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Reflections on the 2020 Election (Part 4)
By many accounts there is a human disaster unfolding in Afghanistan. According to one report back on August 26, a distraught Afghan father shot his daughters to prevent their being taken to be given as “comfort women” to Taliban soldiers. Some have predicted that the human rights abuses that will be occuring in the weeks and months to come will rival or surpass those of Benghazi (2012) or the fall of Saigon in 1975. Whatever happens, there will be efforts by the administration and their allies in the press to shield those responsible.
And what is seen by many as a crisis at the southern border may be viewed as political opportunity by the administration that helped to bring it about. Apart from the grave health risks of a “super-spreader event” posed by an indeterminate number of illegal immigrants currently being dispersed throughout the country without proper health screening, there is an implied political calculus that some of these folks will be voting in the next election for the political party that facilitated their arrival and participation in the distribution of the fruits of the multi-trillion dollar add-on “human infrastructure” package presently being debated in Congress.
It should be worrying that the leadership of the country has fallen into the hands of an administration that in just a short time has not only become internationally known for its fecklessness and ineptitude on nearly every level, but also for its strange promotion of dangerously divisive social policies carried out by people so marinated in absurd group identity agendas that they seem blinded to the reality that their proposed policies will only bode ill for the future stability and well-being of the nation. And all of it with a figure-head president, who in addition to his and his family's well-documented history of political corruption, has become an easily manipulated husk who reads from teleprompters what others have written, and in one candid moment publicly tried to remember which reporters he “had been instructed to call on”. It's really important for him to know who's lobbing the soft balls. All in all, in can be fairly said that a Biden press interview has become little more than Kabuki theatre writ large without the elaborate costumes.
In normal times I would be uncomfortable and think it unfair to make such a harsh assessment of an administration that has been in office for less than a year, but these are not normal times. The new paradigm was firmly established when months before the previous administration came into office, opposition partisans began a more than four year drum beat of hate and vitriol directed towards a new president whose altruistic (in his mind) motives were poorly served by his own public persona – that of a bombastic narcissist who didn't take kindly and reacted badly to being made the object of ad hominem attacks. Welcome to the new normal.
It seems odd that despite being fought tooth and nail for more than four years, in a relatively short period of time Trump was able to effect important regulatory and trade policy reforms that not only restored energy independence, but contributed mightily to the economic well being of America's working class, resulting in an all-to-brief renaissance of domestic manufacturing. The present shortage of imported critical components in the automotive and high tech sectors, to cite just one example, only underscores how prescient he was in recognising how important it is for a people and a nation to know how to make or do the things they have come to rely on, have the willingness to do it, and for others who don't or won't, to honor those who do.
In such a context, international bankers, hedge fund operators, mega-merchants and others in the business of trading in what others create, are less important to the long-term well being of any society. Many had forgotten that Americans living in what is sometimes disparagingly referred to as “fly-over country” or “the rust belt” grow much of the food that everyone needs to survive and used to manufacture most of the domestic goods needed in everyday living. And yet there was always plenty of both left over for export. Working class Americans were increasingly treated as simply pieces on the global economic chess board, to be used or discarded at will. This was the unhappy situation begging for reform.
As a populist president who made it a point to challenge the establishment, often in insulting terms, Trump was seen by many as being unpredictable and untractable. But what is most unusual for any politician, he actually set about trying to do what he had promised during the 2016 campaign. Of course his unfiltered, stream-of-consciousness rhetorical style served him badly in gaining needed support beyond his political base. In short, Trump made himself an easy target for anyone wanting to engage in the politics of personal attack.
The fallout from the 2020 election is far from over. Some people have felt intimidated or actually been threatened for questioning the integrity of the process or challenging the results. Yet as we have pointed out before, election fraud is nothing new – it's as old as the nation itself, as Thomas Fleming and many other historians have noted. With newer and more opaque voting procedures, assisted by the use of computer technology, it's now much easier for motivated polling place workers to manipulate and control the outcome of almost any election. I think it fairly safe to predict that in the future, scepticism rather than docile acceptance will become the norm when the public is presented with any official “information” promoted by establishment media... (to be continued)