American Carnage: 11-3-2020

With one of this morning’s tweets ending with the question, “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote?”, President Trump has confirmed what he has been telling us in almost straightforward fashion ever since the 2016 campaign. Consistently trailing Hillary Clinton in polls back then, he warned in ominous tones about forthcoming election “fraud,” preparing the ground, in no uncertain terms, to contest the election and throw the country into disarray if the results did not go his way.

Four years later, he is now pushing the notion that perhaps the election should not be held as prescribed by law on November 3, after having waged an overt campaign against mail-in ballots over many months. He’s convinced making voting easier and safer in the midst of a pandemic will bolster Democratic turnout more than it will Republicans. Despite zero evidence that mail-in voting is any less secure than doing so in-person, Trump has been ranting about it with regularity, and flat out told interviewer Chris Wallace earlier this month that he will not commit in advance to accepting the election result:

“I have to see. Look, you—I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say ‘yes.’ I’m not going to say ‘no,’ and I didn’t last time either.”

Fighting rages through the night, forcing ostensible President-Elect Biden to cancel his victory party while urging people to shelter in place and wait for justice to prevail.

Clearly, Trump wants to sow as much distrust and doubt about the election as possible, just as he has against virtually every American institution since the first day of his presidency, when he excoriated the “American carnage” sowed by his predecessors who sat just feet from him on the inaugural dais.

Since then, he has waged nonstop war on the country’s diplomatic corps, intelligence community, career civil servants, the judiciary, scientists, any Republicans or cabinet members who dared stray, and the very idea of expertise, education and intelligence.

“I love the poorly educated!” he infamously crowed in noting he won that demographic in 2016.

Now with the power of incumbency, his frequent presumptive talk about “my generals” as if they were employees or members of his cabinet, and his continuous warnings he will not accept defeat at the polls, dark possibilities loom for true “carnage,” the likes of which we have not seen in this country since 1865.


The evening of November 3, 2020. President Trump, having failed in his attempt to delay the election, has been warning with increasing fervor in the days running up to it that the “radical leftist” Joe Biden and his devious supporters would be doing their utmost to “steal” the election, and is watching returns on his TV at Mar-a-Lago. The networks have already called Michigan and Wisconsin for Biden, Pennsylvania is on the cusp, and now comes the crushing blow: Florida goes Biden, and the Trump presidency will soon be history.

But wait.

The president is in a fury, shouting at the television, his aides, then snarling to his family, “They stole it, they stole it, this is bullshit.”

He begins tweeting like mad, ranting about fraud, thievery, a conspiracy by the Deep State and “interference by the Chinese!” (No mention of Russia.)

And then:

“Will you let this happen? Should we let them steal our country? Turn us into a socialist state and destroy everything we are? Or will you stand up with me and other patriots and reject this fake election? Who is with me?”

With Biden supporters already pouring out into the streets of America, rollicking and jubilant as this country has not seen since Armistice Day, 1945, self-styled Trump militias, heavily (and legally) armed with assault rifles, bazookas, tear gas, stun guns and more, heed their president’s none-too-subtle call—and go out to meet them.

Taunts and epithets quickly turn to hurled bricks, fistfights and beatings. Shots ring out, a body falls, then two, then ten. People rush to help the wounded but are repelled with tear gas, or shot themselves. Armed Antifa members in gas masks emerge from the shadows and begin shooting back at those wearing red MAGA hats and t-shirts. The violence spreads like fire, and local police find themselves in the middle of a pitched battle, with both sides seizing control of buildings, setting up snipers, and establishing makeshift command posts while sending their members out for street skirmishes.

Thousands of innocent people attempt to flee in terror, causing a stampede, some trampled underfoot, some finding their exits blocked and forced to seek safe haven in what has become a war zone.

Police attempt to establish a cease-fire with both sides, but hours pass and it is clear they are not in control. Mayhem reigns. President Trump, watching the live feed on his TV, calls one of “his” generals and orders him to summon troops to put down the rioting “Biden people.”

The general pauses, clear on neither his mission nor jurisdiction, given that the conflict is taking place in Anytown, U.S.A., with local law enforcement near at hand. The president will hear none of it and directs the general to summon troops “Now!”

Then he hastily calls a midnight press conference to announce the imposition of martial law across the land, with troops en route to enforce it.

Also: an immediate suspension of election results pending an investigation of the many “irregularities” at various polling locations and mail facilities that Attorney General William Barr has been bringing to his attention.

Fighting rages through the night, forcing ostensible President-Elect Biden to cancel his victory party while urging people to shelter in place and wait for justice to prevail.

Morning comes, and Trump militias, loaded up with guns, grenades, rocket launchers and anti-tank weapons, storm various newspaper offices, courthouses and television stations around the country. Outgunned police, unable to stop them, call for help from their governors and the president.

Trump indicates troops are on the way, but only to support his militias who are doing a “great job” in restoring order and preventing the fraudulent election results from taking root.

But wait—the president has not heard back from his general, who, unknown to the president, has been on the phone for hours in highly agitated talks with other military leaders, the FBI and experts in constitutional law.

“Where are my troops and where the hell is that general?” the president rages.

Vice-President Pence, Jared and Ivanka gaze at him from across the room, blankly.


Anyone paying attention and being honest with him- or herself knows what the deal is with Donald J. Trump. Never has there been a more disturbed, childish, self-centered, needy and amoral occupant of the Oval Office.

The president of the United States seems to have a hole in the bottom of his heart that leaks all the anger, oppression and insecurity, the bile and bullying his father engendered in him, down into his reptilian nether regions, where all the worst of what was once his humanity has taken up permanent and tragic residence, to the profound poisoning of his own self, his family, his political party, his country and the world beyond.

It is simply not reasonable to survey Trump’s life, from his ruthless business career to the devastation he has wrought on the norms of civilized, presidential behavior and discourse, and think he would hesitate to do anything, absolutely anything, to preserve his hold on power, no matter who was harmed and how much the nation was damaged.

The only restraint being: Can he get away with it?

Of course he will do everything possible to subvert the election results if he does not win. He has been all but telling us that every step of the way.

Will he mourn the loss of life if a virtual civil war comes to pass on the streets of America, with dozens, hundreds, thousands (or more?) killed as he insists he is the one true legitimate president and refuses to step down?

America just suffered its 150,000th death to Covid-19. How many of that now staggering number, with no end in sight, has the president mourned?

It is clear as day that he cares nothing about anyone’s life but his own. Mourning, compassion, empathy, concern for the common good? Those qualities are simply not in him, not anywhere within shouting distance of his consciousness. He is both a depraved and deprived human being, and I would almost feel moved to have sympathy for him if he weren’t doing such incalculable damage to this country every day.

The fact that he has attained the position he has while his stunning lack of basic decency was fully on display for all who wanted to see is deeply troubling for what it says about a significant portion of the American electorate.

Those voters may be surprised when and if he refuses to acknowledge reality and accept defeat in November. Perhaps that will be a bridge too far, even for (some of?) them. Many, though, will no doubt support him even then, blinders fully in place, wandering in the swamp all such cults create to swallow up individuals and neuter their judgement.


I don’t know whether any of this nightmare scenario will come to pass. Our democratic institutions and separation of power have stood substantial tests of time through our history, though none of those tests, with the exception of the Civil War, have represented as severe an assault on our democratic norms as we have seen these past four years.

Perhaps, despite Trump’s ploys to wrest away another term by whatever means necessary, we will have ourselves a full-blown constitutional crisis and it will be left to the Supreme Court to render a judgement against the president (with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh both concurring!).

And if the president demurs yet again, and gives another shout-out to his militias? What then? Will Republican legislators, led by Mitch McConnell, march over to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and plead with him to spare the country further agony?

Will somebody or other—who??—send Capitol police to the White House to forcibly remove him come January, only to be met there at the gates by loyal militia members with distinctly unfriendly looks on their faces and weapons of war behind them?

Unimaginable, you say?

Who could have imagined what we have endured up till now?

No, I probably wouldn’t bet a great deal of money that that there will be full-scale insurrection and blood in the streets if Trump loses. But I wouldn’t put up one cent betting he won’t contest the result.

Nor would I bet a cent on Republican legislators taking that march to the White House.

Donald Trump has long since shown us who he is and what he stands for. What he stands for is the smallest of all possible worlds: his shriveled and bitter heart. That he will fight like the devil himself to preserve it has been borne out abundantly in the life he has led, and the office he has presided over in such monumentally misbegotten ways.

Let us hope our country is spared a last great ordeal that he drives like a stake through its fragile, shaken heart.

From 2009!


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Justice sign by Logan Weaver, Denver, Colorado

13 comments to American Carnage: 11-3-2020

  • Blake  says:

    Don’t worry, Andrew. The deep state would never allow a true patriot to sustain his rightful place on the throne.

    • kirkthill  says:

      Blake, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time, thanks!

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Blake, I’m thinking the Deep State must’ve gone deep into hibernation to get us where we are now. What a stunningly incompetent bunch they’ve turned out to be!

  • Robert Spencer  says:

    The Federalist, one of our nation’s most conservative media outlets, and major Republican leaders like McConnell have dismissed the idea of delaying the election as idiocy. In fact, The Federalist called it both a fascist paradigm and an impeachable offense. This morning on CNN, I heard he walked back it back. I guess last night somebody in Trump’s inner circle threatened to spank him. Maybe even ground him for life. Hence, no golf, hydroxychloroquine or disinfectant injections. No doubt, he’ll roar the election is rigged. Of course, he’ll never concede. He’ll also be a no-show at Biden’s inauguration. He’ll definitely throw a tantrum in a grocery store because Ivanka wouldn’t let him buy Cocoa Puffs. He needs to read (imagine that!) the 20th Amendment. Actually, his refusal to step down would take me out of retirement and allow me to write a screenplay, which I would then sell it to Netflix as a mini-series: Title-Armageddon 2: Trump’s Meteor. Setting—noon January 20, 2021, Washington D.C. Episode 1-The President would be powerless, but Mark Meadows would still allow him to play with his Legos in the Oval Office. Episode 2-Pence would be praying in the basement of his Indiana home while kissing Jerry Falwell’s $%#@. Episode 3-The House of Representatives would be MIA. Episode 4-Thirty-four senators would be picking their feet in Poughkeepsie. Episode 5-Chuck Grassley would be president. And that’s only the first season! Incidentally, it would be shot at Pinewood Studios near London. After all, in British slang, trump means FART and we’d be SHAGGED!

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Yes, Robert, pretty shocking to see The Federalist go after him—they are actually probably to the right of him on many issues, but even they have given up on the human being that he is (or isn’t, actually…).

  • Kevin Feldman  says:

    Yikes Andrew! Reads like a freaking nightmare… which is exactly what the past 3+ years have been in terms of watching our country be ravaged from within. Yet watching Obama eulogize John Lewis yesterday lent some much needed perspective and inspiration… even the boot licking toadies in the House and Senate quickly came out to remind the Orange scourge postponing the election was not going to happen. I am cautiously optimistic that as DC unravels the forces of kindness and rationality are continuing to grow – even as the damned virus continues to spread.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      I know, Kevin, that nightmare has been clattering around in my head for quite a few months now, so it was good to get it out; kind of a share-the-burden deal! It was instructive, though, how quickly even his own party and near everyone else shot that little test balloon of election delay right outta the sky. Turns out there’s actually a bridge too far for him to traverse, even in that universe!

  • Lisa  says:

    Why would Trump have to leave office, when he has been reelected? Asking for a friend…

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Well, it would most certainly be a moot point if he were to be re-elected, Lisa, but his whole strategy with ranting about electoral fraud is, just as it was in 2016, to set the stage in case he loses, which polls and approval ratings are, at this point, suggesting he will. (Though for sure, much can change between now and election day, as we learned four years ago…) I think, though, that he is running scared at this point, and wants to be able to claim “fraud” if things go south for him on November 3.

  • Claire Spencer  says:

    The most heinous accomplishment of this regime has been to turn American against American. Additionally, the sad truth is that DT is only using the base to further glorify his sociopathic ego. He would send his supporters to the MAGA dumpster quickly enough if he no longer needed them, just as he has done with contractor after contractor, employee after employee, staff member (think Sessions) after staff member, and supporter after supporter. My hope is that the military would not become party to suborning of a fascist state in America. But who knows? He is definitely trying to see to it that only loyalists to his perverted platform are in power. Frightening. VOTE VOTE VOTE

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      And we STILL haven’t seen his tax returns, Claire! But as he said, he’s being audited, and his accountants are still working on them…for like…the last five years—but he’ll release them as soon as they’re done! Of course he will, everybody knows that’s true!

      I doubt the military would fall in line if it comes to it—they know unhinged when they see it, and whatever their political leanings, they come through a system with a strongly entrenched sense of the sacred wall between military and civilian life. Colin Powell, even Trump’s very own cabinet trio of Mattis, Kelly and McMaster—Republicans all—had a code of honor that made them ill-suited to serve Trump, and as soon as he realized that, the got the latter three the hell out. (And whoa, are they ever glad, I am certain…)

  • Cindi Donald  says:

    Right On Brother!

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Hey there! Great to hear from you, glad you’re continuing to read!

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