The next presidential election is not likely to be much of a referendum on Donald Trump’s record. Nor is it going to be a referendum on the Democratic opposition platforms. Instead, it is going to be, “a stark choice between a revolutionary future versus American traditionalism,” Victor Davis Hanson warns in American Greatness.
The furor that Trump has incurred, and the radical antithesis to his agenda and first term, have redefined the looming election.
The choice in reductionist terms will be one between a growing, statist Panopticon, fueled by social media, a media-progressive nexus, and an electronic posse. Online trolls and government bureaucrats seek to know everything about us, in Big Brother fashion to monitor our very thoughts to ferret out incorrect ideas, and then to regiment and indoctrinate us to ensure elite visions of mandated equality and correct behavior—or else!
Trump, Warren, Sanders – Irrelevant
In other words, the personality quirks of a Trump or an Elizabeth Warren or a Bernie Sanders will become mostly irrelevant given the existential choice between two quite antithetical ideas of future America. In 2020 we will witness the penultimate manifestation of what radical progressivism has in store for us all—and the furious, often desperate, and unfettered pushback against it.
Who Is Sovereign Here?
- What or who created a landscape in which the highest echelons of the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department sought to surveil American citizens, undermine a presidential campaign, and abort a presidential transition and then a presidency?
- Who or what is behind the constant remonstrations that the American people are racist, sexist, homophobic, nativist, xenophobic, and oppressing the transgendered? Who lodges such charges? Who believes them to be true?
- Why is gasoline reaching $5 a gallon in coastal cities, when states like California have huge untapped sources of oil and natural gas? Why is lumber sky-high in stores while the state mandates that millions of harvestable drought-stricken dead trees instead slowly rot to serve as kindle for deadly wildfires?
- What is wrong with 3.5 percent unemployment? Is there a Democratic plan to lower it to 2.5 percent?
- Who exactly wishes to pack the court, to repeal the Electoral College, to nix the difference between residency and citizenship, to promote identity-politics tribalism over collective affinities, to nullify federal immigration law, to hunt down and disrupt political opponents as they eat and sleep—and who not?
- Whose ideologies logically lead to promoting iconoclasm and statue-toppling, the Orwellian renaming of streets and buildings, the defacing of public murals?
Like it or not, 2020 is going to be a plebiscite on an American version of Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four. One side advocates a complete transformation not just of the American present but of the past as well. The Left is quite eager to change our very vocabulary and monitor our private behavior to ensure we are not just guilty of incorrect behavior but thought as well.
The other side believes America is far better than the alternative, that it never had to be perfect to be good, and that, all and all, its flawed past is a story of a moral nation’s constant struggle for moral improvement.
One side will say, “Just give us more power and we will create heaven on earth.” The other says “Why would anyone wish to take their road to an Orwellian nightmare?”
The 2020 election is that simple.
Much more from Victor Davis Hanson here.