Back in 2016 Michael Anton wrote the essay called “The Flight 93 Election” that characterized electing Donald Trump as a last-ditch effort to save the country from the globalists. In 2020 Anton and everyone else is saying that once again this is the most critical election of all time. So that got me thinking.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “Office Space” you might remember the scene where the protagonist, Peter Gibbons, is talking to a hypnotist about his problems. He explains that every day at his office the boss ratchets up the misery a little more. So, every day is worse than the one before and that guarantees that every day is the worst day of Peter’s life.
In the same way, because in each and every year for decades now, the political and social situation in America has gotten worse, the next election is by definition the most important election in your lifetime. And so, it’s important to do all we can do to get good men in office and push for the changes that we need, to make this a free country again.
But guess what? Elections and politics are not the most important things in our lives and we should be thinking about these other things even more than we do about the politics. In fact, the worse the politics get the more we have to spend time figuring out ways to live happily despite them.
And here the analogy with the movie continues. The hypnotist provides a hypnotic suggestion to Peter that he will no longer worry about his job. But before he has time to restore Peter to normal the hypnotist has a heart attack and dies. So now Peter is completely unconcerned about being fired and goes through his day in a relaxed manner ignoring anything his boss says that he doesn’t like and speaking absolute truth about what he thinks about his job. Of course, eventually everything comes crashing down, but his new found composure gives him the chance to re-evaluate his life and escape from the career and personal entrapments that had made his life a living hell.
For us, the liberating situation is finding out that both parties are a rigged game against us. Knowing this makes it possible for us to try and navigate around all the various entrapments that have been built into the system. We can consciously make choices to minimize the impact of these traps. We can develop work arounds and we can form alliances with others like ourselves who have stopped drinking the Kool Aid. And amongst ourselves we can speak openly of the truths that the establishment papered over. We can openly say that illegal immigration must be stopped and that the corporations are outsourcing all our jobs and that a man in a sun dress is not a woman. Spreading the word that the Democrats and the Republicans have been gaslighting us for decades and working against our interests makes it possible to see clearly who is on our side and who isn’t. The system is still rigged against us but at least we’re no longer flying blind.
And the final analogy with the movie is the ending. One of the other victims of the oppression at the Office is a crazy guy named Milton. The boss tortures Milton by moving his cube into worse and worse spaces. Finally, Milton ends up in the basement and is told to spray for roaches on his way in and out. But as a last straw the boss takes Milton’s beloved Swingline stapler. So, he snaps and burns the company to the ground. In this analogy I’d say the crazy guy would be the fringe right who may finally get so fed up with being bullied by Antifa and BLM that they go toe to toe with them and essentially blow the whole thing up.
Not everyone, including myself, would see that as a desirable outcome but it wouldn’t be a shock if it happened. The provocation from the left has been monumental and the fact that some major blowback hasn’t happened is only because everyone is waiting for the election to happen before settling scores on the street. But even if the conflagration isn’t an actual explosion but only a political reaction it will happen and it will provide a resolution. The seething hatred on both sides is palpable and what is left of the moderate middle is being boiled off by the heat of the moment. It is pretty much impossible at this point to imagine the two sides of the country reconciling. We just dislike each other too much. Probably the best case would be a looser federalism that would allow each side to occupy their own territory without trying to impose their values on each other. But how we get to that best-case scenario is the part I can’t figure out yet. Can we get there without a real conflagration? Let’s hope so.