By Nathan Barton
In Part 1, a friend postulated just how things can really go wrong in the 2016 presidential election (the every-four-years vote for Massa), and its aftermath.
But the real question is, “What do we do if something like this really does happen?” We’ve seen things like that in places in Latin America, Africa, and even Russia. We are often fearful, not just about our freedoms and liberties, but our family’s very lives, our means of support, and much else.
In recent weeks, it appears that there may be an actual 3-way national race, with Clinton, Trump, and Johnson (with Stein a very distant 4th) stomping around the country. The poll numbers go up and down, but we are seeing things in 2016 that haven’t been seen before: the internal fractures in all three leading parties are glaring.
Anything could happen, especially when we throw in elements of terrorism (both by the states and other actors) and economics. Life is interesting, and doesn’t seem apt to change quickly. (But it just might! ML)
So if things really DO go downhill as my friend suggested, and Election 2016 is the precursor to Civil War 2017 (or even a Second War Between the States), what should we do now?
Here are some thoughts.
1. Don’t panic. Yeah, those bright red letters on that first e-book (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). But still good advice. Remember, just because things fall apart in Florida or Maryland or Los Angeles, doesn’t mean that things are a complete disaster in Custer City, Black Hills; Monticello, Utah (Deseret); or even Greybull, Wyoming (plug for Mama Liberty’s new novella: think she is being pessimistic, though, about things in Greybull). Even a EMP Nuke over Kansas City doesn’t necessarily mean that the power goes out in Rapid City or Cody or Farmington.
2. At the same time, think SERIOUSLY about where you should be living. Cities are bad for you. Even cities that are “America’s Best” like Sioux Falls or Colorado Springs or Wichita Falls. And especially cities that are in the big megalopoli, like Bos-Wash or the East Texas Triangle or San-San. But I’d stay away from anything greater than 85,000 or so, and maybe even 50,000. Even being too close to places like Rapid City or Casper or Billings or Grand Junction is something to be planned for carefully.
Too small isn’t always good, either: there is not much hope for places like Kit Carson (East Central Colorado) or Bridgeport (Nebraska Panhandle) or Blanding (Extreme SE Utah) if things go bad: you need to have enough people to keep things going and enough resources to do it with.
Traffic patterns and distances are important, too. Being a hundred miles away from a city isn’t far enough if you are right on the Interstate: being 50 miles from that same city if you are up in a nice mountain valley with a single or two entry points might be. Being someplace where they grow food (whether it is beef or wheat or corn or fruit) is really good, if it isn’t too close to a core of contagion.
And of course, attitude of the people is important. I’d much rather be in Yuma, Colorado than Kit Carson, because of roads and people: I know the people of Yuma aren’t going to give up: the people of Kit Carson already seem to have, and they are right on a highroad from Denver to Amarillo.
3. Know your limits. If you have significant health problems or physical restrictions, don’t think about that cabin 20 miles up the creek from Gunnison or halfway between Arboles and Taos. If you have family that needs that, it doesn’t mean you have to be twenty miles from the nearest VA or regional health center, either. Look for and find compromises, and remember to plan ahead. Same thing when it comes to skills: all that nitrogen-packed seed corn and peas and carrots don’t do you a bit of good if you haven’t grown anything since that marigold in 5th grade.
4. Don’t concentrate on survival: concentrate on thriving. We can go too much to the backwoods nature, but we don’t have to. Seek out people who think like you, get them together. And talk and plan and share. Don’t trust anyone TOO much, and don’t be unhappy when you are disappointed that someone is a scumbag. But this is NOT Farnham’s Freehold, folks. Nor is it the fall of the Roman Empire where most of the place is already occupied by the barbarians. We have the ability, the technology, to KEEP a lot of the technology, and the QUALITY of life that we have today.
Yeah, no more reality television (Well, I can hope, right?) and maybe not even bananas and oranges or Ruby-red grapefruit, and maybe not even plastic wrap (at first), but it doesn’t mean falling back to a society and a skill level where all we have is a wood fire to keep the house right at freezing (or a bit below) at night in the winter, and don’t have enough water to take a bath more than twice a year. So when you buy things, think about saving them and repairing them, and using them to replace what is NOT necessarily available (for a short time) in WalMart or Krogers.
Mama’s Note: Repairing things would be wonderful… but it doesn’t seem at all possible most of the time these days. Things are not made to BE repairable, and there’s almost nobody left who even knows how, even if they are. Most things are not even made to be truly cleanable, a pet peeve of mine for more than 20 years.
5. Learn things, learn people. When things go bad in Denver or Omaha or Albuquerque or even Billings or Casper or Farmington or Sioux Falls, the parasites there will flee, and where they flee is where ever their perverted minds think they can find food, loot, and rapine. Learn to recognize signs of danger, learn to listen for what is NOT said on the news, what is NOT talked about with the morning coffee. And especially learn to read people: strangers. KNOW what a typical inner-city man (OR woman) is likely to wear, say/speak, and do. Recognize them as both opportunity (new friends and allies) AND danger (threats).
One of the great strengths of America is how we have mixed things up for centuries; how we have learned from each other. That will not stop. It is more than just learning to shoot, learning to fix a tool, learning to plant and grow something. It is learning to learn. Learning to teach. Learning to recognize and take advantage of the good and bad side of events. For example, many western rural and frontier areas have many absentee landowners: often owning very large, resource-filled holdings. Usually they also have local caretakers, who are often friends and trusted associates. But knowing those local folks and being aware of the resources is an important piece of information.
More, in Part 3.