So, one more day until Election Day. Dog knows how many more days until it’s official, and Trump and his minions are already sowing doubt about what happens after the polls close, trying to say that any votes counted after don’t count. That’s bullshit and they know it, but they’re counting on the same mentality that they’ve been exploiting for the last five years or so; the same people who believe Hillary Clinton ran a pedophile ring out of the basement of a pizza parlor that doesn’t even have a basement will believe that a ballot postmarked on November 2 is too late to be counted. By the way, military ballots from overseas won’t have arrived by the deadline tomorrow, either. Are they truly going to deny our soldiers — the ones they say are the bulwarks of democracy (and who most likely vote Republican) — the right of having their votes counted?
It sounds to me as if they are truly terrified of the outcome. They know that if every vote is counted fairly, they will lose. That’s not a political bias, it’s the plain fact. That is why they have engaged in voter suppression for nearly a century, and it’s why they’re engaging in voter intimidation now with their butch-assurance big-ass trucks and blaring horns. They know the jig is up, the shit is heading towards the fan, and despite all the bloviation and threats, they are up against a tremendous tide, and they will do everything they can, legal and otherwise, to stop it. As Adam L. Silver noted, demoralization is the point.
The whole point of all the chaos that the President, his campaign, his surrogates, and his supporters are calling for, and the actual chaos that he, his surrogates, and his supporters are creating, are all intended to do one thing: demoralize everyone.
Among other actions, it includes subverting the legislative process to subvert the judicial system and the rule of law. Part of the reason that Senator McConnell jammed Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination through in under six weeks just before the election is to demoralize the majority of Americans. It is why he’s already stated publicly that during the lame duck, regardless of the results of the election, he’s not going to bring a COVID relief package to the floor. Rather, all he’s going to do is fill the remaining Federal judicial vacancies in order to achieve a legislative demoralization two for: further packing the courts with Leonard Leo chosen reactionaries and extremists and ensuring that Americans don’t get the help and assistance they need to survive the pandemic.
Things are going to be unsettled, uncomfortable, unpleasant, and dangerous no matter what happens on Tuesday night. Especially if what the data tells us is going to happen happens and VP Biden wins. The President, his key subordinates in his administration, in Congress, on the Federal courts, in state governments, his surrogates, and his supporters will ramp up their destructive rhetoric and, in some cases, behavior. Not because it will somehow undo the results of the election, but because in reality they actually hate America; especially the real promise and ideals of America. Just as they hate the vast majority of Americans. And if they can’t control America and rule it and over the vast majority of Americans, then they’ll try to see it damaged so no one else can.
So what do we do? What can you do to not let them win? It sounds simple to say “don’t let them get to you,” but that’s about all it takes. Shut off the noise. Change the channel. Read a book. (Yesterday I picked up “Coot Club” by Arthur Ransome and I’m re-reading it for the first time in fifty years. Nice to be back with my old friends right where I left them.) If you’ve already voted, know that it will count. If you are waiting until Election Day, don’t let them stop you.
Most importantly, know that you are not alone. Think of the coalition that has come together to defeat the Trump machine: leftists from Bernie Sanders to recovering Republicans in the Lincoln Project. Over 90 million votes have already been cast. Yes, there are some for Trump in the mix, but the turnout in the face of lies, intimidation, and Covid-19 is astounding, and it’s going to count for something in every sense of the word.
In the meantime, go to your happy place. For me, it’s sunset on a calm summer evening looking over a bay in northern Michigan. Come and sit with me.