IT CAN HAPPEN HERE

So here we are. We've arrived at the "radicalizing delusional, gun-obsessed racists to go out and start killing people" stage of America's hi-larious experiment in seeing what would happen if literally the worst person on Earth became president.

In about a week, the Democratic Party is highly likely to take control of the House of Representatives for the first time in decades. As I've said many times in many different ways, this is not the most important institution to focus on at this point. Republican dominance of state legislatures and governors' mansions is a more proximate and direct threat to the kind of politics that affects us directly.

But the House race is going to be important in a very different way because, as everyone has recognized for the past two years, Trump's long term goal is to undermine any faith in electoral outcomes. And the endgame of that strategy is, of course, more violence.

I keep saying things will get worse before they begin to get better. I have the sense that events of the next 2-3 months are going to provide ample evidence to support that theory.

Knowing well that a quarter of the population will believe whatever The Leader tells them, declaring election outcomes illegitimate sets the stage for a crisis the likes of which Americans have not had to confront in living memory. If you think things are chaotic and ugly and violent now, wait until fifty-plus million people decide that Congress isn't really a legitimate governing institution because Republicans no longer control it.

Without going off the deep end, it makes sense to think about a few things most of us don't spend time thinking about. Do you have enough stuff at home to last a few days when it might seem inadvisable to go out and run chores? Is the car full of gas? Do you and your spouse, kids, etc. have a basic "emergency" plan in place? Maybe it's nothing, but it probably wouldn't hurt to have the conversation. We aren't about to confront tanks rolling down the streets, but there's every reason to suspect that "Lone" Wolf attacks are going to experience an uptick. If you work in particularly dangerous or targeted professions – journalism, education, etc. – maybe take a few minutes to review whatever plans your institution has in place for emergencies.

One very important but dismal lesson 2017-18 have taught us is that when white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or other far right types decide to get violent, you absolutely cannot rely on the police to protect you. The police will stand by and watch. If you haven't noticed this pattern, pay more attention to who ends up getting arrested when skinheads decide they want to attack someone.

Take care of yourselves, people you care about, and one another.

51 thoughts on “IT CAN HAPPEN HERE”

  • I'm sure working for the teachers' union isn't going to make me a target, right?

    The question is whether I'm safer in my blue-state urban environment or trying to avoid the world out in a rural area.

  • In Toronto, when there were actual fascists marching in the street recently, the police made a phalanx around them to protect them from counterprotestors. They will not only stand by and watch, but they'll actively help the fash, at least (for now) within the limits of what they think they can do without drawing too much heat from the general public.

    The ones flying Trump flags and/or wearing Punisher skull tattoos/patches are already completely fascist.

    Be careful out there, everyone, especially if you're visibly gay, lesbian, trans, Jewish, Muslim, black, Hispanic, or otherwise a minority…

  • Saw an article going around saying someone shot up a GOP office in Florida overnight. I look forward to the same people who were so skeptical about the MAGAbomber (i.e. it's all a Dem plant, and then he's just one crazy guy) declaring that the Florida incident is PROOF POSITIVE that ALL Democrats are terrible, violent people.

  • I grew up in a region/era where people thought there was a communist under every bed. I became a reporter, and worked in highly racist states, covered the Posse Comitas. Then I became a professor and worked with migrant and Native Americans communities battling racism.
    And I have never been as worried about our country as I am right now. I can’t believe sane people like you have to warn us like this. But you do. And here we are.

    PS. To the person considering a rural move. Don’t. It’s bad out here. Stay urban.

  • older and possibly wiser says:

    A few weeks ago I read some comments along these lines and I thought they were kinda over the edge. But now…

  • This is going to sound like overextending but if we're thinking along these lines, re: the safety of urban vs rural environments if things go very far south, thinking in terms of potential militarily tactics is probably wise-that sort of thinking will be employed on the other side.

    Cities are quite vulnerable because we all depend on shared resources and our populations are concentrated and, making cities targets to this putative enemy, diverse.

    There has already been ample (mainstreamed) radical right demonizing of "urban" populations. Ditto demonization of the US left, starting from the center. Watch for it to continue to increase.

    Let's also not forget that there are militarized PDs all over the rural US now. A great deal of ordnance is out there, in areas that already hate cities and their populations.

    I'm just glad the executive has a lot of property where I live.

  • In about a week, the Democratic Party is highly likely to take control of the House of Representatives for the first time in decades. As I've said many times in many different ways, this is not the most important institution to focus on at this point. Republican dominance of state legislatures and governors' mansions is a more proximate and direct threat to the kind of politics that affects us directly.

    I wish I believed this. I listen to the "Boys in the Back" (Ammosexual building inspectors with backgrounds in the trades). My own BROTHER was spouting Soros/Antifa nonsense. I had no idea he had gone full LOON.

  • Well, I hope Democrats take the House. But…given their track record, I'm skeptical. Though I must say, if they fail to motivate their base and minorities enough to beat literal racists and fascists…it might just be time to call the Democratic party dead and done.

  • Here's a fun one that should encourage everyone to vote ALL the way down the ballot: Since 2013, Oregon counties have been passing "Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances." Here's some text from my county's measure: "If the Linn County Sheriff determines that any federal, state or local laws affecting firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition are Unconstitutional then the County may not authorize the use of funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers, or offices for the purpose of enforcing such laws." See y'all at High Noon in the Wild West!

  • PhoenixRising says:

    "The question is whether I'm safer in my blue-state urban environment or trying to avoid the world out in a rural area."

    Well, here's a quick self test:
    1. I'm white. If yes, proceed to 2. If no, end game, get $20s for your home safe & a water filter.
    2. I know how to kill & dress game. If no, see #1. If yes…
    3. I have close family contacts in a rural area who control property with a water source, or I control such a property.

    How'd you do? I'm filling my lock box with small bills, finding the water filter in my camping gear, making sure I have a backup can opener & buying slugs for the 20 gauge. They're expensive but I don't expect to need a second box.

  • Mike Pence got a Jew-For-Jesus to give a eulogy for the actually-Jewish victims of right-wing terror in Pittsburgh.

    He knew exactly what he was doing, and what signal he was sending.

  • Things are definitely in strange, uncharted territory – but I hope everyone will do their best to keep their heads.

    It's best to keep possibilities in mind, but also don't forget some are definitely likelier than others. But it's never a bad idea to give some thought to general emergency preparedness, if for no better reason that the administration's track record on that is pretty dismal (fire, flood or whatever) and it might make one feel a little better generally. This year's flu strain could be ugly, and having a reasonable supply of necessities at home might be handy for no other reason than making being sick for a week less of a hassle.

    We'll just have to see what happens and move from there. Unfortunately your assessment that we're probably going to see more right wing terrorist incidents seems reasonable , as it seems unlikely anyone in the White House is even capable of not encouraging that sort of thing. In the past, serious terrorist incidents have tended to have very negative reactions from the public. Sayoc was so inept his crime might be something many won't take seriously, but I think – or at least hope – that this massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue will trigger the sort of examination and revulsion of contemporary American antisemitism in a similar way that Dylan Roof's rampage put a very unflattering spotlight on neoconfederate mythology and accelerated the removal of confederate flags and statuary from public spaces. That's a cripplingly expensive way to remind people that neoconfederates and nazis are horrible people who should have no place in civilized society, but perhaps it will make a difference, at least for a time.

    Right now, I still think most of the public is appalled by these kinds of crimes, and that's a reasonably hopeful sign. If that stops being the case, we're in real trouble.

    If political institutions and large swaths of the public start going sovereign citizen on the results of elections they don't like, that would be a very dire development but it hasn't actually happened yet.

  • "Trump's long term goal is to undermine any faith in electoral outcomes." Fortunately, the US Supreme Court and the Secretary of State of Florida accomplished that for me in December 2000. And given how useless the Dems were when they took the House in 2006, I don't hold out a lot of hope for change even if they DO win and are perceived as legitimate. That said, I've already voted for 'em. Fingers crossed, y'all.

  • Yo Sluggo, up thread there. Save your money, you won't need that box of slugs for the old 20 gauge. Ain't nobody coming after your twinkies.

  • I can't afford to live in the country.

    By the time you buy the bass boat, 4-wheel ATVs, guns, motorcycles, tractors plus the giant pickup truck to haul the whole mess around with.

    Oh, I forgot the camper.

    Not sure why someone who already lives in the country needs a camper. I guess so they can go to someplace that's even more country than where they already are.

    Or do rural people drive their campers to midtown Manhattan when they want to get away?

  • Possible outcomes in the next week are that Democrats win the House, and Trump delegitimizes the win and elections in general; or that Democrats don't win the House, and Trump crows about it and delegitimizes their existence as human beings.

    That's it, that's the range of possible outcomes. So which one are you preparing for? When Trump says the Democrats cheated to win and followers should fight back if they want to keep their country, are you ready for that? Or when Trump says the election win vindicates his politics and it's time to get serious about getting rid of the brown people and Jews, are you ready for that?

    Because one of those two is coming one week from now.

  • I’ve said this before here, but every election night I make a point to take my firearms out of the safe and clean them. Besides routine maintenance, this makes them readily available should the fascists decide that the time is now.

    I’ll also be withdrawing more cash than usual on Nov 5, just in case.

  • Er, Democrats controlled the House in the 111th Congress of 2009-2011.

    And given 2000 and 2016, Democrats get the prize for whining about "illegitimate" elections.

  • You say stuff here I've kind of been thinking about, on and off, for a while now. One point, maybe minor but maybe not, is that even in case of the Blue Wave, the Democrats won't "take over" the House in a week. It won't happen for a little over 2 months. That could make this lame duck session of Congress really interesting, in the "living in interesting times" sense of the word. If the GOP hangs on to both houses or gain seats, they can just bide their time until after Christmas, but if the Dems retake one or both, the GOP could just go full zombie apocalypse on November 7. They already can barely hold themselves back. I'm sure that in the latter case, that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer would pull out every parliamentary procedure in the book to insure that they could stall long enough to … oh, what am I saying? We are pretty much fcked, no matter what.

  • Fivethirtyeight is predicting 54% voter turnout in my district of SE PA (PA-6) and adjacent districts which is insane for a midterm where 35-40% is usually the norm. We are pissed and can't wait to throw the fucking Republicans out of office. (Our congressman, Ryan Costello, is one of those who decided to retire rather than be defeated in his bid for re-election.)

    I'm not really worried about our civil society breaking down in the aftermath of the election but I know where my Glocks and ammo are in case I am wrong.

  • RosiesDad:
    Hello fellow Philly suburbanite! I'm a new Judge of Elections in PA-4, and the primary in my recently Democratic district, which was a foregone conclusion, got close to 20% turnout, which is pretty high for a midterm primary (in the rain, nonetheless). I'm expecting a busy day next week.

    I'm also not going to lie, I'm just a tad bit nervous that they won't wait until the polls close to decide that the elections aren't legitimate.

  • Paul: I went to vote in the primaries even though virtually every one of the candidates (Chrissy Houlahan, Melissa Shusterman, Bob Casey, Tom Wolf/John Fetterman) were running unopposed. It was purely symbolic but I wanted to glare at the people at the GOP table outside the polling place. Let them know that their candidates–every one of them–is going to lose. Including (and especially) my old neighbor, Warren Kampf.

    I hope you get to savor the day. I hope we all do.

  • Just sending out a message in a bottle that some technical work be done on this site to add basic layers of security and anonymity. Perhaps start with step 1: an SSL certificate (e.g. https://www.ginandtacos.com/ ).

    Its not a stretch to imagine that any visitor to this wonderful site will one day be put on a blacklist and possibly arrested for "distributing propaganda" or "participation in a hate group against our supreme leader". That sort of thing already has happened and continues to happen here in the United States https://nyti.ms/2uZ7QgQ

    With some basic security and privacy protocols, you, Ed, could directly save us all (or at least, many of us) from joining that inevitable blacklist that we will theoretically be added to because we religiously read your blog.

    At least protect people who aren't stupid enough to reveal their real names in the comments.

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  • wetcasements says:
    October 29, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Mike Pence got a Jew-For-Jesus to give a eulogy for the actually-Jewish victims of right-wing terror in Pittsburgh.

    He knew exactly what he was doing, and what signal he was sending.

    Have you seen this?
    Israel's Chief Rabbi Refuses to Call Pittsburgh Massacre Site a Synagogue Because It's non-Orthodox

    In interview with Orthodox newspaper, Rabbi Lau calls Tree of Life ‘a place with profound Jewish flavor’

  • ronzie: Be careful. It's ANTI SEMITIC to criticize in any way at all the Holy Land and its holy guardians!

  • Interesting times indeed, but just a warm-up for when reactionary policies are proven wrong on a battlefield somewhere in the world, when we re-learn how important it is to own your supply lines. Think about how hopeless the war between the states was for the south, then consider how the Confederacy is the model the reactionaries wish to rebuild the United States on.

  • "Racist" in 2018 is the favorite leftist stalking horse for kindergarten-sensibility leveling.

    Please do indulge your knee-jerk transactional imperatives, as did Harry Reid. Watch out!

    Reid delivered the SCOTUS, and watch that next EC/popular-vote split help the GOP.

  • What the heck are you babbling about, Inkblot? I have to say this is almost random character generator level commentary?

  • I'll bet you run into "babbling" almost every time you get off the short bus, Brian.

    If you're able to muster a specific question or critique, I'll be happy to address it.

  • Only when the National Lawyer's Guild wasn't full-on Bolshevik.

    My goodness, what fatuous children are most modern-day liberals.

    At least the folks on this site can SPELL "fascist" correctly….

  • Yes, it’s subject-changing “whataboutism” to expect leftists to peer past the transactional confines of their own navels. Those of any politics who are actually familiar with law school know well the traditional poles, and the two groups which have long represented them. Partisan lemmings on the left have recently been conditioned to execrate the Society.

  • Definitely has that weighty confidence you usually find in one whose ass is planted firmly, on their shoulders.

  • Seriously though. Reading some of this dingleberry's comments…So much self indulgence, there is no way they are not masturbating furiously with each keystroke.

  • Concessions on the merits accepted.

    I have to pull my own eel, not being part of the greasy liberal reach-around here.

  • "Or do rural people drive their campers to midtown Manhattan when they want to get away?"

    Much simpler answer, Major.

    They're all Bapdoltfundamentalistas of one sort or t'other.

    Camping in pop-ups or NDV's* allows them to have their likker and drik it too, all sight unseen.

    * Nature Destroying Vehicles

  • @ Satrap:

    Based only on the maroon's name, I'm going with racist, fascist who has fond memories of when villages like his namesake were filled with nothing but sturdy, pure-bred, english yeomanry–iow, memories of the time that never was. Just a guess

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  • No mater what happens it pays to take some simple cost-effective preparations.

    Have enough stored non-perishable food and water, medications, and other supplies to stay on-site with all the utilities off for a few days. Three days is minimum. Ten days is a sweet spot. More is better but you are facing diminishing returns.

    Most people can make any set supply last twice as long, or cover twice as many people, if you are willing to exercise serious discipline and be a little uncomfortable.

    A few hand tools,and items like shovels and a pry bar, and medical supplies like bandages may serve you well and, if keep clean and stored well, will last for many years.

    Every state has its hazards outside political unrest. I get hurricanes and wildfires. Other states have earthquakes or blizzards. Tornadoes can pop up anywhere. Knowing that, no matter what happens, you have hot food and coffee, a warm place to sleep, and enough light to read a good book, and enough medication to tide you over is a great comfort. This is true whatever the nature of the problem may be.

    I'm not expecting any great political upheaval involving widespread violence but it never pays to make yourself a target. It is prudent to moderate your choice of clothing, the flags you fly on your lawn, and the bumper stickers on your car. Your pithy bumper sticker isn't persuading anyone. It may mark you as a target. Blending in can pay dividends if things go south.

    Sturdy, protective clothing, perhaps a jacket, and well broken-in walking shoes are always an asset. Some extra cash helps if things get sketchy. A bandanna, perhaps even a second, can be handy. Dress like you are going to walk home.

    Stay calm. Stay healthy. Relax when you can.

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