Progressives all over the map have spent the last few months pledging to resist the current regime; a big part of that map is comprised of the Republic of California. The state seems poised to stand athwart the inevitable attacks the rest of the country is ready to throw at it. Sort of. Because one thing that hasn’t been publicly talked about is what the plan is for when California is invaded by federal troops.
I’m not joking. This is not a thought exercise. This turn of events is completely plausible. It might even be inevitable — though I certainly hope not. Think it through.
California is positioning itself to be the hub of opposition to the president and his party. If that opposition turns out to not be very effective or embarrassing to the powers that be, then we’ve got nothing to worry about (except for the horrific consequences of unfettered conservative rule, of course). On the other hand, if California does put up an effective resistance, if it is able to obstruct or frustrate the president’s agenda or, much more dangerously, if it manages to embarrass the president, then we are probably screwed. The risk of invasion would rise exponentially.
As I said, invasion is not unthinkable here. For starters, there is precedent for this sort of conflict. For another thing, none of the considerations that might stop a reasonable man from engaging in this action are in play here. Any other politician might worry about the political consequences, the social upheaval, the vast financial cost, the judgement of history, and the loss of life (in that order). The president however does not worry about those things. He doesn’t worry about anything. Because, in his mind, he always wins.
And that’s the problem. There is no compromise. There is no backing down. There is no taking a loss on the chin, learning from it, and trying again. In a game of chicken, this man will never take his foot of the gas, never turn the wheel because he has complete and total faith that he can not lose.
Sometimes this just makes him look crazy, as when he insist he’s won when he clearly hasn’t. He told reporters his TV show was number one, long after that’d been the case for example. Now that he’s got the power of the government behind him, he is able to seriously propose what will surely be a costly boondoggle of an investigation for no better cause than assuaging his wounded pride.
So what happens if California mounts an effective resistance against a man like that?
Best case scenario? He tells everyone that he’s winning while completely ignoring the clear evidence that he actually isn’t, and life goes on being the normal amount of bad (which, under a conservative government, is really fucking bad).
Worst case? Invasion. Further suspension of civil rights for citizens of the occupied territory. The deposing of the state’s leadership, and their incarceration at black torture sites pending their inevitable show-trials. No cost is too great for the man who cannot accept a loss when pride is on the line.
We can’t rely on him to stop himself. And no one else can stop him either. When you own the Supreme Court, you can do pretty much anything you want.
Also every other state in the union hates our guts. If the president doesn’t send troops, Texas will eventually, even if they have to flatten every territory between them and us to do it. (But Arizona will be totally into it.) You think anyone will speak up for us? Most states would celebrate our destruction — though New York would probably continue to pretend that we don’t exist, while Oregon will be too busy outlawing black people to acknowledge the defeat of their greatest enemy (who, to be fair, tends to forget that Oregon exists).
We are fucked.
I mean, we knew that already, but I’m saying we’re like, even more fucked than we thought.