I woke up on Saturday thinking about the US election. These thoughts poked at odd angles inside my head and needed a bit of arranging, so I started writing. The first five points or so were pretty straightforward and mostly based on general consensus, media punditry, and plain old observation. The rest sort of unfolded organically, rolling off of each other in keeping with the theme: The reality of our world's geopolitics in a scenario where the United States withdraws from the international stage to focus on internal strife.
By the time I got to the end I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry. There is, in global conflict - especially the apocalyptical kind - a type of absurdity that is in some ways comical, much in the way Dr. Strangelove was a comedy while accurately reflecting the lunacy that was Cold War MADness.
The below list is hardly detailed. There is much to say for each particular point, but more importantly, there is far more to be said for the roots of this rapidly growing hysteria and its catastrophic potential to destroy us all.
1. Polls are useless
I happened to catch a clip on BBC a couple of days ago in which one of the reporters was reporting on the fact that the polls have Biden winning the American election, all except the Rasmussen poll - which correctly predicted Trump's first victory in 2016 - but that their data should be taken with a grain of salt as it is a conservative poll. Does it not then follow that the other polls, biased towards Biden/the Democrats are wrong now as they were 4 years ago? And since the Rasmussen poll is correct only because it is biased towards Trump, then it, too, is not predicting anything as much as affirming a bias?
So, polls are bogus and, in this election, also irrelevant. Read on...
2. It is nearly impossible to be an undecided voter in this election. Trump and Biden - as well as their values - are like night and day, either you don't vote at all or you know exactly who to vote for. It makes no sense for voters to be undecided here.
|Are voters afraid or are they angry?|
3. Voters who love America - particularly as a concept and as a product of history, exceptionalism and all, will vote Trump. Hence the flag waving and pickup truck patriotism. Those who dislike what 'America' stands for, historically as well as ideologically, and who want what is essentially a Marxist revolution, will vote Biden.
4. For now, even though the 'America' brand is on a dramatic decline, Americans who do love the American experiment are still in the majority, so it's likely that Trump will edge it out, maybe even in the popular vote. However, this is irrelevant, read on....
5. Covid and mail-in ballots have opened the door for massive unrest over voter fraud, of which there are already insinuations as well as allegations, meaning that whatever the outcome, civil unrest will erupt until a winner is determined - which will likely take weeks. Even when that happens, and a definite winner is named, the civil unrest is likely to amplify.
6. In any case of civil unrest, Trump's administration will likely be better at handling it than a Biden administration who may, as proven with BLM protests, take a soft stance towards enforcing law and order, or more pointedly, will take a harder stance against some factions than against others. Though this is exactly what Trump is accused of doing with current protests.
7. This chaotic post election period will make America more vulnerable on the international stage than it's ever been.
8. Other countries might choose to redefine their relationship with the US based on the outcome of the election.
9. This will only exacerbate internal tensions as various factions are influenced by responses from external actors.
10. Inversely, many of America's issues are going to be exported internationally, particularly in the developed West, where civil conflict could easily erupt between people fearful of balkanization in their own countries and those who, as in America, want to turn it all upside down.
11. If Google searches or opinion pieces are to be believed, many Americans will look to emigrate. Unlike 2016, when anyone was able to leave freely after Trump's victory, most won't be able to go anywhere now.
12. Lacking in unity while shedding off cultural traditions and shared values, Americans will experience a rapid process of balkanization, partly regional and geographic, but mostly ideological.
13. At this point a protracted civil war will erupt - spurred on by various martyrs - with focal points in different parts of the country, as the government fights (but will be unable to control) the spread of autonomous zones and regions.
14. We'll see a further withdrawal of the American military from the international stage at this point, leaving the door open to Chinese and Russian expansionist policies.
15. More than likely an American withdrawal from the South China Sea will leave the door open for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
16. Russia meanwhile might force the issue in Ukraine again, in Georgia, and probably intervene directly in Belarus. It may then set its sights on a fragmented and therefore weakened Europe, bereft of the deterrent American military presence.
17. Turkey will be more brazen in their military actions against Kurds and Armenians and venture outside its borders in Syria and in Azerbaijan. They will also leave NATO.
18. Palestinians might start another intifada, supported by Iran and other regional actors who won't be restrained by any American sanctions or disapproval.
19. In the face of these threats Israel could face another Arab war, as in '67, and may choose to nuke one or more opponents, to no real consequence from the international community -or from America.
20. Iran would take this as a green light to retaliate with their own nuclear option.
21. China, Pakistan, India, will soon thereafter become mired in their own nuclear winters.
22. Maybe, maybe, whoever's in charge of the button in the US, will send its own nukes to the Middle East to cool everyone off.
23. Russia and China will then send nukes to America to calm them down.
24. See you in heaven.
Admittedly, this is as 'worst case' as it gets. Moreover, political predictions are almost always wrong as well as highly speculative - often biased also - especially my own (though, aside from the election prediction, I still stand by what I wrote 4 years ago).
But if there is a doomsday clock - and there is - we are certainly as close to H-Hour as we've ever been, and why?
Because many Americans are sick of being Americans. Because the same Western, democratic values that made America what it was, until not so long ago, are now seen by many Americans themselves as outdated and irrelevant.
Future historians, should humanity continue to exist long enough for anyone to become a historian, will look back at this period in world history and ask, "How did all of this come about?"
Step by step.
However, each of these steps followed a common theme; Truth, or what was known as truth for the entirety of human existence, was unceremoniously relegated to the trash pile as an old, useless, and whimsical human value. In exchange governments increasingly legislated lies as rights, as progress, and as freedom.
This is because when you replace objective truths, based on the reality of human existence, with "your truth" you're doing nothing more than replacing fact with opinion. Schizophrenics bask in their truth and their lived experience, and for this they are medicated. Yet in America, and the Western world for the most part, future historians will find that these people, seemingly experiencing life in alternate realities, were often the same people responsible for the divisive rhetoric and zero-sum legislation which poisoned minds and hardened hearts to the point we find ourselves discussing a second American civil war.
To be precise, it isn't just lies that got us here. Political leaders and demagogues haven't only just invented lying. What has gotten us here though is a universally casual rather than a direct disregard for truth. The truth appears to be coming from all sides now, as if it is a game piece in political Monopoly. Nobody actually admits to lying, not even when they are caught red-handed; it is simply redefined as 'alternate truthiness'.
It would be nice if honesty and an ability to speak the truth were social and near sacrosanct virtues implicitly tied to one's personal reputation, but it is popularity, superficial quips, and the loudest voice that gets all the attention, no matter how non-sensical the argument(s).
This is what happens to a civilization in decline, where the fundamentals that built it are left to erode as society shifts its focus on easy and meaningless pursuits; those sensual, materialistic, and indulgent self-truths. Meanwhile, fundamental truths are no longer prized cultural values and features of the social reality. Truth has become obscure to the point it is only relative, only subjective, only opinion.
It almost seems as though an American civil war might be fought so that truth might once again reign pre-eminent (thus making democracy relevant), but the measure of commitment to a cause is not reflected in one's one's desire to kill for it, but in the willingness to die for it.
Know anyone who's willing to die for the truth?