By Carson Lewis | Assistant Digital Managing Editor
2020’s political battles will likely decide the new future of American politics. In the middle of unprecedented challenges caused by massive social upheaval and a mishandling of a global pandemic, the country is on the brink of something bigger.
Disciples of QAnon, a collection of right-wing radical and ever-changing conspiracy theories handed down to them by an anonymous “Q,” supposedly in the American government, believe in a storm that’s approaching the American political space. This storm will strike against various political and social elites, who allegedly participate in a global cabal of child sex-trafficking, potentially with help from the American military.
Those on the far left anticipate a coming revolution, where the working classes, exploited for their labor, will change the social order and do away with the capitalist way of life. Some jokingly (or not so jokingly) speak of guillotines and the execution of landlords.
Many people I’ve talked to in the past months — some politically knowledgeable, others not as much — feel as if something is coming. A vague feeling of something being wrong permeates the American landscape.
In the face of this incredible tension, the American people will vote in the coming months to decide the future of this country. By the American people, I mean the 55% or so fraction of our country that voted in the last presidential election. Perhaps more will vote in this election, but it will likely remain hovering around 60%. Some may criticize those who don’t vote. You won’t get me arguing that in this article. Refusing to vote is a personal choice, and one that states more about American political atmosphere than the final electoral college numbers. This apathy shows the political divide in America, not between right and left, but between those who believe their vote will change things, and those who believe it won’t. Every percentage point of the non-voter is a demonstration in the failure of the American system.
The kindling flames of the fire, which has been scorching the backs of the poor and middle classes in the country for ages, are beginning to reach the feet of the powerful. To refuse to listen to their shouts will be disastrous to the stability of American life. If things don’t change soon, then America will become an all-consuming bonfire of political violence and division more akin to the countries destabilized in American wars than the American empire of the 20th Century.
While accusations of global cabals are overreaching and worryingly devoid of factual evidence or reasoning, the tensions against the rich and powerful are not easily broken. The solution to this problem must come soon to prevent an escalation in violence. Conflict has already occurred in a variety of American cities between right-wing demonstrators and counter protesters.
The two choices this year are Donald Trump – the habitual liar in-chief, and Joe Biden — a man whose mental clarity may be more concerning than his voting record. While I can admit that Biden’s utter blandness may, in concept, be more acceptable than Trump’s love of strong-man politics, neither will help to quell the flames. Despite all of the incredible arguments that begin by describing Trump as an “orange man” from the DNC faithful, the ballot is not the most important political action to be taken this year.
Action must be taken outside of the political sphere that Americans can conceptualize. The choices made at the polls are only a part of political activity, secondary to political organization and protest.