I've promised myself, unsuccessfully, to take long, meaningful breaks from the news. There's an awful pandemic, we need a vaccine, Trump's handling of it has been a disaster, X country that was doing well is now seeing new hotspots. That's going to be the majority of the news cycle well into next year.
But with the Democrats' ticket set for November, I figured I could linger with the news one more time.
Biden/Harris vs. Trump/Pence.
(This might be a good time to add a note about the site in the unlikely event someone new finds their way here. Hello! I'm Scott, a flailing freelancer turned accidental blogger. I talk about politics occasionally. No sense beating around the bush - I think Trump is a con man whose presidency has been disastrous. You don't have to agree with that to read my obscure blog or comment. I'm hoping to keep the rules on commenting pretty simple - don't be a dick.)
We're all experiencing time in weird ways in this strangest of years. It often feels like we've had a few years in one, but then there will be strange speedups. (I use fake words sometimes.) Is some arch-villain pumping LSD into the world's water supply? That would suck. If I'm going to drop acid (does drop acid imply LSD?) I want to know about it, and I want to be around a campfire on the peninsula with the roar of the Pacific in the distance. Suddenly it's mid-August 2020, and the end of our ridiculously long election cycle seems in reach.
In about 2.5 months (plus the X# months that the results are contested), we'll be closer to knowing if it's Biden, Trump, or election chaos.
This is going to be a wild, scary ride. After all we've experienced in 2020, is there anyone out there who thinks this is going to go smoothly? If you do, and you're reading this blog, please get in touch. I'd like to interview the world's most optimistic person.
Trump is laying the groundwork for questioning the election results by casting doubt on the legitimacy of mail-in voting. The idea of standing in line and voting indoors during a deadly pandemic is not appealing. A lot of election volunteers (thank you!) are in at-greater-risk categories (yes, that's an anecdotal observation). Our postal service, which I love, isn't adequately funded or staffed. The main candidates aren't immune to COVID-19. (I think Trump might be. He's been in contact with people who've gotten it, and he's not the poster child for masks. I think he's a dishonest, corrupt narcissist, but I he obviously got some good immunity genes.)
I text regularly with some friends, and we amateurishly discuss the issues of the day. I mentioned that I thought the mail-in voting could get messy. One of my friends didn't think highly of the comment, suggesting I'd bought into Trump's false claims. He argued that mail-in voting has worked well.
I agree that it has worked well, and I think it should be an option for everyone. But worrying about scale, a struggling USPS, and inexperience is not the same as arguing that it would lead to massive voter fraud. Just because something has worked with X# of people pre-COVID in states that planned for mail-in voting does not mean there won't be hiccups when it's X+200,000,000 people in states that don't have tried and tested procedures.
I'm weary of these one or the other arguments. We can simultaneously worry about possible problems without believing Trump's politically savvy sabotage. If you've ever lived in an apartment building, you've had to slide someone else's mail under their door after it mistakenly landed in your mailbox. Newman! Vote by mail is the right way to go, but we need to work on getting it right. It works in Seattle is an observation, not a plan.
So what are some of the possible scenarios?
- Landslide victory on either side.
- COVID-19 strikes one of the candidates. VP becomes the candidate? Can Harris beat Trump? Can Pence take on Biden?
- A winner on election night with weeks' worth of uncounted votes in the mail. How well do you think either side will respond to having the result reversed three weeks later? If Trump is ahead on election night, his statements guarantee he won't accept the uncounted mail-in votes. If the Democrats win on election night but face a results changing tide of mail-in votes, will they change their tune?
- Massive amounts of people refusing to risk the in-person voting booths.
- Conspiracy theories about faked Russian or Chinese ballots.
I've missed some. Readers, willing to make some predictions? Or are you, like me, fantasizing about sending in your ballot in October and hiding in the woods until 1 January 2021? (I want to do that, and I also want to write a shorty story about someone doing that. If you steal my idea and make millions on the story, I can be bought off and silenced. Every aspiring writer has their price, and mine is very reasonable. My pager is turned on 24/7. So many wrong numbers about dime bags. Are the pot shops price gouging?)
It's not going to be pretty. We should prepare ourselves. I hope Biden and Harris win so overwhelmingly that contesting the result doesn't get any traction. Not gonna happen...because 2020.