to go through a very, very turbulent period in human history. There will be no narrative or value to any of it until it’s over and we figure out who the winners are.

Good luck.

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.

The Conventional Wisdom About What A Second American Civil War Would Look Like Is Wrong

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I continue to see where the conventional wisdom by Respected Authors when it comes to a possible Second American Civil War is something like this — if happens, it will be rolling political violence from the MAGA Right who thinks they’re defending “real” America.

I call bullshit. This makes no sense. It seems, in a strange way, to be a certain amount of wishcasting on their part. These Respected Authors just aren’t willing to game out a scenario where the Second American Civil War looks a lot like the first. I still believe that if a 2ACW happens — which I don’t think it will — it will happen in late 2024, early 2025 when Blue States refuse to “bend a knee” to the autocratic fascism of MAGA Republicans who are in the process of stealing the 2024 election.

If it happens, it would happen spontaneously, probably starting with California, and may only be stopped with the swift and severe intervention of the U.S. Military in the guise of a military junta. There is, of course, the possibility that it will be Trump who demands that Red States leave the Union earlier than this scenario in an effort to save his sorry ass.

I guess the point of all of this is — I just don’t see any civil war happening in the way that the alleged experts say it will. It just doesn’t make any sense. They’re working on the assumption that MAGA Republicans will decide, spontaneously, to start blowing shit up.

But that just doesn’t make any sense unless Trump on a personal basis, goes transactional. MAGA Republicans are politically ascendant and, in the end, all they have to do is win ONE election and that’s all she wrote — we’re an autocracy.

If you think about who has something to lose in our current political climate, it’s not Reds, but Blues. And, as such, if we’re going to have another civil war — which I don’t think we will –but if we do, it’s going to be when Blue States decide to leave the Union as part of some sort of Certification Crisis in late 2024, early 2025.

I’m always wrong, however. So, who knows. I still think the most logical endgame is we simply become an autocracy and in about 20 years one a political basis the United States and Russia will be clones.

Trump Is Such A Unique Political & Historical Figure

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m reading up on the rise of Hitler in Germany and I keep, in my mind, contrasting and comparing Hitler with Trump. The key difference between the two men is not what you might think. On paper, because form follows function, they’re almost identical. And, yet, there is one specific element about Trump that makes him different than Hitler.

I suppose what I’m thinking of is Trump’s complete absence of abstract thought on a macro political basis. Hitler, in his mind, had a very clear ideology and political vision for Germany — he even wrote a book articulating it in pretty clear terms. Trump, meanwhile, is nothing more than an avatar, a vessel for white Christian rage.

While Hitler was frequently underestimated, Trump is frequently overestimated. Given the absolute fidelity of Trump’s MAGA Republican followers and how he is politically above the law at the moment, virtually anyone else in his position would have the wherewithal to not only still be in power, but to be rapidly consolidating it.

Almost anyone else in Trump’s position between 2017 and 2021 would have fired as many people as necessary to indict either Hunter and / or Joe Biden in the spring or summer of 2020. But Trump was so ham-handed about his efforts to end Biden politically, that all he did was get himself impeached for his troubles.

For Trump to wait until the absolute very last moment to try to illegally stay in power by putting all his hopes on one person — Mike Pence — is just astonishing. I mean, even doofus me would have known better than to have done that if I was in Trump position.

So, what can we garner from Trump’s past behavior? Well, two things. One, Trump is very lazy and very stupid. And, two, to date, he has only gone transactional out of personal desperation. So, going forward, there is a greater-than-zero chance that Trump could go transactional at some point between now and 2024 if he felt there was a real chance he was going to be indicted.

And what might he do?

Well, to me, the most diabolical thing he could do would be to begin ranting in direct, transactional terms about the need for Red States to leave the Union out of protest for him finally being held criminally accountable. But Trump is so stupid and so lazy — and lacks any ability to think in the political abstract — that I suspect that’s yet another instance of me overestimating him.

While there is every reason to be very, very alarmed at what a Trump second term might look like — that, unto itself, might start a civil war — I have serious doubts that Trump has it in him to realize he could probably wiggle his way out of an indictment by directly asking Red States like Texas to begin the process of leaving the Union.

‘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.