The 2016 US Presidential Election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was close and the results had been contested by both parties, throwing the decisions to the courts. However, Trump was not W. and therefore did not benefit from the presence of James Baker and Florida AG, Katherine Harris. Weeks later, the SCOTUS ruled in favor of Clinton in time for her inauguration.
There essentially was no transfer of power from Obama, whom Wikileaks had proven to have been a Clinton creature all along. Having done as commanded, he looked forward to a lucrative career with Goldman Sachs, which had also weathered the leaks without prosecution of any kind.
Indeed, the incoming Clinton administration brought no real domestic changes of any kind. Unfortunately, however, Russia’s Kuznetsov carrier group finally encountered sufficient hostility at Gibraltar to warrant shooting down several NATO assets and sinking a Spanish frigate. Steaming into the Mediterranean, the Truman and Roosevelt carrier groups lay in wait. But trapped by a Syrian no-fly zone to the East and Russian subs to the West, neither carrier survived being torpedoed by Russian hunter-killers, which had gone undetected due to comprehensive ECM dominance.
The neocons at Foggy Bottom went apeshit, but naval commanders had lost the taste for battle and refused retaliation. A nuclear fist strike was considered, but by then the Russians had executed a Stuxnet-like attack on US power stations, plunging America into the nineteenth century. Whereas the Russians had no assets capable of invasion, our other neighbors were not nearly so obliging. The move North by Mexican narcos began immediately, carving out areas of the southwest for control by Latino warbands.
In American cities, James Howard Kunstler‘s Long Emergency began to finally emerge as the concept of geography ceased to have meaning. LEOs and military veterans worked with first responders and volunteers to protect local infrastructure from anyone who might oppose them. However, an empty stomach is a powerful inducement to comply, and so there were no race riots of any note.
If and until power was restored, wealth suddenly shifted to real assets, with new cars ceasing to have value and large houses hard to heat and cool. There were neighborhoods and communities which devolved into anarchy, but most people, with huge amounts of free time, worked together in order to survive.
Without an internet and cell network, smartphones became useless and people started making eye contact and talking to each other again. Local musicians and actors provided entertainment and restaurateurs were greatly elevated in importance, truly serving farm to table fare for everyone. US currency continued to be used, but bartering took hold early and the dollar primarily to set a value on labor.
Worst of all, the two dozen GE nuclear reactors of Fukushima design lost coolant, began to overheat and melt down, flooding the air with deadly Strontium and Tritium, sealing our doom and that of the planet.