Oct 26, 2020

America's Trump-Supporting Militias
"There Will Be Unrest, Dead Civilians"

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No job, no K-12 school, no university, no factory, no office will be spared. And it will touch both white-collar and blue-collar workers, which is why this election matters so much. How we provide more Americans with portable health care, portable pensions and opportunities for lifelong learning to get the most out of this moment and cushion the worst is what politics needs to be about after Nov. 3 — or we’re really headed for instability.
The president has told us in innumerable ways that either he will be re-elected or he will delegitimize the vote by claiming that all mail-in ballots — a time-honored tradition that has ushered Republicans and Democrats into office and has been used by Trump himself — are invalid.
Recently declassified White House tapes reveal how President Nixon’s racism and misogyny led him to ignore the genocidal violence of the Pakistani military in what is today Bangladesh.
It happened in 2016 to Hillary Clinton, who won nearly three million more votes than Donald Trump — a margin of more than two percentage points — but lost because of fewer than 80,000 votes in three states. Two months away from Election Day, the odds of something like this happening again are disconcertingly high. That’s a bad thing. The presidency is the only office whose occupant must represent all Americans equally, no matter where they live. The person who holds that office should have to win the most votes from all Americans, everywhere.
I am a historian best known for a book on how Richard Nixon became president by exploiting white Americans’ racial panic after the fourth straight summer of urban riots. And so a parade of reporters, podcasters and editors came calling: Was the same thing going to happen again? After all, Donald Trump hasn’t been shy about drawing the parallel: during the 2016 campaign borrowing a famous Nixonism, “The Silent Majority Stands With Trump”; these days constantly tweeting “LAW AND ORDER!” whenever the spirit moves him.
Already there are partial nomads all around you; you just might not think of them that way yet. There’s the writer who spends a few months of every year in Berlin, making up for diminishing freelance wages with cheap Neukölln rent; the curator bouncing between New York and Los Angeles; the artist jumping from Tokyo residency to Istanbul fellowship. In the competitive freelance economy, geographic mobility has become a superficial sign of both success and creative freedom: the ability to do anything, anywhere, at any time.
The basic structure of the American health care system, in which most people have private insurance through their jobs, might seem historically inevitable, consistent with the capitalistic, individualist ethos of the nation.
 
 
 
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