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About This Election Thing

Disclaimer: The opinions herein expressed are solely my own and in no way represent the views of this internet publication, its management, or its affiliates (although they should).

Dear readers,

Word has reached me, via my many spies among you, that some may be interested to learn my choice for President. And I should like to say to the readership the same thing so many trick-o-treaters have heard from me down through the years: “I have nothing for you. Now scram, you nosy little punks.”

Silence! Uncle Jimbo has the floor.

Frankly, I take it as a personal insult that my last few options have been a vicious harpy, a senile old dolt, and an ignorant schoolboy. I have half a mind to go to my polling place, ask for a ballot, spit on it, and walk out.

It may be a petty little protest, but it will be my petty little protest. Besides, I'm 84 years old. I can do whatever the hell I want.

Thankfully, voting is just one of many ways to perform one’s civic duty. It may not even be the best way, in all honesty. My main concern these days is how to thwart the motherlode of bad ideas that is progressivism. From its cozy lair within the academy, it broadcasts its misbegotten notions throughout wider society, penetrating into the boardroom, the newsroom, the classroom - my God in heaven, even into our living rooms - infecting and corrupting everything it touches, but especially the good-natured or the apolitical.

I have heard, from nominally intelligent people, the most outlandish assertions over the last few years. Good, decent, respectable people explaining to me how boys can become girls and vice-versa, how enforcing immigration law is actually a prelude to Nazism, how the nation is more racist now than it has ever been, etc. It is tragic and heartrending and utterly appalling.

In many respects, a vote for Trump is a rebuke to our preening would-be overlords. And perhaps a satisfying one, for some. Still I can’t help but notice that our universities are as bat-shit crazy as ever, that wide swaths of the public have swallowed slanderous lie after slanderous lie about the nation and its history, that the chaos of the Trump administration has turned away many who might otherwise scoff at the nonsense spewing from so many half-wit rabble rousers.

The problem with Trump, as I see it, is that while he is capable of winning elections, he is driving half the country almost totally insane. How I wish that all that is good about Trump – his fighting spirit, his outsider perspective – could be transplanted into a less alienating, less contemptible figure, one capable of not only winning an election, but prevailing within the arena of ideas. One who might challenge the media's framing of the issues, but in a way far more persuasive to the broader public.

Now, here you may say that I am blaming Trump for the hysterical reaction of the Left. You may assert that the Democrats and the mainstream types would be making the same outrageous claims during the tenure of a President Cruz (or whomever), and that’s all very likely true. But let me tell you a story:

When I was a boy, I remember spotting a hornets nest along the eaves of our roof. Being a boy, I did the ordinary boyish thing and hurled rocks at it for several minutes. I had hoped maybe to knock it down, but all I accomplished was driving the hornets into a stinging fury. A dozen of them chased me into the house – now filling the house with hornets – and after much swearing, and stinging, and swatting, and more stinging, my family and I managed to fend them off.

Naturally, my old man was furious. He berated me for my stupidity until he was blue in the face. I protested my innocence. “But the hornets chased me!” I cried over and over again. My father was unimpressed. “The hornets don’t have any brains,” he replied, “Supposedly, you do. There’s a right way and wrong way to get rid of a hornets nest. All you did was make matters worse.”

And he was right. I hadn’t solved the problem. Maybe it was fun to throw rocks at the hornets for a while. Maybe it felt good to harass them, to antagonize and anger them, but in the end, the hornets remained. Later my father went out with a stool and a broomstick. He carefully removed the nest, calmly walked it to the sewer grate, and disposed of it.

I can’t tell you how badly I miss that man.

I can’t tell you how badly the country misses that kind of man.

Owning the libs can be fun for a day or two, but always remember, these are your countrymen. They aren’t going anywhere. My goal is to de-stingify some number of them. Certainly not all, but surely some can be converted from a hornet into a gentler, more sensible sort of insect – say, a ladybug – with whom we might still disagree, but not so bitterly, and not about so many bedrock things.

This is the task of your generation, as I see it. The boomers have lost their goddamn minds and cannot be trusted with power. (For full disclosure, I am NOT a boomer. I was born in 1936 and my generation was mostly skipped over, which is perhaps why I hate the boomers with a passion none of you can comprehend.)

No, no, it must be you. Somehow, someway, over many decades, in both electoral victories and defeats, you must shift the political landscape away from the authoritarian nightmare the Left is careening towards. Bring the goalposts closer together if you can, but the main thing is to bring the Left goalpost back into the realm of liberalism, from which it has so badly strayed.

Here many might complain, “But they have the media! The institutions! They’ve stacked the deck against us!” Spare me. I don’t want to hear it. You youngsters have advantages too, advantages you perhaps do not yet realize.

There is a counter-cultural movement afoot. Where the Left has mainstream journalism, you have underground journalism. Where the Left has Hollywood and Netflix, you have a plethora of independent content creators, who frankly are much better at their jobs. Humor, parody, satire - these are you sharpest tools. As astounding as it seems to me, conservatism has become - well, cool. It’s edgy, it’s naughty, it’s subversive. Who'd have guessed that even ten years ago?

You have another advantage in that your opponents are changing. The old progressive hornets are dying out now, and their larval offspring – what I’ll call the “Woke Crowd” – are beginning to make their stingers felt. Unlike the previous generation, they are less inclined to mask themselves with traditional American rhetoric. They are (if possible) even more self-assured, even more arrogant, even more intolerant. They are dangerously close, as far as I can tell, to pissing a significant amount of people off. And then the worm will turn.

As for this election, you must vote your conscience, naturally. If you believe Donald Trump is all that’s holding America from the brink of collapse, I won’t stop you. I can’t really argue that the Democrat slate of policies don’t represent a grievous threat to the wellbeing of the country.

But remember, elections are not everything. In no possible universe will the Republicans win every election from now until the end of this century. The more important victories may in fact be less noticeable. When (or if) prominent Democrats feel they can safely denounce BLM and Antifa for the revolutionary organizations they are, that will be a victory that cannot be tabulated or mapped, and yet it will be a milestone for the country.

Impossible, you say? The KKK was once a major political force too. Now it’s a laughingstock. Just keep that in mind, if you would.

The hornet nest can be removed, I assure you, with patience, clear argument, and firmness of character. My earnest hope is that this younger crop of Republicans - the Dan Crenshaw's and the Kim Klacik's - will carry the torch honorably forward, that their beacon will illuminate the deceit and misapprehensions lurking in the bastions of progressivism, that the light of liberty shall not perish from either party, or from this great land, or from the fair earth entire.

That's all I have to say on this matter. God go with all of you, my young friends.

God Save the United States!


James O’Flannery


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