The Anglophone Crisis Of The 21 Century

by Shelt Garner

The Roman Empire had its Crisis of The Third Century and it appears as though the Anglophone world has it’s own political crisis in the 21 Century. Three of the five major English speaking democracies currently have very fucked up political systems. Two out of the five — the United States and Great Britain — definitely seem to be careening towards some sot of potential breakup.

If I was smarter — and, maybe, wrote for Vox or Foreign Affairs — I could give you a lengthy explanation of why this is the case. But I’m just some hayseed rube in the rural part of a flyover state, so lulz, I don’t know. I have no idea what is wrong with Australia, but I do have some sense of what’s wrong with the UK and especially the US.

The UK’s problem seems just as existential as the problems the United States faces. The UK is pretty much the lone multi-ethnic state in Europe and it current has a very late Austro-Hungarian Empire vibe to it. It’s very easy to imagine the country breaking up into its constituent states and that will be that.

The US, meanwhile, is a bit more complicated. The US has the choice of autocracy or civil war before it and we just haven’t gotten to the point in that particular process where I can game out which one is going to happen. I have the general sense that the US is going to drift peacefully into some sort of “lite touch” autocracy until we elect an autocrat who is a bit too power hungry for their own good and then we either have a popular revolt or things get really, really dark.

Anyway, the point is — outside of New Zealand and Canada, the entire Anglophone world is in far more turmoil than one might think. The English speaking world is in a simmering, long-term political crisis with no ready solution.

The US and the UK, specifically, are in serious trouble. All I can say is the next few years may be far, far more dramatic on a geopolitical level than we could possibly imagine.

MAGA Fascist Form Follows Function

by Shelt Garner

I talk to my far more conservative relatives about the dark path that MAGA is leading us down and a recurring defense they use is sort of, “Oh, that would never happen.” This, in large part, is a function of the extensive permission structure that’s been built up specifically to allow conservative people who are turned off by MAGA to turn around and vote for Trump anyway.

And, I have to admit, that while Trump is definitely “autocratic friendly” in the end, he was just too dumb and lazy to follow through on his more extreme anti-democratic rhetoric.

I feel, however, that anyone who lulzes the dangers of MAGA, ignores how on an systemic level, the Republican Party is now hell bent on establishing a “blood and soil” white Christian ethno state in the United States. Political history teaches us that form follows function and, as such, once MAGA inevitably comes to power again that what Trump only talked about in the past is going to become a reality.

The autocratic forces at work in the United States are just too strong. Historical determinism would suggest that there will come a point when all my dystopian hellscape scenarios are going to come true. And that’s when I wonder how my conservative relatives are going to react.

What I think is going to happen is they will become, at last, “Good Germans.” They will generally be pleased with how they can finally sleep tight at night because MAGA has eliminated any possibility of them being “canceled” simply for being conservative. Any excesses on the part of MAGA will be justifiable because the boarders will be secure, abortion will be illegal and elections “secure.”

I, being an anti-MAGA loudmouth, see things dramatically different. What is nothing more than an abstract for my conservative relatives is very concrete for me. I have no idea what the specifics of any of this will be, but the case could be made that at some point President Pompeo or President Cotton will purge the media in some way and then weaponize the existing ICE infrastructure.

As such, it’s very possible there will come a moment when my conservative relatives will be required to weigh their personal needs with my political transgressions in this new, dark MAGA fascist era. I’ve already told at least one of them to just turn me in. I know that sounds hysterical right now, but I’d much rather be turned in by my Good German relatives than have them beg me to shut up for the sake of the family.

It’s just not going to happen.

I often weigh how long, exactly, it might take for this “form follows function” concept to turn us in to what MAGA wants us to be –an Americanized version of Putin’s Russia. I struggle with this because it’s very possible that for some time after we become an autocracy, MAGA autocrats won’t really touch the one thing that would make people sit up and take notice: the First Amendment.

For some time, they would likely be quite content to weld hard power via law and policy and laugh at Twitter liberals who freak out at this or that autocratic thing that has been implemented. A lot of how this would actually go down depends on the personality quirks of whichever autocrat in waiting happens to finally ascend the throne.

But, my rough estimate would be we would gradually grow more autocratic and then suddenly get REALLY autocratic. My guess right now is this would happen when the MAGA fascist leader we finally elect demands a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balance budget amendment.” They will get their convention, then it will turn around and enshrine MAGA into law for good.

Then things are really going to get shitty for people like me.

Yet, I’m sketching out things that will likely happen at some point between now and, say, 2041. Of course, there is the other option, which is we have a civil war and after we bomb the hell out of each other, we sort things out and gradually go back to the way things were. But that would be a tragedy and I’d prefer not to go through that hell.

Anyway. Good luck, guys.

Slouching Towards Trumplandia: Trump Remains An Incredibly Dangerous Political Force

by Shelt Garner

It’s easy for Twitter liberals to dismiss Trump as political has been and fool. But once you stop looking at him on a personal level and begin to understand that he’s seen as something of a political totem for alarmed white middle-class conservative Christians, you begin to realize how dangerous he remains.

These white middle class conservative Christians see Trump as a flawed fighter for “real America.” They’re worried, on an abstract level, about the browning of America and how fast America is changing on a social level. Of course, they just look at people like me when I point out that they’re really afraid of losing power. They don’t look at it in those terms. They just know how Trump makes them feel and everything else is rationalization.

But wait, it gets worse.

Now that Trump has shown the way, the Republican Party on a systemic level now has wrapped itself not just with the flag, the Bible and the Constitution, but Trump himself. MAGA has metastasized within the Republican Party to the point that Trump is the Republican Party and the Republican Party is Trump. This has happen to the point that Trump has done his job. Even if we magically ended his political career somehow, there are literally a dozen other would-be Republican autocrats waiting in the wings to finish the job Trump started.

Each of them has their personality quirks, but their goal would be the same — to ensure white conservative Christian rule for generations to come.

And, to be honest, given how the Democratic Establishment and the MSM are not taking any of this all that seriously, I think in the end our liberal democracy will die not with a bang but with a whimper — it will simply become conventional wisdom that the only way a Democrat can become POTUS is if Democrats also control Congress.

Given that Republicans are actively suppressing the vote and gerrymandering, this type of synchronicity will grow increasingly difficult to accomplish. People will grow disillusion with voting altogether. In the end, the media with be purged and Republicans will demand a Constitutional Convention to “pass a balanced budget amendment.” This reasoning will be a ruse, of course, and they will enshrine MAGA into the Constitution.

Given what I have to work with at the moment, this definitely seems the ultimate endgame for the United States. We will find our Putin and he will serve for decades. There will be the occasional protest, but nothing will come of it. The existing ICE infrastructure will be weaponized and people like me will start to get pushed out of windows because we refuse to fucking shut up.

But this hasn’t happen yet. The case could be made that there is a 50/50 chance that during the final transition to autocracy, a lot of people on the center-Left who are oblivious to all of this will suddenly get woke. This is when we come to our other possible scenario: civil war.

I’m growing to believe this is far less likely than I once did. For there to be a civil war, one of two things would have to happen. One, MAGA would need to strike too early. This might happen if Trump got his “win” in Arizona via Cyber Ninjas sham recount and he was able to force MAGA state legislatures to attempt to “nullify” the Biden Administration. The other way would be an unexpected “Great Man (or Woman)” who would step in a just the right moment to defend our dying liberal democracy and help us fight back the cold, dark waters of tyranny. Call this the Lincoln Option.

I just don’t see either one of those happening. We’re going to gradually, then all at once, turn into a white Christian ethno state. At first, things won’t really change that much and we’ll still have the trappings of a liberal democracy but as the years grind on form will follow function and in about 20 years we’ll wake up in Trumplandia.

Prove me wrong.

So, Could Trump Become Speaker Of The House?

by Shelt Garner

Could Trump become Speaker of the House? The short answer is, of course, yes. But it’s a lot more complicated than you might think. The rumor we’re hearing now is he would run for a House seat so he could get the job. But that’s kind of besides the point.

Given that Trump has some serious autocratic inclinations — even if he is really fucking lazy — it would be far easier for him just to demand being named Speaker should House Republican win the chamber. (Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the Speaker have to actually be a House member.) It’s kind of a historical gimmie that they will, so it’s very possible that Trump will really screw over his lapdog Kevin McCarthy by stealing a position that should rightfully be his.

Now, the ominous implication of all of this is the reason Trump would want the job is so he could short circuit the Constitution by leading an impeachment charge against Biden and Harris so he could be come POTUS via the line of succession. This is a classic late-stage democracy play by a would-be autocrat. I will note, in passing, that the very thing we were always afraid the Republicans would do if Speaker Nancy Pelosi ever found herself in a position to become president –challenging the Constitutionality of the Presidential Secession Act — Democrats might do in this situation. Though, come to think of it, SCOTUS is now full of MAGA hacks, so lulz.

As such, we need to take this possibility seriously. It’s very easy to imagine Trump becoming Speaker, impeaching both Biden and Harris and then ranting hysterically about MAGA needing to “protect the 2nd Amendment” in such a way that there’s enough political violence across the country that the Senate convicts both Biden and Harris simply to protect the nation from a civil war.

I say this only because MAGA is now American fascism. It’s an Americanized version of the Nazi Party in 1933. The only thing stopping Trump from doing any of this is he’s extremely lazy and — and stupid. So, I can come up with all the hysterical dystopian political hellscapes I want to, but in the end, Trump could be so fucking lazy as to bungle even something as obvious as this.

So, I dunno.

Known Unknowns Of Trump’s Belief He Will Be ‘Reinstated’ By August

by Shelt Garner

I have gamed out in pretty explicit detail on this blog my fears about what might happen this year should Cyber Ninjas “prove” that Trump “won” Arizona. It doesn’t matter that the whole thing is a fraud and a sham done to further Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him — all he needs is a win, any win and he will hysterically say he is still “really” president.

Oh, now take a deep breath.

The crux of the crisis we may be facing is…then what? Trump’s popularity outside of the violent MAGA personality cult is seemingly at a historic low. And, yet, even at this nadir, Trump’s devotees are still a solid 20-30% of the electorate. Given that political science tells us it only takes an organized 5% of the population to take over a country, if Trump really leans into his bonkers belief that he has to be reinstated, well, we could be fucked.

Logically, Trump taking the sham Cyber Ninjas “win” and running with it to make surreal declarations about his return to the presidency would have him laughed off the public state. Or, at least, would be ignored to the point that the only place he can rant about it in public is OAN, NewsMax or FOX News. And, yet, this is Trump we’re talking about.

The Republican Establishment lives in abject fear of Trump because they’re afraid that if they don’t kowtow to him, he will bolt the party, taking a huge chunk of the Republican Party with him. As such, his hold over the Republican Party is near Hitler over Germany in early 1945 levels. It’s very easy to imagine that Trump might pull off one last hat trick and get elected Republicans across the country to entertain his insane rantings to the point that they convene some sort of conventions to study the idea of “nullifying” the Biden Administration.

Or something. Whatever method they picked, it would happen spontaneously and, at first at least, be done to “own the libs” and provoke a lot of ridicule from said libs. My fear is, all of this will turn pretty serious — and dark — pretty soon when suddenly what started off as a joke turns into a secession crisis.

As an aside, this does make one wonder which state might be the first to actually jump off the cliff for Trump and attempt to secede from the Union. There are so many to choose from. South Carolina seems the one to have some sort of historical reason for doing it for obvious reasons. But, of course, its large minority population would never stand for it. Then there’s Texas, which likes to think it has one foot out the door already. But while hysterical Texas Republicans talk a good game, the state is shifting blue too fast and it’s difficult for me to imagine them actually pulling it off. That leaves the small population, lily white plains states. I could see maybe Montana, Idaho, Montana or South Dakota being the state to break that particular glass.

And now we come to the part I don’t know what to expect — is it even possible that MAGA will “cross the Rubicon” and follow the Dear Leader towards the path of actual disunion?

That very important element of this dystopian hellscape scenario I simply can’t figure out. It’s possible, I guess, that Trump will finally saunter into political irrelevance when he demands he be “reinstated” or the Biden Administration be “nullified” and…nothing happens. Or, put another way, Trump’s power outside the MAGA base evaporates when this happens. Meanwhile, within the base, the fact that this didn’t happen will be see as yet another grievance to be thrown onto the funeral pyre.

So, I dunno. It really could go either way. Which, unto itself, is rather dark and disturbing. When the richest, most powerful country in the world has a 50/50 chance of a severe political crisis within days or weeks, that does tend to make one sit up and take notice.

Pondering The MAGA Desire To ‘Just Be Left Alone’

by Shelt Garner

A recurring theme whenever I talk to MAGA people is their desire to “just be left alone.” Given how willing they are otherwise to embrace autocracy — which will definitely not just leave them alone, I struggle to understand what they’re really talking about. What, exactly, do they mean by the idea of “just being left alone.”

Under our current liberal democracy, who is not leaving them alone?

It’s this type of abstract fear on the part of MAGA that eats away at me. One reason this is so is FOX News and Trump really lean into this fear. They promise MAGA people that if only they support The Dear Leader, that they will stop the evil liberal-progressive forces that will mess with them.

I guess if I wrote for Vox, I would be smart enough to figure this out. I know this sentiment is some sort of MAGA code for a specific situation, but I still can’t figure out what they really mean. Maybe what they’re talking about is how they have a different interpretation of the social contract than non-MAGA people. Maybe they see “just being left alone” to mean the right to be openly racist, bigoted and misogynistic?

But I fear that doesn’t really even properly express what’s going on. We all want to just be left alone, regardless of political leanings, and yet I see that freedom as something we already have and MAGA sees it so currently imperiled that they would burn the country to the ground and install an autocrat to defend it.

A Theory About Why Democrats Are So Bad At Defending The Republic

by Shelt Garner

The Republican Party is now a “violent cult,” and, as such, they’re hell bent on an existential level, on forcing us to the breaking point. The Republican Party is involved in an extended, existential power grab. A lot of people like me are looking at the actions of the Democratic Party and struggle to understand why they’re so limp wristed.

A lot is going on as to why this is the case. One is, as the Republican Party grows more deranged and alienates people, the people the Democrats represent are large and diverse. This makes it more difficult for Democrats to have a cohesive, potent counter-message to Republicans who have an entire propaganda infrastructure designed to tell their faithful what to think at any particular moment.

But, I also think on a systemic level that Democrats know that if they play dirty like the Republicans that such behavior will only accelerate our current drift towards the existential choice of civil war or autocracy. Democratic leaders would rather delay the inevitable by playing dead than risk forcing the issue sooner than it would happen anyway. So, I guess, in a sense, Democrats are engaging in a form of political appeasement.

I don’t have a ready answer for that. The reason — I hate violence and it’s not like I want a civil war, either. And, yet, there’s a part of me that would rather we at least put up a fight against the autocratic leanings of Republicans. But I’m gradually coming to believe that the center-Left just doesn’t have it in them to do what is necessary to stop the United States from slipping into autocratic managed democracy.

In the end, MAGA Republicans are going to be just too much for people who believe in “the American way’ of liberal democracy. ICE will be weaponized and I’m going to get pushed out a window.

But no fate but what we make, as they say, so, lulz, who knows?

Sydney Powell, Cyber Ninjas’ Arizona Recount & The Prospect Of Second Civil War Caused By A Nullification Crisis

by Shelt Garner

The bolts continue to grow loose on the United States’ government. We have professional crazy personal Sydney Powell ranting about how Trump should be “reinstated” at the same time that Cyber Ninjas continue to work towards what seems to be their obvious goal of “proving” Trump won Arizona.

Now, as I keep saying, what makes all of this unnerving is, at this point, it could go either way. It could be that I’m really stretching to believe that should Cyber Ninjas “prove” Trump won Arizona that that might be enough to get a number of MAGA state legislatures to convene conventions to weigh the practicality of “nullifying” the Biden Administration. These conventions could, in turn, become secession conventions once it becomes clear that ding-dong Trump’s ideas about nullification are, well, just stupid.

It could be all that happens is the Cyber Ninja results becoming nothing more than a talking point for MAGA thought leaders, but otherwise won’t mean anything at all. Republicans could just keep recounting various states over and over again and it won’t be until January 2025 that we have to worry about the real nullification crisis — this time sparked by a MAGA controlled Congress being unwilling to certify Biden’s win.

The only reason why I’m uneasy is it’s very easy to imagine the same dynamic that happened on January 6th happening again — only this time on a national level. Trump and other dipshit Republicans will rant about the need to nullify the Biden Administration — and then won’t know what to do when MAGA state legislatures take them both seriously and literally.

But, again, I could be really miscalculating things. It could be, thankfully, a big old dud. I honestly can’t tell what is going to happen right now.

The Twitter ‘Resistance’ Movement Needs To Grow The Fuck Up

by Shelt Garner

One of the most fucking annoying things on Twitter, other than people begging for followers and asking stupid questions, has got to be when well meaning busybodies talk about all their “resistance” friends.

Fuck that.

The thing I’ve learned since 2017 is Twitter “resistance” to MAGA is completely value free. It just doesn’t mean anything. I’ve grown to believe that at some point between now and January 2025, MAGA is going to make a serious power grab to the point that we either become a white Christian ethno state like Russia, or there’s a civil war.

If the former happens, all you have to do is take one look at the state of the “resistance” in Putin’s Russia to know people having fits on Twitter won’t mean squat. All a President Pompeo or Cotton, or Hawley has to do is flip a switch and the ICE infrastructure is weaponized…and people like me start getting pushed out of windows.

You come preen all the like on Twitter about how some interview “devastated” this or that well known MAGA dipshit, but when the autocracy comes…you had better put your big boy pants on. At some point after the MAGA autocracy is established, you’re going to face real-life consequences for “resisting” the autocracy. And from what I can tell of the current Twitter “resistance” ranks, I don’t have a lot of faith that these self-avowed resisters will be up to the task. They have families, and careers and or whatever. Most of them come off as elderly liberal Boomers…and they’re not exactly what is needed as the core of a French Resistance-type group.

So, like, put up or shut up idiots. Be prepared to risk things in the real world that are important to you or shut the fuck up.

The Curious Political State Of Trump

by Shelt Garner

The interesting thing about Trump is on one hand his power has receded among the general populace, while within the Republican Party is personality cult is only getting stronger. As such, a lot of Twitter liberals see this and scoff at the notion that Trump might be able to win the presidency again.

And here’s the rub: he doesn’t have to — all MAGA has to do is nullify the election of Biden in 2024 and throw the election to their ding-dong Dear Leader, no matter what the actual vote count may be.

Or, put another way, we continue to careen towards the stark choice of either autocracy or civil war. If we do go the autocratic route, the big question for me is does our new autocrat at least attempt to work within Americans’ self-perception of us being the “land of the free” or does he say fuck it and bring the whole thing down, damn the consequences?

I was way too quick to assume Trump would do the latter when it turned out he was such a lazy idiot he couldn’t pull it off — in short, he was just a lot of talk. But, then again, if our autocrat was someone younger and more focused then it’s very easy to imagine a situation where people like me really do begin to get pushed out of windows by ICE.

But history has surprised me before. It could be we just muddle through this like we have in the past and while we’ll inevitably get a MAGA autocrat they won’t be nearly as bad as I fear. Though, as I keep saying, form follows function, so it seems pretty easy to imagine a scenario where things get pretty dark in the United States pretty quick.

I hope I’m wrong, I really do.