Transitioning from democracy to autocracy is challenging for anyone . Whether you’ve moved to autocracy because of a military coup, or because a racist populist trampled over the norms of decency, or because your senators were too cowardly to do their job by impeaching an orange Caligula, it’s tough.
But there’s no need for this historic travesty to cause anxiety unless you’re one of the people who’s going to lose their only chance for asylum, their health care, their reproductive rights, or their right to vote in a free and fair election. For most people who bear even a passing resemblance to Matthew McConaughey, however, a move to autocracy can be painless and even beneficial. Finding your groove takes time, but following these helpful tips will increase the chances that your transition will be as smooth as possible.
Calmly assess your situation
Stop, breathe, and look around. What’s happening? Has your faith in democratic institutions been pulverized underneath the crushing weight of a sham trial that called zero witnesses? Was an already unhinged president just given carte blanche to do whatever he wants because he knows there won’t be any consequences? Perhaps a cadre of lawyers embroiled in various sexual assault scandals of their own have made a series of ludicrous claims to justify incontrovertibly corrupt behavior without a hint of shame or irony? Take stock of your surroundings, meet yourself wherever you are, and remember to reach out and say howdy to others who have recently made the transition from democracy to autocracy.
Make a to-do list
The transition to autocracy may seem chaotic at times, but with the right organizational skills, even the most daunting tasks can be made orderly. What’s on your list today? Is it drowning your sorrows in meth? Ugly crying while watching old episodes of The West Wing? Venting your anger by fighting with some random MAGA cult sycophants on Twitter? Don’t forget: once you complete a task, cross it off your list and move on to the next.
Wonder what the fuck happened
It’s like, one minute you were dancing in the street because Obama got elected and then suddenly there are angry racists marching with AK-47s in Virginia and screaming about Jewish people not replacing them, while Russian bots funded by dark money amplify hate memes on social media and Mark Zuckerberg shrugs his shoulders muttering, “Who? What? Where?” like some cyborg Vinnie Barbarino. It sure can feel like whiplash when you transition from democracy to autocracy, but just remember the timeless wisdom of James Comey, who remarked, “LOL. It’s fine, whatever.”
Reconcile yourself to the idea that millions of people are just idiots
62 million people voted for this. You still can’t believe it but it happened, and they did so willingly, and sure, many more people voted for the better candidate, and at least some of the 62 million had their personal data illegally harvested and had their worst fears preyed upon, but on the other hand, why was their worst fear some poor undocumented immigrant instead of a rotten Studio 54 has-been blatherskite who lies like a cheap watch and riles up the dregs of humanity at hate rallies? Don’t forget to add yourself to the list of fucking idiots because didn’t you sit there in silence when Uncle Steve railed against kneeling black athletes at Thanksgiving dinner, and now he’s just been appointed Secretary of Commerce?
Burn it all down
Few acts will make your transition to autocracy smoother than burning it all down. Really. There’s nothing left for you here. The person meant to uphold the Constitution broke all the laws and withheld all the documents and covered up all the crimes and instead of being held accountable, he got to stand there and address the nation as if he’s someone whose word means anything more than a worthless bag of Republican dicks. So go ahead and pour that gasoline all over the fucking place, and while the potassium chlorate and sulfur ignite and you see that spark and feel the heat and toss the match behind you, congratulate yourself on having made a smooth transition from democracy to autocracy.