After every shaker for 30 years, Californians have been warned about “foreshocks” — earthquakes that portend larger jolts a day or three later. But though my family and I rode through some significant temblors, any foreshocks were hard to feel.
Until last summer. The July 2019 “Ridgecrest” quakes came back to back to back. The first was a significant tremor, hitting 6.4 at 10:33 a.m. on the Fourth of July. A smaller jolt (but still a nerve-jangler) at 5.4 rolled through at just after 4 a.m. the next day. But the shocker came six hours later: a 7.1 at 10:18 a.m. on July 5. The unicorn had been sighted. Indeed, it had been felt. Thank God it wasn’t in a heavily populated area. Foreshocks are real.
And so it is in our politics. We can now clearly see that Britain’s “Leave” Vote of June 23, 2016 — a narrow vote in favor of Brexit with 72% of the eligible electorate casting ballots was a “foreshock.” Thursday’s massive vote for the Tories and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while certainly about “Let’s Get Brexit Done,” was the main quake, a roundhouse to the jaw of elites and an expression of primal disgust with Remainers and the media, to say nothing of Labour and its “maybe/maybe not Brexit” leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The tectonic plates in the U.K have been grinding against each other for three years, building up tension. Last Thursday, all that energy was released.
Johnson and his chief campaign strategist, Dominic Cummings, shrewdly sensed the mood gathering strength after the Brits first voted to leave in 2016. The Remainer elite had ever since defied a free people, a people that remember, if only through Churchill’s recordings, that their free choice in 1939 and 1940 was to stand against a fascist machinery of death and destruction. The descendants of the Home Guard and Gen. Montgomery grew angrier and angrier because they had not endured the 20th century only to be told by their betters that they were stupid. When Johnson rounded on some hecklers and called them “lefty toffers,” he captured the mood of the average voter. Inelegantly put: “Screw you, I work in this country, and I vote again for Leave and far more. Tear it down and rebuild it, Boris. We don’t need the E.U.; we can make it on our own just fine, thanks. “
We in America are on the cusp of realizing that the 2016 presidential election was a foreshock, not the main quake. What’s coming in November 2020 is the 7.1 ... or greater. Impeachment is going to be the obvious driver of this election, but it is merely the visible expression of the invisible contempt coastal elites, the Democratic Party and media power centers feel for ordinary citizens. All of the elements that drove the Brits to equip Johnson with a huge mandate are now lining up to propel President Donald Trump to a bigger victory than his first.
The impeachment push by the oddball cast of Democratic Javerts is seen as a mania by tens of millions (and the number is growing) of Trump supporters, reflected in the release of three different investigative reports even as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer makes demands untethered to any reasonable position taken in the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. The Democrats’ whole prosecutorial apparatus creaks toward collapse.
Voters notice breakdowns. They feel the desperation. They resent the elitism. They see through the risible attempt to “fairly report” the proceedings. Fourth-string intellects get promoted to first-tier television prominence without any evidence of having read two books, much less having taken deep dives into history and law. The Democrats who are the “face” of impeachment are oblivious to how they appear.
As Democrats dance on the edge of the cliff of impeachment, the geological forces just keep loading. The usual suspects — “The Resistance,” ratings-driven cable catering to the extremes, -NeverTrumpers (both the genuine and the opportunistic) — all the tribes of Manhattan-Beltway-Bay Area malcontents are certain, just so certain, that they are going to force Trump out or at least to some sort of humiliation. It hasn’t happened. It won’t. But 7.1 will.