An old friend of mine, a well-known Canadian writer and, like myself, avidly pro-Trump, remains undaunted in the face of the approaching national fiasco that will see Joe Biden installed as the 46th president of the United States. He has a theory about Trump’s departure ceremony on Wednesday at Andrews Air Force base, which he considers not as a moment of defeat and resignation but rather as an “inauguration.” “Trump’s a winner,” he writes, “he always has been and always will be. We’ll celebrate his victory Wednesday I promise you!” The current situation, he believes, is an updated version of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72 and he reminds me of Emily Dickinson’s lyric “Hope is the thing with feathers.” The bird’s song, as Dickinson assures us, never stops, “And is sweetest in the gale.”
My friend is convinced that Trump will pull off an electoral miracle. How this would be possible baffles the imagination, since the election is over and the fraud has been certified. Nonetheless, my friend argues, conservatives must not sell Trump short. Many, he says, have relented before the Chinese bio-terror virus, Black lives Matter, Antifa riots, pathological Democrats, and social media oligarchs who have cut off dissenting communication “so the leader you’re deposing can’t communicate to people what’s going on.” Despite the odds, Trump has the situation well in hand, he assures me. Conservatives must not give up hope even at the 11th hour.
One recalls that hope was the last integrant in Pandora’s box. There are many variants of the myth, prompting scholars to speculate whether hope was an antidote to the harms and evils released upon mankind or whether hope was, in fact, the last and most pernicious ill of all. I have little hope that Trump will pull off a miracle, though for a time I held out hope during the counting-and-litigation scandals that Trump always had two fallbacks: the Supreme Court and the military. The Supreme Court failed in its duty and now it’s up to the military, that is, the invocation of the Insurrection Act. But the top brass is anti-Trump. So it looks like the game is over, the country is lost, and the future is grim.
Alexander Pope’s famous lines from An Essay on Man offer little consolation:
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
If hope is confined to the afterlife, we’re in big trouble down here on earth, and certainly with respect to the democratic prospects of the United States. I remember reading an article some years ago that featured an inadvertent but premonitory typo: the “United States” was misspelled as the “Untied States.” The only hope to avert the disintegration of the country is a sudden and unprecedented reversal of course on the 20th of the month, which no one except perhaps my friend and a cohort of QAnon romantics believe is likely. Conservative opposition to Antonio Gramsci’s neo-Marxist “long march through the institutions,” which has now come to fruition, would have had to begin a generation or two ago, before the closing of the American mind, the surrender of the universities to “social justice” radicalism, the total corruption of the media, and the ascent of Big Tech. Resistance would have had to be voluble, persistent, and tightly-knit. It would have had to match the fervor of the Left.
Hope is all very well, but hope alone is one of the most effective weapons in the enemy’s arsenal. The problem with the conservatives is that they hoped but didn’t fight.