Or a couple of variations on your themes:
1). The Democrats cave. The fake emergency promptly gets realer, as more and more of “we the people” realize (at long last) that ALL those they thought were guarding the hen house of their little lives are in fact hungry foxes of different stripes. Trump then uses the increasingly real mayhem to invoke emergency powers (of course possibly including martial law)—and gets to blame the Democrats at the same time.
2). The Democrats cave, but Trump orders his Congressional minions NOT to free up spending for furloughed federal workers as promised. Break promises? This President? Need we say more? The economic distress promptly gets worse, leading to more immediate and messy social conflict, and leading back to the scenario outlined above.
3). The Democrats don’t cave. The Repugs stand firm. The shutdown continues, and/or they extend it further, intensifying the economic pain and social instability. This provides the classic pretext for reverting to to the classic authoritarian playbook as outlined in 1.
Myself, I feel everyone on the ground in the U.S. ought to be sitting down and having some real tough conversations. With themselves—their hearts, bodies, and souls—first and foremost.
Are you willing to betray, kill or torture others in order to save your own skin, in the event that things keep going in the direction they are currently going?
If not, what will you do instead, if pressure to take any of these actions should arise?
Walls keep people in as well as out, in case you haven’t noticed. Closing the borders to keep citizens in is as much a part of the classic authoritarian playbook as all the other maneuvers we’re seeing. You might not be able to escape. Someone might betray you over a petty grievance you’ve forgotten all about. Anything could happen now. All old bets are off.
Only facing into this storm with our hearts and souls will prevent us from feeding the awful monster that is stalking us now. Only hubris would have us believe that surely, we won’t be faced with these kind of horrific decisions.
Have those conversations today, friends. My family and I have been having them for a long, long time, and we feel as good as we can feel, facing into this shitstorm, as a result.