The Battle of November 3rd Is Coming

Most Americans have lived their lives watching politics as though it were a bad TV show.  They have found it boring and distasteful.  They've preferred to think it doesn't matter.  For thirty or forty years, the shift of power from local and state governments to the federal government has been insidiously gradual.  It has been just gradual enough to comfortably ignore.  The Constitution has not been broken so much as it's been eroded.  The rot has long been with us.  We have gotten used to it.  We've even spawned a couple of generations of genteel conservative pundits and columnists who've lived quite well by eloquently complaining — and doing nothing.  There has always been enough normalcy left to allow ordinary people to mow the lawn, save for a vaguely plausible retirement, and watch a football game or two.  Now and then, our leaders have even gotten something right.  Now and then, you win while playing slots at a casino.  It's a good strategy for the casino to let you win now and then — to keep you playing.

I have a coworker, a man whom I would not consider an idiot, who said about the upcoming election: "Well, I just don't know.  I'm not comfortable with Trump's tweets.  I really don't like the way he treats people."

"Have you seen Joe Biden lately?" I asked him, thinking that might be a bit more polite than "Are Trump's tweets more offensive than the decision of Democrat mayors to let their cities burn?" or "How would you feel if they started calling you Hitler even before the election?" or, even more bluntly, "Are you outta your f------ mind?!"

My friend is not out of his f------ mind.  He's a decent and thoughtful man.  His problem, I think, is that he isn't ready to accept that all the anchors on the broadcast news, people who he confidently assumed were just more recent versions of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite, are straight-up propagandists.  That's a hard pill to swallow, especially when you are surrounded by plenty of other people who will shun you if you swallow it.  But there are some irksome, irreconcilable facts.  That boring policy wonk who showed up at the 1976 Democratic Convention has now been replaced by the Mermaid Queen-King.  Our opponents are talking seriously about eliminating fossil fuels in ten years to avert a climate crisis predicted by computer models that have failed to predict even the present.  The Democrats are running a candidate who, if the police saw him wandering down the street, would bundle him into the back of the cruiser and take him home to his exasperated wife.

My associate said he hadn't seen Biden lately and that he'd go look at a few interviews.  To be fair, Creepy Joe has become less attracted to the light of day than Dracula with a case of the measles.  Could I have pushed my case for Trump a little harder?  Sure.  But my coworker is a director, corporations don't like boat-rockers, and I'm strongly inclined to keep my job.  Put a million votes in the balance, and perhaps I'll pull the pin on that grenade.  I am not quite willing to chance my career on one.

I'm sure there are millions of people in the country like my coworker — people who, believe it or not, still haven't noticed.  They believe that the stability of their lives is something they can take for granted.  That politics is still a mild nudge in this direction or that, which they can easily ignore.  Man's capacity to rationalize is strong.  People can, through blind hope and active imagination, still convince themselves that the election is merely a protracted personality contest in which the nicest smile wins.  They can believe that the decent person's duty is to think and say Trump is a vulgar and offensive pig.  What they will actually do when they stand in the illusory privacy of a poll booth is unknown.  I wince to think about it.  "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe..."

Whether Trump wins or loses, these people are going to have a shock in store when they wake up on November 4.  A civil war now stares us in the face.  You don't have to be a kook to see it coming anymore.

I expect that, on Election Day, Trump will win by a healthy margin.  Most ordinary working people, always the real majority, are unfazed by Trump's language and have a natural aversion to looting, arson, and public beatings.  We've noticed.  We get it.  We have gotten tired of being made to cower before a pandemic that is heavy on economic and social destruction but rather light on actual fatalities.

I am far less certain that an electoral victory will settle the matter.  The Democrats have already said, in no uncertain terms, that they aren't going to accept defeat.  The prospect of mail-in voting worries me a little, but the grumbling of the political generals in the Pentagon worries me a lot.  The globalist left now knows that it has lost the electoral battle, just as it lost the battle of ideas decades ago.  These people have seen their own internal polling.  They almost shiver with anxiety and rage.  They are up against the wall.  There is nothing more for them to do but pull the handle for some kind of revolution.

The left has been at war with America for as long as there has been a left.  For decades, it has been a cold war — but it's beginning to leave bodies on the streets again.  It is still too early to see what 2021 is going to be like, but we all know that it won't be peaceful.  The true hardcore Marxists on the left don't see the world in terms of peace, social justice, or minimizing the suffering of individual human beings.  That is merely pretty window dressing for their naïve followers.  The only god that their ideology acknowledges is power.  Trump, and the millions upon millions who support him, are a threat to that power.  "The long march through the institutions," proposed by communists of the 1960s, has reached its zenith.  They run the schools.  They run the bureaucracy.  They run the media.  They run everything but the American people themselves, Trump, and the remaining patriotic remnant of the Republican party.  What can't be broken by steady pressure must now be broken and destroyed by force.  The battle lines are drawn.

"You can't make an omelet," said Lenin about his revolution, "without breaking a few eggs."  Lenin's eggs were the kulaks, the richer and more industrious peasants who, not surprisingly, grew most of Russia's food.  You and I, and my reluctant coworker, too, are the eggs of the postmodern globalist left — the middle and working classes who are the unwitting heirs of Western civilization.  We are the kulaks of our time.  We can't afford the consequences of losing this one.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Most Americans have lived their lives watching politics as though it were a bad TV show.  They have found it boring and distasteful.  They've preferred to think it doesn't matter.  For thirty or forty years, the shift of power from local and state governments to the federal government has been insidiously gradual.  It has been just gradual enough to comfortably ignore.  The Constitution has not been broken so much as it's been eroded.  The rot has long been with us.  We have gotten used to it.  We've even spawned a couple of generations of genteel conservative pundits and columnists who've lived quite well by eloquently complaining — and doing nothing.  There has always been enough normalcy left to allow ordinary people to mow the lawn, save for a vaguely plausible retirement, and watch a football game or two.  Now and then, our leaders have even gotten something right.  Now and then, you win while playing slots at a casino.  It's a good strategy for the casino to let you win now and then — to keep you playing.

I have a coworker, a man whom I would not consider an idiot, who said about the upcoming election: "Well, I just don't know.  I'm not comfortable with Trump's tweets.  I really don't like the way he treats people."

"Have you seen Joe Biden lately?" I asked him, thinking that might be a bit more polite than "Are Trump's tweets more offensive than the decision of Democrat mayors to let their cities burn?" or "How would you feel if they started calling you Hitler even before the election?" or, even more bluntly, "Are you outta your f------ mind?!"

My friend is not out of his f------ mind.  He's a decent and thoughtful man.  His problem, I think, is that he isn't ready to accept that all the anchors on the broadcast news, people who he confidently assumed were just more recent versions of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite, are straight-up propagandists.  That's a hard pill to swallow, especially when you are surrounded by plenty of other people who will shun you if you swallow it.  But there are some irksome, irreconcilable facts.  That boring policy wonk who showed up at the 1976 Democratic Convention has now been replaced by the Mermaid Queen-King.  Our opponents are talking seriously about eliminating fossil fuels in ten years to avert a climate crisis predicted by computer models that have failed to predict even the present.  The Democrats are running a candidate who, if the police saw him wandering down the street, would bundle him into the back of the cruiser and take him home to his exasperated wife.

My associate said he hadn't seen Biden lately and that he'd go look at a few interviews.  To be fair, Creepy Joe has become less attracted to the light of day than Dracula with a case of the measles.  Could I have pushed my case for Trump a little harder?  Sure.  But my coworker is a director, corporations don't like boat-rockers, and I'm strongly inclined to keep my job.  Put a million votes in the balance, and perhaps I'll pull the pin on that grenade.  I am not quite willing to chance my career on one.

I'm sure there are millions of people in the country like my coworker — people who, believe it or not, still haven't noticed.  They believe that the stability of their lives is something they can take for granted.  That politics is still a mild nudge in this direction or that, which they can easily ignore.  Man's capacity to rationalize is strong.  People can, through blind hope and active imagination, still convince themselves that the election is merely a protracted personality contest in which the nicest smile wins.  They can believe that the decent person's duty is to think and say Trump is a vulgar and offensive pig.  What they will actually do when they stand in the illusory privacy of a poll booth is unknown.  I wince to think about it.  "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe..."

Whether Trump wins or loses, these people are going to have a shock in store when they wake up on November 4.  A civil war now stares us in the face.  You don't have to be a kook to see it coming anymore.

I expect that, on Election Day, Trump will win by a healthy margin.  Most ordinary working people, always the real majority, are unfazed by Trump's language and have a natural aversion to looting, arson, and public beatings.  We've noticed.  We get it.  We have gotten tired of being made to cower before a pandemic that is heavy on economic and social destruction but rather light on actual fatalities.

I am far less certain that an electoral victory will settle the matter.  The Democrats have already said, in no uncertain terms, that they aren't going to accept defeat.  The prospect of mail-in voting worries me a little, but the grumbling of the political generals in the Pentagon worries me a lot.  The globalist left now knows that it has lost the electoral battle, just as it lost the battle of ideas decades ago.  These people have seen their own internal polling.  They almost shiver with anxiety and rage.  They are up against the wall.  There is nothing more for them to do but pull the handle for some kind of revolution.

The left has been at war with America for as long as there has been a left.  For decades, it has been a cold war — but it's beginning to leave bodies on the streets again.  It is still too early to see what 2021 is going to be like, but we all know that it won't be peaceful.  The true hardcore Marxists on the left don't see the world in terms of peace, social justice, or minimizing the suffering of individual human beings.  That is merely pretty window dressing for their naïve followers.  The only god that their ideology acknowledges is power.  Trump, and the millions upon millions who support him, are a threat to that power.  "The long march through the institutions," proposed by communists of the 1960s, has reached its zenith.  They run the schools.  They run the bureaucracy.  They run the media.  They run everything but the American people themselves, Trump, and the remaining patriotic remnant of the Republican party.  What can't be broken by steady pressure must now be broken and destroyed by force.  The battle lines are drawn.

"You can't make an omelet," said Lenin about his revolution, "without breaking a few eggs."  Lenin's eggs were the kulaks, the richer and more industrious peasants who, not surprisingly, grew most of Russia's food.  You and I, and my reluctant coworker, too, are the eggs of the postmodern globalist left — the middle and working classes who are the unwitting heirs of Western civilization.  We are the kulaks of our time.  We can't afford the consequences of losing this one.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.