Slowly, Then All at Once by James Howard Kunstler
You can start to wonder what, if anything, will be left standing of the life we once called “modern” when Christmas 2021 rolls around. Shopping? Motoring? Working? Mingling? Eating? Sleeping? Waking…? Suddenly, everything is coming apart.
The supply lines are wobbling and many will go down. No stuff, no parts, before long, no food. Energy supplies are shaky everywhere. China’s electric grid is going dark from insufficient coal. Russia lacks the surplus NatGas to keep Western Europe warm. Global shortages drive up US oil and gas prices while people lose jobs and incomes over vaccine mandates — meaning families will freeze as the daylight dwindles. “Joe Biden’s” dark winter is coming on fast.
Ol’ White Joe might be going soon, too, before his vaunted dark winter even arrives. Guess what’s on his schedule this Monday morning. Answer: an airplane ride from Wilmington to Washington, some remarks at 11:15 about the debt ceiling, and then… nothing. Calling “a lid” on the day. The “president’s” mental mojo has sunk so low that his handlers won’t allow him to gab freely with the Democratic Party’s congressional caucus. They hustled him out of the room on Capitol Hill last week after he attempted a pep-talk to that posse in their deranged effort to pass a $3.5-trillion “social safety net” package that is just a giveaway to ward-heelers in “blue” cities.
But then, who can imagine Kamala Harris in the Oval Office? Surely not Kamala herself, who has been cringing out-of-sight for weeks as the situation worsens. No more trips to Texas to pretend to care about the foreign invasion at the Mexican border that she was assigned to manage. No more anything for Ms. Harris, except hunkering down in the old naval observatory in a paralysis of anxiety and nausea. Do they dare even letting her pretend to head the executive branch? Or does she just resign in tandem with Ol’ White Joe, propelling Nancy Pelosi into the job? That will light up our dark winter, won’t it?
The daunting fact is that the country is leaderless, and at quite a bad time. But the vacuum will be filled, sure enough, and perhaps by means that America has not seen before: an unscheduled transfer of power. And to whom? There has been an awful lot of chatter on the down-low about one Donald Trump having engineered a setup in late 2020 whereby he used the continuity-of-government provisions to declare that year’s election invalid and clear a path through the legal minefields to resume governing. Sounds wild. Sounds kind of like the political back-story of my own novels… but need you be reminded again that life imitates art? Gives me the creeps, I confess.
Meanwhile, the country is too busy committing suicide by Covid-19. The stupid vaccine mandates guarantee the loss of hospital services and the failure of medical care generally as nurses, technicians, doctors, and even the cleaning crew peel away from their jobs. Ditto, public education… and just about everything else, really, where employment is conditioned on getting vaxed. A lot of ordinary people have weighed the costs and benefits and have decided to opt out. No thank you on blood clots and a premature death. Help wanted signs are plastered everywhere and no help is on the way. For many businesses, no parts or raw materials are on the way either. The truckers don’t want the vax.