Orthodox Reflections is a Web site focusing on "how the Orthodox Faith interacts with, and is perceived by, the American culture". I was recently sent the link to an article there titled "Conservatives Remember What Can Happen When You Lose". I don't identify as a political conservative per se - morally, yes, in the Christian tradition, but if I have to pick a political label, I daresay I lean towards "classical Liberal". Even so, I think it's worth quoting at length from the article, because it speaks for many of us in this country today. Emphasis is in the original.
Tens of millions of us are looking out over the landscape of contemporary America and feeling besieged. This year, we’ve watched BLM / Antifa rioters allowed to pillage and burn with impunity. Police stood down in the face of violent disorder, and refused to protect innocent civilians. Citizens who tried to protect themselves and their property were vilified and some have even been charged with crimes. Not even senior public officials such as senators and congressmen were safe from the fury of the mobs. The riots have destroyed thousands of homes and businesses causing billions in damages. Churches have not been spared, some even being attacked while worshippers prayed inside. Statues of Jesus, the saints, and American heroes have been pulled down and desecrated.
The media and the politicians have made excuses for all this or intentionally downplayed it. The words “mostly peaceful” have entered our lexicon now, along with “flatten the curve” and the “new normal.”
The mobs were also active on social media. As a result of pressure campaigns, historical place names are being changed. Books are being banned. Beloved authors are being consigned to the memory hole because they were the wrong color or because they wrote about the wrong topics. As the old American culture is erased bit-by-bit, a new one arises that none of us can even recognize.
Truly the barbarians have breached the gates. Only this time, the rulers invited them in.
But it’s not just the violence in the streets and the pressure of woke Twitter mobs that are changing our nation. We’ve watched with concern for decades as executive power has grown unchecked, only to discover in 2020 that the situation is even worse than we could have possibly imagined. Mayors, health officials, and governors can lock us in our homes, shut down our businesses, close our churches, close our schools, and even change the rules for how we vote. Police around the country enforce these clearly unconstitutional orders as if they were the law of the land. City councils, state legislatures, Congress and courts have all proven ineffectual in reigning in executive overreach. On the off chance a court declares one arbitrary rule or another unconstitutional, the executives seem to always find a way to keep their boots on our necks.
If the fear of a virus with a 99.7% survival rate can be leveraged to transform our entire society, are there any limits on what government can do in a “crisis”?
Throughout this nightmare of a year, we consoled ourselves with one thought – at least we can vote the bastards out. Or, maybe not … There is so much evidence of fraud in this election that a blind squirrel could find it. And that leaves Red State voters asking each other, “If they can steal an election this brazenly, does it matter if we vote ever again?”
Despite all the evidence, the courts are not interested in even hearing the cases brought before them. The state legislatures appear uninterested in exercising their constitutional duty to oversee the selection of electors in a fair manner. The old guard of the Republican Party can’t seem to surrender fast enough.
. . .
Conservatives are angry at what they perceive as having their votes stolen ... But there is another, extremely important reason that conservatives refuse to accept the results of this election. They are terrified that the last year has only been a dress-rehearsal for what comes next.
Conservative Americans realize they are facing the very real threat of being governed by politicians that absolutely hate us and who have no meaningful restraints on their power.
We started out as “deplorables” and have now progressed to “f**kers.” We are even being dehumanized by some writers and cartoonists as “rats.” In the current storm of insults, Trump supporters are even being cast as traitors. At least one Democratic congressman has called for attorneys representing the president in legal challenges to be disbarred and to strip House members who supported Texas v. Pennsylvania in the Supreme Court of their seats in Congress. One of the defendants in that case described it as a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) went on CNN with this accusation, “These senators and members of Congress who have refused to acknowledge that we had a free and fair election in which Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by over 7 million votes, are bordering on sedition and treason.” Not only can we not get our day in court, even asking for one is tantamount to treason.
. . .
To cement their power, the Democrats openly discuss transforming our system of government by abolishing the Electoral College, admitting new states to the union to gain permanent control of the Senate, and packing the Supreme Court with reliably liberal votes to rubber stamp everything. Conservatives also hear calls for retribution from progressives that include “re-education,” “truth and reconciliation commissions,” and nationalizing the lockdowns and mask mandates (see ya’ free state of Florida). Those proposals are just for starters, as the in-coming Biden Administration also keeps discussing executive orders to “deal” with gun violence, forgive student loans, and further “reform” the criminal justice system. And the granddaddy of them all – climate change, of course.
. . .
Whatever is left of our economy after fighting COVID will surely be finished off fighting climate change.
Conservatives fear they are facing a string of emergency orders that will destroy our economy and rob us of our freedoms. These orders will be issued by politicians with unchecked power, supported by rampaging street mobs, who hate conservatives passionately and consider them sub-humans with no rights. The politicians will be protected from electoral accountability by an intricate system of election rigging hidden in plain sight. This is a nightmare scenario conservatives will be powerless to resist by any legal or constitutional means.
Such fears tend to bring out fanatical tendencies in even the most even-tempered of people.
There's more at the link.
A great many Americans, including this author, are determined not to be railroaded into accepting the results of a manifestly fraudulent, dishonest election outcome. We will not sit idly by and see the Presidency of our nation stolen by a usurper. If that happens, resistance can and will occur. How widespread it will be, and in what form, and to what effect on our society and our constitutional republic, is as yet unknown and unclear.
May God forbid that it should become necessary . . . but increasingly, that looks like a pipe dream. Therefore, let us gird up our loins and stand ready. As Winston Churchill reminded us:
One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!