Editor’s Note: Brian wrote this and posted at his own site. We are cross posting, since the general point is worth discussing.
Scott Adams likes to say that the American people are watching two separate movies playing out in real time before our very eyes. Half of America thinks that President Donald Trump is a literal Nazi, who actively encourages white supremacist violence, who is owned by Russian intelligence, and whose evil is only matched by his incompetence. Conversely, half the country believes that President Trump has been unfairly targeted by a Democratic Party and media smear machine, which seeks to destroy him because he dared take a stand for the American people in the face of globalism and socialism. Both sides cannot be correct, yet both sides have persisted in their views for four years now.
I write this on the eve of Election Day in the United States. These two worldviews, these two movies, are about to collide with reality, and the side effects will be catastrophic and chaotic for the United States of America.
The left is one hundred percent convinced that Joe Biden is about to win a massive landslide. They are believe with all their hearts that President Trump is deeply unpopular, and that even those who supported him in 2016 are going to defect at the ballot box. They have spent the last four years listening to left-wing media repeat every possible accusation and innuendo against the President, and they have eaten up every poll that shows him losing this election. Some have even gone so far as to predict an electoral landslide of the sort not enjoyed by a Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The average Democrat, however, sees a comfortable Biden victory that looks like the map below:
On the other side is the right, which believes the mainstream polls to be more of the same fake news that has plagued this country for years. They remember how in 2016 the polls said that Hillary Clinton was sure to win, only for Trump to surprise the nation with an upset victory. They see the massive crowds that the president draws to his rallies, the boat and car parades that have spontaneously broken out across the country, and the tremendous enthusiasm of Republicans to re-elect their leader. This side takes it for granted that Trump will defend the states he won in 2016, and perhaps even expand the map. Some have even suggested that Democratic strongholds such as California and New York are in play for the GOP! For these people, it is not Biden but Trump who is about to win a massive landslide, one not seen by a Republican president since the happy days of Ronald Reagan. Most Republicans are not quite so optimistic, but still predict a Trump victory. Their map looks something like this:
So what happens when reality picks one side or the other tomorrow? If Biden wins, will the GOP simply accept that as the will of the people, especially when we know that the Democrats have never been averse to cheating? If Trump wins, will the mass of people who have been “resisting” for four years accept that outcome and go home? We all know the answer to that. The mainstream polls that have shown Joe Biden with an insurmountable lead all year long might have failed to demoralize Republican voters, but they have laid the foundation for a narrative that any possible Trump victory must be illegitimate. Indeed, leftist organizations are already prepared to take to the streets even while the polls are still open. Stores in Democrat-run cities such as Washington DC are boarding up their windows in preparation for the inevitable riots. President Trump could win a 50-state electoral landslide tomorrow, but his enemies in the media and in politics will not accept this as the actual will of the people. Their “movie” will continue playing, no matter what reality has to say about it.
What does this mean for the future of America? No matter who wins tomorrow, we remain two separate nations, living in parallel within the same borders. One half of the country wants to normalize transgenderism, silence all opposing thought under the banner of “hate speech,” and open up our borders to make the United States simply a province of the world. The other half thinks that boys are boys and girls are girls, we respect the right of free speech even if we disagree, and we believe that the purpose of the American government is to serve the needs of American citizens first. These two wildly different worldviews cannot survive forever in a single country with a single government – either we will become entirely one or entirely the other. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln explained that the United States of his day could not continue to exist as a “house divided,” split between slave states and free states. Either, Lincoln explained, it would eventually become entirely slave, or entirely free. The 1860 presidential election was a contest between two radically different views of the world, and Lincoln’s election triggered a secession movement and a bloody Civil War that saw nearly a million Americans killed over the next four years. In the end, the United States became entirely free, as Lincoln foretold.
What will the presidential election of 2020 portend? No matter who wins tomorrow, the deep divide in American society has been exposed and festers like an open wound. Like a house divided, we must eventually choose one way or the other – or somehow work out an amicable divorce. A peaceful breakup of the United States of America will be distasteful and difficult, but it is the more preferable path if the other option is another bloody civil war.