How grim can it become in America by the end of the year? Let me count the ways. I'm not even talking about the pandemic. I'm leaving the virus out of this grimness since its prolonged existence and threat are uncertainties. Even if it miraculously disappears it won't save us from a grim certainty: The ugliness that is sure to occur before, during and after the presidential election in November. How grim can it become? Before I answer that, allow me to recall what happened at the beginning of the year, the corruption of the impeachment trial, when Republican senators sold their shallow souls to the devil, making a mockery of the constitutional checks and balances, signaling the end of American democracy. Well, by the end of the year we may be talking about an even greater end: The Fall of the American Empire.
Yes, I am talking about a complete anti-utopian, Orwellian collapse. I am talking about a civil war, the likes of which could rival the one 160 years ago. I can hear the naysayers: "Stop being so dramatic." Yes, without apology, I confess I am dramatic. I like drama. I was, after all, a drama teacher. Of course, that's neither here nor there in relation to what I'm about to write to lend credence to my grim projection.
Let me start with the ugliness before the election. Trump recently made a claim that mail-in balloting would lead to "the greatest rigged election in history." Yes, he really did say that. If he wasn't so dangerous he could be a comedian, since it's the nature of funny people to manipulate reality and turn their backs on facts for the sake of a laugh. Here's the unmanipulated reality: Trump (with a little help from his "foreign" friends) will do everything in his power to prevent people--in particular inner-city, disadvantaged people in battleground states (see, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania)--from voting. He will go to great lengths if necessary, such as manufacturing--the man is God, after all--a natural disaster in those states, declare a state of emergency, deploy the National Guard to ensure people are not leaving their homes, receiving or sending mail. If this plan fails, he will have a backup. A successful hacking of voting machines. Hey, it worked before (with impunity). Why shouldn't it work again? Unless, of course, none of these tactics are necessary in a situation where there is no election, that it is postponed or cancelled, even though federal law mandates it can't be. We know by now, though, that federal laws don't apply to Trump. Nor do they apply to his esteemed right-hand man, the great son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who, when asked if the election might be postponed or cancelled, said, "I'm not sure I can commit one way or the other." I'm sure intelligent, aware Americans all over are happy to know he has a say in the matter.
Let me segue to something positive--or seemingly positive. That there is an election, that people from the inner-city battleground states are allowed to vote, that they come out in the millions to vote for Biden, that Biden wins those key states and goes on to garner the majority of the electoral votes to win the presidency. That's the positive part. Here's the part that's not. Expect Trump to challenge the election results. Expect him to call Biden's victory the result of a Democratic conspiracy (just as his right-wing pundits have called the virus a Democratic conspiracy). Expect him to call for an investigation, headed of course by his Republican cronies, both in the senate and on the Supreme Court. Expect them to find reasonable cause for conspiracy theories. Expect the investigation to drag on until 2021. Meanwhile, Trump will remain president until the investigation concludes. Expect the Supreme Court to have the last say, in which they delegitimize the election. Biden will have to forfeit the battleground states because it would be found out that the mail-in ballots were rigged (just as Trump, the seer, had prophesied.)
Let me steer my thoughts into a different scenario. Trump challenges Biden's victory, calls for an investigation, and the investigation finds no wrong-doing. Biden is legally the next president of the United States. Do you really think Trump is going to quit being Trump, a man who can't get out of his own way? Do you think he's going to go gentle into that good night, give a concession speech, congratulate his opponent? Do you think he's going to participate in a peaceful transfer of power? The answers to the questions are a resounding, "No, No, No!"
Consider that we are dealing with a man--though he shames that classification--who is sick in the head, mentally imbalanced, a figurehead who influences others equally sick in the head and mentally imbalanced. Thus, the following scenario is more likely to happen: He will continue to speak out about a Democratic conspiracy. He will refuse to leave the White House. He will rally the crazies who follow him, asking them for their assistance. Those crazies, egged on by right-wing media who can't distinguish between a fact and a fart. Those crazies who like to say, "Gun up, dude," who are armed and ready, who would like nothing better than to shoot liberals or just plain old Democrats. The crazies who dream of turning America into a bloodbath, returning us to a time in history when Americans fought against Americans, when we lived in the Divided States of America. Yes, that was a long time ago, but for anyone who believes we are too evolved for it to happen again, just look at who we put in office for the past four years. That is not evolution, my friends, and it should tell you everything about what can happen.
Ariel Durant once wrote, "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." It happened in Rome more than fifteen hundred years ago. We should not believe we are above it from happening here.
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