A comment on the upcoming election by Tony Donadio (9-5-2020), posted on The John Galt Line Facebook groop.
Those treating it that way are making a serious mistake.
Understanding what’s truly on the line in November requires taking a broader cultural and political perspective than a focus on personalities. Particularly troubling are the very real threats to freedom of speech today, which is under direct assault by the political left.
I think it’s clear that America is now effectively facing civil war at the hands of a neo-Marxist insurgency. And I have to say that not appreciating that reality — especially on the part of some people who I think ought to know better — comes across to me as naive, tone-deaf, and lacking in awareness of what is actually happening in the nation’s culture and politics.
I want to make a “statement for the record” on what I think and where I stand on this. I wish I had more time to discuss it in detail, but I have projects due soon and will be too busy for the next few weeks to engage in much debate. So for now I’ll settle for simply listing a few examples of what I think we’re facing. There are a LOT more.
First, the democrats will pass a national version of AB5 (the PRO Act). Biden’s already endorsed it, and it will effectively make it illegal, everywhere, to work for yourself as an independent contractor. Instead your livelihood will be tied to a unionized “employer,” which will have the power to hold that “job” over your head if you don’t toe the line, and behave and speak as expected. In addition to being an attack on the right to earn your own living, this will be a direct assault on the freedom of speech.
The left has weaponized the intel and law enforcement agencies. This is not conjecture or a “right-wing conspiracy theory.” It’s a scandal that makes Watergate look like jay-walking, and the fact that the MSM has erected a wall of silence around it only makes it all the more damning. If they can use that power against a sitting president, they won’t hesitate to use it against anyone — including you and me. This is a profound and direct threat to freedom and the freedom of speech, and it dwarfs anything Trump has done or that we’ve seen from the right.
The left’s calls to â€œdefund the policeâ€ will lead directly to de-facto censorship. That’s what happens when you neuter the social institution tasked with protecting citizens from violence and intimidation, and with maintaining law and order. When the anarchy of local gangs moves in to take its place, and people can be threatened, attacked, killed, or have their property taken or destroyed with impunity and without accountability for displeasing those gangs, then freedom of speech is dead and it’s time to go on strike.
And, of course, the left will, if given power again, pass single-payer, finally destroying the nation’s last vestige of freedom and self-determination in health care.
None of this is about treating Trump or the GOP as paragons of capitalism. I am not so much voting for them, but against the Democrats. But I do want to emphatically reject any attempt at equivocation or moral equivalence between the Republicans on the one hand, and a left that has embraced actual wage-slavery, violence in the streets, and the fascist weaponization of federal law enforcement. Yes, today’s right deserves criticism. It is not even in the same galaxy of bad as the Democratic party of 2020.
EDIT and Postscript: Here are some comments Iâ€™ve written elsewhere about this. I thought this would be a good place to collect them as well.
“The problem is that the Democrats have become a historically unique threat to the future of the republic. They weren’t even close to this bad at the time of the last presidential election. As I look at their actual policy platforms, and understand that they will put these into practice if they are given the power, I don’t see how I can do anything other than oppose them. However bad I may think Trump is, what the Democrats are proposing now is an open declaration of war on the rest of my life.â€
“Calling for a fight to defeat â€˜Trumpismâ€™ is waging a battle that is already long lost. That was my clear takeaway from what happened four years ago, and its scope is wider than just Trump and his supporters. As a result, I’ve come to regard the mission of â€˜saving the right and the Republicansâ€™ as a fool’s errand that is frankly divorced from a real-world appreciation of where they are as a political and intellectual movement. It’s earlier than you think.
“With respect, many people seem to be treating a presidential election as a method of culture-change intellectual activism. That is not only wrong, but I think it’s a hierarchy inversion. And because â€˜Trumpismâ€™ is a symptom of wider trends in our current culture, â€˜defeatingâ€™ it will NOT save the right or bring it around to anything better. I think the Democrats, who are subject to the same cultural forces, have already demonstrated that. They responded to political loss by quadrupling down on precisely the worst elements of their platform, ideology, and naked power-lust.
“What I think all of this indicates is a need to start treating politics, at least for the time being and until we can make more pre-political headway in changing the culture, as a holding action designed to protect ourselves from the worst of the existential threats that we now face in the political landscape. And today, those are overwhelmingly coming from the Democrats and the left. That’s why I will be voting this November with the explicit goal of stopping them.”