Post
04.07.2020

A large, adult political forecast.

For the uninitiated, Big Chungus is a popular meme character you may have seen around the Internet. He is a large, fat version of Bugs Bunny. But he signifies much more.

First he represented the power aesthetic of the adorably chunky creature, man or beast. Then, as often happens online, the stakes were raised to absurd—but ironically absurd—heights:

Our lives are measured in years and decades. We wither and die. Chungus is eternal. Before it, we are nothing.

Chungus imposes order on the chaos of organic life. We exist because Chungus allows it, and we will end because Chungus demands it.

Chungus transcends our very understanding. We cannot grasp the nature of Chungus’ existence.

Big Chungus embodies and represents the sublime authority of immense physical presence—but, unlike the Leviathan or the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, benignly so.

There are, predictably, variants on Chungus that may not be so affable and benign, such as the Karen Chungus, but those need not concern us here. Here we are concerned with the prospect that Big Chungus Energy will win big this election year.

At his best, Donald Trump has Big Chungus Energy. At their best, the relief and bailout packages coming out of Congress have Big Chungus Energy. At its best, the America of today has Big Chungus Energy.

Love and admiration for Big Chungus Energy expresses a deep seated wager in the human breast that super size can combine and deploy the moral virtue of good cheer with the salutary effects of many different techniques of competition and combat: intimidation, the establishment of a presence on the field, overwhelming brute force, and sheer physical momentum, to name a few.

At this time America has several different kinds of resources to fall back on amid the often vitality and virility-sapping circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic and the constraints imposed around it. Big Chungus is a taproot of deep American folk power that can be even more of an absolute unit than the virus and the octopus of restrictions and events coiled around us.

Whoever and whatever taps this vast underground energy resource will activate a social force that can and will throw its political weight around come Election Day. If nobody or no organization is able to do it, look out. The leading alternative appears to be that of Joe Necrotic.

is Executive Editor of The American Mind. He is the author of The Art of Being Free (St. Martin's Press, 2017), contributing editor of American Affairs, and a fellow at the Center for the Study of Digital Life.

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