My quadrennial election rant: 2020

My main thought this morning is, thank heavens its over. Because it feels like this election campaign has gone on for four years, ever since the tumultuous events of November 2016, when Trump shocked the world. Looking back to what I wrote at that time, what stands out now is my concern about the media’s role, because those worries have proven completely accurate. I no longer have confidence in any American media outlet. What we have seen since is a press which is dedicated, not to representing the views of the people. but manipulating them. It’s ironic to see all the think pieces about “What if Trump does not accept the results of this election?”, because the media has collectively spent the last four years not accepting the results of the last one.

They have provided a relentless campaign of smears, distortion and flat-out lies. Which is weird, because there are plenty of perfectly valid reasons to criticize Trump. You really don’t need to make shit up. But the vast bulk of the press has basically been acting like a de facto campaign wing of the Democratic party. And not just traditional media either: we see supposedly “neutral” online resources – Twitter, Google, Reddit, even Wikipedia – acting in accordance with an obvious anti-Trump agenda. They all need to lose Section 230 protection, since they are no longer guardians of the “town square”. When you decide what people see, you are a publisher, and need to be held accountable as such.

More generally, four years ago, I concluded: “Trump is an intemperate, arrogant blowhard, with a highly-dubious track record, in both his personal and business life. I wouldn’t accept a check from him, and wouldn’t recommend our daughter hang around Trump after dark.  However, he’s still preferable to Hillary Clinton.” Replace Clinton with Joe Biden, and this remains entirely accurate. Though not, this time, due to the candidate. Biden is the blandest Presidential candidate of my time in America: I don’t know a single person who is passionate about him, and his campaign seems entirely based on Joe not being Donald Trump.

No, my preference this time is not about the specific people involved, and is entirely down to the parties they stand for. In particular, the relentless drift of the Democratic Party left, into a wholehearted embrace of the toxic notion which is identity politics, and an abrogation of personal responsibility. While I still remain unable to vote, it’s a philosophy which I cannot support, regardless of the candidate or agreement with some elements of their platform (I’m not anti-abortion, for example).

I’ve watched as the party has abandoned all moral compass, endorsing or even explicitly encouraging unlawful behavior, from illegal immigration through to riots and looting. Even good theoretical (though statistically dubious) concepts, such as “Black Lives Matter” get twisted by their proponents, making heroes out of felons, and ending up in garbage like “Defund the Police”. As someone who regards the security of my family as very important, I have zero faith in the Democratic party any more. They instead seem solely concerned with splintering the country, and pandering to special interest groups of the oppressed. But just the right kind of oppressed, such as celebrating only the achievements of only certain women, those who agree with them. Sit back down, Amy Coney Barrett…

Those on the left demand absolute tolerance from others for their chosen ones, while not showing it in return. They label as “fascists” or “Nazis” those who do nothing except disagree with them, making those terms meaningless through their misuse. Yet there’s only one side beating up and harassing people for wearing an unacceptable baseball cap, because thoughtcrime is real in their world. This is a result of the so-called “paradox of tolerance”. And you know why it’s called a paradox? Because it makes no goddamn sense.

Now, America is imperfect. But this is a land of tremendous opportunity, home to more self-made millionaires, of all races, than any other place. Too many people seem willing to blame others for their misfortunes, something which I venture to suggest, is often much more to do with the consequences of their own poor decisions. I take full responsibility for my actions, and whatever results from them. I do not, however, take responsibility for those of Harvey Weinstein, 18th-century plantation owners or racist cops. 

I am a white, heterosexual male. I am a legal immigrant who has a steady job, is happily married, and have never had so much as a speeding ticket.

And to many Democrats in 2020, I am apparently the enemy, responsible for all the country’s ills. That is why I cannot support their party.

May the winners tonight not gloat, but act with magnanimity; and hopefully, this time, the losers will accept the will of the people [though should Trump win again, I’m not hopeful after the last four years!] But, you know what? Whoever wins, it won’t change my life significantly, any more than Obama winning in 2008 did, or Trump in 2016. And I suspect that’s true for the vast majority of the American public. We’ll still kiss our significant others, go to work, and get on with our lives. I hope we remember that what unites us, in being Americans (even those of us who aren’t!), is far greater than what divides us, and we act accordingly.