Yes, 2020 is upon us and with it may come some of the most uncomfortable times of our lives- it’s a presidential election year that is likely to have few rivals.
As I peer into my cloudy and cracked crystal ball, well before the new year starts, I am hard-pressed to understand the things I think I might see this year, and I’m wondering what I can do now to prepare for the sights, sounds and events we soon may witness.
In my opinion, the political and social landscape of the United States of America in 2020 may well be something we have never seen before… in our country, at any rate.
With the political environment leading up to the election heating up on a weekly, if not daily basis, the big question is whether we are ready for the possible threats to our safety and security that may arise if attitudes and actions get out of hand.
As I write this, some members of Congress are building their case for the impeachment of the incumbent President. If this goes forward, (remember, my crystal ball is cloudy) this wouldn’t be the first time that this process has been initiated against a U.S. President. In fact, it would be the third, and just the second time for an incumbent President.
The first was Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln’s successor, and that was during an exceptionally stressful period of our history. Most readers remember that the second was William J. Clinton, although the political and social climates in 1998 were not as unsettled as they are now and he wasn’t running for re-election at the time.
Putting aside the eventual outcome of those efforts, I’m concerned about what this will do to our increasingly fractured societal landscape. If you think elections have been spectacles in the past, hold onto your hat for this one! I wonder how much more stress the temperament of our country can stand before something, or someone snaps and we witness significant upheaval and conflict in the streets. If it happens, would it be concentrated in the urban centers, as has typically been the case in the past, or will this result in skirmishes that affect even medium and small towns?
Musing on, I wonder, if we throw in the wildcard of outside interference with our elections, insidious and manipulative social media campaigns and other types of support directed toward elements that desire to subvert our political system, how far and fast can this go and how dangerous could it become?
I suspect that many of our readers are imagining similar scenarios when they survey the landscape and try to imagine what awaits over the horizon as they fine-tune their prepping plans for the coming year. The theoretical setting above may not qualify as a true widespread worst-case scenario, but it could amount to such in pockets around the country.
If you’re located in an affected area, it could be a difficult situation to deal with, especially if extraordinary security measures need to be implemented and enforced. If you’re not thinking about what you might have to deal with and how you will respond, you might consider starting the process now, beginning with watching your trusted news sources more closely. If a storm is coming, it might be likely to increase in strength and lethality when the weather warms up and as the countdown to Election Day winds down.
And, if nothing like the above comes to pass, as I sincerely hope, this will have been a useful and interesting exercise that we will be able to learn from. Remember, as Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the January, 2020 print issue of American Survival Guide.