I begin writing at 6am on Friday, November 6 with the United States presidential election undecided but with Joe Biden having the clearer pathway to victory.
The result may come in as I write, but that will not change the fact that Donald Trump will, if necessary, challenge every vote in any court willing to hear him.
He is even insisting that voting be stopped in many states. Both sides are passionate but so far only Joe Biden is showing any dignity in the process. Trump, as is usual, is showing all the petulance of a young boy who has had his toys taken from him.
While the votes are still being legally counted, we can only speculate about what we know thus far.
One thing is clear and that is that the process must be valued; that the long-founded institutions be respected and not open to abuse.
So, here are some observations about this much anticipated election.
What we know so far is that this has been an election confirming the political divide and the partisan attitudes of the American people.
Of the two contenders only one is worthy of the position of President of the United States of America.
One is a narcissist of the highest order – and arguably mentally ill – while the other is a nice, reasonable man nearing the end of his political life but still with the potential to bring back some sanity to American politics.
I have nothing against a reasoned old man and everything against a slightly younger narcissist.
One thing that stands out to me is that the system of government (the Electoral College system) cannot continue where one side receives so much more of the popular vote yet doesn’t receive any proportional recognition.
This cannot continue election after election without tensions reaching boiling point. In 2016 the Democrats won the popular vote by 3 million votes and their lead in 2020 is approaching 4million: with 6 million being within grasp.
It looks as though the Republicans will retain the Senate which, if Biden wins, means that – as it did with Obama – the GOP will block any Biden legislation they want. Well, maybe.
Having said that, they cannot afford to continue to be a wrecker party as they were with Obama otherwise they will just become a party of obstructionism.
At around 10am Australian time Joe Biden hit our television screens and in the tradition of Obama “cool” asked that America remains calm and remind people that the election was continuing to be held under the rules of each state. I’m beginning to think that some sanity might soon come back to the presidency.
Then around 12.30am Donald Trump alleges that there was wide spread fraud in the process. It was the greatest dummy spit by any president ever. The election is being stolen from him, he says.
Which is of course all rubbish. He declares that he has won and wants all counting stopped.
— Michael Taylor (@AusIndiMedia) November 6, 2020
If Biden does in fact defeat Trump, we will have a lot to thank him for. To not have to listen to his daily lies and his high opinion of himself will be like a breath of fresh air.
In a brilliant essay for The Guardian on Saturday Katherine Murphy wrote:
“Trump was trying to make a case that there is a conspiracy against him. Fake votes. Fake polls. Fake news outlets pretending the fake votes aren’t fake. Obviously, this is a florid fantasy, but Trump is speaking to supporters, American citizens, who also hold these views. He’s validating voter predispositions, not inventing them.”
Trump’s assertions were made in his typically ugly manner. No facts, no truth, no legality. It’s all sour grapes. That the Vice President wasn’t at his side was telling, and a few hours later fellow Republicans began to crab walk away from him. 2012 Presidential challenger Mick Romney more or less told him to grow up and shut up.
My wife is ecstatic about the likelihood of a Biden victory. I take a bit of time off from writing to look at the excellent ABC coverage.
I see a young man with a placard saying “Jesus Saves” on a day that 115,000 new COVID-19 cases are announced. I find that both upsetting and questionable. The virus has hardly rated a mention.
Trump has never, as President, expressed the grief of the nation. Nor has he ever done anything about it.
There was speculation that unhappiness with Trump’s handling of the virus might depress turnout among conservative voters. That has not eventuated.
The day brings forth a few relevant facts. It is a record turnout for an American election. More women voted than ever before. Twice as many young people have voted that in 2016. Biden has won more votes than any other candidate in history, breaking Obama’s record.
Democracy is alive and well.
I’m at my desk at 6am Saturday and tune into the ABC. It seems that overnight nothing much has changed although things seemed to have firmed up for Joe Biden.
They are saying that Biden may make some comments at midday so I continue thinking about the consequences of a Biden victory. I’m assuming at this stage that he will win.
By this time, I’m thinking whether the Republicans will become more amiable without Trump in order to show that they have indeed changed.
Instead of just blocking everything, will they compromise? McConnell and Biden have worked together for over 40 years so there is opportunity for some give and take.
At this stage in the voting it looks as though the Democrats will have a reduced majority in the House but the Senate will be controlled by the Republicans.
My thoughts take me from one thing to another.
It has to be said that the way in which Americans elect their political representatives needs to be re visited.
Deny the science, don’t wear masks, don’t social distance. All these instructions to the population and others have contributed to the deaths of many. The President’s own dismissal of the virus itself is tantamount to a recklessness beyond belief. His stupidity-gullibility and refusal to consider advice from medical experts when he could have, makes him – some will argue – a mass murderer by negligence. That is the truth of it.
It is time that those with the capacity to change laws that might prevent the mass deaths of people – and refuse to do so – were made to account. After all, they are as guilty or as mad, whatever the case, as the perpetrator himself.
Mid-afternoon Trump is digging in. He tweets:
Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2020
His logic continues to confound.
Joe Biden announces that he is on the cusp of victory but asks for calm. And in what appears to be a dig at Trump he reminds everyone that the counting processes are evidence of democracy at work. He too turns to Twitter:
I know tensions can be high after a tough election like we just had.
But we need to remain calm. Patient. And let the process work out as we count all the votes.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 7, 2020
Now we sit back and wait for the next chapter in this amazing election.
And knowing Trump, anything can happen.
My thought for the day
The best one can say when looking for a reason as to why Trump lost is to say that he lied his way out of office.
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