In August 2020, New Black Nationalists' (NBN) plussed-up its Crisis Theory analysis predicting systemic vulnerabilities and institutional decay would collapse the U.S. government before the decade ended. The coda stated Donald Trump was fomenting civil war, fabricating chaos, and weaponizing disinformation about elections fraud to destabilize the country. In effect, he was accelerating the timetable to induce an existential governance crisis. Five months later, it happened.
On January 6, 2021, Trump's seditious forces assaulted the U.S. Capitol to install him as a white nationalist autocratic ruler. The sprawling conspiracy involving the U.S. military, both Congressional chambers, the Secret Service, GOP state legislatures, the Republican National Committee, conservative cable outlets, and a Supreme Court Justice's wife, nearly succeeded. That meant one thing: Trump would try again.
Trump's social media platforms were repositioned. Voter restriction laws were passed in eighteen states. Of the 370 election deniers enlisted to run in the 2022 midterms for state and federal offices, 156 won. The courts were cluttered with cases arguing for expanded states' rights. This was the furniture of an American Apartheid project to retake power in 2024.
But the momentum of Trump's project hit a speedbump. The vaunted Red Wave failed to make landfall in the 2022 midterms. Republican election denier defeats in critical Governor, Senate, and Secretary of State races, and a razor thin GOP House majority, generated widespread talking points by Democrats that the midterms marked the triumph of democracy [corporately managed] over authoritarianism. The midterms, they insisted, also signaled a repudiation of Trumpism. New Black Nationalists reject those claims root and branch.
As we enter 2023, the Fort Lauderdale Memo [FLM] reaffirms Crisis Theory's predictive model. From our perspective, the failed Capitol Coup, the midterm election stalemate, Trump's announcement to run in 2024, and his likely prosecution by the Justice Department exacerbates the antagonisms and increases the prospect of an existential crisis erupting in the 2020s.
Further, FLM contends the Capitol Coup marked the beginning of a protracted war by Trump loyalists, a reconstituted semi-fascist Republican Party, and white nationalist militias to seize power by extra-constitutional measures. In our view, the Trump-inspired regime change project can only end in one of three ways:
1) The Republican presidential candidate wins a clean election, stolen election, or is installed by an intervention of the Supreme Court.
2) The Republican presidential candidate is defeated in the 2024 elections and an attempted coup or insurrection is eventually militarily crushed by a Democrat Party controlled administration or coalition of anti-authoritarian forces.
3) Rather than accept the election results of a Democrat winning the 2024 presidential race, a group of Red State Governors or Republican-dominated state legislatures decide to secede from the U.S. government. Either a bloody and extended civil war ensues or negotiations over a voluntary National Divorce separation is convened.
Whether the American Apartheid project is Trump-led or not, it persists as an existential threat to the Black Commons that must be derailed. Defeating the GOP presidential candidate in 2024 denies Republicans control over coercive federal emergency powers, the U.S. military, the FBI, deep state intelligence services, the Justice and Homeland Security Departments. Bolting the Oval Office door to Republicans also creates breathing room for the Black Commons to develop a strategy to maneuver with agency and independence in a three-dimensional battlespace.
The Fort Lauderdale Memo asserts that variants of the Trump-inspired American Apartheid project are advancing along multiple tracks, thus thwarting it will require a multi-faceted and flexible response. The January 6 coup didn't contradict NBN's model of an existential crisis imploding the government in the 2020s: it expanded our theory with contingency and context. At the same time, it exposed some of the gaps and weaknesses of our analytics.
What's needed going forward is a more dynamic and nuanced analysis of the post-January 6 pre-revolutionary environment we live in. Understanding the intersection between the American Apartheid project and American Empire's strategic vulnerabilities is vital to assessing the best strategies to defeat an autocratic seizure of power and convert the crisis into creating a Black-led nation-state. As Crisis Theory posited,
"The strategic vulnerabilities of American Empire are multiple and interlocking, i.e., wars, economic crisis, pandemics, cyber-attacks, catastrophic climate change, a racial conflagration, biological warfare, political gridlock, and imperial overreach. Disbelief in the possibility that American Empire could suddenly collapse in a month, or a week is the strategic blind spot that inhibits movement radicals and the masses from envisioning revolutionary possibilities on the horizon."
In 2020, we saw what happens when a strategic vulnerability of American Empire erupts and intersects with the government's institutional rot. The speed and volatility of the COVID- 19 pandemic that surfaced in January nearly broke the back of the U.S. health care system by April. Mass death was visited on the population. Large sections of the national economy were virtually shut down, and the country was culturally divided on the life and death medical issues of masking and vaccinations.
The pandemic also opened the door to the largest demonstrations in American history after George Floyd's public execution. The unprecedented BLM 2.0 protests rattled Trump, who leveraged the unrest to dispatch "federalized" troops to cities designated by Attorney General Bill Barr as "Anarchist Jurisdictions." The BLM 2.0 protests were the pretext for Trump to prep the environment and conduct a dry run for invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807. According to the January 6 Select Committee Final Report, two days before the January 6 assault, Trump suggested 10,000 National Guard troops could provide protection for him and an entourage he would accompany to the Capitol. That suggestion was never acted on.
The coup that normalized violence and insurrection as acceptable means to capture political power placed America on new political trajectory not seen since the Civil War in the 1860s. Moving forward in the 2020s, the Fort Lauderdale Memo envisions four emerging trends the Black Commons must intellectually grapple with and politically negotiate that are novel to our post-modern political experience.
1) The transformation of the Republican Party into semi-fascist party with a military wing committed to overthrowing the U.S. government.
The anti-big government, low taxes, pro-business, family values, global democracy spreading Republican Party is dead. It will never return because there is no political market for it. Indeed, Trump's base rebelled against it. Moreover, Trump continues to police the Republican elected officials with the MAGA mob. Like green soldiers fleeing the front lines in their first fire fight, elected Republicans that turn away from Trump come face-to-face with the firing squad he placed in the rear to shoot deserters.
Since Trump left the White House, movement conservatives and a few party office holders have tried to rebrand the GOP as somewhere between Vladimir Putin and Barry Goldwater. What seems to be emerging is a Ron DeSantis-based version of Orbanism. But like the Hungarian autocrat, Orbanism is another variant of authoritarian white nationalism.
Republican Orbanist Semi-Fascism now embraces big government because they need the state's repressive machinery to smash the "woke left." Rachel Bovard, the senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute: “Wokism is not a fever that will pass but a cancer that must be eradicated. And the free market won’t do it.” In this new reality, the only institution with the power to contend with and conquer the Woke Industrial Complex is the government of the United States.”
The Orbanist GOP isn't warm and fuzzy with big business. They are attacking "woke corporations" that weighed in on "Take a Knee" and Black Lives Matter. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's war on Disney that stripped their tax credits and special zoning perks for criticizing his anti-LGBTQ "Don't Say Gay" initiatives is wildly popular. Unlike the old hawkish Cold War Republicans the Orbanist wing are Russia apologists and NATO sceptics and want to close the checkbook on Ukraine. The ideological struggle against the left is no longer a battlespace in the market of ideas, it's banning books and curriculum. The left isn't wrong or misguided, they are enemies of the state.
Nevertheless, Orbanism remains a variant of big-Trumpism. After announcing his presidential candidacy for 2024 and saying elections fraud in 2020, calls for terminating "the rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump continues to push the Republican Party to the most extreme positions. At the same time, he is threatening to split by party by running as an independent. In America's historical two-party system, the collapse of one of the major party's typically spells disaster. We may be seeing a repeat of the sudden disintegration and disappearance of the Whig Party in 1854, that led to the creation of Republican Party's and the Civil War in 1861.
2) The rise of a genuine populist movement.
For the first time since the 1890's when William Jennings Bryan came out of nowhere to win the Democrat Party nomination, a mass populist movement has upended America's body politic. Bryan championed the cause of the nation's majority of poor farmers being ground into the dirt by eastern bankers and railroad barons.
Trump's base wasn't transformed from bigots hostile to immigrants and multi-racial Others to rabid white nationalists supporting anti-government coups overnight. They were lesser educated Republican and Democrat white workers who finally figured out they were pawns of both party's elites, banks, and mega corporations that outsourced their jobs to Third World countries. They also deeply resented being depicted as ignorant bumpkins by academics, intellectuals, the media, and Hollywood.
Historically, virtually every populist movement is comprised of societies' majority, like America's moderate and lower-income whites in 'flyover country'. As the majority, populists feel they have a democratic right to rule. They believe their culture, ideals, and experiences are the authentic expressions of their society's virtue. Oddly enough, however, populists rarely have a defined political agenda or ideology. The one thing populists believe in is removing elites from power. On this point, they are unwilling to negotiate.
Fearful of the Browning of America, Trump is their uncompromising champion of the Kingdom of White Ethnography who is bringing elite politicians and uppity bi-coastal intellectuals to heel. This in-part explains why Trump's base support him no matter what he says or does, including putting their lives at risk by not getting vaccinated or masking during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lacking an ideology of their own, they hitched their star to Trump's sub-ideological MAGA movement with all its post-truth, alternative realities and conspiracy theories. It also explains why they are likely to remain a solid base for an authoritarian white nationalist movement for some years to come. For our part, we lacked a more developed understanding of populism and its tendencies. As a consequence, NBN mechanically conflated right-wing populism with white nationalism.
3. The Extreme Supreme Court
Since Amy Coney Barrett joined the Supreme Court on August 27, 2020, to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's seat, conservatives have enjoyed a 6-3 majority. It was only a matter time before the impact of their hard right ideological bent would be felt. Four of the six conservatives are Catholic (Roberts, Alito, Cavanaugh, and Coney Barrett) while Justice Neil Gorsuch grew up an altar boy before becoming an Episcopalian.
The Court's majority opinion in Dobbs v Jackson, deferring women's reproductive rights to the states and reversing fifty years of precedent under Roe v Wade, bore the hallmarks of a Catholic Ecumenical Council. The conservative crusaders view that life begins at conception is a profoundly religious position, not a legal one.
The Supreme Court majority's willingness to look at reversing gay rights and same sex marriage suggest they are widening the aperture of their ideological lens. The Dobbs decision robbing women of their autonomy and making their bodies essentially property of the state is already reconfiguring the alignment of political coalitions with long-term ramifications.
In the spring of 2023, the Supreme Court is also likely to render it final opinion on Moore v Harper concerning Independent State Legislature Theory. The case turns on whether state legislatures alone are empowered by the Constitution to regulate federal elections without oversight from state courts. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the petitioners, the power and authority to regulate federal elections would become more concentrated in state legislatures, and with the federal judiciary in the event of appellate review.
Even conservative jurist J. Michael Luttig has argued the Independent State Legislature Theory in Moore v Harper, represents “the most important case for American democracy in the almost two and a half centuries since America’s founding,” and cautioned that the theory is a key part of “the Republican blueprint to steal the 2024 election.”
Landmark Supreme Court decisions that radically shift the political environment are hardly a new phenomenon. The Dred Scott Decision fueled tensions leading to the Civil War, just as Brown v The Board was a force multiplier uncorking the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s. What is extraordinary about today's Supreme Court is its intensely ideological and religious beliefs that are leading to decisions that the overwhelming majority of the country oppose. At the same time their opinions are deepening the partisan divide in a country teetering on the precipice of civil war. With an unprecedented approval rating of only 25%, the Supreme Court's legitimacy has never been held in such low esteem.
The case of Moore v Harper underscores how a handful of unelected ultra-conservative ideologues with lifetime appointments is now a vector speeding the collapse the government and constitution they swore to uphold.
4) The creation of a new political coalition of multi-racial Democrats, pro-reproductive rights educated suburban middle-class white women, social moderates, constitutionalists, and national security Republicans.
Just as Newton's Third Law of Motion holds that "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction," Donald Trump's rise as a white nationalist autocratic has given rise to a new pro-democracy voting coalition. The pro-democracy coalition has held the center for two consecutive elections against further lurches toward the autocratic abyss.
Trump's white nationalist project has driven new elements into the Democrat Party with its unwieldy multi-racial base. Independents and some Republicans have been pulled into the Dems gravitational force field and continue circle around their orbit. The transformation of the Republican Party into a semi-fascists' organism has repelled socially moderate, more educated suburban white women, constitutionalist Republicans invested in the proposition nation ideal, and neo-cons wedded to a muscular national security posture. Many of them now find themselves wandering around the Democrat Party's enlarged tent wondering how they got there.
As our analysis projects a substantial section of MAGA-STAN and pro-sedition Republicans will continue to move further to the right, embracing more extreme and violent positions, the Democrat led- pro-democracy coalition could solidify. Like the Republican Party of the 1850s that advocated no expansion of slavery in the new Western territories, Lincoln's base absorbed the abolitionist movement to their left and a hefty swath of the Know-Nothing movement to their right.
As Black Democrats are the most powerful section and coherent voting block within the Democrat Party, how the Black Commons influences this more diverse pro-democracy coalition that stretches to the center and right is critical in two respects.
The 2024 Elections
As we articulated earlier, defeating the Republican presidential nominee in the 2024 general elections is paramount to temporarily derailing the Trump-inspired American Apartheid project.
Although New Black Nationalists have no interest in saving American Empire's "corporately managed democracy," we have entered a pre-revolutionary period in which tactical adjustments must be made. As a practical matter, our assessment is that the Biden-Harris is too weak and dated to take down Ron DeSantis or Trump if he announces ahead of time he is running with Kari Lake.
As an alternative we recommended a draft effort to encourage former Ohio Representative Tim Ryan to run for president, and California Representative and Chair of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, Nanette Diaz Barragan to join Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. The danger here is obvious. How can one expect a large Black voter turnout without a Black on the national ticket. Admittedly, it's a risk, but frankly speaking there is little enthusiasm for another Biden term in the Black community.
We won't repeat the analysis here that is provided in the call for the draft effort, except to say that Ryan is far stronger in the Midwest corridor than most candidates, and Diaz Barragan can be decisive in bringing in the Hispanic swing vote in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Virginia, that are battleground states. As a team, Ryan can hold the center, pro-democracy independents, and former Republicans. Barragan is a practical progressive with receipts on environmental issues, border security, and immigration.
There may be no shortage of arguments against the proposed ticket. We get that. But for those who disagree, give us a better suggestion and make the case. What we can't do is sit back and wait for things to somehow work out. Nor can the Congressional Black Caucus be relied on to buck against Biden.
Preparing for Self-Determination and a Black-led National Polity
If the Democrat Party-led pro-democracy coalition congeals, it will approximate the same alignment of forces Black Nationalists and the Black Commons must persuade to support or be neutral to our demand for self-determination and creating a Black-led nation-state.
Our goal is not to save American Empire, or its corporately managed democracy, or a substantial segment of whites from themselves. This should be made clear to all. The alliances we form are based on respect and mutual interests. Black Nationalists and its supporters seek exit and independence as the price for our support to defeat the Trump-inspired white nationalist project.
New Black Nationalists have no problem with the majority of Blacks who may want to remain in a pro-U.S. democracy style government in league with Democrats and other groups. That is what self-determination is for: exercising choice. But there are many in the Black Commons who are done with the American Experiment and know we can create a far better society--one we design and that vibrates to our unique cosmos.
Increasingly new opportunities are opening up for Black Nationalists to broaden our influence first and foremost among the Black Commons but wider audiences as well. California Assembly Bill 3121 establishing a Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans is a major undertaking with the scale and scope to foreshadow a national reparations package.
As Black Nationalists like the Republic of New Africa in 1968, linked reparations to the demand for self-determination and land, NBN is linking a national reparations settlement to the emerging National Divorce discussions that seek to avoid a bloody civil war in favor of voluntary dissolution and partition of American Empire.
NBN has entered the National Divorce debate to divert the discussion from the dissolution of American Empire into binary Red States and Blue States, to include the creation of a Black nation-state, autonomous regions and independent city-states. We urge our readers to review our articles on National Divorce.
A Final Thought
It's an understatement to say that the challenges confronting the Black Commons in the run up to the 2024 elections are daunting. After everything the Black Commons has historically endured, to re-fight battles for voting rights won in the 1960s, or to suffer race-based massacres in Black communities like Buffalo can overwhelm you with a sense of 'ethnic fatigue' and frustration.
But the reality is that the Black Commons is as strong now as we have ever been. Those who have made themselves our adversaries seeking to control our destiny are weaker than they have ever been. America is confronting a reckoning that can no longer be avoided in the 2020's--one that will present newfound opportunities for the Black Commons to redefine what freedom and liberation looks like and means.
In the grand scheme of unfolding developments, it needs to be said that the Black Commons and Black Nationalists are lagging slightly behind the pace of events. The 2017 Battle of Charlottesville marked the turning point in which Trump, the Republican Party, and white nationalist militias unified behind a project to permanently seize the reins of government by any means at their disposal. Since then, they have been on the offensive, dictating the time and place of battle, and the choice of weapons.
At some point between now and 2024, we must pivot and turn the tide. To assist in the Black Commons, process the twist and turns of the quickening revolutionary situation, in 2021 we launched two new sections of the website: 2024 Trump
Coup Watch and the Civil War Diaries.
That said, the Black Commons is ready for what lies ahead. Difficult questions have to be answered. Weighty actions must be undertaken. Certain risks have to be assumed. New Black Nationalists are supremely confident the Black Commons is ready to meet the moment.