View from the Cheap Seats – No Shit, I’m Scared

Chris wrote a post in June 2018 that was borderline apocalyptic. He noted that we needed to get our heads straight because we need to prepare for interruptions and inconveniences in our lives and confront them. At the time, I thought he might be a little over the top in his assessment of our society’s state. I have been thinking about that post for some time and decided that Chris may be right. We could be on the precipice of a civil war that does look like some country far away. These are things that I always thought were not possible in the America in which I grew up. Not anymore.

Does anyone remember after 9/11 the videos of the angry radical Islamists shaking their AK-47s in the air? Scenes from some African “Republic” where the citizens are riding around in the back of Toyota pickup trucks hoisting their guns in the air look familiar to recent events?

It is not hard to find an article describing the chaos that could happen before, during, and after the upcoming election. We are watching the president set the stage for civil unrest as we have never experienced in the country previously. Back in January, the president was rightfully confident of his re-election. The perception that the economy was doing well was commonplace as people have watched their 401ks grow significantly because their wallet is how many Americans judge the economy. Then Covid-19 hit, and Dear Leader chose to ignore it, hoping to keep the economy rolling. That did not work out well, and now we are close to 200,000 dead. Many polls show there is a 70% chance that Joe Biden will win the electoral college and become the president-elect. Yet dear Leader does not like to lose, and like those far away places we only think of in passing, he has a plan to stay in power. It is not a secret plan; it is unfolding right before our eyes. There are just too many coincidences for this to be otherwise. We face the first non-peaceful transition of power in our nation’s history. That is, if we even have a transition of power. We are watching our government institutions and our trust in them eroding. In our non-Bizzaro world existence, we could trust that the USPS would dependably deliver our mail-in ballots. That is now in doubt. We have watched armed “citizens” try to liberate Michigan from common sense. Many of us no longer trust the FDA or CDC to deliver information that is not politically manipulated. News stories about this fact suppression campaign come out daily only to be ignored by Dear Leader’s supporters. It is the United States in 2020.

Dear Leader has told us that if he loses, it is because the election “Was the most rigged in history.” He said in his rally in Nevada that there is no way he could lose unless the Governor manipulated the ballots. Imagine election night because we do not have the final result because of all of the mail-in ballots. Dear Leader says that there are irregularities in the voting. He will not accept the result if his opponent wins. As states announce their final results and it becomes clear that Joe Biden has been elected, it will begin. Does anyone doubt that the order to liberate the states that did not vote for Dear Leader will go out in multiple tweets? Is it hard to imagine armed citizens showing up again at the Michigan state capitol? I don’t think this is a stretch.

Chris asked us over two years ago if we have our heads on straight and ready for what is coming, I doubt many of us are. It is just too hard to imagine this in the country in which I grew up. I was four years old during the 1968 conventions. That summer, my family took a two-week camping vacation to Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Rocky Mountain National Park. When we made a stop in Arkansas to visit my grandmother, I can remember the scenes of riots on her TV. Those images made an impression on me as I still have the image in my head 52 years later. I am concerned that the riots that summer will look like the Red Hat Society Christmas parade float compared to the coming months.

Benjamin Franklin was correct when he said, “We must all hang together, or we will most assuredly hang separately.” The question is, will I have the guts to protect our constitution from our President? What I am scared of is that I may have to make that choice. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have to.

19 Comments

    1. Whatever modicum of breathing room Chuck Schumer felt he may have had in avoiding the filibuster fight just got thrown the window and reduced to ashes. To say they’ll never forgive him if he lets this one go is an understatement – they’ll want his political head on a stake in his next primary.

    2. From Josh Marshall over at TPM:
      “ Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is a grave, sorrowful and ill-timed calamity in the escalating crisis of American democracy, the crisis of the American state. The only relevant and timely thing I can think to add is this: You can’t work this kind of problem or operate in this kind of environment unless you’re ready to say what you’re going to do. You can’t start by saying McConnell has to follow his rule. You need to say what you’ll do when he doesn’t. Otherwise you’ve got one side with words and the other with the ability to act. And that’s a loser’s hand.

      The thing to do, if Republicans take this course and the Democrats take the presidency and the Senate, to add either two or four new seats to the Supreme Court, for a total of our 11 or 13.”

      I don’t generally agree with extreme measures but in this case, the GOP is planning to use raw power to force a conservative majority that is likely to be out of step with what the majority of Americans want. So it’s time for the Democrats to step up and DO something about it. Complaining gets us nowhere.

      1. “ The thing to do, if Republicans take this course and the Democrats take the presidency and the Senate, to add either two or four new seats to the Supreme Court, for a total of our 11 or 13.”

        Adding 2 seats has a nice balance, as it offsets the 2 seats that McConnell stole/plans to steal with his partisan hypocrisy. 4 smacks of overreach, as tempting as that is.

        This is put up of shut up time for Schumer. If he’s not willing t try o play hardball with McConnell, he needs to lose his leadership position, then get primaried.

        RIP Notorious RBG. She was at the top of my “famous people you’d want to invite to your dinner party” list. John Lewis too.

      2. For all of the complaining I have done and will continue to do about progressives being too extreme or hypocritical in these past few years…. We absolutely need this. I will quibble that it’s debatable that McConnell only stole one seat (he has a right to fill RGB’s, but not Scalia’s), but I’ll be angry if a Democratic Senate leaves the count at 9 justices.

      3. No, they (will have) stole(n) 3. Trump wouldn’t have been elected without the Russians and Comey. He “won” while losing the popular vote by 2.2%. The Republican Senators who confirmed those judges were elected by fewer Americans than the Democratic Senators who opposed. It’s time to give the Democratic majority in this country the laws and courts they want.

    1. If I may, perhaps you could wait until Justice Ginsberg’s body is cold before you start into this, Dins?

      Rest assured, there’ll be plenty of time for you to waste everyone’s attention span harping about murdering people and a 2nd Civil War later. Now isn’t the time, thanks very much.

      1. You really can’t be that dense.

        The monster from kentuckystan is not waiting. He has already said tonight it is full speed ahead on a nomination. And just because you are in denial about the inevitable violence, does not mean it won’t happen. Every rational person reads what the barr said today, or the stuff about the heat ray, and knows what is coming.

        But hey, you keep on talking about this massive turnout, and incontrovertible results, and the tyrant not doing everything to rig the election, and his acolytes unable to stop the counting in swing states….

        No believes that anymore, except you.

  1. https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/09/03/americas-ugly-election

    “If instead of just tweeting that counts should be stopped, as he did when he saw the blue shift in action in 2018, Mr Trump gave consequential orders to that end, they might be followed. Nearly 80 left-leaning groups have joined what they call the Protect the Results coalition, which aims to push state election officials to keep counting whatever the president says or does.”

    I can’t predict the future, but it’s very difficult to imagine one where 45 doesn’t order the vote count to stop the day after the election, and several red and purple states obligingly standing down.

  2. Shrug….It is over folks.

    As Aaron pointed out, it really only takes a small percentage to get a sectarian war started. But the loser party is indeed too polite, and still in utter denial (“we can vote out tyranny”), to have prepared for what was necessary to defeat this regime in the coming battles.

    On one side, you have the militarized police, militias that have been training and praying for this for decades, the new gestapo of members of umpteen federal law enforcement agencies, plus crews like the ones that erik prince runs.

    On the other side, you have people that tweet pithy remarks and the occasional shooter who actually wears socks and sandals to a gun fight (yeah, have a look at the footwear of that guy who killed two fascists).

    In the middle, you have a huge military. Any of their leaders that actually worked with the madman are horrified, but the military has said “Nope, we are sitting this one out.”

    The only hope for america is a NATO wet team, hopefully already inserted into the country, with instructions to take out the tyrant as early as possible after Nov 3rd. Now, that will be highly problematic, since he will be hunkered down in the White House behind 10,000 of his acolytes. He won’t be seen in public until all resistance is crushed. But that hope is a much a fantasy as believing the election results will be fair or even have any meaning. If NATO was going to save the world, it would have happened long ago, like in 2016.

    Most of you that follow Chris will be fine when democracy officially dies. You are white, well-educated, and likely well-off financially. If you are not, well, you are screwed. Just keep your head down. I am sure the same thing was said in Germany in the mid-30’s.

  3. I’m still navigating cognitive dissonance around this. It’s pretty hard to think of my friends, family, community, the neighborhoods I grew up in and the neighborhoods I’ve lived in since, in a state of civil war. This is particularly because I was raised in the post-modern supremacism of color blindness where the overarching theory assumed was that it would be a lot harder for people to fight each other over identities when their identities were more merged.

    But as history has shown, it’s not really about what the majority of people think. You only really need about 20% of the population to be dedicated to violent acquisition of power for shit to get real, and we crossed that threshold. Really the open question is whether the rest of society says, “No, we’re not going to do this” in which case we have civil war which the military generally joins the democrats (small d, people fighting for democracy), or if polite society says “We’ll just have to do our best with what we have and not shake things up,” in which case we’ll be a minority-led authoritarian system like most third world countries, and our economy and world advantages will largely reshape themselves to resemble them over time.

    It would seem like standing up for democracy would be the obvious choice but these same polite socialites couldn’t even be trusted to vote for an underwhelming candidate over a shrieking dumpster fire of narcissism and rage, so clearly I don’t expect much from them.

  4. 20 years ago I made the decision NOT to remain in the USA

    A big part of that decision was I could see a “fire” ahead

    I could see that for a normal working guy the USA had slipped from being the best place in the world – way down to 20th or worse

    But it was obvious that most “working Americans” did NOT see that

    I expected there would be a bloody revolution when they DID finally wake up to the fact that they had been severely rogered

    I was NOT sure which direction the revolution would “point” – but I did not want my family mixed up in it

  5. I’m no prophet, but anyone on the left side of the political spectrum that has paid attention the past 30 years or so has seen this coming. Demonizing the government and the other political party is going to build into your base the base belief that you must win or everything will be destroyed.

    The Republican Party has been working since 1990 to demonize Democrats as inherently evil, to win power. It worked, and they’ve gotten more and more depraved in order to hold onto it.

    Now, here we are, the Democratic Party is saying that we must win or everything will be destroyed. And it’s actually true.

    Can you imagine another 4 years of what has happened in the past 4 years? The past 4 months? Because if Trump wins, it’s going to get a whole lot worse than what we’ve seen. There will be no “re-election” effort by Trump, meaning there will be zero reason to even pretend to give a shit about democratic rule of law.

    So, what should you do about it?

    Make sure yourself, your family, friends, and community are registered to vote. Make sure that everyone knows how to do it, where, and when.

    Make sure that everyone votes EARLY, IN PERSON. If you must vote by mail-in ballot, TURN IT IN INSIDE THE PRECINCT.

    Relying on mail-in ballots is a mistake, when Trump and the Wisconsin Supreme Court have already made it official policy to stymie the election via mail-in ballots. Take Trump seriously when he says mail-in ballots will be fraudulent, because Trump and Friends own the mail. They will make it so.

    Vote early, as in as soon as your state has any kind of early voting. Vote in-person, at the precinct. Election judges are competent and will make sure that any and all questions you have are answered, and do their best to make sure your ballot is counted.

    On Election Day, Trump has already promised to have his Camoshirt Paramilitary patrolling election precincts. Waiting until Election Day will put you in danger of mob violence. Go early. Be home or somewhere safe on November 3rd.

    And look…be prepared for the worst.

    Trump might win-win, meaning he takes the Electoral College with all votes being counted. If so, gun and ammunition prices should decrease, so get ready to invest. It probably won’t be necessary immediately after the election, but start a small savings for that purpose.

    Trump might lose bigly, meaning that we might be able to avoid any substantial amounts of violence. This is, of course, the best scenario, but probably not the most likely.

    Trump might lose a very close election where enough shenanigans are caused that he can claim fraud/coup and finally do what he has wanted to do all along – seize total control.

    I can’t tell people how to prepare for the close election scenario, except to make sure you have stores of food, and a means by which to protect yourself, depending on where you live and commute regularly.

    A means by which to protect yourself is your Second Amendment, but take that for what it’s worth. I personally never wanted to own a firearm until Trump was elected. I now own and can operate firearms. I considered them to be an investment, and every dollar spent is a dollar of comfort. Not that I think I’m Rambo, but if and when I am called to defend my country from enemies domestic, I will be able to. No, I don’t consider it heroic or worthy – just necessary. This isn’t tough-guy talk. You either believe that the end of Constitutional government is possible and are prepared for it, or you don’t care one way or the other and will binge watch Storage Wars or something if the country dies.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.