The Fate Of The United States May Rest With State Republican Parties

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

On the surface, it seems as though Trump’s support is not nearly as passionate as it once was. While there continues to be a lot of sound and fury surrounding Trump, lately, that noise seems to signify nothing. It could be that many of the people who could otherwise cause trouble in the real world for Trump are in prison because of their involvement in the January 6th Insurrection.

Having said that, I continue to worry on a structural basis about the radicalization of state Republican Parties. It will be the extent of that radicalization that will determines what happens in late 2024, early 2025, regardless of the outcome of the election.

If Trump loses, he could very well flip the fuck out and start to demand a National Divorce on the self-serving grounds that he doesn’t want to go prison. If that happens, then we all have to wait and see if states like Texas begin the process of leaving the Union.

Meanwhile, the core of Trump’s support should he win will come from the radicalized infrastructure of the Republican Party. Trump will rule the country as a tyrannical Red King and he will probably leverage the institutional support of the Republican Party to consolidate power. And if Trump is somehow magically deposed because he does go full tyrant on us, it will be Republican state parties who will cause the civil war…when they leave the Union in a huff.

At the moment, I just don’t know what is going to happen. It really could go either way. There is a chance that should Trump lose that I’m really overthinking things and Trump will just rant a lot and then drift away…until he comes roaring back and tries to run again in 2028.

How I Would Have Done ‘Civil War’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

While I really enjoyed the movie Civil War, I do think it pulled its punches as to how bad a modern American civil war would be. I understand why this was done, but it leaves me thinking how I would approach the story.

What I would have done is make the scenario A LOT darker. I would have kept it a dystopian road movie, but made it a lot like The Road. I would have made the point of the story a group of people heading to, say, the headquarters of a rebel group and have them go there on foot, rather have have the luxury of being able to drive there.

I would lean into the fact that the lights are off and there would be little or no communication around the country. This would be a lot more realistic and make the nature of the story a lot more grounded in reality and personal. I would also lean into not only the prospect of WMD being used by one side or the other, but also how outside nations might get involved.

The specific story I have rolling around in my head would be someone in a rural area of my state, Virginia, going on a trek to visit someone in Richmond. Along the way they, they pick up an elderly relative from a nursing home and maybe get a few other people with them as they head to their destination.

During the journey, we see various ways that the country has splinted as part of the decent into civil war. While the actual movie Civil War does address that in some respects, the story is not nearly as dark as it could be.

Anyway. If it was 25 years younger, I would probably start writing a novel like that. As it is, lulz, I have to focus on finishing the novel I’ve been working on for several years now.

‘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.

A Lot Of People Are Missing The Point Of The Movie ‘Civil War’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Now that the A24 movie “Civil War” has gotten wide release, a lot of people online have felt compelled to give their hot takes on the most notable absence in the movie — any sense of who the “good guys” in the story depicted are.

The more I think about it, the more the absence of any thorough world building on the part of the producers of the movie is the only way a movie called “Civil War” might have any chance of being a success. What a lot of people interested in the subject of a potential second American civil war want in such a movie — a chance to see their partisan bloodlust on the big screen — they did not get.

The movie is not meant to be a roughly two hours of cathartic, violent hate for one side or the other. The movie is, at least in my view, is meant to be a warning to both sides as to how bad a modern civil war would suck.

And I say this, even as I note how the the civil war shown in the movie is probably a best case scenario. The lights are pretty much on for the entirety of the movie. And there was no talk of the use of WMD during the movie. And, what’s more, my dark fears about a fucking race war in the Deep South were also not included in the scenario.

So, I understand why people with a more critical eye may deem the movie “vacuous,” but that is a serious not seeing the forest for the trees evaluation. By simply presenting a scenario in as value-free way a possible, the producers of the movie ensure that it won’t be seen through a hyper partisan lens.

A Spoiler Review Of The Movie ‘Civil War’

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

HERE BE SPOILERS
HERE BE SPOILERS
HERE BE SPOILERS

The interesting thing about the movie Civil War is how hard it works not to take a position on who the “good guys” are in the scenario it presents. And, yet, it does kind of slip up at one point when it gives us a bit of exposition about the current president of the United States.

The key element is the president “abolished the FBI.” That is very curious because that is definitely something that Trump rants about a lot. That is a very MAGA thing for a president to want to do. As such, I think it’s safe to say that the POTUS in Civil War is something of a proxy for Donald Trump.

Which makes on wonder if it’s possible that MAGA may latch on to this element of the story and flip the fuck out. It seems to me that the more popular the movie becomes, the more likely there is a chance for an angry MAGA reaction to the movie.

It is interesting how divisive this movie has become on social media. It makes you wonder what people were expecting. I really liked the movie — despite some obvious flaws — and I think it did a good job of puncturing some of the jingoistic, overwrought MAGA rhetoric about the need for a Second American Civil War.

I continue to believe that there is a chance the movie will be popular enough and culturally significant enough that it will begin to generate some significant Oscar buzz.

America May Just Give Up

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The fact that a malignant ding-dong like Trump remains 60,000 votes in five swing states away from being POTUS is a pretty good sign that on a macro basis, the United States may have just turned into a shrug emoji. The average person simply can not, will not process the idea that the abstract of 250 years of democracy is more important than the cost of eggs.

And, but for one thing, I would believe the US is on the cusp of slouching towards autocracy and the transition into a “managed democracy” like that found in Russia will be swift and done without violence. And that one thing is ding-dong Trump.

Trump is so fucking lazy and stupid that he could very well single-handedly cause the United States to descend into situation where some pretty surreal events happen. Now, obviously, there is a chance that general placid nature of Americans will cause Trump to get away with going full tyrant without incident.

But there is also a chance that he will be so fucking conspicuous in his tyranny should he become POTUS again that Traditionalists — who would otherwise be the core of his support going forward — will blanch. I don’t expect them to actively agitate for Trump to be deposed, but I do think that if something like a Blue General Strike happened that they might sit on their hands and let events unfold.

Though, of course, if Trump was somehow magically deposed — either through successful impeachment in the Senate or the U.S. Military stepping in — there probably would be a Civil War because Red States would be enraged.

All this goes back to the key issue — late 2024, early 2025 could see the United States be the most politically unstable since the end of the Civil War. Win or lose, Trump could cause the earth to stand still. If he loses, he could rant about the need for a National Divorce, which would cause a civil war. Win, and he could be so bad at being a tyrant that he’s deposed…which causes a civil war.

As I’ve written before, the only way we get out of the 2024 election in one peace is if Trump loses and he just drift peacefully off the national stage until he tries to be president again in 2028.

That’s it. That’s all I got. Otherwise, we’re fucked.

‘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?

Gaming Out The Implications Of A Biden Win

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

But for the fucking Electoral College, Trump would be a very, very, very weak candidate. And, yet, the Electoral College exists and so, lulz, Trump could eat someone live on TV and he would STILL be 60,000 votes in five swing states away from being POTUS again.

For the sake of argument, let’s pretend somehow we manage to defeat fucking MAGA Nazi Trump — then what?

The first thing that pops into my mind is Trump, scared as shit about going to jail, will demand a National Divorce which would, in turn, prompt a Second American Civil War. On paper, at least, all the conditions are there for Trump to rant about such a thing and any number of states, probably starting with Texas calling up secessionist conventions.

But wait, there’s more.

The issue of Biden’s age is another issue we would have to worry about. There is a greater-than-zero chance that just as we’re about to have a civil war, Biden shuffles off this mortal coil. Talk about chaos!

And, really, even if we secure Biden’s re-election and MAGA ignores Trump’s ranting about the need for a National Divorce, there would be a pretty good chance that Biden would shuffle off this mortal coil and throw the country into the arms of a young, untested new president.

Another issue that I’ve given some thought to is the political implications of Trump, at last, facing some sort of criminal accountability. If Trump loses — and is unsuccessful in starting a civil war — he will, of course, turn around and announce his 2028 bid.

There would sure to be calls to pardon Trump no matter what happens after a Biden win. This would be a real pain in the ass because even if you did it on condition that Trump didn’t run away, he would lie and run again anyway.

So it definitely seems as though no matter what, there is going to be A LOT of political turmoil in the United States starting in late 2024.