“The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.”
― The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
You might be forgiven for mistaking a description of Douglas Adam’s famous cocktail for our current election season. After all, 2020 has felt like something like having your brain smashed out. But instead of a slice of lemon and a gold brick, we’ve had something more akin to a bag of shit shaken vigorously in a Molotov cocktail.
So, you can probably also forgive Dr. Turchin for falling flat in his attempt to be neutral in his view from Alpha Centauri. Of course, you’ll have to squint your eyes to see past some of the Boomerisms.
Today the faultline is between what could be called the Red and Blue Americas. Blue Americans hate and fear Trump and everything he stands for. Red Americans hate and fear what Biden stands for. Either side is united primarily not because they particularly like their candidate, but by their dislike of the opposing party. There is a geographic aspect to this confrontation (the coasts versus the heartland) but it is not as clear-cut as it was in 1860. Also, the Red and Blue parties coincide imperfectly with the Republicans and Democrats, because many Obama voters switched to Trump in 2016, while many republican politicians have endorsed Biden. The division is over the issues.
Blue Americans cannot bear thought of four more years of Trump, his desecration of the values that made America a beacon to the world, his bullying and lies, his undermining of the norms and institutions that make America work, his contempt for European allies, and his kowtowing to foreign dictators. They fear that Trump will use false claims of election fraud and the post-election social unrest to engineer a military coup, in which he would set himself up as dictator, and abolish free press and American democracy.
Red Americans fear a Biden administration that will open borders to massive immigration, encourage looting and property destruction by BLM and antifa rioters, take away their guns, increase their taxes, and end the oil and gas industry in America. Many see Biden as the senile figurehead for the global cabal of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and child-sex predators that include prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites, and deep state allies, whose aim is to establish an unelected “liberal dictatorship” that would abolish freedom of speech and American democracy.
Okay, hold up.
These “issues” we’re all supposed to be divided over look a little suspicious. If this description is the best that Dr. Turchin can do for neutrality, we’re in trouble.
It’s not that Red vs Blue is a quaint way of looking at it, even though more voters have broken away from the two parties than any time in over three decades. Or that the Blue Team description is little more than ridiculously abstract complaints about the “unbearable” thought of “bullying” versus the other “issues”… the ones where cities are being burnt to the ground.
You know, that whole immiseration thing?
No, those aren’t the worse part, and they can be overlooked. Instead, it’s how he attempts to sneak in a little “non-partisan” mudslinging on the Red Team. But newsflash, Dr. Turchin, the far majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, although more aware of the dealings of the managerial class, haven’t even heard of the conspiracy theory you try to link them to.
No, it’s those damn liberals who are into the whole QAnon thing. 🤯
Finally, you and I, dear reader, can’t plan on the probabilities of unstated scenarios. So, let’s make a call: we’ve already seen why I’m forecasting a Trump win. Let’s go further and say that over the next week, there will be widespread chaos in urban and to an extent, some suburban areas. And almost certainly, the election will be dragged out in the Supreme Court. I think, given recent history and rather unfortunately, this sequence of events is the sure bet.