Sunday, August 28, 2016

Collapse Scenario: Trump Wins, but the Political Class Refuses to Recognize His Victory

This post is, right  now, just a piece of fiction. - a What If? scenario of events that could lead to the collapse of the United States as we know it. Think of it as a form of war gaming, imagining and planning for unlikely, but not impossible, events. I do not claim these events will unfold in this manner, and I certainly have no special knowledge of the future. But, for the first time in my life, a collapse of Constitutional rule in America is imaginable. 

[Note: If the mechanics of how the collapse may occur doesn't interest you, and you just want the bottom-line of what to do, you can skip the next two sections, and read the last section - My Takeaways, or What To Do...]

Trump Wins The Election

It is November, the Monday before the election. At this point, all polls show an extremely tight race, with most of them pointing to a victory by Hillary Clinton. But all polls, even those with Clinton winning, are within the margin of error. Despite this fact, most pundits in the media are confident of a Clinton victory on Tuesday.

Tuesday dawns, and voting begins. Despite the heated rhetoric of this election, voting is going smoothly almost everywhere. There are a few scattered anti-Trump and #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations, but these are all small and relatively peaceful, nothing more than some shouting and pushing. There is a report of a couple of bottles being thrown at police at one BLM demonstration, but no arrests were made.

Its 8pm. Voting ends in a number of east coast states. The press is eager to report the results, but they are slow to come in. Finally, the first two states are called - one for Clinton, one for Trump. No surprises. Then a couple of more states are called, both for Trump. A mild surprise, as Clinton was expected to eek out a narrow victory in both of those states. Then NC is called for Trump, where he wins by a comfortable 4-point margin.

Its 9pm.  More polls close, including the western counties in Florida. A few more states are called for Clinton. These are mostly small, northeastern states where she was expected to win. But the votes was surprising close. Then the shocker: Florida goes for Trump, and by a surprising 4-point margin. A couple of more states are called for Trump. Virginia goes Clinton, but by only a single percentage point. Clinton also wins New York, but by a razor-thin margin of less than one percentage point. 

Its 10pm. More polls close. More states are called, mostly for Trump. At this point, Trump has won all the states he was expected to, plus a few that Clinton was expected to win. He has also won both NC and FL. Panic is starting to set in at Clinton HQs, and at MSNBC. Pundits on every network appear shaken, but many are sticking to their Clinton Wins predictions, pointing to the fact that Pennsylvania still hasn't been called. The vote tally there is being incredibly slow in coming in, but Trump is holding on to a small lead.

Trump wins big in Texas. Ohio is called - Trump by 3 points.  Colorado is called. Clinton wins by less than 2,000 votes. The Trump campaign immediately calls for  recount. But it is starting to look like Trump will win even without Colorado.

Its 11pm. More polls close. Only Alaska and Hawaii remain open. Alaska is expected to go Trump, and Hawaii almost certainly will go Clinton. Several more states are called, all for Trump by narrow margins. Pennsylvania is finally called - Trump by 2 points. California goes Clinton, but by a surprisingly narrow 2 points. Another shocker: Oregon goes Trump.

11:25pm. Its over. Even if Trump loses the Colorado recount, he'll still win the election. Finally tally, after AK & HI go as expected, is Trump 317, Clinton 221.



Collapse Scenario - Political Class Refuses to Accept Trump Victory

Wednesday: Trump has stunned the Political Class by winning the election, and winning it by a big margin.  But the #NeverTrump crowd won't go away. Overnight and on the early morning shows, a number of pundits start speculating on other ways to deny Trump the White House, mostly centering on stopping him the the electoral college. Two Texas electors had already announced prior to the election that they wouldn't vote for Trump even if he won Texas. The #NeverTrump crowd hopes to convince/pressure other electors into doing the same.

9:20am. News breaks that officials in Pennsylvania are refusing to certify their election results, citing the need to investigate "slow returns" and other "irregularities."  Within the hour, rumors start spreading that several other states will hold up certifying their elections for similar vague reasons. By the end of the day, two other states in addition to PN will announce they won't certify.

10am: The DOJ announces an 11am news conference. Shortly after, Hillary Clinton "retracts" her concession speech, saying that "We must allow the legal process to work in full to protect th integrity of the election."

11am: The DOJ postpones its news conference to 1pm.

1:35pm: The DOJ news conference finally begins. AG Loretta Lynch announces that the DOJ is filing papers in Federal Court as she speaks, to overturn the election results in NC, because of "voting irregularities and civil rights violations." Lynch goes on to say that the DOJ is also investigating elections results in five other states, and may take action to overturn elections results in those additional states. She refuses to answer questions about the specifics of what the alleged violations actually are., and claims that it is "pure coincidence" that the DOJ is only investigating the election results of states won by Trump.

Later that afternoon, both Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan both give interviews saying that the American people should "trust the legal system" and that the "situation will be resolved fairly." Both men avoid taking a strong stand for either Trump or Clinton. Reince Priebus emerges from a late afternoon meeting with GOP leadership and announces his support of Donald Trump and decries the DOJ's attempts to interfere with the election, but goes on to say that the GOP is basically out of money after an expensive election and that Trump cannot expect much help with the coming legal battles.

4pm: Trump holds a press conference at which he blasts the attempts to steal the election from him. He accuses the #NeverTrump crowd, the Clinton campaign, the DOJ, and establishment Republicans of colluding together to deny him his victory. The mainstream media focuses on Trump's use of foul language at the press conference, and spins Trump's complaints as "paranoia and conspiracy theories." A number of MSNBC reporters speculate on-air that Trump may be having a "mental breakdown."

Over the coming weeks, the Trump campaign loses numerous legal battles as Federal judges, mostly Obama appointees, and many with ties to Clinton, rule against him with only little pretense of following established law.

The vote by the Electoral College is delayed due to the ongoing legal battles. Finally, the first case reaches the Supreme Court. In a shocking 5 to 3 decision, with Chief Justice Roberts inexplicably siding with the majority (a replay of the Obamacare decision), the Supreme Court upholds the overturning of the NC election. Justices Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy all write scathing dissents, but Thomas is especially critical not only of the majority decision, but of Chief Justice Roberts in particular as he carefully points out the many points of intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy of Roberts. This leads to Roberts publicly attacking Thomas' intellect in a rare interview given to CNN. In turn, Thomas suggets that Roberts' inexplicable rulings in both the Obamacare case, and in overturning NC's election results, can only be explained by either bribery or blackmail. This public feud between Roberts and Thomas ends within days with thee resignation of Thomas from the Supreme Court, leaving Alito as the only true conservative, and Kennedy as the only honest moderate, on the Court. All future Supreme Court decisions regarding the 2016 election will end 5 to 2 against Trump.

Ultimately, it is decided (unconstitutionally) that the Electoral College cannot be held, and that the election must be decided in the House of Representatives. At this point, Trump has neither the influence nor the money continue to battle the Establishment. It goes to the House.

During this time, Hillary Clinton remains generally unpopular with the American people, who overwhelmingly still don't trust her. She also has a couple of "incidents" which once again bring her deteriorating health to public attention. Several House leaders on both sides suggest that they are not bound to choose between the candidates that ran, but my choose anyone as the next President. A number of Republican and Democratic politicians began jockeying for position as alternatives to Clinton & Trump. It gets quite ugly. It also quickly becomes apparent that whoever the next President will be, it won't be Trump or Clinton.

Obama announces that, since the House will be unable to vote for the President before Inauguration Day, he will remain in office until such time as a suitable President is elected by the House. He also seems to imply that if he does not approve of the one chosen as his replacement, he might refuse to accept that person, and sue in Federal Court to reject whoever the House elects. And since Obama loyalists run both the DOJ and the Supreme Court at this point, and with Congress in complete disarray, there will be no chance to stop an Obama power grab should he attempt to do so. 

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During all this, there will be chaos, and even violence. Angry Trump supporters will protest. Anti-Trump folks will demonstrate. #BlackLivesMatter will march in the streets. And the usual assortment of anarchists and malcontents will take advantage of the unrest to brew more unrest. In some places violence will occur - rocks will be thrown, police attacked, stores looted, neighborhoods burned. Even though virtually all the violence will come from the Left, Trump and his supporters will receive the majority of the blame in the media and among the political class. 

The civil unrest and the political uncertainty will cause financial markets to tank. Lending will grind to a halt much like it did in 2008. The economy, already precariously balanced, will fall into another deep recession. Large-scale lay-offs and downsizing will return. A distracted and deeply divided congress will be unable to act this time (actually, probably a good thing in the long run), adding to the uncertainty and chaos affecting the markets. The GOP controlled congress will be blamed by Obama and the media. The Fed will act but cutting interest rates, eventually going into negative rates. This will disproportionately hurt savers such as retirees and others on a fixed income.  The dollar will decline, but not as sharply as some might expect, at least not at first. Later on it may be a different story. Inflation will become an even bigger problem for the average American.

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August, 2017.  Congress is in shambles. The House has failed to elect a new President. The Supreme Court remains hampered with two vacancies. Obama remains in office, and remains relatively popular with about a 50% approval rating, perhaps because he seems like the only steady hand in a government that otherwise has completely fallen apart.

Tues, August 22. 9pm. In a televised speech from the Oval Office, Obama, sounding quite heart-weary, announces his decision. Due to the incompetence of Congress (which he manages to squarely blame on the GOP), and the ineffectiveness of a short-handed Supreme Court (which he again squarly blames on the GOP), he has only once choice. The government of the United States under the current Constitution must be disbanded. Both Congress and the Supreme Court are dismissed from service. A new Constitution, to be drawn up by a select committee that Obama himself will appoint, will go into effect in two years time. Until then, Obama will remain in office and the executive branch under him will assume the responsibilities of the other branches. AG Loretta Lynch will decide all cases that previously would have gone to the Supreme Court. And Obama himself will issue any new laws needed by executive order.

First, the chaos was blamed on Trump. And the press and the #NeverTrump crowd dutifully supported that narrative.

Then, Obama began blaming the GOP in general, not just Trump. He pointed to Congress' failure to appoint a Supreme Court Justice to replace Scalia after his death. He blamed Thomas for his "temper-tantrm" and resignation. He blamed Congressional Republicans for refusing to work with him. The  press dutifully supported placing the blame on the GOP. And, by this point, the #NeverTrump crowd had become utterly unimportant.

Finally, in a master stroke, Obama blamed the "Old Order," "backwards values and traditions," and the "outdated" Constitution for America's chaos. The press dutifully reported it as so. And the American people, dumbed-down, sacred by the chaos,  and desperate for some stability, buy it.

Most Americans are glad, at this point, that somebody is finally taking charge, and doing what is "necessary"to restore order and safety. Polls show that the Obama Plan to create a new government has nearly a 65% approval rating.

My Take-Aways, or What To Do...

 1- I believe that the time period from now until Inauguration Day is an especially perilous time for America, regardless of the outcome of the election. Be especially vigilant during this period. Pay attention to the news. Watch the actions of the political class. Think though what they say, and what they don't say. Read between the lines. Don't trust the media to report honestly. Be skeptical. Investigate for yourself. Use commonsense. And THINK for yourself.

2- Expect civil unrest and violence, regardless of how the election goes. Expect a LOT of civil unrest and violence should Trump win. The best response to civil unrest and violence is to avoid it, if at all possible. It could happen anywhere, of course, but the most likely targets will be big cities, especially inner cities & economically distressed areas, political centers, college campuses, etc. Stay out of, and far away from, bad neighborhoods.  

3- Practice situational awareness (pay attention to your surroundings). Be wary of people who look out-of-place, are loitering, or who act nervous. If and when you do go out, try to go out in groups. Avoid bad areas of town. Let people know where you're going and when you'll be back. Park in a highly visible, well-light location near the entrance to minimize chances of ambush & muggings. Don't make yourself a target by wearing expensive, flashy clothes & accessories, or driving an expensive car. Don't make yourself a target by appearing easy-prey - wear practical clothes, walk confidently, head up. Before getting out of a car or walking out of a building, look out a window first to identify possible dangers. Make sure you phone is fully charged at all times. Don't get so involved with your smart phone or I-Pod that you ignore your surroundings. Always be alert.

4- Pay attention to the local news, and be prepared to stay home (Bug-In) if things in your area get chaotic or violent (avoid unnecessary trips to the store, stay home from work and/or school). This means having a store of food, water, and other supplies (such as any medications you take) to last you at least a week, and preferably two or three weeks (pr more), without leaving your home.

5- Depending on your location and what's happening around you, it may become necessary to bug-out at some point, so make sure you're ready for that possibility. Know where you might go. Actually, know at least to places. And know how to get there (at least two routes to each place). Make a Bug-Out Bag packed and ready to go at a moments notice. Make sure your bug-out vehicle is in good running order and is gassed-up at all times. I recommend never letting your gas tank drop below two-thirds full before filling up. Have some additional gas on-hand, stored safely in containers intended to store gas (I personally have five 5-gallon gas cans safely stored on my property, and I rotate the gas every few months).

6- In a Hillary Clinton administration (or any stolen election scenario), expect guns to be targeted quickly and completely. The Left doesn't just want "commonsense gun control," their end-game is full-blown gun confiscation. The chaos of a stolen election would provide plenty of excuses and opportunities to do so. And a Supreme Court that flips Leftist with the next appointment would allow the gutting of the Second Amendment. Get your guns and ammo now, while you can.

7- The chaos and uncertainty of a contested election, especially one that drags on for months, will tip our economy back into another deep recession. Think fall 2008/early 2009 again, maybe worse. Begin preparing now for mass lay-offs and other financial problems. See my Financial Prepping article for extensive information on preparing financially. Also see my article What To Do Before Losing Your Job.

8- Precious metals - gold, silver, and even copper - will rise steadily, quickly reaching their historic highs and beyond. Lead, in the form of ammunition, will also be a precious metal. Precious metals should be part of your plans if you can afford them, but never at the expensive of making more basic preparations (food, water, etc.).

I don't know if a stolen election will actually happen. I do believe there is at least a possibility given current realities, and I don't think Americans are ready for what all that will mean if it does happen. Pray that it doesn't. Prepare in case it does. Stay vigilant.
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Want a short, bare-bones guide to prepping? Read my article A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End

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