Many Americans don’t realize that a civil war has been raging in their country for the last 20 years. I didn’t, really. The other side, however, is fully aware of it, and they intend to win.
When I was a kid, there was a great deal of anti-Reagan hatred from the liberals. They were sure he was going to start WWIII and bring us nuclear winter. But the hysteria in that case wasn’t purely an issue of Reagan himself. It was their terror of the Soviet Union, and their neurotic sense that “if we just don’t provoke the Communists, everything will be fine.”
And then the Soviet Union fell. No one expected it to happen the way it did, or at the speed it did. Or as peacefully as it did.
And the American intelligensia, the academics and authors and members of the media who were kind of hoping to see One World, with One Government, all acting with One Will, and led by the enlightened intelligensia, were suddenly left without a pot to perch on. Knowing that they had no chance at that time of any political success, they turned their focus to cultural change. They kept it largely in the universities, because they knew that Americans had no patience for their Marxist ideas.
They were patient. They knew it took time to mold minds.
Then came 2000. Prior to Bill Clinton, the last time a Democrat had served for two full was when Franklin Delano Roosevelt served 3 and a bit. Truman had come the closest. But in 2000, Bill Clinton was finishing his second term in office, and liberals were feeling empowered.
Those who remember the acrimonious 2000 election aftermath, with Al Gore first conceding the race, and then withdrawing his concession, with Democrats demanding recounts only in specific counties (where they’d lost, naturally), and the Supreme Court finally putting an end to the circus, probably also remember the group “Countercoup” that arose afterwards. This should have been a red flag, but like the socialist takeover of academia, it wasn’t taken seriously.
The far left — because at the time, the mainstream Democrat Party had not yet fallen into the bottomless rabbit hole of progressive Marxism — felt that they had been robbed. And they did everything they could to propagate that message.
The hatred they turned on George W. Bush was unlike anything that had preceded it. Reagan was mostly mocked. There were bursts of hysteria, like when he joked about launching WWIII against Russia during a leaked soundcheck, but overall, America remained a civilized country, where politics wasn’t the be-all and end-all of our lives.
But with Bush, everything was the end of the world. 9/11, they couldn’t pin on him, simply because of the enormity of the thing (though there were attempts). But Katrina was all his fault. The Gulf War was nothing but a little boy wanting to achieve what his father didn’t and get Saddam Hussein. The mockery had gone from cutting to poisonous. Bush was the devil. Other nations hated him. Half of America hated him. And that hatred simmered.
And then came the answer to all the progressive prayers (though who could they have been praying to, really?). A community organizer from Chicago, through a series of flukes, had come out of nowhere and gone to the Senate, and during his first term, had run for the Democrat nomination for President of the United States.
The left was enraptured. The liberals who had yet to descend into madness were mesmerized. The nations of the world were almost embarrassingly ecstatic. Barack Obama, a black man with the middle name Hussein (of all things), a man who had spent 20 years in church listening to a virulently anti-American (and antisemitic) preacher named Jeremiah Wright and refused to apologize for it, a friend of terrorists and terror enablers, whose wife had a picture of Che Guevara on the wall of her office, easily walked away with the Democrat nomination.
The night Obama beat John McCain, there was hardly a dry eye (or seat) in most liberal homes. And the hysteria and ecstasy only built from there. This video was only a slight reflection of the messianic fervor of the left.
Note, “I pledge to serve Barack Obama” and “I pledge to be a servant to the President”. This video is a replacement of the original video, which can no longer be located, in which one celebrity after another, and one citizen after another, looked at the camera and said, “I pledge allegience to Barack Obama”.
Obama was The One. The kingdom had come and all of the nasty capitalism and conservatism the left so loathed would now be washed away in the glowing river of glory flowing from Obama.
During his campaign, Obama had preached unity, and reaching across the aisle, and a great future for us all. Even people who ordinarily voted Republican were, in many cases, touched. But it lasted only until his inauguration.
Suddenly, the Republican opposition in Congress went from “opponent” to “enemy”. When voices were raised, reminding him of his glorious promises of unity, Obama merely sneered and said, “Elections have consequences.”
For his first two years as President, Barack Obama held both the Senate and the House of Representatives. He could have done anything he wanted. But many Senators and Representatives were of the old school, and weren’t willing (yet) to engage in Obamaniac triumphalism.
During his first year in office, having accomplished nothing other than grandiose promises, the victory over John McCain (who was painted as an extreme right wing racist for the purposes of the campaign), and becoming the first black President of the United States, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Even he had no idea what he won it for.
The grandeur of the Obama Era was all-consuming. He was literally able to push through a healthcare plan by telling the public (through Nancy Pelosi) that they had to first pass it in order to see what was in it, by getting the Supreme Court to rewrite a part of the law that was unconstitutional, all the while lying over and over and over to the American people by telling them that no one would lose their insurance because of the new program.
It didn’t matter. The left was consumed with a spirit of triumphalism. An arrogance that saw all their achievements as no more than their due, and all their losses as an offense against morality. When Obama, instead of healing racial divides, stoked those divides, and reversed decades of progress in American race relations, they applauded. When riots broke out in Ferguson, MO, even the media began sticking a toe in the pool of anti-American sentiment.
When Obama won a second term, despite his divisiveness, it was all over but the shouting. The left had won. They knew they had won. Everything from that point forward was going to be one step after another towards the glorious future that only the Marxist intelligensia really understood.
Had Obama not been available, Hillary Clinton would have become president in 2008. As it was, she wasn’t quite as extreme (or reliable) as Obama, so it was Obama who served the next eight years as President. But then, of course, it was Clinton’s turn.
There was nothing that could stop Hillary Clinton from becoming the 45th President of the United States. Not a single person in the Republican Party had any real hope of defeating her. The same tidal wave of enthusiasm that escorted Obama into the Oval Office was going to do the same for her. By all the rules that had been established in the world of politics, by all the customs and norms, there was absolutely nothing — and no one — that could stop her.
And then came Trump. The unexpected. The breaker of customs and norms. The non-politician who saw what was happening, saw that there was no longer any chance of someone within the political establishment pulling us back from the abyss, and chose to sacrifice his life of sybaritic comforts and walk into the scorpion’s nest, knowing that in doing so, he was painting a bright red target on his forehead — and over his heart.
He knew he couldn’t run as an Independent. No third party candidate was going to win the presidency. And between the Democrats and Republicans, the Republicans were the only option. Democrats had become far too orthodox and rigid in their positions. A Republican could still be a maverick within the party. Not so with the Democrats. Heretics were excommunicated with alacrity.
Donald Trump came out fighting. He cut through the other Republican candidates like a hot knife through butter. He returned Democrat viciousness with more — much more — of the same. He created an unprecedented enthusiasm in the United States by saying all of the things that regular Americans had been waiting in vain to hear from Republican politicians. He pointed out that the emperor was running around buck-naked, and made fun of the emperor’s exposed parts for good measure.
The left was flummoxed. They couldn’t believe their eyes. They couldn’t believe that all their careful planning was going to be sabotaged by this wild card of a wild man. They couldn’t lose to a man like this. They deserved to win. So they grew intemperate. Even the media, for the most part, dropped their pretense of objectivity and attacked the foreign body, the alien, who had invaded the political world. They didn’t realize — they couldn’t realize — that they were simply adding fuel to the fire that was threatening to consume them. They couldn’t see that their palpable dishonesty was pushing more and more independents over to Trump.
They tried to blunt enthusiasm for Trump by producing purported poll results showing that he had no chance whatsoever to defeat Hillary Clinton. That didn’t work. The Obama administration, fearing the worst, broke all legal bounds to spy on Trump’s campaign, to weaponize the IRS against conservatives, to cover up Clinton’s misdeeds, knowing that if Trump lost, no one would ever need to know about it, and fearing that if Trump won, they were screwed anyway. Because they knew what they would do in Trump’s place, and they assumed he’d do the same.
Magazine covers were designed, showing Madame President. Posters and t-shirts and regalia of all kinds were stockpiled, ready for the inevitable defeat of the upstart Trump. TV shows wrote entire seasons, and in some cases filmed full seasons, all predicated upon the fact that Trump would have lost by the time they aired.
The night of the election, the shock and despair in the eyes of the media and the Democrats and the celebrities and the true believers in The One and in His Successor Madame President, was one of the most horrifying things in the history of American politics. People literally grieved, as though they had lost a loved one. One after another, in fits of Munchausen Syndrome, leftists concocted hoaxes in which they claimed they’d been attacked by Trump supporters. Rumors abounded that 8 transgender teens committed suicide in the wake of Trump’s victory.
Never before the 2016 presidential election had Americans allowed politics to so deeply permeate their lives. More families have been destroyed over the Trump/Anti-Trump divide in America than were destroyed during the Civil War, and that destruction continues. The left saw Trump’s victory, not as the victory of some guy in politics, but as a very personal attack on their essential selves.
And the divide has only grown wider. Where expressing support for Donald Trump in 2016 was capable of incurring mockery and derision from friends and family, doing the same today can result in you losing your job. In your spouse losing their job. In being beaten up. In being murdered.
If Donald Trump loses the election next week, the left will not be as forebearing as the rest of the country was in 2016. They will take their revenge. Robert Reich has already called for a post-Apartheid-style Truth and Reconciliation Conference, in which those who “collaborated” with the “Trump regime” would be outed and ostracized. And if Trump wins, the rioting we saw at the beginning of the year will look like pillow fights compared to what the left has in store. The Civil War that began in 2000 will become a full fledged shooting war. Neither outcome is ideal, but a Trump victory is the best hope for avoiding a French-style Reign of Terror.
I don’t want to have to look back and write:
“And then the United States fell. No one expected it to happen the way it did, or at the speed it did. Or as violently as it did.”