Like quite a few other people the world over, I am nervous about the upcoming presidential election in the United States. The increasingly incendiary rhetoric coming from Trump and some of his supporters makes me nervous.
It's incredible that our institutions of gov, WH, Congress, DOJ, and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time pic.twitter.com/8G5G0daGVN
— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) October 15, 2016
It’s tempting to make a Lord Farquaad joke, but we are not living in a satirical fairy tale. This is real life. And some of the anti-politician chatter in America has crescendoed to a revolutionary tone.
By all sensible accounts, the inevitable outcome of the election is that Clinton will win. Yet if she does, there are two significant points of trouble come November 9. The first is that a Clinton victory will afford would be antagonists a spark to ignite their rhetoric into violence. It is hard to imagine violence becoming widespread. Instead, it almost certainly will be localized and directed at vulnerable communities. Don’t expect pitchforks and torches on the National Mall. Do expect racial violence where local policing turns a blind eye and federal intervention would be too risky.
God willing, a Trump loss will not result in such violence. After the puffed up talk, hopefully Trump will do something utterly uncharacteristic and appeal for civility.
But there is another point of potential trouble. Clinton is a disciplined politician. She has been striving for the presidency for a long time now. And as best as can be discerned, she will come to her administration with an agenda that she has been carrying with her over the years. It is inconceivable that the agenda she has been forming over the past many years is the right one for our times. If she wins the presidency, she has a task ahead of her that pretty much is not the task she’s been dreaming about and aspiring to. It is hard to think of her bending the knee to the present situation.
This is the biggest problem with presidential politics in modern times, in my admittedly humble and under informed opinion. Presidents interpret a win as a mandate for the agenda they developed long before the election.
The next president of the United States has pretty clear marching orders. Submit to the times. Change agendas. Prioritize unity and compromise and civility and equity over an ideological agenda formed in ‘60s and fashioned in the ‘80s and ‘90s. I confess that I am not optimistic this will happen.
That should not stop citizens from asking their political leaders for unity, compromise, civility and equity. Peacefully.