Historians have attributed St. Augustine as the founder of philosophy of history.
He integrated the relation of the state and human society through Christian principles and rawly exposed the carnal nature of man while measuring that against a City of God in which everyone behaved to their highest standards. Critics have said he did not discover anything from history but merely saw history manifested in working out universal principles.
One could take the major wars like World War II and historically stage them as a battle of good and evil, greed and conquest and describe them in a way theologically which would justify the deaths of 20 million Russians, 69 million Germans, 85 million worldwide. Or, from a secular view, a writer could look at the militaristic maneuvers, measure which battles were victorious and review what each country could stand to gain or lose in each conflict. Death could be clinically justified.
It leads me to examine exactly what is going down in a pandemic ridden society during a presidential cycle. It is not the 538 vote margin of the 2000 election and four week waiting period to determine who exactly was president. It’s not the pervasive argument that whoever gets the most popular vote should automatically become POTUS.
It’s the fluid mixture of a death of one man, George Floyd; the death of thousands succumbed to a virus; and a president who's going to make sure that this election will be one for the history books even before the mayhem breaks out. President Donald Trump wants every vote verified just like the high octane measures Katherine Harris doctored with common names in a list of felonious Floridians in 2000.
This is the year of sabotage and elevated phony news services. The K-pop youth and Tik Tok users single-handedly gouged Trump’s attendance rally in mid June in Tulsa. The civil military persecuted protesters in Washington D.C.'s Lafayette Square with tear gas while Trump marched across the street to strike a pose with an upside down Bible.
Kamala Harris' name was mispronounced by Tucker Carlson on Fox. When corrected by his guest, Richard Goodstein, he baited the guest when he said “Seriously, I’ve heard every sort of bastardization of her —,” and then Carlson broke in: “Okay, so what?” Extreme feminists will draw the sword and protect the female VP running mate.
The clash of the Q-Anon worshippers and high brow New York Times readers will only heighten. Q-Anon theories that there is a top down ring of sexual predators and human traffickers in the top echelon of the Democratic party will contrast with #MeToo activists who are still trying to convict Trump for a rape of a 13-year-old at an Epstein party occurring in 1994.
When all the judgment day executions take place, what will be left with? Four top candidates who are capable of errors of judgment and magnified sins. I believe no one can effectively win this election in this hyper-condemnation state where no public servant is perceived as good, and they all have a bag of tricks concealing their darkest evils.
St. Augustine would have traced the lines of what conditions of morality were at stake. With the lines of acceptable morality always shifting and color strained justice, each voter will choose what fits their agenda.
Jane Hoffman is an educator, caregiver and internet radio host. She ran for Duluth School Board in 2015.