By the time you read this, “the most important election of our lifetime” will be headed for the history books. If the last six most important elections of our lifetime are any indication, however, we will once again have a chance to vote in the most important election of our lifetime in 2020.
Or perhaps not, because some of those who have routinely claimed that each presidential election since 1992 has been the most important election of our lifetime changed their tune this year: This, they said, was the last election that would ever matter. After November 8, the deluge.
In the words of everybody’s favorite pseudonymous paleo-Straussian, the 2016 contest was the “Flight 93 Election.” If we failed to rush the cockpit by prevailing on November 8, this country that we all love so much—even though, to listen to us, we seemingly cannot stand anything about it—would come crashing to the ground. A few months ago, Donald Trump declared that, if he were not elected president, the Republicans would never win the White House again. In mid-October, in a speech in Florida, he upped the ante: “This is not simply another four-year election,” Trump said. “This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization [emphasis mine] that will determine whether or not we the people reclaim control over our government.”