Yesterday, I saw a CNN segment where former CIA director John Brennan was being asked about what would happen if Trump refused to except the election results in the case of a Biden victory. However, the anchor made it clear that this is really an issue with how divided America is — as if in a less divided time such rigging would not be an issue.
Of course, the claim that we’re “more divided than ever” is nonsense. The United States nearly had a coup during the Whisky Rebellion, this was even supported by our future President Thomas Jefferson, who said:
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Oh yeah, and those “more divided than ever” people seem to love to leave out that whole Civil War. But this is not because of any actual issue “division” causes, instead, it’s because the idea that people are “divided” means that more ideas are coming forth. Unity is nothing more than smokescreen for authoritarianism, or the idea everyone must be as homogeneous as possible. If you’ve ever read The Giver, that’s what a world without this new evil of “political division,” actually looks like.
Of course, the wider dislike of “division” is part of a wider shift in our politics to just attack the concept of negativity in general. This is why the idea that Americans might need to take precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic have been such a blow to them, in large part because they have been sold the idea that if Daddy Trump can’t fix it, it’s not an issue in the first place. Ironic that it’s the people who claim to believe the government is not the solution to everything, yet they refuse to do anything that might even slightly inconvenience them to stop the spread of COVID unless the state forces them too — makes me think quite a bit, personally.
Mind you, actual ways to “unite” the country are seen as unthinkable by conservatives. A rather uniting idea, for example, would be abolishing the Electoral College and making it so the President is based on who the nation picks, not on who certain states pick. That is a movement Republicans have fought tooth and nail against — with Mitch McConnell saying when the movement first appeared a decade ago that he wanted to kill it in its cradle — despite its clear unifying effect.
This is because “division” means nothing more than attacking the status quo or taking a stance that is unpopular. I have long noted that political dramas, or dramas that take on political themes, fall into this category commonly. Anyone remember in The Legend Of Korra, where we were shown obnoxious self-rigouts hypocrites and told the only issue with them was that they took their ideology too far? Well people who watched that show grew up and became Twitter pundits who talk non-stop about the evils of “extremism” while also becoming status-quo extremists themselves.
Do you want to know what a unified nation looks like? In 2019, North Korea held an election where Kim Jong Un’s party won with 100% of the vote. North Korea is quite possibly the most unified country of the past century — although runner ups include Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s rule, Germany under Hitler, and the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin.
To be blunt, if Trump tries to steal the election, then I hope there is division. I hope the nation is so clearly split between those who want him to steal the election and those who don’t — if only because it will make it easier for me to know who my enemies are.