Week 32 of the Quarantine
SAN MARTIN, ARGENTINA – Newsflash from Bloomberg:
“The fate of additional stimulus for the U.S. economy before next month’s election will be decided this week, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi setting a Tuesday deadline to reach an agreement with the White House – though it remains doubtful that the Republican-controlled Senate will accept any deal they strike.
President Donald Trump said he’s ready to match the $2.2 trillion spending levels demanded by Democrats – or go higher – despite repeated warnings by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that most GOP senators will oppose any coronavirus relief package that big.”
Isn’t that nice, Dear Reader? Our leaders come together on an important issue – spending money they don’t have on something they shouldn’t do.
But wait… There are still some malcontents. In the news last week was this gem:
“We’re embarrassing”: Tommy Lee threatens to move out of US if Trump is re-elected…
Who’s Tommy Lee? Do we care?
And Donald Trump says he might go, too. Here’s what he told supporters at a campaign event in Macon, GA., on Friday:
Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I going to do? I’m going to say, “I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics.” I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country. I don’t know.
In sh*thole countries everywhere, losing power can mean more than just graciously ceding office. Smelling blood already, Trump’s enemies are circling. Here’s CNN:
Without some of the protections afforded him by the presidency, Trump will become vulnerable to multiple investigations looking into possible fraud in his financial business dealings as a private citizen – both as an individual and through his company. He faces defamation lawsuits sparked by his denials of accusations made by women who have alleged he assaulted them, including E. Jean Carroll, the former magazine columnist who has accused him of rape. And then there are claims he corrupted the presidency for his personal profits.
Coming up in just over two weeks is what many consider the most important election in modern times. A “battle for America’s soul,” they say. What that means, no one knows.
But this week, we’re going to look at it. And herewith, a “trigger warning.”
Over the next few days, we will set out three unpleasant and unpopular hypotheses…
First, the election may matter… or it may not. In either case, it is impossible to know what effect the outcome will have.
Second, the nation’s soul has probably already been sold to the Devil.
And third, most of our dear readers – and the nation itself – may be better off if their favorite candidate loses.
There… we have framed the scene with black crêpe. Now, let us paint the picture.
Violence in Disguise
According to an extraordinary article published in Politico, a third of Democrats and Republicans say they would consider violence if the election goes against them (presumably, if they think the election is “stolen.”)
But politics is always violence with table manners. Monarchy, oligarchy, dictatorship – it doesn’t matter what you call it, government is always run by a smallish elite… and always backed by force.
Which is why “consensual democracy” is probably the most tolerable form of government – not because it is democracy, but because it is consensual… at least, to a point.
Civilized life is always consensual. It is based on win-win deals. A baker bakes… a plumber plumbs. They come to terms, exchange services, and both come out ahead.
All political deals are, by definition, the opposite. They are win-lose. Politicians neither bake nor plumb. They carry no hods; they till no fields.
So all the policies they promise… and all the favors they distribute – even fake money – must come at someone else’s expense.
Their wars… their taxes… their medical care… their zero interest rates… their COVID lockdowns and Homeland Security pat-downs – all are compulsory.
The more of the nation’s time, attention, and resources they take, the less is left for everyone else. And the more “politics” in a society… the less freedom and prosperity.
You may not like it, but you can’t say, “Count me out.”
Whatever their commands, the people in control are prepared to use violence to make sure you comply.
That’s why an election is such a big deal. One side wins; the other loses. One takes; the other gets taken. One side has the heavy boot; the other bends over.
No Place for Politics
Here at the Diary, our ideology is simple. We favor freedom over slavery… beauty over ugliness… and truth over falsity.
That leaves no place for politics. That is to say, we are as indifferent to it as a weed to a gardener. We would like to ignore it, but we know we might be pulled out at any time.
But Americans set aside one day every four years to wait in long lines, each one doing his solemn duty… that is, doing what he is told to do.
Spraying on the Roundup, he believes the future of the Republic depends on it. His vote could be decisive, he believes. Without it, the dandelions will take over.
But for all his self-flattery, his vote will have no more effect than a lightning strike in the desert. It is extremely unlikely to hit anything.
And even if it should be the one single, deciding vote – it is unlikely to make any real difference anyway. Or, to be more precise, it is very unlikely to make the difference he had hoped for.
For proof, we offer up one of the candidates for America’s highest office – Donald J. Trump.
It is hard to take the measure of Donald Trump’s successes and failures. They are so freighted with contempt or idolatry.
But as we will see, they scarcely matter. The election – more than any in our memory – is about The Man, not the policies.
And we will see, too, that even if The Man in the White House changes, the direction of the country will not.
P.S. Win-lose deals are the subject of my last book, Win-Win or Lose, which was first published last year. I think it is the most important of all the books I’ve written. You can’t get this book in regular bookstores. So we recently did a reprint. And last week, many of your fellow readers took us up on a special offer to get a free copy. So much so, that supplies are already starting to run low. So if you want to get your copy, click here now before we run out…
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