Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Count Every Last Vote

I know we all wanted a landslide. We wanted a total repudiation. We wanted to CRUSH HIM. But America is too irreparably divided and wilfully uninformed for landslides these days. And, quite frankly, too damn big. All we can hope is that when all the votes are counted (and we will count every last one) that more good people came out than people who willfully overlook and/or actually admire this man’s endless racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and corruption. The truth is, we were always in for a storm. It was never going to be a cake walk, so now we must weather the wait for results.

Does it make me despair that it’s so close? Of course, of course it does. I keep wanting to believe in the overarching goodness of America. But the truth is there are a lot of terrible people here. A lot of racists and a lot of folks who don’t see racism as a dealbreaker as long as their stocks are high and taxes are low. Or folks who are, let’s be perfectly honest, truly deplorable and probably a little nuts. And a lot of them have guns because AMERICA.

In 2016 I came to grips with the fact that there will probably always be about 40-50 percent of the electorate who votes Republican no matter what - at least in my lifetime. Like Donald Trump did the political equivalent of shitting the bed and shooting people in the middle of the street and he might still win. I can’t explain it other than Americans see politics as a personal identity instead of a practical application of how they want the government to work. So, as with sports, they’ll continue cheering on a team even if it clearly sucks. Because it’s their team, and they don’t care what they do as long as they beat the other team. Has your life actually improved? No, but you made the other team cry so you consider it a win. What is wrong with us?

Because of that mindset there will always be about half of the country that votes against extending civil rights to all Americans. That votes against allowing women and anyone who can become pregnant from having full bodily autonomy. That votes against their own self interest and pocketbooks (‘cause we’re all gonna be billionaires one day, don’t ya know?) That votes for him despite him being impeached and bungling our pandemic response to the tune of 230,000 dead Americans. That votes to hurt other people because the cruelty is the point.

And you can clearly see how differently Democratic voters and Republican voters view election results. The Rs will take any win, no matter how small, and celebrate the victory. A win is a win, after all, and they will act like they have a mandate no matter if they won by one vote or one million (which, ha, because the GOP hasn't won seven of the last eight popular votes).

But we Ds want the big win for moral authority and are sad with anything smaller. That’s dumb. A win is a fucking win. Joe can (and should) still win. It is just that we live in a bonkers system where we all know Joe will win the popular vote by millions, but still dont know who will win the presidency for sure.

I think what it really illustrates is how actually low-stakes too many Americans see politics. They don’t see it as a way to help other people, or even improve their own lives. Perhaps they’ve been disillusioned by everything broken in our system. Or, more likely, too privileged to care. They only see elections as a scoresheet Win or Lose. And they always want the W.

This election is a reminder of how much work is left to be done in America. And why even if Joe and Kamala win, which I fervently hope and still believe they can do even as That Orange Stain tries to steal it in broad daylight, it will be a long hard road to finding our soul as a nation. The work to make this a less racist, less selfish, less hateful country will not be easy. And it was never going to be solved on Election Day alone.

In the end all we can do is have faith, count the votes and keep fighting. That or convince our Canadian friends they should adopt California.


Carson Fletcher said...

You just eloquently summed everything I've been thinking and feeling. Thank you.

Carmen San Diego said...

The sports team analogy is perfect. Because you don’t abandon your team! You stick with it even if they’re having a bad season. Only traitors switch teams

Anonymous said...

Time for the nation of California/Hawaii/Oregon/Washington to be formed. All we can do is shelter ourselves from the ignorance/intolerance.

Osiris said...

The Democratic Party should of run Elizabeth Warren. I feel we would have gotten the Blue Wave we hoped for. Im happy it looks like a win but without the Senate in play legislation will be blocked. The Biden/Harris duo is not the socialist revolution the country needs.

Anonymous said...

Clueless European here, I knew the situation was bad for you across the pond, but I didn't quite realize it was that bad. Hang in there!

CoffeeGal said...

Sad to say Trump, his family, and his posse do not care about the American people. Only about the money and power they can obtain for themselves. They are fleecing America. Trump is a grifter, con man, teller of false information, "shell game" expert, liar. People believe his grift. He causes chaos, lies constantly, it's to keep people divided against each other, and unable to "rally" together against him. He flames the the division to his benefit. When he is finally out of office, we will realize how much damage he has done. It will take years to heal the wounds and damages he has caused. Sadly, I have friends and family who voted for him, believe his grift. It has strained our relationships. How can they not see how mean spirited, self absorbed he is? I pray we can get out of all of this soon.