Conservative Trump critic warns we may be ‘naively drifting toward a political cataclysm’

Between the coronavirus pandemic, the George Floyd protests, a brutal economic downturn and what promises to be an increasingly ugly presidential election, 2020 will go down in history as a year of frayed nerves. Conservative journalist Charlie Sykes, in an article for The Bulwark, lays out some reasons why tension and anxiety are likely to grow worse and worse as Election Day draws closer.


“It is August 10, 2020, and I can’t remember the last time I wore long pants,” Sykes confesses. “I haven’t shaved in days, spend much of my time talking to my dogs, and have no idea what the next three months will bring. There are 85 days until the election, and then another 78 days until Inauguration Day — for a total of 163 days that will test all of us in ways we can’t predict.”

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Acknowledging that he “can’t get past the bad stuff,” Sykes wraps up his article by contemplating some dark scenarios — including a “constitutional crisis” in November if there are doubts about whether Trump or Biden won the election.

“Are we blithely and naively drifting toward a political cataclysm?” Sykes writes. “Is this the summer calm — it has been unusually beautiful here in Wisconsin — before a disastrous election fiasco? Or will things play out conventionally and predictably? Will historians marvel at our inability to see the iceberg that lies ahead, or will all of these anxieties be historical curiosities and a sign of how unhinged our politics was in the late summer of 2020?”

Sykes adds, “I honestly don’t know and will admit that I toggle back and forth between the two possibilities. There are 85 days to go.”