The 2020 Election

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Next Tuesday is only going to the start of a long ride. I have some raw thoughts that I’ll share in my RSS only feed.

Regardless of what happens, the system and mythology that underpins it are gone. It’s a foregone conclusion that one candidate will get significantly more votes than other. We have no idea if the courts will invalidate this or if there will be a smooth transition of power. The fact that there’s doubt means the previous system is already unraveling.

My old post about the Keyes Constant saw a huge spike in organic search traffic in the past month. It’s now my most popular post. The central thesis seems especially relevant now.

Some percentage of the population is simply crazy — say 20–40%. Successful societies find creative ways to distance this group from the levers of power. One of the best modern examples is Israel. The ultra-religious don’t serve in the army and are given subsidies to mind their own business.

Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan are the exact opposite. The ruling class in each place made alliances with the local crazy people in order to come to and stay in power. The results speak for themselves. The old pictures of unveiled women walking around universities in Kabul and Tehran are heartbreaking.

The USSR and Maoist Red Guards show that religion itself isn’t the crazy-making factor. That’d be too simplistic a narrative.

Since the 1980s, one party in the United States has cultivated an exclusive relationship with the Keyes Constant. In exchange for votes, that party enacts a radical social agenda in addition to its main plank of kleptocracy for the ultra-wealthy.

It’s delusional to think you can use the Keyes Constant for your own ends and not be overwhelmed by it. Little by little they’ve hollowed out the Grand Old Party. There are no beliefs, principles or platforms left — only a raging personality cult.

No amount of reasoning, looking at the facts or calm discussion is going to bring people to their senses. This will go on until some event makes it untenable. Then we’ll hear cries of “we never really supported any of that, we need healing and reconciliation.”

For perspective, I recommend the works of Timothy Snyder or How Democracies Die.

Another seminal read for me has been American Nations. It lifts the mythology off of the early history of European settlement in the Americas. The founding fathers weren’t some sacred sages. The system they eked out was specifically designed for the intercultural conflicts of the era. The fact that we’re still using that system today speaks to our paralysis and inability to govern.

I don’t know what’s going to happen on Tuesday and beyond, but I do know that US system is held hostage by the Keyes Constant. Until that changes, things don’t bode well.