With the exception of the period leading into the Civil War, Americans have never been more at each other’s throat than they are today. We Americans are distracted and hateful of each other. Politics has always been a contentious affair in the United States. Rarely has it been as divisive and violent as it is today.
This is because the country is experiencing what Political Scientists refer to as a “regime change,” in which the dominant political party and preferences are replaced by something new (this is not to be confused with militarily or violently overthrowing a legitimate government and replacing it. In the American context, this refers to mostly peaceful transfers of power that operate on fundamentally different parameters than the previous regime).
Thus, American distraction will present opportunities for America’s various international rivals—notably the People’s Republic of China—to exploit.
Right now, China is moving nuclear missiles to strategic launch points along their coast; my contacts in the Department of Defense say that malign Chinese activities directed against vulnerable—and essential—US satellites in space are increasing at alarming rates; and reports have surfaced indicating that China has intensified their disinformation, subversion, and espionage operations here in the United States. Every alarm is blaring yet few appear to understand the extent of the threat we, Democrats and Republicans alike, face in the coming months.
What’s more, it’s important to highlight that to China, no American lives matter.
Today, Americans are primed for war—against each other. Both presidential candidates have stated an unwillingness to accept the initial results of the upcoming election. Tensions from months of nationwide coronavirus lockdowns, economic collapse due to those shutdowns, and anger over the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody have spawned additional unrest here in the United States.
As this occurs, the Trump Administration has been compelled to shut down Chinese consulates here in the United States because they have been proven to be major centers of Chinese espionage activity. There are even suspicions that Chinese interests have been funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the coffers of BLM. It is unlikely that Beijing is “down with the struggle” against American law enforcement organizations. Instead, China merely wants Americans fighting each other so superior US military forces will be restrained from intervening against a Chinese attack on Taiwan or in the South China Sea or against Japanese interests in the East China Sea.
More to the point, the Chinese Communist Party is banking on a contested election in the United States. It is likely that the 2020 presidential election will be very close. It could be won by tens of thousands or, hundreds of thousands, of votes nationally. The term “squeaker” would apply. Under these conditions, it is unlikely that either former Vice-President Joe Biden or President Donald J. Trump would be the first to concede the election. As the two sides refused to concede first, the cities would burn more aggressively while riots would devolve into a potential civil war—however limited.
In the past, contested American elections have been decided by Congress or the Supreme Court. Under current rules, should neither Biden nor Trump concede the election, Trump could technically remain in power regardless of who actually won. The ultimate determination could be made by the United States House of Representatives. Of the state delegations in the House, either Trump or Biden would need 26 of the delegations to support their candidacy.
This is not an individual representative vote. The various members would be grouped together by their state delegations and the state delegates would each issue one vote according to which party most of their members belonged to. Presently, Trump has a majority—and that majority will hold until a new Congress is sworn in during the month of January 2021…thus the election would be decided likely by the current configuration in which Trump has 26 state delegations behind him (and would, therefore, win).
Although, it must be noted that the Congressional scenario above is a statistical improbability at this point.
Another, more probable scenario, is that the Supreme Court of the United States must decide the election in a rehash of the Florida 2000 recount battle. This is where the national security problem of leaving the SCOTUS with an open seat on the bench arises. For the Democrats, they argue that it is constitutional for the Republicans to put forward a nominee, like Amy Coney Barrett, to replace the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Yet, the Democrats argue that the move by the Republicans is politically unsavory.
While it may be unfavorable to the Democratic Party (it most certainly is) and it may seem hypocritical for the Republicans to push through a nominee 45 days before a contentious presidential election—after they refused to vote for former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland—the fact remains that the Republicans both have the votes needed to confirm Barrett and they have a constitutional obligation to do so.
Given everything that is occurring in Eurasia today, notably with China’s blatant cover-up of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China earlier this year; the quasi-war that China has instigated with India along their shared mountainous border; the increased tensions China has subjected their neighbors in the South and East China Seas; the evidence of their perfidy in stoking the flames of discord in the United States during an already-contentious election year; and China’s brazen hostility toward Taiwan…now is not the time to leave a structural gap in America’s federal government. It is more than likely that the country will need a functional Supreme Court—with all of its seats filled—in order to prevent a protracted fight over the 2020 presidential election results.
Nominating and confirming Amy Coney Barrett is not only a constitutional requirement for America’s Legislative Branch, but it is more importantly a national security imperative. Should the seat not be filled beforethe November election, the two parties will rip the country apart as neither side will feel any compelling reason to concede the election after all votes are counted (however long that may take).
Brandon J. Weichert’s new book Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers) is available for purchase here!