Listen to left-wing media and the world will come to an end if Donald Trump is re-elected. Meanwhile, the hard right will tell you this Republic will be unrecognizable if Elizabeth Warren becomes president.
The oldest tactic in politics — fear.
But let’s use some logic here. As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason — cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason — must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense.”
Most analysts say it’s very unlikely the Democrats will lose the House. So, if you’re a Democrat, how, logically, can you say Trump will ruin the country with another four years. Our founders designed a system to decentralize power; without the House, a president is largely emasculated. Meanwhile, it’s also equally unlikely the GOP will lose the Senate.
Even in the scenario of an Elizabeth Warren presidency, she too would be able to accomplish little with a Republican Senate. Does anybody remember the tactics Mitch McConnell employed against Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland? Do you not think those tactics, even more severe ones, would be used against Warren?
Warren Buffett, a moderate Democrat, likes to say he has been a net buyer of stocks under both Republican presidents and Democrat presidents — America, in his judgment, is much larger than 535 members of Congress or a particular president or the Supreme Court.
And, it’s no accident that Buffett’s rationality has made him the most successful investor in American History. Meanwhile, George Soros and Paul Krugman said a Trump presidency would lead to an immediate crash in our economy. Well, that never happened.
And Paul Tudor Jones, a hedge fund manager, says the American economy will immediately tank with a Warren presidency. Well, the stock market made enormous gains in FDR’s first few years, even if President Franklin Roosevelt governed from the left.
The point is, if you take the stock market as a metaphor for the prosperity and hope of America, things seem to always trend upwards, with some corrections along the way. And that’s how people should feel about our politics right now. America is currently unsettled, no question, but it’s not even nearly as unsettled as it was in the 1960s. Race riots, the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution — those things truly divided our republic. We’re not remotely close to that level of divisiveness.
For all his flaws, there was something really moving about John McCain’s posture in the 2004 election. He was a loyal Republican who supported President George W. Bush. And yet, he made it adamantly clear that America would still chug along, quite well, under a President John Kerry.
And that’s exactly how people should feel about the 2020 election.
Voters will have their individual preferences, as they should, but underneath their choice should lie an inexpressible hope in the future of America. The next generation is less racist, less materialistic, more philanthropic, and more entrepreneurial than any other generation.
And, when that culture gets translated into our laws, and politics more generally, America will be as beautiful as ever. Poverty will be further reduced, relations with even our enemies will greatly improve, and all people, regardless of race, will feel as if America is their home.
The scriptures teach us, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Let’s hope, then, everybody becomes a believer. Happy belated Thanksgiving.
Alex Beinstein is a millennial who grew up in Aspen, lived in Carbondale for a while and now writes from Washington, D.C. His column appears monthly in the Post Independent.