Some random thoughts on election eve.
I’m writing this post on election eve amid dark storm clouds on the horizon. There are two kinds of dark clouds. The first type exists because I live in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s what happens on a typical November day.
The other, however, is the type I’m worried about the most. And that is, unfortunately, the sad reality that I may wake up on Wednesday morning (or most likely later in the week because of vote count delays) with a Congress that the MAGA crazies will have taken over.
That’s right, the House of Representatives and the Senate may fall to folks with no interest in governing or following the rule of law. There are many reasons for such an occurrence, not the least that most presidents, in their first term, end up losing seats. There have been a few exceptions here and there, but it’s far more common for it to happen than not.
But let’s be honest about the situation. We have inflation in our economy that’s putting the American people in a foul mood. And the opposition political party is pouring billions into ads reminding the people of who’s in charge. The headwinds, right now, are ominous for Democrats. If they can somehow hang on, it would be a minor miracle.
The reasons for inflation are nuanced. But the voting public doesn’t care about nuance. They care about what they pay at the pump or grocery store. Someone has to take the blame, and the party in charge is the one that does in most elections.
You might think that this year could be the year that bucks the trend. Democrats are up against an opposition party that has completely lost its mind, and election liars permeate candidacies all around the country. And the right-wing Supreme Court put a stake through the hearts of America’s women by overturning Roe v Wade earlier this year. Surely those two things are enough to scare enough folks from voting for that party.
Not according to many of the recent polls, unfortunately. The last one I saw, from NBC, showed that the generic ballot of which party the public would like to be in charge is tied at 47%. Should I be excited by such a result? Is the momentum in the last few days shifting toward Democrats? I’m not optimistic. Many other polls show a worse outcome.
One thing is sure, though. If Democrats do hang on, we can be sure that the caterwauling and gnashing of GOP teeth will be on full display. They’ll indeed point to all of the polls that show them winning both the House and Senate. How on God’s earth could Democrats have pulled it off?
You guessed it: Rigged!
Candidates like Kari Lake in Arizona’s gubernatorial contest have already placed doubt about the outcome, as have numerous others. If they win, all is well. If not? The Democrats cheated. The heads I win, tails you lose factor popularized by the disgraced 45th president. They’ve all taken on the worst characteristics of the former president. Unfortunately, much of the country has as well.
Last week, Rachel Maddow proposed a compelling question during her Monday night show: If elections are no longer considered viable or even necessary in our system of government, what is the alternative? The answer, quite frankly, is violence. How else does one stay in power if an election they lost is treated as being rigged and plagued with fraud?
The only way to circumvent the process is through violent means. Oh, you can go through the courts, act like you’re following the rules, and hope one of them sides with you. But in the end, if you’re willing to send a mob to obstruct the democratic process, you will resort to just about anything to achieve or maintain power. The rioters failed last time. If an election liar wins a governor or secretary of state’s contest this time, all bets are off in 2024.
What happens if they lose tomorrow? Will we see concessions or chaos? We shall see.
One thing’s for sure, and I’d be willing to bet a few bucks on it: Democrats will accept defeat, barring some overwhelming evidence that shenanigans were present. They’ll be pissed, of course, because nobody likes to lose. But in our political system – one purported to be a democracy, you concede when it’s clear that you lost. That’s how we’ve managed to stay intact over the last two-plus centuries. Since our country’s birth, every president has adhered to this standard, except the last one.
Over 40 million people have voted in this election already, with turnout very high in many areas. I’ve resigned myself to a GOP majority in both houses of Congress. One saving grace is that Democrat Joe Biden is president and will veto any crackpot legislation that might reach his desk.
And, let’s face it, as I mentioned above, the GOP has no idea how to govern, nor do they even want to. What they will do is overreach. They’ll be as extreme as ever, putting Marjorie Taylor Green and other crazies in charge of committees investigating Hunter Biden and Dr. Fauci, among others. Indeed, impeachment is probably on the horizon – never mind for what reason other than revenge.
Is this what the American people want?
So, we wait. Outside my window, the dark clouds finally burst. A torrent of rain and a little hail make for a perfect climax to the end of this post. My mind drifts to the great Credence Clearwater Revival at this moment. I cannot get the opening refrain of Bad Moon Rising out of my head:
I see the bad moon a-risin’
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin’
I see bad times today