As Election Day approaches, Americans of all political stripes are preparing for the worst. Police in major cities already anticipate even more riots and protests erupting and storeowners are boarding up their stores.
As some commentators have pointed out, the country has not been so polarized since the election in 1860 that immediately precipitated the American Civil War. Few people expect a clean election with a clear winner; most anticipate a hotly contested election, rife with fraud, outbreaks of violence, and partisan power-plays. President Trump has already called out the foul play at work with universal mail-in ballots, and Speaker Pelosi promises to fumigate the White House in the event that the president refuses to accept the results.
On the matter of of free and fair elections, at least as the Inter-Parliamentary Council defines it, Adam Mill of American Greatness explains how the 2020 presidential election has failed spectacularly. Based on their criteria, a free and fair election requires (1) a neutral media platform that gives all political parties an opportunity to make their case to voters, (2) a rejection of violence meant to intimidate or coerce voters, (3) full cooperation from candidates to accept the results of an election, (4) a refusal to use government power to ensure an election outcome, and (5) an absence of fraud and incompetence in the actual collection of ballots. Few Americans could claim that there is anything free or fair in this election, and this scares everyone.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
Sign up to get Crisis articles delivered to your inbox daily
Additionally, Antifa is now plotting a coup both inside and outside the federal government. Leaked footage from a Zoom conference of government workers organizing and planning insurrection, anarchists and communists hope to seize Election Day. While the usual delinquents will keep up their agitation and destruction in America’s cities, they will also coordinate with sympathetic federal employees and contractors to subvert the election process and block major operations of the federal government. They intend to make life so miserable and chaotic that the masses will call for President Trump to concede the election. In other words, Antifa hopes to effect a Color Revolution in which an administration is removed due to popular unrest—much like the Arab Spring revolutions.
Such a situation might seem inconceivable in this country, but the leaders of our major institutions have made this a real possibility. Mainstream media outlets have spent the last four years perpetuating the narrative that Trump is illegitimate and his supporters are hateful bigots. Big Tech platforms have amplified this narrative by silencing counter-narratives from conservative voices. Universities and even K-12 schools have gone even further, adapting the infamous 1619 Project and teaching that the American Republic is founded on discrimination and oppression, and is therefore illegitimate. Even Church leaders who repeat the false narratives and abet corruption and scandal are promoted while some lower clergymen fighting for life and religious freedom are either censured or ignored.
Coupled with these developments are Democrats and their respective think-tanks putting together a plan for their takeover. Most notably, Rosa Brooks of the so-called Transition Integrity Project—a coalition of liberal Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans devoted to subverting the President’s authority—recently announced that “all of our scenarios ended in both street-level violence and political impasse.” Although they frame a violent Democratic takeover as a contingency plan if Trump rigs the election and refuses to concede, it is clear that these hypothetical standoffs are meant to delegitimize the election altogether. If everyone assumes that President Trump cheated (and some already do), then it’s perfectly fine to organize a collective resistance and forcibly remove him from office, regardless of what the election results might show.
With all that said, what exactly is supposed to happen tomorrow? Clearly, Democrats and their allies envision two scenarios: either the election polls are correct and Biden wins by a landslide, or the election is close and Trump is pressured to concede by various forces both inside and outside the government.
Rest assured, if either of these outcomes manifest themselves, President Biden’s first actions will likely be to “fix” the election process so that populists like Trump and likeminded Republicans will never hold office again. This is precisely what lies behind plans to make Washington DC and Puerto Rico states, end the filibuster, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and eliminate the Electoral College. It is also why groups like Antifa and BLM will continue terrorizing cities. Like the collectivos in Venezuela who beat up and murder dissidents on behalf of their government, these groups will likely do the same.
However, there’s a third scenario that leftists apparently refuse to consider, but is nonetheless possible: Donald Trump wins re-election by an incontestable margin, immediately invokes the Insurrection Act to clean out rioters and would-be revolutionaries, and uses his political capital to sign laws and executive orders to break down the Left’s monopoly on America’s institutions.
This is not enough though. Conservatives, particularly Catholic conservatives, need to do more than place all their bets on a silent majority emerging from the shadows to vote for Donald Trump. Individuals themselves need to confront this danger and eliminate it completely.
They should understand that all the people involved in securing a Democrat victory are also the same people who hate the Church and wish to erase it from modern culture. While their spokesmen claim to oppose what they see as hate and oppression, what truly drives them is envy at what the Church has: a real community, a clear mission, and a rich cultural and intellectual legacy to which the whole world is indebted. By contrast, the typical leftist activist is lonely, angry, and aimless. And no social program or regime change will cure this sentiment. Long after Trump leaves, it is only natural that they will focus their ire on Christians who continue to make them feel insecure and “unsafe.”
Therefore, it is time for people of faith to head off these leftist movements and reassert the truth of the Gospel. While Trump and his campaign do their part to win the election, Catholics need to do their part to win back the soul of the country. This means confronting those caught up in the lies of secularism and materialism and offering an alternative that values goodness, truth, and beauty. It also means offering real friendship and inclusion instead of the phony connections of politics and technology. While this will be met with hostility and even serious threats of personal harm, it may help them realize that they are in fact trapped in a bubble that blocks out so much of reality.
For those wondering what happens when Catholics continue to disengage, they can look at Western Europe, where religious faith is marginalized, speech is curtailed, the economy stagnates, and people stop having families—in short, societies in obvious decline. Far from being peaceful utopias free of strife and hardship, these countries still have protests, terrorism, and frightening instances of government control. Instead of reacting bravely and competently to these challenges, they either ignore the problem altogether and let the media do its work of distracting the masses or impose lockdowns and mandates for the sake of public health.
Even with a Republican victory and renewed push to reopen the country, little will change about the current conflict until Catholics change the culture that fuels radicalism and aggression. They need to confront the lies, reach out to the marginalized, and live virtuously. This will take courage, patience, and intelligence, but fortunately these are qualities that Catholicism brings to those who practice and believe.
More importantly, they cannot compromise or settle for partial victories. Saint Joan of Arc brought peace to her country by being a warrior committed to full victory rather than a diplomat seeking a deal. Like the British occupying large swathes of the fifteenth-century France, militant secular leftists occupy large swathes of American politics and culture today. As long as this is the case, the division will never end and hostilities will recur frequently. So while Americans wisely prepare for the worst in the coming weeks, they should think of a permanent way forward that will bring us closer to truth and closer to one another.
[Photo credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images News]