With the USA beset by all sorts of chaos – pandemic lockdowns causing tens of millions of workers to lose their jobs, racial upheaval, the mobilisation of Antifa and other violent zealots, mobs running unchecked through the streets looting, ransacking, and setting fire to property – the prospect of civil war looms over the republic like a real and ominous cloud.
With the US election only months away, pundits are grappling to assess how these unprecedented events will affect November’s outcome. One a surface level it appears that the far left is on the march. They are taking over the streets. They are making heroes of victims and the notion of victimhood. Leftist narratives are dominating the airwaves. However, as Newton’s laws describe, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So what is the conservative reaction to the left-wing chaos? Are the forces that support law and order, stability, and personal freedom taking to the streets in counter-protests, or are they silently waiting for the ballot box, when they will calmly cast their vote for the Trump administration and its commitment to traditional values? Are they biding their time, quietly seething at the wanton destruction of property by rampant mobs? Is this upheaval playing into Trump’s hands? Will the silent majority flex its numerical advantage again and deliver a second Trump term?
The election itself is a strange one. It currently pits two old white men, both laden with extensive baggage of sins past, in a contest that will have seismic global ramifications. November’s outcome could be the fuse that ignites an American civil war. Will right-wing militias mobilise to protect perceived attacks on their personal liberty by a reinvigorated Democratic party? Or will enraged leftist mobs overrun the streets in response to a Trump victory? Who will the military side with if civilian guns begin firing? And what of the inevitable October surprise? Will the current candidates even make it to November? Will a cognitively-compromised Joe Biden stand aside when it becomes apparent that his faculties have deserted him and enough doctors have whispered dire prognoses in his ear? Will a super-scandal emerge to threaten Trump with removal from office? Will the Democrats Vice Presidential Candidate, most likely a woman of colour, be thrust into the nomination? Will Hillary Clinton get a last-minute call up? Betting markets contain other familiar names – Andrew Cuomo, Mike Pence, Michelle Obama, and Bernie Sanders.
US elections are generally predicted very accurately by the state of the nation’s economy. COVID-19 shutdowns have all but guaranteed a recession if not depression. This would normally mean the incumbent cannot win. But we live in very strange times. Traditional rules may not apply. Biden is the current narrow favourite to be the next president, but canny investors might be wise to shop around for a ‘chaos candidate’ that might emerge from the rubble should either of the current nominees fall by the wayside. Your humble essayist is still of the belief that Biden will not run, but we are all merely guessing at this point.