11 December 2016
Kents Store, Virginia
I’ll be very honest with you, I did not support Donald J. Trump in the slightest during the election of 2016. I wish I had now. During the RNC Wikileaks scandal, I’ll admit it — I laughed and laughed as one e-mail after another exposed the vapidity of the Republican nominee and the fecklessness of a doomed campaign.
When the election was over, no one was stunned. After all, all the pollsters had called it — Clinton by 7. It was at least a win, even if Clinton barely won Wisconsin by 20,000-ish votes and Michigan by 10,000 votes. The Democrats crowed about their social media presence — a repetition of the Obama experience now 12 years running that seemed to fit within the mantra of The Daily Show and Air America and Media Matters. Let’s face it — Republicans just ran a terrible candidate and got stomped in the popular vote as well as the upcoming Electoral College.
The protests were manageable at first. Sons of Liberty — actual armed groups — began open carrying just about everywhere. The political left doubled down to “cement the change” and perhaps in retrospect it was inevitable that someone would do something stupid, someone would do something outrageous.
Then it happened. Not one event, but several. Personally the leftist agitators just went too far in too many places, but it was bound to happen before someone “standing their ground” (if you listen to right wing media) became a “domestic terrorist incident” (if you listen to CNN and social media).
Then the CIA leak happened. And all hell broke loose.
CIA — now being blasted as a far-right tool — released a report stating that the Russian Federation not only chose sides, but they were ultimately responsible for hacking both RNC and DNC (and simply never released the DNC e-mails). What’s worse, the tidal wave of disinformation and “fake news” came from a handful of servers in Macedonia of all places.
The outrage is now palpable in a way that you would never think was possible. Bootleg copies of the 1980s miniseries Amerika are now all the rage, with “tea parties” being organized just to watch them in people’s homes and talk about what’s next. People are actively talking Red Dawn and the memes on the internet — though somewhat humorous about living under Russian occupation — are grim. The whispers at church, at work, low tones at the lunch counter while the Democrats do their victory lap — what would have been absurd four weeks ago is now commonplace chatter among “patriots” today. One would think that the Democrats would appreciate the idea that 33,000 margins in two key swing states are not a mandate… but there’s no humility in today’s political environment (much less the press, much less the fake news of the left).
Violence is in the air, folks.
Already there are some militia groups out west talking about setting up their own “independent republics” and the molon labe crowd is active again. The Bundy Ranch times a hundred, folks.
It’s hard to describe the total damage Russian interference in our elections may have caused to the American framework. Some argue otherwise, but you can’t help but think that for the first time since perhaps the Civil War, that the gun is being put into American politics. How else did anyone think the political right in this country was going to react after eight long years of Obama?
President-elect Clinton is of course begging for calm after the fact, but doing nothing to tamp down the protesters. President Obama is on his victory lap, as is the tone-deaf liberal media. POTUS even appeared at an Army-Navy game to mild applause (Navy won, BTW).
Yet this Christmas season, firearms are the new thing… ammo prices have gone up… citizen patrols are now a thing… tensions in inner cities are higher than ever. For the first time, I am genuinely afraid of what comes next.
But what if by some miracle it was President-elect Trump who had carried Wisconsin and Michigan by 33,000 votes? What if the conditions were reversed? Added insult? What if Clinton still wins the popular vote by 2.5 million voters? What if it were DNC Wikileaks instead? What if Russia’s disinformation campaign was turned on the Democrats rather than the Republicans? What if — after all of that — the CIA still issued a report saying the Russian government still sought to influence the election.
Wouldn’t we at least have an obligation to investigate it rather than fob it off?
The very fact that the Russian Federation — former KGB agents — helped to decide our president is simply mindnumbing. The Soviets used to play this game… and it’s not just the influence, but how coy Clinton is about the support.
Either way, Christmas is coming, and the anger is palpable. Calmer heads hope otherwise, but there is sure to be some sort of violence at the Inauguration. Security has tightened considerably just about everywhere. Read in the news a week ago that some Carrier facility in Indiana was burned to the ground, and that domestic terrorists were the cause of the fire in Tennessee (whether this is true or just a bunch of kids playing with matches, who cares… all news fits a narrative today, so it seems). Someone took a baseball bat to another person’s car and posted it to Facebook — someone with one sticker cut off another guy with another sticker in traffic, it seems.
It’s fun to muse on alternative history. I’m sure this will earn me a lot of grief for even speculating, but one thing’s for sure — if conservatives should stand for anything, it is the process and fair play. And if there is even a scintilla of evidence that the process was hijacked by a foreign government? We owe it to the American experiment to explore it thoroughly, thoughtfully, and carefully — even if it doesn’t put the toothpaste back into to tube.
Of course, it’s probably best not to discuss counterfactuals. But speculating on what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot might just help guide those in power make the right call. At times — and perhaps this is silly — one almost wishes we had a time machine to see what it would have looked like had Republicans won the election and the Russians had backed Trump.
Crazy, isn’t it? But in today’s environment? Who knows how useful introspection is anymore.