The American body politic is shuddering in the wake of this U.S. election. The discontents at our hyper-monetized, inequitable modernity are exploding. People feel crushed, with their humanity amputated:
I was born at the end of Gen X … and grew up in a middle class town. Life was good … Our home was modest, but we went on vacations, had 2 cars … I grew up thinking that being an American was the greatest gift … As an adult, I have witnessed the world I grew up in fall to ruin. I have watched as our currency and our economy have been shamelessly corrupted beyond redemption.
I have watched my blue collar husband get up at an ungodly hour every day and come home with an aching back that we pray will hold out long enough to get him to old age in one piece. Outside of shoes, socks and underwear, almost everything my family wears was bought used. We’ve been on one vacation in 12 years … We don’t have cell phones … We hardly ever eat out. What I just described is life on 60K a year without going into debt. We working stiffs are on our own. We will be working until we die, because the Social Security we’ve been forced to pay into, has also been robbed from under us.
I watched as my family’s health insurance was gutted and destroyed. I have watched as education, which was already sketchy when I was a kid, became an all-out joke of wholly unmathematical math, gold stars for all, and self-loathing anti-Americanism. My family has taken an enormous financial hit as I stay home to home school our child.
I’ve sat by and held my tongue as I was called deplorable and I’ve been called a racist and a xenophobe and a chump and even an “ugly folk.” I’ve been told that I have privilege, and that I have inherent bias because of my skin colour, and that my beloved husband and father are part of a horrible patriarchy. Not one goddamn bit of that is true, but if I dare say anything about it, it will be used as evidence of my racism and white fragility. And now I have watched as people who hate me and mine – and call for our destruction blatantly and openly stole the election and then gaslighted us – and told us that it was honest and fair.
I am done. Don’t ask me to pledge to the flag, or salute the troops, or shoot fireworks on the 4th. It’s a sick, twisted, heart-breaking joke, this bloated, unrecognizable corpse of a republic that once was ours.
I am not alone. Not sure how things continue to function when millions of citizens no longer feel any loyalty to, or from, the society they live in. I was raised to be a lady, and ladies don’t curse, but fu*k these mother**kers to hell and back, for what they’ve done to me, and mine, and my country. All we Joe Blow Americans ever wanted was a little patch of land to raise a family, a job to pay the bills, and at least some illusion of freedom, and even that was too much for these human parasites. They want it all, mind, body and soul. Damn them. Damn them all.
America shudders. This is not just ‘politics as usual’. This is not even about President Trump (albeit that most Blue supporters believe so). This is not even just about America. There are moments when – collectively, as well as individually – civilisations reach to a fork in the road. American and West European civilisation is at such a point. Two poles, the coastal élites and the American central heartland, are colliding and the sparks and twisted metal resulting from this head-on crash will be the heat that will forge Red American civilisation into a step-shift (whatever that may lead). The after-effects will shape America, and Europe too, where Euro-élites are often little more than simulacra of those U.S. ‘coastal élites’.
Whomsoever ends up in the White House, America now is irredeemably split. As U.S. historian Mike Vlahos writes: “Progressives pledge their lives to this mission, while just as passionately, Red voters swear to stop it. This word marks the title, the banner, and the proscenium framing an existential struggle. Transformation is the watchword of our national battleground”.
Red state Americans – as the excerpt above illustrates – view the election is a ‘coup’ against them. They feel that white Americans have been demonized as innately racist, and (quite naturally) are feeling vulnerable. It has taken them a long time to catch on, but now they ‘get it’: whiteness is viewed by much of Blue America as “pathologically” supremacist, and pathological ‘racism’ must be exorcised, the latter insist.
The problem facing America is that Silicon Valley/Blue alliance insiders will be aware that there have been election irregularities. (Election shenanigans are nothing new in the U.S., and the scale of this episode remains to be proved). Yet Red America is alleging fraud. A narrative is being set. Biden will have a legitimacy problem – whatever way you slice the outcome.
Axis members loath Trump utterly, and in any case, probably would regard any putative ‘steal’ as legitimate – in order finally to get rid of Trump. Perhaps the scale of Trump support in those key swing states took them off guard. After the failure of Russiagate, and after the fail of impeachment, an abandonment of lip-service to American democracy – in deed, if not in word – may have seemed a price worth paying. Anything to exit Trump …
“Trump is a racist and a misogynist. Surely that is enough? Pointing up facts is not demonisation”, was the retort from Blue supporters. In other words, “how could voters be so dumb as to pull the [voting] lever for Trump twice”. Any ‘rational person’ would understand the last four years as an ongoing catastrophe, these supporters complain bemusedly.
One history teacher in a prestige U.S. school suggests:
“I have a simple answer to this [mindset] which comes from rational observation of teenage students mostly from well-heeled backgrounds: The cosmopolitan elites of the media and academia establishment, like the presupposing college-bound teen, with senioritis, and who has the world, ‘all figured out’, fail to grasp the blinkered nature of their own world view; in so doing, they fail to comprehend the full complexity of reality itself”.
“The world view to which I am referring goes by many names—rationalism, secularism, humanism etc. It is a view that emanates from what I call the Enlightenment Myth: the idea that we arrived at the modern world by wholesale jettisoning of religion, tradition, and custom. It’s the idea that modernity was built from the ground-up, through secularized reason. As the AP European History concept outline in my textbook uncritically puts it: “They [Enlightenment thinkers] sought to bring the light of reason to bear on the darkness of prejudice, outmoded traditions, and ignorance – challenging traditional values”.
“Of note is not this drab statement itself, but the fact that its authors, like my students and the pollsters who predicted electoral carnage for Trump this election, take [the inevitable trouncing of Trump] as a matter of fact – as opposed to ideology-driven historiography, open to debate.” I.e. they, [Blue adherents], sought to bring the light of reason to bear on the darkness of prejudice, outmoded traditions, and ignorance – through challenging the traditional values of Trump voters in flyover country.
It tells us why collision ultimately is inevitable. The Blue zeitgeist sees facts which are not up for discussion. There will be ‘no prisoners taken’ in their quest to cleanse America of systemic racism – these are their ‘facts’. As Professor Vlahos cautions: “At end of this long game, the intended woke outcome for our future is a different civilization”.
Here then, are the principal components to the coming train-wreck. Firstly – contrary to the hubris – the election was never just about Trump qua individual: The Blue vitriol went well beyond Trump – to some 70 million Americans that have been called vile, bigots, racists, etc. Saying that ‘we need to listen to each other’ won’t walk this back. Bromide is not enough. This Red constituency now is ‘locked and loaded’.
Secondly, the disputed election results have opened a path for the White House not only to contest particular election results for wrongdoing, but in the case of Pennsylvania, to petition to the Supreme Court on (separate) grounds of constitutional breach through states’ setting of election rules, which were not authorized by their legislatures, which could repercuss much more widely on to the whole issue of mail-in ballots.
And – even – it opens the possibility to persuade GOP state legislators to choose Electoral College delegates according to conscience (should they come to believe that the balloting in their state to have been flawed. This is legal for most states). All this may end up with Congress as arbiter (if it can) on 20 January, or lead to an unholy melt-down by the Democratic base, if Biden is not inaugurated on that day.
Of course, as we all know, ‘Law’ is never certain prospect, but even so, what Giuliani’s team is doing – litigation apart – is to curate a public ‘roll-out’ of irregularities, statistical improbabilities and mail-in mess. It seems that Trump and Giuliani will author their own election ‘revisionist history’ (irrespective of litigation outcomes). No doubt this is why Silicon Valley is trying to quash the claim of widespread as opposed to particular fraud. The roll-out at public rallies will almost certainly widen the gulf between one half of America, and the other.
Thirdly, Silicon Valley, with the MSM on its coattails, has clamped-down or shut down sites that allege fraud, labelling them unfounded. But here is the rub: whilst Blue cloaks itself in Progressivism through all this, Silicon Valley may talk the identitarian and gender talk, but ‘Progressive’ it is not.
But here is the rub: whilst Blue cloaks itself in Progressivism through all this, Silicon Valley may talk the identitarian and gender talk – but ‘Progressive’ it is not.
It hews to ‘Davos’: Biden, should he become President, will need moderate Republicans to pass expenditure Bills, much more than he needs the Far-Left caucus of his own party. Wither then, AOC and The Squad? His Administration therefore will be rooted in support for Big Tech and for the ‘Re-set’, which is no more than a re-packaging of old Millenarian universalism.
The bottom line is that Americans live – not only enfolded by their discontents – but also at a significant moment: Red America has awoken to the vitriol directed toward them. And Silicon Valley and the MSM’s onslaught has served to underline their isolation. In crisis, men and women look for explanations – and solutions.
Not for them, collectivist ‘Davos’, we suspect – another in the three long centuries of millenarian, globalist projects, all of which had seemed to promise, at first, a ‘new world’, but which ultimately ended badly. No – more likely what we will see shall be Red ‘libertarianism’ versus Blue ‘collectivism’. Covid-19 lockdowns have sharpened this divide to the point of it becoming icon of that which separates America today.
Today, the U.S. coastal and Euro élites are trying to contain these ‘disorders’ from slipping into violence. These tensions, they fear, threaten the sustainability of the notion of a global humanity grounded in common ‘values’, pursuing an itinerary towards a global order and governance.
Red America – to survive – will reach back to old values (as every society in crisis does), and try to draw out, from the tale of their erosion and neglect, an explication – a story – for their present distress. They can observe that ‘other’ values, opposed to collectivism, always have arisen from within the deep layers of human experience and history.
Many of today’s ‘discontented’ will never before have given much thought to the civilisational values that they will now seek to embrace, and renew. Never mind, that is not the point; the seeds of a new civilisational step will be being set into their collective psyche. We shall see to where it leads.
BY Alastair Crooke former British diplomat, founder and director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum.