The three great crises on the world landscape just now are global warming, the coronavirus pandemic and the possible re-election of Donald Trump. Whatever prospects we as a planet may face to survive these calamities, we cannot afford to get anything more wrong. The clock is running out and each crisis must be defeated or managed because each crisis, separately and together, threatens our continued existence as a species.
With that grim preamble out of the way I’m pleased to see that Donald Trump’s prospects in the Electoral College are poor. But I say so with caution. The election isn’t decided by polls, it’s decided by votes. Nevertheless, according to polls it’s beginning to look like Donald Trump cannot muster the swing state votes necessary to reach 270 electoral college votes — and Joe Biden can.
That is where things stand if the election were to be held today, according to the aggregate of the polls. But it’s important to recall that even polls are conducted with margins of error, and if all of those margins should favor Trump then we could be in for a white knuckle election. We aren’t out of this yet.
It might be useful just now to recall the 2018 Blue Wave, which, while not the overwhelming victory we’d hoped for, did cause the House of Representatives to move from red to blue. It ought to remind us also of a time when these Republicans, who incessantly refer to us as “do-nothing Democrats,” had both houses of Congress and the Executive branch of government and still did virtually nothing with all that power. Meanwhile the “do-nothing Democrats,” once in power in the House, enacted hundreds of pieces of legislation and impeached Donald Trump in less than two years. So much for doing nothing.
The game changer these days for everyone has been the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s causing supporters of Donald Trump to defect in large numbers. Trump can no longer run on the prospects of what he’s going to do once in power, and must now answer to a dying constituency. That constituency has to wonder, however dimly, why America remains so far behind the rest of the world in fighting this pandemic.
The Electoral College continues to do what it was designed to do, protect the ugly agenda of the racist part of America. It is an outmoded buffer of safety for the worst impulses of American bigots. But not even the Electoral College can withstand a deluge of raw numbers of voters. Even Trump knows this and his voice on Twitter, always shrill at the best of times, is beginning to sound desperate for that reason.
We should count one blessing, that Trump and his minions are not competent enough to turn the election around. There are things they could do even now that could improve their chances of retaining the White House. Instead, Trump continues to blow it with every interview, every tweet and every speech. They have the power of incumbency and the economic clout of the entire government behind them and they still can’t wield that power effectively.
We began the year with Trump enjoying decent but uncertain chances of winning re-election. He was handed a truly magic gift, the coronavirus pandemic. With it he had the resources (and a 69 page Obama playbook) to fight the pandemic and come out on top in the world. Instead he behaved exactly like the golf-playing buffoon he is.
As I write this, 164,094 Americans are now dead thanks to Donald Trump. Trump is facing an electoral college disaster on that account and he lacks the skills to fix it. He certainly doesn’t lack the tools. The best thing we can do to honor those American dead is to vote the monster who killed them out of office. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.