I just realized that (my God!) the election is only a few days away -- specifically, nine by the time you read this, slightly more for me as I write it. Very soon, in short, it will be over. The votes will be cast. The decision made.
Alas, it may take days or longer to do the count. If we are unfortunate, it will be a close race—which means it could go to the Supreme Court, as it did in 2000, which also means, that Trump will get a second term, given the fact that Republicans have acted with unseemly haste to pack the court. Or, failing that, the election instead will be decided by the House of Representatives, which means that Trump will (at least in theory) be out of office…if he is willing to go, which he may not be.
And what if he doesn’t go? Or, worse, what if he is re-elected? What happens if, like last time, not enough Democrats can be bothered to vote? Or, what happens if the popular vote goes to Biden-Harris, but the Electoral College, again, favors a minority candidate? We know, already, that the GOP and Trump’s people have talked openly about subverting the popular will, and installing state Electors loyal to themselves rather than the nation.
Or, here’s another nightmare. Suppose he loses. He is still in the White House for nearly three months after the election. What if he decides to risk a coup?
I think that last is unlikely, but it is possible. And if he does try it…
We will have a civil war on our hands. Or a dictatorship. Or both.
However…I’m going to be optimistic. I am going to clutch at what may be a slender reed. But, slender or not, I’m going to grab it …hard!…and hold it with a vice-like grip.
In spite of all the above, I am going to believe that everything will work out for the best.
I am going to say that, first, it is likely that he will win neither the popular nor the electoral vote. At least if the polls are right, or even halfway right, Americans of every sort are ready to see the back of Trump, and are more than willing to go to the polls to make it so...even in the battleground states.
Then, second, if worse comes to worse, and Trump manages to eke out an (illicit) victory in the electoral college, then I am hoping that the Democrats will still manage a win in the Senate, and thus impeachment is only a matter of weeks away.
Finally, even if Trump keeps the White House, and the Republicans manage to somehow keep the Senate…even then, even in that worst possible scenario…America will have seen without possibility of misunderstanding, that the GOP is no longer a political party in the traditional sense. Rather, it has become a band of fanatics, motivated solely by hatred and fear, and manipulated by cynical oligarchs whose sole interest is the preservation and expansion of their own inexcusably vast wealth and privilege. And Americans, having learned that lesson, will not forget…nor forgive…and will make changes accordingly.
Moreover, the number of people who support Trump and the corruption he represents grows smaller every day -- dwindling for reasons both fair and foul. Fair, because conversions happen. Foul, because Trump’s supporters are among the most vulnerable among us. They are, with surprising frequency, older. They are, with equal frequency, among the country’s largest consumers of tobacco, and fats, and are repeatedly told by their own leaders that even basic health-care and self-care are, somehow, indicative of moral failings and personal weakness, if not (gasp!) “sexual perversion” (sic). (Recall the Fox News host, Tomi Lahren, who said that Biden might as well “carry a purse” while wearing a mask.)
And, also, they are white. I am, too, by the way. But here’s the thing. We WASPs are becoming ever more a minority. Oh, yes, there are still a lot of us. But our majority grows slim. That is, indeed, one of the reasons for the fury of the Deplorables. They have seen the future, and it is brown.
All this leads me…rightly or wrongly...to suspect that no matter how bleak the short term prognosis may be…
The long term is bright.
In the end, you see, every contagion either kills its host, or learns to live in peace with it. I think…I pray…that we shall see, in time, the latter condition prevail in our body politic.
And even Trump supporters, those few that remain, will find serenity…
In no longer being deplorable.
Until next time…
Onward and upward.