At the time of writing, we have no idea who will win the 2020 U.S. presidential elections - Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden.
And while a clear, undisputed winner may not be announced quickly, one thing is clear: America has lost and has been losing for years as it only grows ever more divided and ever more radical.
While business owners in Washington D.C. and other potential flashpoints around the U.S. were busy reinforcing their stores against possible post-elections riots set to end in violence, it’s become all the more clear that this year’s elections are not be the celebration of democracy of previous years.
There are those who chose the easy explanation for the anticipated unrest - blaming Trump in all his smugness, incessant lies, bluntness and incitement. And while Trump is indeed a part of the problem, he is only half of it.
The so-called woke insanity - usually associated with left-wing politics and referring to a perceived awareness of social and racial justice issues - constitutes the other half. And despite what some may believe, woke insanity gained momentum long before Trump’s term as president.
In January 2016 - when Trump was still nothing but a colorful character in the primaries with no real chance of winning the elections- the Washington Post reported on one of his election rallies at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
In the report were comments from 63-year-old Cathy Cuthbertson, a former administrator at a liberal arts college in Ohio.
According to Cuthbertson, she went to the rally because “I couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’ And when we wrote things, we couldn’t even say ‘he’ or ‘she,’ because we had transgender. People of color. I mean, we had to watch every word that came out of our mouth, because we were afraid of offending someone, but nobody’s afraid of offending me.”
To Cuthbertson, as well as to many other Americans, Trump was the only one who represented a real counterpoint to the political correctness police, who they claim were trying to dictate what they could or could not say.
And while Trump may not be the answer, it's clear one radical way of thinking led to another on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
A few months ago, New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss resigned from the renowned news outlet, citing hostile response to her opinions.
Two weeks ago, Weiss penned an article for the prominent Tablet Magazine, in which she wrote about how “American liberalism is in danger from a new ideology—one with dangerous implications for Jews.”
And while Weiss is an outspoken liberal who does not support Trump by any stretch of the imagination, she was brave enough to criticize America’s liberal movement. And this led to her being painted as a representative of the conservative right by radical-liberal journalist Glenn Greenwald.
it’s ironic then that the online publication “The Intercept”, which Greenwald helped launch, refused just last week to publish an article written by him about the Biden family’s corruption. This led Greenwald to participate an interview with Tucker Carlson, the conservative Fox News interviewer, where the liberal journalist complained about progressive censorship.
The divide and censorship in America is only getting worse, a recent poll finds that 62% of Americans are afraid to express their opinions - the First Amendment? Freedom of speech? For many in America these concepts hold no merit any longer.
As many as 44% of young American people under the age of 30 think it is justified to fire an employee for supporting Trump, while 27% think it is justified for supporting Biden.
The sane liberal center is gradually being pushed aside and out of the public discourse, media and academia. This weakening presents a very real danger to the idea of liberal democracy.
The backbone of a democratic society is a strong, large and stable middle class, both economically and in terms of political consciousness. It’s the middle who are supposed to recognize that all sides - be they left or right, conservative or liberals - make valid points that are worth listening to.
With the erosion of the middle class, there’s only hate where there was one disagreement.
In Israel that middle still exists. And while it still stands, the events unfolding in America are starting to seep into Israeli society. One case in point is the Israeli academia, which seems to be following in the footsteps of its American counterpart.
Another example is left-wing politician Amram Mitzna, who recently joined former Jewish Agency chairman Avraham Burg for in political venture seeking to unite Arabs and Jews. They are clear counterpoints to right-wing politicians like Miki Zohar, Miri Regev and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
There is still a small chance that in the next elections we will talk about relevant issues pertaining to us all. With some luck, we may not even need to fortify our own businesses from any expected rioting out on the streets.