We are now less than sixty days out from the 2020 election. As Americans, we must face the very real possibility that Trump will win. Despite what many polls are telling us, despite the horrendous recent avalanche of negative press, despite democrats opting for the safest possible candidate, despite Trump’s glaring history of being the most vile version of a human being imaginable: we’ve seen all this before. If one thing should be abundantly clear by now, it’s that many Americans simply don’t give a damn. They don’t care how awful Trump is. They don’t care about his racism, his sexism, his history of lies and fraud. They don’t care that his policies are bad for the environment, the economy, or the reputation of the US on the world stage. They will vote for him simply to piss off anyone who cares about these things, just because they can. Even with the very real threat of the very foundation of American democracy at stake, we must face the reality that Trump will not be removed from office. We must remember, Trump is desperate. He knows that a loss will mean his imminent prosecution for his many crimes. Desperate people will do anything to hold onto their livelihood. This is why Trump is already laying the groundwork to claim the election is invalid, saying it will be rigged against him, while working every angle he can to stifle the vote in places he is likely to lose, and in battle ground states. One way or another, the outcome of the election could very possibly be steered in his favor. What can we do if this actually happens?
Don’t panic….. The biggest thing to remember is this: if Donald Trump wins this election, the world is not going to end. Life will continue as it has these past three and a half years, with much of it being the same as it was before. No matter who is in the Oval Office, most lives will go on. Most days will remain the same monotonous bland and vanilla of days. Yes, it will be disheartening. Yes, it will be depressing. Yes, it will bolster many negative aspects of humanity. How can people vote for such trash? How can people support these worst of human traits? It’s almost enough to make a person give up. But that is exactly what we cannot do. If Trump wins this election, despair and apathy may seem like reasonable reactions, but these are enemies clothed in security blankets. It will be exactly the opposite of time to resort to despair and apathy. It will be the time to unify like never before. It will the time to join hands in one common goal, and that is to make sure this sort of thing never happens again. We can and we must come together, make plans for next steps, find common ground. above all we must act. If Trump wins again, democrats and liberal thinkers must take comfort in the knowledge that it most likely was not by the true will of the people. Trump did not win the popular vote in 2016. This, of course, isn’t the first time this has happened. If this were a true democracy instead of a republic, where electors pick our president instead of being decided by majority rule, we would have a different outcome. Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. That should give you hope for the future, and some kind of hope for the nature of humanity and progress. To be frank, the fact that Trump lost the last election’s popular vote, and the fact that in this election cycle he is scared he is going to lose and is thus trying to cheat to win (sabotaging the post office, closing polling places in liberal areas and swing states, telling his supporters to commit fraud, etc), means that there are more of us than there are of them. This is especially true if you factor into account the numbers of people who simply are too frustrated with the political process to even vote at all. That’s half of eligible voters. These non-voters are youth voters and people who have grown embittered, convinced that their votes don’t count, or that the system is too corrupt to really represent their goals. That means, the majority of the non-voters are probably also liberal-minded, or more centrist-oriented. This is another measure of how much power progressives have to swing the country toward positive change, if only they could harness this power, convince these people that the time for complacency is done. There is a veritable tidal wave of voices just waiting to be unleashed on this country, waiting to push us into the future. The next generations that are coming of age are far more progressive than those before it. Change is coming, whether the previous generation wants it or not. With numbers on our side, that means progressives truly have the power to insist on change, if they would merely unify in purpose. In this country we have seen recently the power of protests in select cities who have pushed for reform in police departments. If Trump wins again, the people must protest like they have never protested before. In order to be successful, the protests must remain non-violent. We have already seen how Trump and conservatives spin rioting and looting in their favor. These type of events are counter-productive to the results the protests seek to achieve. I know many argue that sometimes rioting and looting can be justified, but in this case, when trying to subvert the rise of fascism, instigating violence will only worsen fascism’s strangulating hold over the people. In order to be successful, the protests must remain non-violent. We have already seen how Trump and conservatives spin rioting and looting in their favor. These type of events are counter-productive to the results the protests seek to achieve. I know many argue that sometimes rioting and looting can be justified, but in this case, when trying to subvert the rise of fascism, instigating violence will only worsen fascism’s strangulating hold over the people. The people must unify and commit to the goal of the protest, which is to demand new leadership, to demand corruption be rooted out of government. This can only be done through a nation-wide General Strike. There have only been two major General Strikes in US history, but that is not due to their lack of efficacy. General Strikes are rare because they are hard to coordinate, and they are hard to manage, along with being very difficult to commit to in a capitalist economy. However, the fact that a capitalist economy can only survive if commerce continues unimpeded, speaks to the level of power this type of strikes can wield if utilized effectively. Just think of the power that could shift the tide of leadership if only a few facets of essential commerce were impacted, such as transportation and shipping. If the workers involved in the airlines, the railroads, and the shipping services all decided to strike at once, they could effectively cripple consumer activity in a matter of hours to days. It has been done before, and in Europe these types of strikes have been specifically successful. Now imagine if this type of protest was unified across more than just a few sectors of the work force. Imagine retail workers, factory workers, teachers, nurses, and more, all walking off their jobs and demanding change. Imagine the dramatic impact it could have. If Trump wins, the time for imagining it will be over. The time for accomplishing it will be upon us. If Americans truly wish to thwart the rise of authoritarianism and the overthrow of their democracy, this is surely a tool at their disposal. With the numbers on our side, a united front of protest would send a message to the government that would be impossible to ignore. America is a resilient nation. It has faced many challenges in its short lifespan, but this election may be the first time we have truly faced the real possibility of our entire system of government being sabotaged by nefarious infiltration. Trump wants us to believe that the voice of the people is powerless. He blatantly disregards the rule of law and the Constitution. He blatantly rubs the public’s nose in the face of his brash and heedless corruption and dares us to do anything about it. Now, he is openly trying to cheat to win re-election and position himself to dismantle democracy from the inside. If he succeeds in this positioning, it will be the ultimate test of the power of the people, and the power of protest. We must not allow ourselves to be defeated, to accept complacency in the form of convenience. The time for passive observance is over. The time has come for action.