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Hitting Reset on the Red, White and Blue

Counterculture author and political cartoonist Ted Rall can’t help but wonder how — or more to the point, whether — the good ole U-S-of-A would successfully weather a wholesale, authority-bucking uprising like the recent Arab Spring.

For a paltry $40,000, we could all find out.

That’s how much Rall estimates it will take to research, write/illustrate and spot publish his prospective post-revolutionary road map, “Congratulations! You Have Overthrown the Government of the United States of America.”

Before you rush off to alert the Secret Service (assuming they’re not busy renegotiating sleepover rates with business-savvy escorts), this project purports to be more about picking up the pieces than blowing everything to heck. (Sorry, anarchists.)

“If people want to game out this subject … I think I could create a plausible scenario for the day after a revolution,” Rall told HOH. By his calculation, that particular landscape could encompass a still-smoldering nation’s capital, a POTUS who’s gone to ground and a Congress that is “in jail or has fled.”

Rall was inspired by the crowdsourcing model after securing $26,000 in donations a few years back; that kitty fueled an off-the-beaten-path tour of Afghanistan. His daily dispatches from the field immediately went live, but he’s since compiled the broader narrative about the eye-opening trek into a book to be published in 2013.

In an effort to spark some serious giving this time around, Rall has carved out 20 contribution levels, ranging from reward-free to highly incentivized.

The most tempting tiers include:

• Ho Chi Minh Level ($77+): “Customized random sketch of something you choose. One simple image of something simple. A rabbit, say. Or a car. Damn, I hate drawing cars.”
• Hugo Chávez Level ($666+): “An original page of cartoon artwork from the book PLUS an original syndicated editorial cartoon PLUS a Thank You on the acknowledgement page PLUS I’ll call you (or Skype) you to talk about revolution or anything else you want! PLUS the signed book when it comes out.”
• Mao Level ($5,000+): “I will come to your home, hang out all night drinking and talking about politics, and crash in your guest bed or sofa, but not before presenting you with a complete, signed set of all of my books (including the out-of-print “Waking Up In America” and “All The Rules Have Changed”) … PLUS 10 copies of the signed book when it comes out.”

Should he get the loot in time — his Kickstarter campaign will self-terminate if he comes up short on May 18 — Rall will be off to historical hotbeds of unrest such as East Timor, Tunisia and Nepal to do research.

Godspeed, Debbie Downer.