Politics are over in America.  Political maneuvering will go on, of course, but the old civics-class view of American political life was based on a set of assumptions that are no longer operative.

America was once far more homogenous than she is today.  But the passing of the 1965 Immigration Act and the political and social revolution of the New Left changed the country demographically and culturally.  The old America of regional cultures was about as diverse a polity as could be while remaining stable.  America, with her Anglo-Saxon political heritage, was a country with a considerable reserve of “social capital” and public trust.  It was understood that a loss at election time was not an existential crisis (the election of 1860 notwithstanding).  Politics were not zero sum.

That is no longer true.  And this means the old politics, which had been hollowed out over a period of decades, are largely a thing of the past.

Politics no longer are concerned with mere policy—which can be bargained over within a procedural framework that once included shared cultural assumptions.  Now politicians debate the most fundamental moral and social issues of society and culture, including the legitimacy of the American polity as such, the value of human life, even the definitions of gender, sex, and marriage.  Tax policy and healthcare policy are the sorts of things that can conceivably be worked out in committee.  Fundamental disagreements over the foundational elements of civilization cannot.

Yes, there will be elections, and they may be worth voting in, but the disaster has already happened.  The Orange Man’s MAGA Show looks to be winding down after a somnambulant Donald Trump signed a spending bill that apparently undercuts any efforts to control our southern border.  The signal having been given, that border is now seeing levels of illegal immigration not experienced in years.  Forgive the cliché, but demography is, in fact, destiny, and Trump, in a bizarre display of bluster coupled with ignorance, seems to have frittered away what was likely our last chance to salvage the train wreck that is today’s U.S.A. by means of our moribund political system.  It was nice while it lasted.

Call them The Swamp or the Deep State, or what have you—the People Who Matter have worked hard at showing us that, despite Middle America’s naive faith in “our democracy,” they will do what they will, whatever the results of national elections may be.  Globalism is their aim, and they mean to achieve that aim come what may.  Middle America bet on a long shot, hoping to salvage our withered republic by electing Donald Trump, and he was, to the horror of complacent and overconfident Swamp denizens, miraculously elected, but the former reality-TV star proved to be an easy mark for the Swampsters and their executive arm in the Deep State.  It would have been a close call even if Trump had been competent, of course, but the Donald did not show up when he was most needed, and appears to have handed over his presidency to Javanka and a cabal of NeverTrumpers.

Robert Mueller has released his report on his investigation of alleged Trump campaign collusion with the Russians during the 2016 presidential race, and it appears to be as lame as the “fake news” investigation was, but House Democrats are promising that Trump will never leave the investigative sweat box so long as he draws breath in the White House.  The Dems, bolstered by the midterm election of several female racial socialists, are feeling their oats after voters delivered the People’s House to the post-American crew presided over by Nancy Pelosi.  Demographically, the future belongs to them, and Nancy and Chuck and Joe may soon discover, if they haven’t already, that their stale, pale services may no longer be needed or even deemed legitimate by the mob they themselves invited into power.

The Swamp, however, is impatient and wishes to hasten the demise of the old American remnant: A recent House measure condemning localities that allow illegal aliens to vote received support from just six Democrats.  The Democrats are also talking up the idea of lowering the voting age to 16 and are trashing the Electoral College, which they cast as a vehicle for protecting “white supremacy” and the interests of rural Americans clinging to their guns and Bibles.  Any measure that hastens permanent leftist political rule will be considered.  So as not to be shown up by the looney left, a number of ever-unreliable Republicans representing Congress’s nominal right joined in with the Dems to overturn Trump’s declaration of a National Emergency on the border crisis.  Message received, and understood.

The use of police-state “investigations,” bureaucratic stonewalling, and “fake news”; the suppression of dissent by the tech totalitarians at Google, Facebook, and Twitter; and the refusal of other corporate giants to serve anyone with heretical views have moved this country a long way down the path to a banana republic.  If the People Who Matter don’t like the looks of a winning candidate, the Deep State can roll into action, as it did after the 2016 presidential election.  The postelection coup hasn’t quite come off, but hemming in an ineffectual president will suffice.

Following banana-republic logic, the political game should be tit-for-tat.  The losers in an election expect to be in jeopardy of losing all in a zero-sum game, so they might consider mounting a countercoup.  As it stands, however, the GOP’s “beautiful losers” don’t appear actually to want to win, even after Trump showed them how to do so in 2016.  They are for the most part content to take their lumps while maintaining their Beltway sinecures.  The transformation of the Republican Party into a populist vehicle aimed at defending Middle America appears to have stalled, at least at the national level.

So what now?

There are scenarios that could conceivably give Middle America a shot at saving some portion of their country and protecting their heritage and posterity.

For starters, the Democratic Party, divided between the neoliberals represented by old white people like Pelosi and Biden, on the one hand, and the (even more) radical hard-left Che Guevara wing, on the other, appears to be headed for trouble.  The “coalition of the fringes” is a fragile one made up of very touchy elements—white Starbucks leftists, Jews, blacks, gays, “trans” people, Asians, Hispanics, and others who really don’t like one another very much.  They are held together only by a disdain for Middle America that is stoked by old resentments, a desire for revenge, and fantasies about armies of KKK supporters and neo-Nazis committing mostly imaginary hate crimes.

If the San Francisco Democrats implode, that may give Middle American populists more breathing room to organize in some fashion and resist their displacement in a manner yet to be determined.  One way might be organizing state- and local-level resistance.  In Texas, for instance, state Republican representatives are preparing a bill appropriating state funds to build a border wall.  In California, where leftists called for secession in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, last year inland voters proposed breaking up the state into a red “New California” and a blue coastal state that would span the distance from San Francisco to Los Angeles.  In Democratic-controlled states like Washington, New Mexico, and Oregon, a number of local sheriffs and county commissioners are resisting gun-control laws adopted by their state legislatures, raising the possibility of Second Amendment sanctuary counties within blue states.  If—or when—the Swamp gets around to pushing for nationwide gun-control measures, we could see these pockets of local resistance acting as a catalyst for a Middle American movement.  We don’t know what form or forms a united movement might take, or where such a movement might end up, but something has got to give if we do not wish to go quietly into that good night.