“Das Undenkbare kann hier geschehen”


“Es ist möglich, dass Trump gewinnt” Woodward appears to be suitably worried here. A doyen of American journalism, Woodward, who has spent decades building a career out of writing exposés of those he panders to, looks grieved. Serious, thinking people are concerned for our future. If x, seemingly unthinkable, should transpire, then the previously unimaginable y — I know how difficult it is to believe — but it is possible that may occur.

I am repeatedly taken with the prevalence of this trope. Any number of phenomena: global warming, species extinction, deaths from Covid, failure of the US government to respond to Covid, even in terms of counting the dead, American healthcare, democracy, distribution of wealth, education, corporate control of media, are “unthinkably” catastrophic, in reality, right now, however in service to this article it is posited that thinking, responsible people should be concerned lest Trump win next month’s election.

I imagine myself sitting in San Francisco in the 1980s or 1990s, describing 2020’s Democratic Party, the 2020 national platform (“he may be elderly and senile and have spent a long career serving financial oligarchs, but at least he’s not Trump”?), the Biden campaign (is there one?) This present would at that time seem to be an unthinkably bad future, something to be avoided “at all costs”.

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