I think it is fair to say that the political and cultural condition of our country can best be described as “inflamed.” And in this inflamed condition, we are coming up on a presidential election that will have momentous consequences for every last one of us, regardless of which side of this inflamed partisan divide we might happen to be on.
In this inflamed condition—have I used the word inflamed yet?—neither side will be willing or able to say or think anything like this: “Are we the bad guys? Are we willing to do anything to win, however unscrupulous, even to the point of stealing the election outright?” Nobody will say anything like that, which is, to be sure, not the same thing as saying that no one will be the bad guys. In a situation like this one, at least one side (minimum) has to be the bad guys. What I am saying is that nobody is going to ask if they are the bad guys. The good guys won’t, and the bad guys can’t.
Now I am talking here about what the rank and file will be thinking and willing to ask. I am talking about those who are the inflamed, not about those arsonists who are out there setting others on fire, and who are the ones who do the actual stealing. The thieves themselves know exactly what they are doing. You do not steal an election, one involving millions of people, in a fit of absent-mindedness. That’s not exactly an oopsies.
In the famous Bush/Gore showdown in Florida, land of the hanging chad, both sides were absolutely convinced that the other side was trying to steal the election. And so then, when you send in your poll observers in order to prevent any funny business, the other side sees those observers you sent as the heavies, arriving on the scene to conduct their own funny business. That is how these things work. When partisan feelings run high, you are convinced that the other side is wicked and that your side is righteous. Everything is read through that grid. Every signal is worked into that message. That is in fact what it means to have feelings run high.
But this is a sociological observation about the psychology of two sides on the brink of civil war. Nobody gets to the brink of civil war because they believe that the other side has a lot of reasonable people over there, and that a number of their arguments have a considerable amount of merit. You get to this point by demonizing everyone who differs. That is why, when war happens, it simply seems like the next inevitable step.
But with all these cautions noted, it does not follow that relativism is now the case, and that each side must be equally good or bad, and that the whole thing was just a huge misunderstanding. You cannot just say “faults on both sides,” and call for a group hug. There have been many occasions in history, and this is one of them, when one side was trying to play by the rules, more or less, while the other side was fully mobilized, out there voting, early and often.
The Left has put us all on notice. Pay attention to them. They have stated that they will not accept defeat in this coming election, and one of their central strategies for accomplishing this is through alleging that Trump will not accept defeat in this coming election. Classic projection AND gas lighting. The Right will apparently riot, taking to the streets, just like we did when Obama was elected both times. Yeah, I don’t remember that either.
Don’t take your eye off the ball. Who is going to be rioting in late November after the election? Well, who’s rioting now? This is not a trick question.
In a Nutshell
Now as a Christian firmly ensconced in the Augustinian tradition, I certainly believe that the heart of man is capable of any number of dirty deeds in an election, whether it is a right wing heart or a left wing heart. Nobody get a pass. Trust but verify in every direction. Voter ID laws should apply to all voters, not just to the ones with unacceptable politics. But with that said, what I would like to do is cram into just one paragraph below a series of phrases that should illustrate why I believe that fraud from the Left is THE screaming threat of the hour. This is why we need to be prepared — logistically, politically, emotionally, theologically — for massive fraud in this election. We need to “be prepared,” just like the Boy Scouts of America weren’t.
Consistent Democratic opposition to voter ID laws. Consistent Democratic support for illegal aliens being allowed to vote. Consistent Democratic support for an open borders policy that will flood the country with likely Democratic voters. A full-court press in favor of mail-in balloting when mail-in balloting is an open invitation to fraud. Consistent categorization of any voting security measures as voter suppression efforts. Refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election presaged by their refusal to accept the results of the 2016 election. Support for months of rioting as a prelude to the actual voting. Dire warnings that the riots will continue unless the election delivers to them what they want, which is power. Spade work articles now predictably appearing that warn us of a “red mirage,” meaning a blowout for Trump on election night, which is then unraveled as additional votes are officially “tallied.” Behind the scenes leftist activists who warn that the entire concept of “election night” is officially outmoded. Overt projection of their outlook in their fantasy predictions that Trump will a. lose, b. refuse to leave, and c. be escorted out of the White House by the military. The fact that the media is almost completely in the tank for the Left, such that they will be in a position to declare to us the official narrative that “Trump lost.” That Big Tech feels no shame or embarrassment about squelching anything they feel like squelching, including reports of manifest election tampering.
This official narrative is taking shape now, as you are reading this. The Left is seriously worried about losing the election, and they are preparing accordingly. Biden has already been told that he must under no circumstance concede the election, and over the weekend Senator Schumer tweeted this ripe one: “This is important. I’m standing side-by-side with @SenSanders to make sure we have a plan if President Trump refuses to leave office.”
Of course, there is a long and storied American tradition of refusing to leave office after you win an election. Speaking frankly, and I mince no words here, this has been done many times. Senator Schumer is trying to make it sound like a bad thing. And the “plan” that Schumer is referring to is likely a major tantrum on the Left, similar to what we have been observing over the last number of months.
On Us Not Becoming a Collective Australian Mum
Victor David Hanson has noted that if the Left wins this election, they are not going to be magnanimous. “They’re gonna want to hunt out and eradicate their opponents. That’s what cultural revolutions always do. They’ll do it again.” I believe that this is exactly right. Make no mistake, this is an attempt at a cultural revolution, this an attempt at a great leap forward, this an attempt at a five-year-plan and new deal, wrapped in golden chains. And it will end in the same way those other fever dreams always ended–in blood.
Now there will be some who say that I have given way to right-wing-tin-foil hat thinking, and that I am now seeing commies everywhere. To which I raise a point, which I think is a reasonable one, which is to inquire whether or not there are commies everywhere. Why yes, yes there are.
The Left specializes in this kind of gas lighting. “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes? The way you are going on about this, Wilson, you would think that you think that an Australian mum could be hauled off in handcuffs simply for organizing a protest on Facebook. In the West, our democratic way of life is strong, resilient, robust, and our commitment to hearing from all sides except for yours remains unparalleled.”
Four Things You Can Do
So let’s make this practical, shall we? There are four basic things you can do. The first is do whatever you can to make sure it is an election that is not even close, by which I mean we need to have a popular vote that sees Biden lose in the double digits. There needs to be a chasm that no cheat bridge can cross. This can only be accomplished by voting, and doing so with enthusiasm. Vote like you are trying to prevent a coast-to-coast Venezuela or Detroit from happening, because you are. The second thing, if you are in any position to do so, is to volunteer as a poll observer. This particularly includes serving after the election, as necessary, as ballots are counted in any swing states. This will only be necessary if my first exhortation is not heeded. And the third duty is that of demanding accountability from every evangelical leader who has toyed with anything that even rhymes with woke, and who has not yet repented. A big part of our problem is that we have had Christian cultural leaders who have utterly misread and misunderstood what was happening in our culture. This was kind of bad, like having admirals who didn’t understand ships. And the last thing you can do to avoid kidding yourself. Face the facts, in other words.
Let us consider these points in turn:
If it is not close, they can’t cheat. If it is close, then they will most certainly attempt it. If Trump wins by a hair, or if Biden wins by a whisker, there will be no convincing the other side that there was not foul play. And when that happens, the violence will erupt, and you don’t want to be there. And if you are still telling yourself that violence cannot be the aftermath of an American election, then perhaps you might explain to yourself how it was that mass violence was the prelude to that same election. How many cities have to burn down before you stop saying “this is fine”?
Now if Biden wins by a large margin, which I take as extremely unlikely, conservatives will not take to the streets. They will, in some way, go to ground. They will circle the wagons. They will gas up the van, and call the realtor. It will be a banner year for U-Haul. They will, hopefully, pay attention to my fourth point below.
This is not about the two men, Trump and Biden. It is not about what Trump has grabbed, or what Biden has sniffed. This election is between those who accept the results of elections and those who will not. If Biden wins, the republic is totaled. If Trump wins, the republic is severely damaged but not totaled. If you were a proud #NeverTrumper from the moment Trump first announced, down to the burning of Kenosha, you need to vote for Trump now so that you will have a society in which you might resume your trenchant criticisms of him later. And please do resume them. But if Trump loses, you ain’t criticizing nobody no more, you . . . you . . . Australian mum.
Here is the second point. If you are among those who are in a position to do more than simply vote, I would suggest that you check out two places — here and here. There are ways for both lawyers and non-lawyers to volunteer and get involved. Non-lawyers can serve as poll watchers, and the expertise of lawyers can also be put to good use if this descends to lawfare. If you are flexible and able to travel to a contested hot spot, please consider it.
The third thing has to do with the frankly astonishing collapse of evangelical resistance to the challenges of our time. We need to acknowledge the condition our condition is in.
“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.”
Revelation 3:17–18 (ESV)
But maybe you are blinded by your contempt of Trump. He is an ungodly man, you say. That’s as may be, but it strikes me that his order to expunge all critical race theory from federal training materials puts him well ahead of a bunch of seminary classrooms in the SBC. If he is such a thundering hypocrite, and I am not arguing the point, then why is he doing better than you guys? If there is a hypocrite between you and doing the right thing, then two things follow. First, you are too far away from the right thing because there is space there for him to occupy, and second, he is closer to the right thing than you are.
The last thing you can do is recognize what has actually happened to our country, which is quite distinct from what you were might wish would have happened to it. If the Leftists win this one, whether “fairly” or by means of dirty tricks, the old America is gone, and gone for good. That does not mean that evil has triumphed for good, but it does mean you should be stocked up on guns and ammo. By saying this, I am not urging violence, not a bit of it. Self-defense is not the same thing as looting a Target. And anyway, all the definitions have changed, so take that into account. According to CNN, defending your family is violence, and hauling off a flat screen television from Wal Mart is mostly peaceful. So who’s to say anymore?
The main thing under this point is the paradigm shift involved. Conservatives will need to learn how to think of their government as fundamentally illegitimate. Like we were all captured by pirates, or something like that. This will have downstream practical ramifications, like learning how to do your taxes in the wine vat, like Gideon.