When two people can’t agree on anything, there is often an underlying issue that neither of them sees (or will admit exists).
Let’s try a little thought experiment and examine how that idea holds up around the 2020 election. When we look at America as a loosely woven tapestry of red and blue states, the differences between the two are easy to see:
- Democrat vs. Republican leadership
- City vs. rural populations
- High-tech vs. agriculture, ranching, forestry, mining
- Religious values and family life
- Acceptance or rejection of the prevailing national political and cultural climate
- Home and real estate prices
- Local and state taxes
The red/blue view doesn’t really give us a glimpse of anything underlying those differences, though.
Now let’s add COVID-19 to the picture. This solidifies the states more firmly into red or blue status, when we look at the actions taken by the respective state governments.
Blue state governments have been strong proponents of lockdowns that kept people inside their homes and shut down economic and social activity as a form of protection. Red state governments have been far less eager to limit people’s activity or shut down their state’s economy.
According to a Federalist article on Gallup polling data, “Seventy percent of Democratic men, and 80 percent of Democratic women were worried about getting the coronavirus, while only 20 percent of Republican men and 29 percent of Republican women reported the same.”
Also, “On returning to normal activities, only 5 percent of Democratic men and 3 percent of Democratic women reported being ready. Sixty-four percent of Republican men and 54 percent of Republican women said they felt ready for the country to move on.”
That is a dramatic difference! While I’m sure it speaks to news viewing habits and sources, the primary difference seems to be fear (a very powerful motivator). Blue state governors who acted decisively, even when it meant bypassing the legislative and judicial branches of government, had strong support among blue populations.
But blue state governors also had strong opposition among the red counties within their own states. This push back was most effective when the legislature was divided or Republican, and the legislature took the governor’s actions to court. Strictly citizen action was less effective, although Oregon’s governor escaped a recall petition by only about 2,700 signatures.
It turns out there is an excellent reason why our Constitution requires the federal government to provide a republican form of government to every state. The American colonies were governed by a king (even though he had some parliamentary restraints). The War for Independence in America was by no means a unanimous undertaking; there were people on both sides of the issue.
Now imagine COVID-19 today had Hillary been elected president. The same monarchial proclivities exhibited by Democratic governors would have been met or exceeded at the federal level. It would have been all the blue state governors on steroids.
This is the unseen riptide that has surfaced during the 2020 election. Do we want to live under a monarch, or a republic comprised of elected representatives, judges and the executive (governor)? The blue state governors have made their preference very clear: The governor makes the laws, sets the penalties and rounds up the violators. There is no need for the legislative or judicial branches.
Article IV, Section 4, of the United States Constitution is in fact the “elephant in the room,” both figuratively and literally. It reads:
“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.”
A republican form of government permits the governor of a state only to enforce the laws passed by the legislature. Guilt or innocence is determined by the judicial branch. The Constitution does not permit monarchs, elected or not.
Maybe this is what the 2020 election is really about.
Armageddon, the real story. Behind Enemy Lines, Vol. 2.