The emotion governing this election, for both the left and the right, is not hope but fear. There is some talk of hoping to unite the nation and end the divisiveness, but that is nonsense. The goals of the left (socialism, color-conscious “anti-racism”, and an ever-expanding nanny state) are directly in conflict with the goals of conservatives (capitalism, colorblind equal protection, freedom of speech and religion and limited government).
Progressives fear what they view as another 4 years of Donald Trump chaos, bullying, white supremacy and deplorables refusing to kneel and submit. They fear failing to win the Senate, and conservative resistance via the filibuster. They fear an inability to legislate, via the Supreme Court, policy in a host of areas where the Congress is insufficiently waking or too concerned with electoral accountability. They fear the other half of the country that refuses to recognize and submit to the wisdom and morality of their betters. They fear speech they disagree with and a Constitution and Supreme Court that protects that speech. They fear lacking the power to fundamentally transform a country they see as systemically racist and essentially evil.
Conservatives fear the historical failure and tyranny of socialism (see Venezuela), never-ending (indeed constantly expanding) racial preferences and reparations, the corruption and senility of Joe Biden and his crime family, and the hypocrisy and power-hungry moral corruption of Kamala Harris (who openly slept her way to the top with much older and married California political Kingfish Willie Brown- what an excellent role model she is for young girls). They fear a Senate with a permanent Democratic majority created by ending the filibuster and admitting Puerto Rico and Washington DC as states, as well as possibly carving California into three new states, thereby adding 6-8 new Democratic Senators. They fear a Supreme Court packed with 6 new progressive judicial activists and “living constitution” advocates who will legislate a constitutional right to abortion through the fourth trimester, an end to freedom of speech, religion, the right to bear arms, equal protection for white males and the presumption of innocence because we must believe all women. They fear the other half of the country that refuses to leave them alone. They fear lacking the power to protect their freedom and losing the Republic to the mob.
Thus, the election is a zero-sum game. Whichever side wins, the other loses, and the divisiveness and inevitable slide towards civil war continues and accelerates. That dissolution may come as a consequence of a replay of the contested 2000 election but on steroids. A close and contested election, with suspicion and/or the possibility of fraud or judicial bias as decisive factors, could well make the “mostly peaceful” protests that Antifa and Black Lives Matter engaged in look tame. Neither side will accept defeat peacefully. Presumptive President President-in-waiting Harris just called Trump voters racist. Why should any of the 60-75 million Trump voters ever be willing to accept her as their President? Why should a Trump voter ever trust the legacy media or the Deep State?
I understand that Progressives loathe President Trump, his leadership style, his “bullying”, his New York in your face aggressiveness, and his policies. They have made that very plain, from the resistance that began before he was inaugurated to the seditious coup started by Secretary Clinton, President Obama, Vice-President Biden and assorted deep state apparatchiks who may well resurface in a Biden administration. In 2009, Progressives were fond of stating that “elections have consequences” and how important it was to respect and cherish “Democracy”. Except, apparently, when it is not.
Jon Reisman is an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias. His views are his own. Mr. Reisman welcomes comments as letters to the editor here, or to him directly via email at email@example.com.