How does all of this end? Big question, I know, but truly… what’s the end game for the Republicans, the Democrats, Europe, post-Brexit UK, China, North Korea, Putin’s Russia, the whole wide world… where do we go from here?
Some recent Twitter wag recently quipped that this is one of those moments wherein, in 100 years or so, the history books will immediately follow the paragraph about this era with a bunch of maps that are all pointy.
He will probably be proven correct in short order. Honestly I don’t see how we get out of the current mess without the following things happening:
- Mueller gets fired, Trump never gets fully investigated
- The GOP passes the AHCA, millions suffer as a result
- American governance finally collapses into naked corporatocracy
- Trump drops a nuke on someone
- America is deemed a rogue nation by the global community
- Domestic strife unparalleled since the Great Depression
A good result to come out of this would be the crack-up of the United States, quite honestly. We’re an odd, bolted-together amalgam of wildly different political cultures and economies and, frankly, the places that are skewing our political discourse toward the medieval are barely more evolved than Saudi Arabia. Like Saudi Arabia, they had wealth and technology dumped on them suddenly by the outside world so they didn’t really come by their modernization honestly. I note that Tennessee, home to the Scopes Monkey Trial, is currently the #1 champ for tax-payer-supported private schools teaching creationism.
I also note that these are the parts of the US not immediately inclined to distrust Putin and his geo-political ambitions because he has positioned himself as the global champion of traditional values, something Ma & Pa Yokel think is important. Long term, I think this affinity between authoritarian mindsets will aid the crack-up of the US. Indeed, Putin already appears to be working that angle from the other side, most likely being the force behind the California secession movement.
Crystal ball? I think in 30-40 years, a series of tax revolts in the big pay-in states (NY, CA, PA, NJ) plus rising political violence at the unequal protection of urban v. rural in representation in government will result in regional coalitions of states, plus a smattering of cities outside those regions, making more and more of their own arrangements between each other and with foreign powers. We already have seen the first wave of that balking as states and cities across America are reiterating their commitment to the Paris Climate Accord, no matter what the shitbird asshole the toothless goobers put into the White House may say. I think we’ll see more and more of just the kind of Electoral College mischief as haunted us in 2000, 2004 & 2016. As general election victories with EC losses mount and as Congress continues to house more and more Republicans representing fewer and fewer actual voters, to say nothing of the looming threat of a Koch-sponsored constitutional convention and the implementation of congressional-district-based EC delegate allocation, the perceived legitimacy of the federal government will continue erode until cities and states will be the only political entities demonstrating the necessary responsiveness. Why should a bigoted goober like Mitch McConnell get to tell the fine people of California and New York that their political wishes are subservient to those of his constituency? This is where the questions of legitimacy will ultimately turn.
So, as the people who believe in science and climate change grow weary of accommodating the self-serving superstitions of a bunch of people who actively choose not to as the oceans rise around their ankles, these regional associations will slowly form. I think they will begin informally, then eventually they will hold conferences — something like the “NorthEastern Regional Urban Affairs Conference of 2025” type of thing, resembling the UN with Boston, New York, Philadelphia & D.C. on something like a permanent security council and Hartford, Baltimore and Providence all sending delegation — and these conference will eventually evolve into formal action. Nothing in the world says that the cities of the Amtrak North East Corridor (the NEC) couldn’t all just get together and say “OK, fine, we’ll build our own damned high-speed rail because we’re sick of your shit out there in Nebraska and Kentucky.” Who knows. Maybe the NEC Cooperative would eventually work with the Great Lakes Cooperative and the Pacific Coast Cooperative to build their own interconnecting rail and communication network. Honestly, I think its all going that way anyway. The fact that the Orange Menace yanked the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords only to have all our major cities and nearly half the states immediately come out and publicly re-commit independent of the actions of Washington D.C. is to me a canary in the coal mine that our federal government is fast approaching the brink of a crisis in legitimacy.
In other words: the oligarchs and their vast fortunes have, with aid of the votes of the toothless goobers who keep Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn employed in the Senate, played a warped game of capture the flag in D.C. on the assumption that the levers of power could always be manipulated for their ever greater profit, that the apparatus of the American electorate was just a tool, a knob to be turned, with no risk of human agency responding; trained seals who will bark on command. If that sounds vague, the hard proof is the healthcare debate. The Republican mindset is that the people will always accept whatever profit-generating scheme is shoved their way from Washington as long as it is cloaked in “freedom” and some kind of underlying racism is winked at and, honestly, very little in recent American history would contradict that assessment. Until now. The people want their healthcare and the GOP just can’t figure out how to get people to be excited about getting fucked over like they used to. I still think they’ll try, but it remains to be seen if they’ll actually succeed in the near-term and I am not convinced they’d really pay an electoral price if they tried and succeeded, at least not as long as the Democrats continue to utterly suck.
Simply put: the wealthy blue states will eventually get sick of footing the bill for the moochers in the red states and being forced to live by their hayseed values from a federal level.
At that point, maybe we can all petition to join Canada.