Bad American Dreams

Bad American Dreams

Millions of Americans support Donald Trump. Many believe Trump’s claim that the Democrats stole the election and some hold democracy in such contempt they stormed the Capitol.  Some even threatened to hang the Vice-President Mike Pence in front of his wife and children.  Trump’s supporters are becoming ever more strident, but the more strident they are the more they antagonize  a majority who do  not support Trump.  The likelihood is that before the presidential election of 2004 opinion polls will be showing a clear lead for whoever is Trump’s opponent.  In such a situation what would people who hate democracy and were prepared to hang the vice-president do?

Imagine you were one of them.  What would you do? Well a possible tactic would be to attack the polling stations and reduce the election to chaos. If that happened it is hard to see how civil war would not follow.   Ridiculous?  Perhaps.  Covid 19 would almost certainly not be over by then and in such a case the Government would lose the ability to impose unpopular measures on the population.  The health services would be overwhelmed and millions would die horrific deaths.  Then there is climate change.  If there were a drought in the American grain belt, together with transport difficulties making it hard for goods to reach shops, plus inflation, there would be widespread starvation.  A crazed nightmare?  Possibly.  Can you even imagine it?  Bur sometimes events strain the imagination to its limits, as Kant tells us in another context.  Unimaginably terrible things do happen.  Who could have imagined Auschwitz before it happened? Or how may even dreamt that WW2 would end with the atom bomb?  It is always wise to try to foresee the worst possible future scenarios.  But imagine you are  President.   What would or could you do?  Perhaps Tolstoy was right.  Great men are but flotsam on the implacable  and terrible tides of history. But there is something we can do.  We can try to inspire people to become more active to create a better and more loving world.


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