Overwhelmed By Crisis
All of a sudden, it’s not just crazy people like you and I who are worried about our country becoming overwhelmed by events.
I keep going to the river to pray
’Cause I need something that can wash out the pain
And at most
I'm sleeping all these demons away
But your ghost, the ghost of you
It keeps me awake
- “Ghost” (Ella Henderson, 2014)
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Now that I’ve sullied the mood with a dark prediction in the previous post, the last thing I want to do is follow it up with another gloomy post. But there’s just so much happening and I’m not about hiding the truth from my readers. Like I said in the last post, we can’t talk about what to do unless we first all agree there’s a problem.
That said, there’s a little too much going on at the moment, both at home and abroad. As I type this up, there’s an ongoing manhunt for a mass shooter who murdered 18 in Lewiston, Maine, with the body count possibly set to rise. I’ve said, both publicly and privately, the U.S. cannot afford many more crises. And neither can I, frankly.
Admittedly, I’m a little overwhelmed by events and I must confess I’m suffering from “crisis fatigue.” The realization of what we’re in store for is hitting me rather hard. I’m not a doomer - you all know that - but recent events have me thinking that things are going to get bad much sooner than expected. When you’re staring disaster right in the face and there’s nothing you can do about it except wait for it to strike, it begins to exhaust you. You’d rather it just happen so we can get over it.
I’d intended to some deeper dives into these myriad of crises we face, but again, there’s too much going on for me to keep up with. I feel like the biggest shoe has yet to fall anyway and being a part-time writer means it was never going to be easy keeping up with events as they occur. So instead of fighting an uphill battle, I’m going to wait. Wait for events to play out some more and then maybe there will be something to focus my energies on instead of trying to address a million topics at once.
In the meantime, in this entry, I’m going to touch on a few points, as well as make another prediction, and then try something new - open the floor up to you, the reader. We’ll regard this as an “open mic night.” How about it?
Even The Regime Is Worried
First, some vindication. In case anyone still trusts the word of Experts, Inc., there was a story from the other day which highlighted concerns within the halls of power that events around the world are spinning out of control and threatening the the Regime’s ability to act and confront these challenges.
Never before have we talked to so many top government officials who, in private, are so worried about so many overseas conflicts at once.
Why it matters: We don't like to sound dire. But to sound a siren of clinical, clear-eyed realism: U.S. officials say this confluence of crises poses epic concern and historic danger.
Behind the scenes: Officials tell us that inside the White House, this was the heaviest, most chilling week since President Biden took office just over 1,000 days ago.
Now, the experts aren’t right about everything. For example, I’ve spent a lot of time throwing cold water on their alarmism about “right-wing extremism” being the biggest threat to national security and public safety. That simply doesn’t comport with reality and I think the narrative has fallen apart completely in just the last few weeks alone.
But there’s no question the U.S. faces the greatest number of crises all at once for the first time in generations. Once upon a time, the U.S. could be expected to face one major crisis at a time - 9/11, the economy, COVID, so on. But not only do we have major wars popping up in areas of great interest to the U.S., we also have a worsening political situation at home, along with intensifying domestic instability. What’s next? A recession? China attempting to annex Taiwan? Like I said before, there’s not a lot more that can go wrong before things really begin unraveling.
The fact that the people who consider it their burden in life to run the world (the Regime) are openly expressing concern about where it’s all headed is a unique convergence of sentiment between the “mainstream” and the “fringes.” All of a sudden, it’s not just crazy people like you and I who are worried about our country becoming overwhelmed by events. It seems to really be happening.
More from Axios:
What scares officials is how all five threats could fuse into one.
The State Department on Thursday issued a rare “Worldwide Caution,” warning U.S. travelers abroad of "increased tensions in various locations around the world" that raise “the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.”
Most of us here are old enough to remember 9/11, I presume. At the time, we were seeing threats everywhere and we felt very vulnerable and exposed. Then came the collective psychosis of 2020 and the COVID pandemic. We were all quite afraid of dying, weren’t we? Today, the level of ambient fear out there currently isn’t quite as bad as it was back in the wake of 9/11 or during 2020. No matter when it began, maybe when an emergency goes on long enough, people eventually get worn down and quit caring. It’s perfectly normal. The problem is, I’m not sure when the last time was that both our domestic and international situation have been in such a state of deterioration. We didn’t see 9/11 nor COVID coming, but we do see trouble brewing on the horizon, currently. Or at least we should.
A last bit from Axios:
These simultaneous threats are hitting at the very moment the American political system seems — and sometimes is — literally broken.
It's not just that Republicans don't have a House speaker and can't seem to elect one, or that we might shut down the government in the middle of this mess, or that we're hurtling toward another toxic presidential election in which big chunks of both parties want different candidates.
Former top intelligence officials tell us domestic unrest is one of their biggest fears — whether it's triggered by court rulings against former President Trump or protests over war in the Middle East. Biden allies frame these flare-ups as a reminder that global chaos requires calm and experience. "With age comes wisdom," Ron Klain, Biden's first chief of staff, told us.
But there has been a total collapse of people's trust in the opposing party, the media, what they see or share on social platforms, and even the top-secret intelligence the government relies on to measure these threats.
This, as much as the five individual threats above, is what worries officials. They know things could get worse — fast — and require tough actions — fast. And no one knows whether Congress or the public could unite in an emergency. [Bold mine-MR]
So we have internal conflict, which the Regime seems least worried about, external conflict, which the Regime seems most worried about, and burgeoning political crisis, which the Regime will have no choice but to be most worried about the worse it gets. If you’re still not seeing why this is something to be concerned about, then feel free to quit reading and go off and enjoy your life. Just don’t act all surprised when we reach another 9/11 or 2020 moment where the emergency becomes impossible to ignore.
If you’re more worried about the situation abroad than the situation at home, at least understand just how bad it could get. Inside of just a few weeks, one of the most significant military deployments to the Middle East in recent memory has taken place. We’ve certainly had larger deployments before, but look at what’s been assembled in just a matter of a few weeks:
These are just naval forces. Warplanes, missile defenses, and, for now, small numbers of troops are being deployed to the region. There’s no indication the U.S. intends to become directly involved in the Israel-Gaza conflict, but it appears these deployments are directed at a more significant player in the region: Iran. Certainly, the U.S. and Iran are no strangers and have faced off in confrontations for generations now. But are we approaching the moment when the bluffing ends and the shooting begins?
President Joe Biden issued a direct threat against Iran, calling out the Supreme Leader, better known as the Ayatollah:
I remember when President Donald Trump was president, there was plenty of panicking in the media and public about us possibly going to war with Iran; at one point, the Selective Service website crashed over irrational fears the draft would be reinstated. Where’s the panic today, I wonder? After all, the president just warned Iran’s supreme leader directly he’d go to war against his country if American forces were attacked.
Anyway, tensions are high and rising. Lest you think the situation is under control, the last time tensions with Iran were this high, there wasn’t a major war involving Israel going on at the same time. It makes a world of difference, because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a proxy for so many other conflicts around the world.
Crazy as it sounds, it’s still early. Until Israel actually invades Gaza, it’s tough to say how it’s all going to shape out, the same way we didn’t know how it’d all unfold until Russia actually invaded Ukraine. By the way, Ukraine is now well on the way to losing that war. Their chances of survival depended almost entirely on the U.S. and NATO providing a non-stop aid stream, which appears to be increasingly dwindling, as the U.S. doesn’t have much more ammo left to provide and money needs to go to both Ukraine and Israel now. That never stopped the Regime from spending the money, of course.
Maybe this doesn’t end in disaster. Maybe it all ends in a whimper (at least for the U.S.) like it always does. I just think that if the Regime is feeling a bit doomerish these days, maybe it’s worth paying closer attention.
I merely encourage you first to recognize any media figures attempting to play on your emotions. Look for facts. Look for patterns of behavior.
Second, if you are ready to go out and start protesting, think really hard about what you’re supporting. Personally, I am more inclined to support the Jews for a variety of reasons. But Netanyahu’s Covid response was horrible and there’s also a history of abuse toward Palestinian people.
Likewise, for the American left-wingers supporting Palestine, they might want to know that Islam does not support LGBTQ+ rights. In fact, any sex outside marriage is punishable by death in many Islamic countries, particularly Iran. Just FYI.
This is a depressing topic, and one I personally have avoided thinking about. I was in college on September 11. Muslim and Jewish groups got into shouting matches and occasionally fistfights on campus for years afterward. [bold mine-MR] I always just tried to avoid getting sucked into the fights. But that’s increasingly impossible.
If you’re an American, I just don’t see how you can really take a side in this conflict, even if you happen to be Jewish or Muslim. You’re here in America because either you or your parents wanted to get away from all that. But we can talk about that some other time.
More from Hawthorne:
If you want to listen to one person on this subject I recommend Gad Saad. He’s a non-practicing Jew who fled the Lebanese Civil War. He can talk about his own family’s experiences with surprisingly little bitterness toward the Palestinians. He points out that Muslims control 99.5% of Arab land; nonetheless, they refuse to help out the Palestinians so that Jews can have their 0.5%. I think this sums up the situation nicely.
I second the recommendation. Gad Saad is one of the indispensible commentators of our time and he does it with a healthy dose of sarcasm and snark to keep the mood light. More important, he was there. What do I always say? Listen to the people who’ve lived it. I don’t care how many military deployments someone had to some Third World country; none of it serves as a substitute for being physically present in that environment, day after day, with no way to escape. It’s just not the same.
The Brink Of Civil War?
My blogging role model Rod Dreher has been dropping a series of hard truths as of late. Talking to others who follow him, the perception he’s cultivated for years is that he’s a blackpilling manic, but I think events since 2020 have vindicated him. And if your outlook on the future hasn’t become at least a little blackpilled, your life must never have been better than under the present (dis)order, so go enjoy your life.
Dreher cites a number of polls that display some truly disturbing trends in this country. First, he cited a poll showing that democracy has never been less popular in America, at least during our lifetimes:
A large portion of Americans on both sides of the aisle favor getting rid of democracy and imposing violence on their political opponents, among other authoritarian measures, according to a new poll.
Thirty-one percent of Donald Trump supporters and 24% of President Joe Biden supporters said democracy is “no longer viable” and an alternative system should be tried, according to an October poll from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
The poll surveyed 2,008 registered voters from Aug. 25 to Sept. 11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.
Other key findings:
When asked whether it is acceptable to employ violence to stop political opponents from attaining their goals, 41% of Biden supporters and 38% of Trump supporters said yes.
30% of Trump supporters and 25% of Biden supporters said elections should be suspended in times of crisis.
41% of Trump supporters and 30% of Biden supporters said they favor either conservative or liberal states seceding from the union.
Nearly half of Biden supporters, 47%, and 35% of Trump supporters said the government should restrict the expression of views “considered discriminatory or offensive.”
This is a five-alarm warning for liberal democracy. The “enemy” of democracy is not the MAGA people alone, note well. The anti-MAGAs are even more contemptuous of their opponents, and less devoted to democracy if it means their opponents can take power!
You just wait: if the United States gets its head handed to it in foreign wars — that is, if Russia overruns Ukraine, and a broader Mideast war draws us in — we could be looking at a situation like Tsarist Russia after the country lost the Russo-Japanese War. The imperial government was already suffering from a significant loss of authority over its handling of the 1891-92 famine (think of how our government handled Covid), and now a foreign humiliation further alienated the Russian people from their leadership.
The implication is that a foreign policy crisis - think war - often leads to the demise of great powers. Dreher used Imperial Russia as an example and I’d point to World War I leading to the collapse of the German Empire and the Suez Crisis leading to the collapse of the British Empire. Like I told you before, I think America’s own superpower collapse will be largely bloodless, but it doesn’t really matter how it happens. The fact that it happens at all is what’s most important.
All these countries - and I’ll throw Spain in there as well - experienced civil war in the wake of their empires collapsing. The one exception? Britain. Maybe the Anglo way really is the best way and - America being an Anglo country - maybe we’ll be spared a civil war. But how much assurance do we have? After all, we’re not really an Anglo country any longer and neither is Britain. Cultural revolution and immigration have, over the course of over a half-century, upended our identity completely, a crisis identified almost a generation ago by one Samuel Huntington in his famous book on the topic.
Let that all go for now. Dreher also cites this equally disturbing poll showing that American respondents aged 18-25 think the killing of civilians, children and elderly included, can be justified:
For someone for whom 9/11 was the defining moment of my generation, this is hard to believe. Even if this is what someone honestly believes (we all have our deep, dark thoughts), very few of us would dare say so aloud, even in an anonymous poll. Or so I thought.
Humans, being susceptible to social pressure, will say what society tells them is acceptable to say and what they can get away with saying. We seem to be increasingly reaching a point where saying things like, “Killing civilians can be justified” or “Suppressing the political opposition” aren’t just acceptable opinions, but things you can say out loud without repercussions.
Pro-Palestinian protests in America are nothing new. I’ve been within spitting distance of them, the last time being during the 2014 Israel-Gaza war. They were spirited, sometimes heated, but were mostly peaceful, and I don’t mean in the George Floyd way. However, the protests today have a fervor I’ve never seen before and they’ve become more openly antisemitic.
Here’s one of many examples you can find on social media:
Again, there are many more examples out there, including instances of violence. I’m going to share one more example, because this one shocked me the most:
The driver is a Black man. What’s become apparent since the war began is that it’s not the Ku Klux Klan nor neo-Nazis who are going on this antisemitic tear. It’s not really something I want to get into here, but an undercurrent to these events is that the left-wing coalition which serves as the Regime’s power base is showing some serious cracks. “Left vs. Right” doesn’t define this conflict and I’ve always believed the real fault line had yet to reveal itself. I can’t say for certain that we’ve reached that fault line, but we’re potentially on the verge of a major realignment. With realignments also come the risk of civil conflict.
Now, it’s very possible none of this really means anything, cooler heads will eventually prevail, the coalitions will ultimately hold together, and everything will be restored to status quo ante. After all, we have an election in 2024 and nothing seems to unite the coalitions better than a contest for the top office in the land. Nor have I changed my fundamental opinion regarding the likelihood of a civil war in this country, which I consider insignificant. Maybe it’ll happen in my lifetime, but in the next five to ten years? Most likely not.
However, recent events also have me feeling vindicated that internal low-intensity conflict is very much in our near future and maybe here already. Ask yourself - after 2020, after Joe Biden ousted Donald Trump from office, after the COVID pandemic “ended,” did we really go back to normal? Are we back to being the same country we were in 2019? Responses will vary, but I don’t think so. It’s isn’t always that things don’t change, it’s that things change slowly. The U.S. isn’t South Africa nor Venezuela and even a comparison with Europe falls flat. Life is still pretty good here. But this isn’t a tranquil country, either. There’s a lot of heat bubbling under the surface. We have a lot of people living in close proximity to each other who don’t like each other and actually don’t share much in common with one another besides making a living.
I could go on all day about this, so let me wrap this up with a few more remarks by Rod Dreher. I just mentioned Europe - Dreher talks about a conversation he had in Paris recently about their problems [bold mine]:
Yesterday in Paris, I was having coffee with a French friend who said that by now, all the indigenous French have become habituated to the understanding that black and brown convicted rapists will get a much lighter sentence from the court, on the theory that it would be racist to hold them to the same legal standard as whites. He is extremely bleak about the near future in France. This general mentality, which has been catechized into two generations of French by the media and the academic establishment, has prevented the French from taking seriously Islamization and its deleterious effects, and acting to stop it in the national interest.
Does this sound familiar? If it does, it’s probably because something similar is happening in the U.S.:
Remember Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) pulling a fire alarm last month at a time when Congress was working to avoid a federal government shut-down?
His punishment? After pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsely setting off a fire alarm, Bowman will only pay a $1,000 fine and will even have the charges dropped at the end of January next year. In other words, the system accepted Bowman’s explanation that not only did he honestly believe that setting off a fire alarm was the right way to open a secure door, he also honestly didn’t realize that setting off a fire alarm would… set off a fire alarm, lead to the evacuation of the building, and interrupt Congressional proceedings. Bowman appears to have played the “stupid” card and the system appeared to buy it, saving him from the more serious charges of obstructing Congressional proceedings, a felony which could’ve resulted in significant jail time.
The likelihood of a politician not named Donald Trump being prosecuted for anything was low to begin with. My point is that certain groups of people in the country aren’t even held to even a meager standard of behavior. All grown men know what pulling a fire alarm does. All grown men know pulling a fire alarm is a very stupid way of unlocking a door. But by virtue of belonging to a certain group in this country, expecting them to exercise common sense is too much to ask. It’s not hyperbole. I’ve just provided two examples and I can provide many more. These people lean into their stupidity, just as they take offense at the assertion that they demonstrably lack the intellect to make reasonable decisions. And an entire government and media apparatus enables and abets them. It’s not about what you do anymore, it’s about which group you belong to.
Okay, I’m rambling. Where am I going with this?
Last bit from Dreher [bold mine]:
Result: he said he expects civil war, the result of which will be that France will be either an Islamic Republic, or live under a right-wing military dictatorship. I pressed him on this, and he said he’s serious, that it’s gotten just that bad. The unwillingness of the guilt-ridden French ruling class to defend their own values, and to hold Muslim immigrants responsible for living by them, has been a national disaster. Something’s got to give. Later, visiting with another Parisian friend, he told me that he’s not quite as blackpilled as my earlier interlocutor, but that he anticipates this will eventually result in an Islamic bantustan (my word, not his) within the territory of France, in which Muslims can live under their own laws, and be free from having to “suffer” under the intolerable laws and values of France.
In spring 2021, retired French military officers sounded the alarm about the growing instability and risk of civil war in their country. Two years later, they’ve been completely vindicated, in my view, no matter how many people in the French ruling class hated them for it at the time. France’s problems aren’t our problems (I keep saying that), but France is also an indication of what the future holds in store for America. Not just because they’re a much older country, but many of America’s problems today, France first began experiencing them generations ago.
It’s all intersectional, but the low-intensity conflict, civil war, whatever comes to pass, will likely erupt as a result of increasing disorder and lawlessness in the country. Not necessarily because I think armed, law-abiding Americans will go full vigilante, but because the situation will grow so unstable, the legitimacy of the Regime itself will be at risk. I find that people rarely learn things the first time, so I’ll say so again here - the Regime may be behind many of our problems, including anarcho-tyranny, but they cannot allow the situation to spiral out of control, either.
Yet it’s when the hand that feeds attempts to strike it down that it’s most likely to get bitten. I think this is what’s happened to Israel (they support Gaza economically and structurally). You’re not going to from enabling and abetting crime to telling them “Okay, fun’s over” and expect a dignified response. Expect blowback.
This has been a long segment, but I committed myself to a prediction, so here it is. It’s more difficult to be specific with this one and I don’t want to craft to definite in the midst of a fluid situation, but I’ll just say 2024 will be a wild ride. I think crisis, including a recession, will compound and the Biden administration will buckle, if not break, under the pressure. I believe disorder and unrest will reach uncomfortable, if not out-of-control, levels next year and the authorities will have no real answer for it.
It’ll be interesting to see what condition this country is in when we reach the elections. But around this time next year, I have a good feeling this country will appear to be, if not actually be, at the brink of civil war. Maybe we’ll see troops on the streets. I once saved these events for 2028, but I don’t know. The timeline keeps accelerating.
As Todd Sepulveda of Ready Your Future podcast likes to say, stay prepped and aware.
Open Mic Time
Okay, that went on much longer than I’d anticipated. Maybe I’m not suffering from crisis fatigue as much as I thought! So let me turn it over to you now, readers. What’s your reaction to recent events? Are you as fatigued by crisis as I am? You think I’ve been going off the deep end lately? If so, how about you make some predictions of your own?
UPDATE: I forgot to say - I’ll be updating this post regularly with select comments by readers in order to facilitate “Open Mic Night.” I hope you’ll check back regularly and, most of all I hope you participate. Otherwise, we can’t have any more open mic nights (just kidding).
Here’s the first comment from reader “Belte:”
I think there will likely be the rise of local strongmen candidates who promise to definitively take out the drug trade and soft on crime epidemics. I’m predicting governors in red states who will be much more militant (almost El Salvador tier). Then there will be a crisis period of any liberal federal government trying to stop them, but I think it will dissipate. I’m not sure we will reach civil war or just constant crime and vigilantism.
This is similar to what some other readers have said in reaction to earlier posts. Basically, a devolution will happen where state and local government officials gain more power as the federal government loses power and legitimacy. To the chagrin of many Americans, the U.S. isn’t a unitary state, but this is actually a good thing: having a single point of failure is generally undesirable in any system.
What comes afterwards may not necessarily be collapse of the union, but a new, weakened federal government, turning the country into something more akin to a confederation as opposed to a federation. According to some, this is the way America was always supposed to be.
Could they see the day?
Max Remington writes about armed conflict and prepping. Follow him on Twitter at @AgentMax90.
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