OPINION: This election ain’t over until the Fat Lady sings — I’m still clearing my throat
Is this thing over yet? I don’t know about you but I’m about done. It’s not the president, per se, who’s specifically wearing me out. No, it’s all the other stuff. Like, how in the world did the United States of America come to this? Many Americans are rooting for a president who refuses to allow the one thing that makes us great — our vote. For weeks, Democrats couldn’t stop themselves from celebrating over polls declaring that Biden would wash out the president. Who knew that the deep divisions in our nation would rupture like this? With over half of the country voting for Trump and his legacy, Democrats can’t party. But this election ain’t over until the Fat Lady sings and I haven’t even cleared my throat.
With almost 250,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus, as of this writing, the presidential race is still tight. Together with almost 1000 coronavirus deaths each day, this election is also a kind of deathwatch. I wonder how many terminally ill Americans with COVID-19 actually voted as their last patriotic act? The question today is how can we pull our democracy off life support?
It matters more than ever because of the masses of mail-in votes being furiously counted as we speak. At the same time, Trump has unleashed his hordes of lawyers to sue Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan over ballot-counting. If the election is too close, Donald Trump is vowing to bring his woes to the Supreme Court. Most analysts believe that with Biden already carrying 264 electoral votes to Trump’s 214, the Supreme Court wouldn’t take the case. All Biden needs is one more state to win.
In Georgia, the Trump campaign said, “President Trump and his team are fighting for the good of the nation to uphold the rule of law…” With mail-in votes yet to be counted in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Arizona, the election could swing either way. Let that sink in for a minute. The President of the United States is actually going to court to stop Americans from having their votes counted.
Trump’s moves to slow down the mail didn’t help, either. In fact, the Guardian reports “In the central Pennsylvania mailing district, where Philadelphia is located, on-time rates fell to 66% after being at about 90% just months earlier.” If mail-in ballots counts are taking too long in Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign and administration only have themselves to blame.
But let’s pause here to allow ourselves a small fantasy. If Joe Biden were to win, just think how calm press conferences will be again. No name-calling, put-downs, endless lies, bizarre conspiracy theories, or screeching. Just zen-like, Uncle Joe and the rest of us.
The Kraken, I mean Trump, will slink back into his lair, playing golf in the depths below — never to be heard from again. But, as Cher said in “Moonstruck,” “Snap out of it!” It’s a lovely vision but it won’t happen because it will take many moons for our wounds to heal.
The lasting legacy of this election, should Donald Trump lose, will be the slavish surrender of the Republican Party. Images of Ronald Reagan couldn’t shake them loose from The Donald’s grip. The Lincoln Project couldn’t mock them out of his grasp. And we still have Donald, Jr. to contend with if rumors are true that he will run in 2024.
As we wait, as Joe Biden says “patiently,” this is no time for jubilation. It’s a time to reflect on what our American values really are. When it’s all said and done, what kind of democracy do we really have?
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I love telling, reading, and writing stories. I freelance as a writer, editor, and all-around trouble-maker. I live in Atlanta with my dogs, Jaco, and Trane.