by E. John Winner
Let’s begin with a prediction (likely, but not the only option so, given the unpredictably of the Reality TV President in the White House as I write): On January 20, 2021, two inaugurations for the Presidency will take place. One will happen in Washington, the legally determined official inauguration of Joseph Biden, presided over by Chief Justice Roberts of the US Supreme Court. The other will occur at a rally in Florida, where newly appointed “Attorney General for the Second Trump Administration,” Rudy Giuliani, administers an oath for Donald Trump, still refusing to concede the election. Of course it’s all for show; Trump uses the performance to announce his candidacy for the 2024 election, his glorious return when he will make it all real for his fans. But the event will constitute something worse than an embarrassment for the country, it will help drive the wedge of division ever deeper into the social fabric of our politics. And there will be many of his fans who will accept it as alternative fact; the proper resolution of the current struggle over the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
So, here’s the story so far: Some time before his death, or perhaps afterward (death only an abstract concept after all), Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez conspired with rich Jew George Soros, the Chinese Communist Party, the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic National Committee (oh, sorry, the “Democrat” National Committee), to rig electoral balloting machines in Germany (recently confiscated by the US Army) for use in the Greatest Election Fraud in American History. Later, Republican government personnel, including the Governor of Georgia, were recruited to facilitate distribution and counting of millions of ballots, especially those filled out by dead people and illegal immigrants, many of these “voting” multiple times. Indeed, there were so many involved in this fraud that the Justices of the United States Supreme Court were cowed into refusing to hear the case that votes for Joe Biden in four states caused injury to voters for Trump in Texas, by denying them victory in the election. Finally, even former Trump supporters, Senator Mitch McConnell and Attorney General William Barr, gave up the good fight and admitted the election appeared to have been legitimate enough to get Joe Biden into the White House, thus revealing themselves as weaselly RINO (Republican in Name Only) cowards!
How do we know about this terrible Conspiracy? Not from the thousands of professional journalists in the “mainstream media.” They’re all in on it. Not from US intelligence agencies (since they are less trustworthy than Vladimir Putin). Instead, we have the word of Donald Trump himself, who has never lied. We have the briefs of his lawyers with their thousands of pages of affidavits that they can’t show anybody because their witnesses are afraid for their lives. (Let’s remember that the Clintons and Trump-critic Joe Scarborough are all known murderers and that the CIA and other Deep State agencies are participants in the Conspiracy.) We have little wedge “news” sites and YouTube channels on the internet assuring us that “Joe Biden said he was stealing the election!” producing some quote or other to that effect out of thin air (who needs sources or investigations anymore?). And Trump’s lawyers have statisticians who assure us that it is statistically impossible for the voters of any state who voted for Trump in 2016 to vote for Biden in 2020. Besides, whatever the conspiratorial Mainstream Media “journalists” tell us, we can rest assured the reverse is true. They say Biden won by some 80 million votes? Obviously that means Donald Trump won by 80 million votes. (Even the once dependably Trumpian Fox News is in on the Conspiracy, apparently.)
More than four dozen court cases have been tossed out for lack of evidence (and sometimes for lacking coherent legal argument), and the duly elected Electors of the Electoral College (duly certified) voted for Joe Biden, according to established law. The next effort to overturn this “fraudulent” election, we are promised as of this writing, will be to have a U.S. Representative and a Senator sign an objection to the Congressional counting of the Electoral College ballots, presumably concerning those from the states most hotly contested: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. The House and the Senate will then debate the objections separately, and finally admit the Conspiracy and vote together to toss out those Elector ballots and either deny those states any status for electoral consideration or allow the Republican Party to submit votes from its own unelected Electors, and Trump will receive a second term as President. During which he will probably try to find some way to have the 22nd Amendment repealed and be declared President for life (at least “12 more years!” as chanted at his rallies).
Of course there is the distant possibility that the House, controlled by “Democrat” Party members, may not play along, in which case another attempt will be made to bring the case to the Supreme Court, where three Justices appointed by Donald Trump will save the day and appoint Trump president. As one Trumpist troll put it in a YouTube comment, “Amy Barrett is waiting in the wings to save us!”
What is so damned dreadful about this “fraudulent” election “steal” and the Conspiracy that has spawned it? Is it really the overturning of a democratic-republican form of government founded in a Constitution and assuring majority popular will, while protecting the rights of various minorities? Of course not! Occasionally rhetoric about “liberty” and “freedom” and “rights” is thrown around to sound righteous and appear noble and patriotic, but let’s not fool ourselves. As we pay close attention to those who press the “stolen election” claim and who either hint at or explicitly proclaim the Conspiracy, the real issue is this: Donald Trump is God’s anointed. He is here to put an end to a vast cabal of pedophilic sex-traffickers that have used the Deep State structure of American government to promulgate an especially satanic form of Communism, which, if triumphant, would steal our guns, close down our churches, indoctrinate children in homosexuality, steal all our private wealth through taxation while laying off millions into joblessness in order to support the booming economy of China. More generally – and more gloriously sacred still – he is here to initiate the Apocalypse, the final battle between the good Christians of this world and the lecherous vipers of the Left.
Even if he can’t realize the full potential of this prophecy, he can still cause considerable pain to liberals, left-wingers, Moslems, Mexicans, uppity females and those African Americans who don’t know their place, whom he can’t call “my Blacks.” And causing pain is one of Trump’s real talents that his supporters expect from him. They want others to cringe before them, to shudder with fear, to weep with disappointment. Although Trumpism is masochistic in its complaints of victimization, this is really only an excuse for its sadism.
Given the real nature of this struggle – the certain denominations of American Christians against “the Left” – procedural politics leading to legitimate control over a democratic-republican form of government is really not an issue. Or, more specifically, it is, but simply because it is undependable. Its temporal nature makes such control temporary. There is no place in such a scheme for a “final reckoning,” which clearly is what Trumpist Republicans were hoping for from a second election win for Trump. That reckoning now stands revealed as the real goal of all the “stolen election” posturing on the right. Trumpists want an end to politics. They want to eliminate the possibility of any influence on policy from the Left or from the liberal factions of the American polity. They want an end to elections, and that’s what their “stolen election” maneuvering really tells us. Representatives and executives are to be appointed by and from the Party that “knows” – that adheres to the values of the Christian right – which has long been the case in wide areas of the Deep South, some states of which have operated along single-party political lines since before the Civil War, realigning only slightly after Nixon got the Republican Party to adopt his “Southern Strategy.”
Before going forward, I must pause to consider some possible skepticism on the part of my readers. I am assuming that readers here are all highly educated and well-experienced. It would be understandable, then, for many of them to read the narrative above and worry that I am complaining about the pathological political paranoia and delusions of grandeur of a small fringe. How many Americans could actually believe in such nonsense?
Some 74 million Americans voted for Trump. Depending on the post-election polls one relies on, 60% to 87% of Trump voters believe or suspect that the election was fraudulent. This suspicion can only be validated by some form of the Grand Conspiracy theory, however mild or inarticulate, because literally thousands of conspirators have to be accounted for in order to explain fraud in a national election on such a massive scale. So we can easily guess that tens of millions of Trump voters, tens of millions of otherwise presumably reasonable adults, have “reasoned” themselves down the rabbit hole of the “stolen election” myth. Since the Republican Party abandoned possession of any Platform at its national convention this year, in favor of a brief statement of absolute faith in Donald Trump, and since the Party has abandoned any pretense of traditional conservatism in favor of servitude to Trump, it follows that the narrative I’ve presented is likely as close as we can get to the core ideology of the Republican Party. It is pathological. It is paranoiac. Embedded within it are delusions of grandeur and of religious fanaticism. And it is now as “mainstream” as wearing neckties to work at certain jobs.
What would America after the “final reckoning” achieved by President-for-Life Donald Trump look like? Many on the Left have long bemoaned their suspicion that conservative Republicans have wanted to regress America back to the 1950’s. But this is to think historically only in terms of the European-American majority of that era, which enjoyed wealth and social power in the wake of a rightfully earned American triumphalism after WWII. But if the real political model of the now far-Right Republican Party, Trump’s political Party, is the single-party political and social structures of the deep South, then we must look further back, to, say, the Mississippi of the 1920s; an affluent era with a structure still developing the beliefs of the old Confederacy, given renewed life at the end of Reconstruction in 1876, and before the Great Depression. That Mississippi saw a flowering of education initiatives and public works, all tightly controlled to maintain supremacy of agriculture economically, supremacy of Christianity culturally, and supremacy of whites socially. Donald Trump himself, of course, believes in nothing. But as an old showman, he gives his fans what they want. That’s why I think those fearing a shrewder, politically savvy demagogue post-Trump are really missing the point. Showmanship from a transactional gangster is exactly what American Fascism looks like. President-for-Life Trump would give the now mainstream far-Right what they want: Mississippi, circa 1920. Everyone would have something to do and be content with their lot in life. Blacks especially would learn to stay in their place and not complain. Women would be eased out of the work force. Abortion would be treated as murder, and contraceptives would be banned. Homosexuals would be scourged and imprisoned. The police would turn a blind eye to illicit drug use (as they did during Prohibition), but when notice of these became unavoidable, repercussions would be harsh. Radio stations and other entertainment platforms would be more tightly regulated for “moral” content. Certain “dangerous” books, like Darwin’s Origin of Species, could be banned again, and history books would be re-written, as the Texas Board of Education attempted a few years ago, to emphasize the Founders’ (supposed) adherence to the Christian faith. Overseas trade would be severely limited, and alliances with other nations would be few and lightly observed. For the Millenialists (not “millennials,” but those convinced Judgment Day is just around the corner), “wars and rumors of war,” especially among Moslems, Communists and secular states in Europe, would demand a rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem followed by the final “final reckoning,” a horrific World War dissolving into all the promises of the Book of Revelation.
I’m not making any of this up. The bits and pieces can be found in street-corner pamphlets, internet websites, popular books (like the Left Behind series), Christian radio, and televangelist sermons. It is as much a part of American culture as used-car dealerships. Now, some may want to complain that I am something of a fear monger; that the situation can’t be that bad; that if only we could find some way to communicate with the Trump Right; that if we could just empathize with the existential concerns that push them toward conspiratorial thinking, concerns like raising their young with the proper values, and assuring them economic growth, jobs and an income; that if we could just show some respect for their beliefs and the dignity of their way of life.
Baloney. Reread the Grand Conspiracy narrative I’ve outlined, and the possible solutions; the “final reckoning” that the Trumpian Right urges upon us. What rational intelligence could empathize with such pathological delusions? These people would like to see me suffer, preferably until death. My sympathy for them amounts to this: Give them drugs! Give them a lot of drugs! Preferably opioids. The opioid crisis in the “Red” states? They don’t have enough Oxycodone. Ship them free bags of pills. Hand it out like candy on Halloween. Maybe it’ll calm them down.
Seriously though, I’ll be 66 in a couple weeks. I’m too old to be afraid of any of this nonsense. Instead, I write this under a cloud of sorrow. For one thing, I never thought the Republican Party could stoop so low. Thank heavens for the Lincoln Project to remind me that there still are decent conservatives in this country. And Democrats – especially supposed “progressives” – should take notice of them. If ever there was a time for the Democratic Party to be the “big tent” and permit reasonable disagreement while retaining shared values and goals, this is it. Because the “stolen election” meme and its Grand Conspiracy implications only signal the beginning of a political struggle that will go on for at least a generation.
But I’m also sad, because I don’t think we’re going to win. In the long run, I think America is doomed in the way all human inventions are. Doomed by our own evolution – by having too big a brain for our basic needs – we simply wander off in our thoughts into creation of worlds made of smoke, which we believe are substantial and permanent, when they are only fleeting and meaningless. Or perhaps my remarks here only amount to a reiteration of what Jack Nicholson’s character bemoans in Easy Rider: “This used to be a helluva good country; I can’t understand what’s going on with it.”
I must confess, to be fair, that I myself am part of the Grand Conspiracy, as is Dan Kaufman, who admits that he voted for Biden. Of course, Dan is also a Jewish intellectual, and so, according to Trump, his first loyalty is to Israel, site of the coming Apocalypse, and so he may be excused. I, on the other hand, am only loyal to my home planet in the Alpha Draconis star system, and to fellow lizard people like Barack Obama (whose birth certificate exists on that home world). And like one our first secret agents, W.C. Fields, “I like children, if properly cooked.” (And they thought he was kidding!)
I am here to corrupt you. Come over to the dark side (or as they say in the DCEU, come over to the Darkseid – Apokalypse now!).
I dedicate this to my fellow communist conspirators: Queen Elizabeth of England; the Pope; and Robert F. Kennedy, who faked his own death at the hands of a Moslem (who was in on the joke). We’ve fooled them all! Next election: Sam Kinison for President!