I’m Not Your Chicken Little

In the fall of 2016, a bunch of people I love and respect shared an article with me, a pseudonymous essay where the author–who turned out to be crypto-fascist Michael Anton–said that the 2016 election was a “flight 93 election.”

He argued that the stakes in the 2016 election were so high that conservative voters were essentially like the passengers of flight 93, on 11 September 2001. They HAD to act (by voting for Donald Trump, whether they liked him or not, whether it transgressed their consciences, whether they trusted him or not, etc.), because if Hillary Clinton was elected, America was OVER. Dead. Fini.

I remember thinking that I had heard that line before.

  • I heard Republicans say that in 1992, when George H. Bush lost to Bill Clinton. “If Slick Willie wins, America is doomed.”
  • And four years later, they said the same thing when Clinton was reelected, defeating Dole.
  • And when Obama defeated McCain. And again when Obama was reelected, defeating Romney.

I voted for all those Republicans.

We (we Republicans; Republicans then were what I was then) lost all those elections. And as we lost those elections, we told ourselves, “America is doomed if we lose.” Together we worried and prayed over our fate as a nation.

But in each case, four years after those Democrats became President, America was still here. We didn’t turn into Albania or East Germany or San Francisco.

Four years later, America was still a great country. Imperfect, of course. In some ways deeply flawed–just like her people.

In some ways worse than it had been four years earlier. In other ways better.

But still great and still free. Four years of Democrat rule didn’t ruin America. (EIGHT years, [or sixteen] actually; both Clinton and Obama somehow–in spite of seeming evil & entirely wrongheaded and inept and idiotic to us Republicans–managed to win reelection.)

If eight years of Obama didn’t ruin America, four years of Hillary wouldn’t have either.

If eight years of Bill Clinton didn’t ruin America, four years of Biden won’t either.

The whole “flight 93 election” thing, the whole “America is doomed if the other party wins” thing, is a lie.

Its purpose is to frighten the audience into making scare merchants rich. A frightened audience makes Limbaughs and Bonginos and Tucker Carlsons and Ted Cruzes very wealthy.

(Yes, there are left-wing analogues to those guys, but the left-wing media system isn’t structured for profit the way the right-wing media system is. Leave it to the business guys to figure out how to make a buck.)

Its purpose is to persuade voters into leaving their convictions and better judgement out of the equation. That’s how we end up electing moral imbeciles and craven weasels.

It manipulates us into voting based on fear, anger, and hatred.

And we know where fear, anger, and hatred take us. Look at January 6, 2021.

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