by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The old 2020 election was supposed to be about many familiar issues. It is not anymore.
Up until now, the candidates themselves would supposedly be the story in November. The Left had cited Trump’s tweets and erratic firings as windows into his dark soul.
The Right had replied that an addled and befuddled Joe Biden was not really a candidate at all. …
… Issues themselves are no longer likely to decide the election either. Not long ago progressives argued that the miracle Trump economy was in shambles, done in by plague, quarantine, and riot.
They thundered that it was what you would expect from Trump’s innate chaos — a mess that would have to be invented if it had not existed. …
… The people’s energy, tranquilized by a two-month national quarantine and terror of the coronavirus, has suddenly exploded in both massive protests and silent seething at the lawlessness.
The result is that for good or evil, the 2020 election is no longer really about Biden and Trump, Democratic or Republican policies, or progressive and conservative agendas.
No, it is now about America as it has been before May 2020 — always flawed, but constantly improving, and not perfect but far better than the alternatives — and what has now followed.
Much of the country believes that America is racist, cruel, and incapable of self-correction of its so-called original sins — without a radical erasure of much of its past history, traditions, and customs.
It sees occasional violence as a necessary stimulant of long-overdue change. …
… The other half of the country will vote to preserve what is under attack. They feel that the dreamy world of the demonstrators and rioters is an Orwellian vision far worse than the present reality that they are protesting.