RECOMMENDED READING
Liz Truss, Supply-Side Crush
What a Post-Trump Republican Party Might Look Like
In Preparation for Power, America’s New Right Builds New Institutions

A contested election—especially one in which an unelected body casts the final vote—is the worst possible outcome next week. Trump winning in a landslide would be preferable. So would a Biden blowout. Neither of those outcomes will delegitimize the rules of the game as much as the rules failing to supply a clear outcome; pray it does not come to that.

But landslides carry their own risks—and as we approach what could well be a landslide, it is worth keeping two of them in mind.

First, the loser risks having his agenda repudiated in its entirety, the good thrown out with the bad. If you hate every aspect of that agenda, you should welcome its wholesale rebuke. But if, like me, you think both candidates in this race have pros and cons, you should not want either one to lose too badly. Trumpism did provide some much-needed correctives, its standard-bearer notwithstanding, and a truly “restorationist” presidency would put us back on the path that made them inevitable and indispensable, dooming the restoration from the start. On the other hand, Biden offers some much-needed correctives of his own, chief among them the return of decorum and absence of Trump. He is also more moderate (temperamentally, at least) than the average Democratic Party activist; in the implausible event he loses by a landslide, it could accelerate the activist takeover the old guard is worried about.

That brings us to the second landslide-related risk, which is the total vindication of the winner. In a recent symposium for the American Conservative, Scott McConnell gave Trump’s administration a “C+,” noting its nepotism and incompetence. That is a generous grade, and not one we should reward with a generous mandate. But Biden has run on what is arguably the most progressive platform in history, despite presenting himself as a centrist; his party, and certainly his running mate, have all but endorsed the Great Awokening that gained so much ground this year, and will likely gain much more. Anti-woke Biden voters, then, should not hope for a blowout. Their ideal scenario is similar to the reluctant Trump voters’—a clear but narrow win that generates a clear but narrow mandate, just wide enough to confer legitimacy. (A divided government, whose legislative and executive branches are controlled by different parties, might also accomplish this.)

Giving Trump or Biden the minimum mandate would no doubt exacerbate gridlock, fuel partisan frustrations, and leave a great many problems unsolved. But of all the possible outcomes—Bush v. Gore Part II, Electoral College landslide, or something comfortably in between—it seems by far the lesser of three evils.

Aaron Sibarium
Aaron Sibarium is an editor at the Washington Free Beacon.
@aaronsibarium
Recommended Reading
Liz Truss, Supply-Side Crush

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses Liz Truss’s disastrous time as prime minister and the irrational response from supply-siders.

What a Post-Trump Republican Party Might Look Like

Ezra Klein interviews American Compass’s Oren Cass about challenging the right-wing economic orthodoxy and its quasi-religious veneration of markets, and focusing instead on clear social goals that put families first, eschew economic growth as the be-all-end-all of policymaking, and recognize the inescapability of government intervention in the economy.

In Preparation for Power, America’s New Right Builds New Institutions

In a profile of the new institutions springing up to influence the new right’s policy agenda, American Compass is described as “among the more sophisticated,” with proposals that have been “influential among lawmakers.”