Eric Garland

Two Years After Game Theory: The Deluge and the Future

eric garland game theory

Two friends of mine live in the Los Angeles hills which were the site of disastrous  fires last month. They had to wake their daughter up in the middle of the night with bad news: she had to grab whichever belongings mattered most, because the fires were closing in. They needed to evacuate at once.

She screamed and sobbed in a mix of terror and grief. Her Mom set her straight. “We do not have time for this. You need to listen. Stop crying and focus.” The world is literally on fucking fire. Now, prioritize what you love, grab it, and let’s go. The grownups were no less scared than the daughter, but grownups take charge in a crisis.

Two years ago today, I jumped on Twitter and started writing my guts out because the world was on fire. Trump, a Putin-loving Mobster, was on the way to the Oval Office. Our national security leaders were warning us of the dangers. Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the NSA, publicly acknowledged that there was foreign interference in the 2016 election. When Trump’s team hinted at meeting early with Vladimir Putin – perhaps even relaxing sanctions – John McCain shouted them down. It was clear that our national defenders were not going to give this country to our enemies without a damn good fight.

You could barely hear this message over of the sounds of regular people wailing and the mainstream media idiocy about Wisconsin Buttery Males. People were, in person and online, caterwauling about how Obama should swoop in and save us. That Clinton had “just given up.” I finally went to cut through the noise.

It worked.

Preparing for the worst, and getting it

People were not wrong to be afraid of the worst on December 11, 2016. Shit was on fire. We had to save ourselves, grab what we wanted about this great country, and hold on tight, because things were about to get ugly. We had to focus. Our true leaders had to remain discreet as that pack of foreign-controlled Mobsters ascended to the highest positions of government. And they could do significant damage in a short period of time. The question was: could we get this country back from the grip of these villains?

We got the worst case scenario starting on inauguration day. Trump delivered an arrogant, anti-American address to a sparse crowd brazenly packed with Russian oligarchs and spies. Michael Flynn, Trump’s presumed national security adviser, stupidly whipped out his phone immediately following the ceremony to call a co-conspirator and blather about their plan to nuclearize the Middle East. Hostile foreign agents hob-knobbed in private galas like they now owned the place.

And then that gang of foreign-owned Mobsters followed through on what I feared most – trying to sledgehammer every American institution and value from the inside out. Stephen Bannon gleefully and incompetently stole the powers of the state to make every rancid piece of Breitbart agitprop into Executive Branch policy. His ban on re-entry from certain Muslim-majority countries turned our airports into chaotic scenes full of distraught family members and security guards and attorneys. The proposed ban on electronics on flights made people wonder if America could pull off business trips anymore. They even tried, by executive order, to remove the Intelligence Community and the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the National Security Council and replace them with Bannon and Idiot McSonInLaw, Jared Kushner. They led a blitzkrieg against the US Government, every act intending to weaken us in the face of our enemies, tantamount to treason.

Traitors, however, are also usually dumb

Two years on, you can tell it didn’t work out as well as they hoped. Their whole quickly welded-together Nazi Party collapsed almost as soon as it launched. It was barely a couple weeks before Michael Flynn suddenly resigned – and not to spend more time with family. He was replaced by Lt. General HR McMaster, America’s reigning expert in Russian hybrid warfare. From Washington, we waved cheerily across the Atlantic toward Moscow with that move. “Nice try, assholes. We’ll take care of Misha. McMaster will take care of you. He says to tell Valéry Gerasimov to get fucked!” 

From that moment on, every day has featured fresh and accelerating losses for the traitors. They continue to thrash about, still trying to eke out something that doesn’t resemble the current situation that ends with life in prison. It isn’t really working. They can’t really get anything done other than stupid tweets. Can’t take Obamacare apart, can’t get the UK to hate us, can’t get their Muslim ban through. Lacking any real power, their main weapons are misbehavior, propaganda, and using an incompetent if not totally complicit mainstream media to assist their cause. So these assholes leave Jewish people out of a Holocaust Memorial statement. Trump complains that the FBI investigates things and declares himself a better president than Lincoln and FDR combined. Key diplomatic positions go unfilled.

Yet, day by excruciating day, the genius system of American government has passed its hardest test with flying colors. Compromised lawmakers, judges, and even a fully malevolent executive branch have not been enough to jam up the wheels of justice. In fact, the harder you fight justice, the worse it gets. Fire Sally Yates, and she’ll be back to testify about your misdeeds. Fire Preet Bharara, and he’ll just get a cool podcast and sit back, watching his old US Attorney’s office at SDNY firehose out indictments and plea deals. Fire Jim Comey, and you’ll not only get steel-spined Rod Rosenstein commanding the traitors’ demise, but as a bonus, you’ll get an instant appearance from Robert S. Mueller III who then assembles the greatest amount of prosecutorial talent in history.

Meanwhile those prison-bound treason junkies threaten to ban Canada from playing hockey, or some such nonsense. They go to Saudi Arabia and fondle glowing orbs with the Bonesaw Mafia. Putin makes Trump look like a pathetic lackey in Helsinki. Republicans in Congress – when not being arrested or suddenly announcing a retirement the way nobody ever does – look increasingly desperate and irrational as the reality dawns on them: their complicity in this disaster will reveal itself in the form of campaign contributions and, potentially, videos of their nights spent with Maria Butina. 

We are just getting this party started. After this horror, the deluge.

Après Butina, le déluge

Here’s what comes next: a cascade of criminal and counterintelligence investigations revealing not just a single conspiracy, but a network of conspiracies designed to steal from honest, hardworking people and to capture liberal democracies. Each crime appears to connect almost always to other types of crime, and sometimes, to the hybrid political warfare operations of nations who have been covertly hostile to the West for years, if not decades. This cascade of justice has started with power players who connect nefarious acts around the globe. Paul Manafort’s crimes are not just broad reaching, they also go back decades. It’s the same for Michael Cohen. Mike Flynn’s treachery with Turkey and Russia will likely open up entire networks of traitor elements in the military and beyond. While currently unindicted, the same will be said of Erik Prince, but even moreso.

Then there are the state and local crimes. Missouri’s indicted ex-governor Eric Greitens connects to Trump. So does its Senator-elect, Josh Hawley, who connects to Pence, too. Shitbirds are in trouble coast to coast.

Each of the criminals has somebody else they can turn over to lessen their sentences. And so the prosecutions will expand. Their connection is their undoing. And they’ll all go down in the end. 

Building a more perfect future after all this

So two years on, we now face very new prospects. It’s true that major damage has been done to America. The damage to our reputation, our economy, separated families, and the sheer psychic damage done to anyone paying attention is very real. But we will heal. The power of these traitors to hurt us anymore has all but slipped away. My question is: what do we want to build to replace these networks of corruption that have for so long held us back? 

After having to brace ourselves for disaster, it can be frightening to let down our guards low enough that we can look toward the future. What I see is a world full of promise, so long as we commit ourselves to the work ahead. See, I think that when the alarm sounded about incoming destruction, Americans took with them the things they cherished most: truth, justice, liberty, love of country, love for their neighbors. If you think that too rose colored a view, I ask you to reflect on how much money and energy was spent on psychological operations designed to convince Americans that we had suddenly gone from electing the first African-American president twice, a nation that made marriage equality the law of the land, to a bunch Nazi-sympathizing, woman-hating lunatics faced off against a resurgence in Marxist revolutionaries. And ask yourself if your neighbors are that different, even after all that. I’m not denying that many, many have been radicalized, talk differently than they ever have before; we’ve almost all lost friends and family in this new kind of war. But it hasn’t broken us as a people. And the propaganda machine is about to be exposed, dismantled, and outlawed.

What then shall we build? America and her allies have all the resources, ingenuity, and drive to construct a more perfect future. Day by day, we can commit outselves to tell more truth, bring more malefactors to justice, pass laws that fit our modern reality, provide healthcare, educate young and old alike. We can heal this planet, heal our culture, and hand it off with pride to the next generation.

But before that was possible, we had to get through the last two years. IT SUCKED. 

It was worth it.