Still believe in Santa Claus? Maybe you’ll believe in a “happy new year.”

It’s New Year’s Eve and, of course, I’ve been wishing people Happy New Year all fucking day.

But in truth, it feels particularly dishonest this year, really the propagation of a delusion far more insidious than anything we ever told children about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the police white supremacist gangsters, or “liberty and justice for all.” First, of course, there is the pandemic that will likely never go away, raising questions about when, if ever, it will be safe for the rest of us to visit vulnerable people. Second, while I’ve always been a pessimist on this score, I am now especially pessimistic about the prospect of a Trumpist revival of the Civil War.[1]

We are in deep, deep trouble when we are concerned about Republican moves to ensure its permanence in power in what is anyway a constitutional oligarchy.[2] But 1) here we are, 2) here we are with Republicans having all the guns, 3) here we are with a U.S. Supreme Court that appears set to ensure they have guns readily at hand,[3] and 4) if the Democrats ever again win a national election, I am convinced there will be a violent uprising.[4]

I don’t know how I can emphasize strongly enough the extreme danger we are now in.


Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s Talk Therapy,” Puck News, December 31, 2021,


Melody Schreiber, “America Quits the Fight Against Covid,” New Republic, December 31, 2021,

  1. [1]David Benfell, “A hot U.S. civil war turned cold, now lukewarm, may turn hot again,” Not Housebroken, December 19, 2021,
  2. [2]David Benfell, “A constitutional oligarchy: Deconstructing Federalist No. 10,” Not Housebroken, July 3, 2021,
  3. [3]Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Majority of Supreme Court appears to think N.Y. gun law is too restrictive,” Washington Post, November 3, 2021,
  4. [4]David Benfell, “The danger that still remains,” Not Housebroken, December 11, 2021,

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