Thoughts on Election Day

W.J. Astore

Some thoughts on this presidential election day:

  1. Trump isn’t running against Biden/Harris. He’s running against a caricature of the Democratic Party. The usual lies: the “radical left” is coming to take your guns; they hate America; they want open borders so that America will be flooded with non-white foreigners; they’re godless socialists; they favor abortion on demand; they want to turn your kids against you by controlling education; and so on. The truth is entirely the opposite: Biden/Harris are in fact the darlings of Wall Street and are without a radical bone in their bodies.
  2. Trump and the Republicans are running without a platform. It’s rather remarkable that the Republican Party is totally subservient to Trump. Meanwhile, Trump’s “platform” is more of the same, including yet another capital gains tax cut. And if Trump wins, you can count on the “radical” Democrats approving that tax cut.
  3. Trump still wants to overturn Obamacare during a pandemic, which could lead to 20 million people losing their health care coverage. It’s no surprise that repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helps the rich the most, as their taxes will decrease. (As an aside, polls show Americans favor the ACA more than they do Obamacare: they are, of course, the exact same thing.)
  4. Trump’s rallies have served as super-spreader events for Covid-19. In short, the president is a pandemic vector, yet his supporters continue to love him and defend him. Death cult?
  5. Way back in April 2019, I picked Biden/Harris as the Democratic dream ticket. You know: an elder white guy balanced by a younger black woman, sort of like a network news team that is supposed to show inclusion and diversity while broadcasting steadiness. Yes, the fix was in from the beginning. Biden has said nothing will fundamentally change under his administration, the one promise he will be certain to keep.
  6. Compared to Biden supporters, Trump supporters are more fired up, more committed to their man and how he makes them feel. Meanwhile, Trump is at pains to show how many people cheer for him at his rallies. If Trump loses, how will these supporters process that loss?
  7. I can’t remember a presidential election in which foreign policy has been so infrequently discussed. Presidents possess the most latitude in dealing with other countries, yet rarely did Biden or Trump answer any questions in detail about world affairs. The impression from their “debates” is that China and Russia are enemies and that a new cold war is essentially inevitable. Neither candidate talked about defense spending except to stress it probably would go up. The U.S. dominance of the world’s trade in weapons went unremarked upon. America’s wars they pretty much ignored.
  8. A final thought: If you think your vote is worthless, you’re wrong. If it was worthless, various forces wouldn’t be trying to buy it, or block it, or otherwise restrict it. The choices may be depressing, but I’ve found voting itself to be uplifting. Get out there and vote!

43 thoughts on “Thoughts on Election Day

  1. Regarding #8, I’d argue that in most instances of presidential elections, my vote has been essentially worthless for decades. In just the last 20 years, for example, I voted for Gore, then saw the election stolen and watched him concede without much of a fight. And at least he would have addressed climate change, arguably the most critical issue on the planet. Then I voted for Kerry and saw the exact same thing happen. Kerry was no prize, but at least he’s intelligent, unlike the shrub.

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    1. To continue, I voted for Obama, and watched him renege on every promise, then up the ante with drone warfare, for example. Then came 2016, with no acceptable, viable choice, and I voted for Stein, because at least I believed in her climate platform. In all of those instances, I voted for a LOTE candidate, and I lived through more of the same graft, war-mongering, and betrayal of the 90%. I’d categorize those votes as worthless exercises.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suppose “worthless” in the results. But the act of voting, to me, is the least I can do to participate actively in politics. We know the forces we’re up against — we know the money they have and how they try to control the narrative. The ways they divide us and distract us.

        But it’s better to vote than not to vote — at least to my way of thinking. And then to work for better choices and candidates in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Denise, your votes were not worthless. Futile, yes, under the circumstances beyond your/our control, but life is full of futile efforts to do the ethical thing. Or so my own life informs me. The important thing is to, indeed, DO the ethical thing!

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    2. Denise, I would really relish seeing The Buckeye State fall into Biden’s win column!! FWIW, the pre-election polls indicated Ohio is in play, not a slam dunk for The Donald.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, as of last night, it was still labeled as a toss-up. Best thing is, the mail-in totals are scheduled to be announced by 8 PM, and theoretically, they should favor Biden, hampering a bit any plans the other guy has for a premature victory announcement.

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  2. It does seem as if our elections are getting dumber, as Trump runs against LeBron James and Lady Gaga as well as Biden/Harris. Of course, it’s all about keeping “uppity” Blacks and women in their place. Talk about keeping America great …

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      1. ‘Sister Soulja’ made an important statement about our society. And then, conveniently, she vanished from the radar screen! (More properly, she “was vanished,” in sense of those “disappeared” in Argentina under the junta.) Not unlike Emma Gonzalez, who made waves after the Parkland school shootings in Florida. The latter, of course, was bombarded with hate on social media because her shaved head set off alarms that she “might be a lesbian.” Oh, the horror!

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  3. As a Bernie Bot, Biden-Harris do not represent my Progressive Values. Unless they are some how pushed and pulled to the Left, Biden-Harris will be the Republicans of the Jerry Ford era.

    The Trump Cult simply follows blindly along. I understand the support The Trumpet receives from the uber wealthy. For the uber wealthy Trumper’s it is a different take on the commercial – It is What’s in my Wallet – is all that counts.

    I read brilliant article concerning Pro-Trump Memes that are constantly posted to Face Book, etc.
    The retort by the author was awesome. That said I suspect the Retort would not move in the least the die hard Trump Cult.

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/jaime-oneill/93684/pissing-up-a-very-long-rope-a-last-tinkle-before-election-day

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    1. Bernie was the great opportunity, but established power won with the DP pulling stunts just as the RP has done since. There is our big problem: any established power will first protect itself. For all that I despise Trump, his victory in 2016 was a desperate cry for change from the beauty pageants both parties always present to the public. If only the DP had seen this and presented a decent alternative that offered positive change that so many Americans had demonstrated their enthusiasm for in the primaries.

      The vast majority of Americans in 2016 wanted a real break from the past. A fool and a progressive were on offer, as great a contrast as any in American electoral history. Power took the progressive off the stage and the promise of change was left represented by the fool, who won.

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    2. I am totally confident that the REAL uber-rich (Trump is just a pretender), in private company, have nothing complimentary to say about Trump the person! “Thanks for the tax breaks, Donald. You flaming asshole, you!”

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        1. How true!

          I’ve often thought that Trump, as president, is taking revenge on all the limousine liberals who have spurned him in the past. Not that the latter care that much — they are well insulated from the harsh realities of Trump’s tantrums.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. excellent except for “you can count on the “radical” Democrats approving that tax cut.” They did not approve the 2017 tax cut-

    Majority needed to passYESNONot voting Republicans 227 12 0 Democrats 0 191 2 Total 227 203 2

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  5. Here’s a stimulating article by David Sirota and an excerpt:

    https://www.dailyposter.com/p/americas-panic-attack-could-soon

    “One thing I can predict with certainty is that no matter the results, the left will be blamed or shamed.

    If Biden (godforbid) loses, we will be told that he went too far to the left, which alienated swing voters, but still did not generate enough enthusiasm from disaffected Bernie Sanders voters who can’t get over the outcome of the Democratic primary. If that fantastical tale sounds eerily familiar, that’s because it was the bullshit story told after Hillary Clinton lost the most winnable presidential contest in history.

    And yes — it was bullshit then and would be bullshit now.

    On everything from climate change to health care to corporate power, Biden is if anything more conservative than the general population. This is a guy who literally promised his donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” and was nonetheless enthusiastically boosted by every wing of the Democratic Party, including progressives. Indeed, while third-party voting was a minuscule phenomenon in 2016, it looks to be even more infinitesimal in 2020.

    Though we’re not supposed to admit it aloud, we all know Biden didn’t really earn the lockstep support of Democratic voters with any of his policy proposals. He originally won the nomination mostly because past vice presidents almost always win their party’s presidential nominations. In the general, Biden has been backed by nearly every left-of-center group, but that’s really only because Trump represents an existential threat to the survival of our democracy and the planet’s ecosystem.

    An inanimate object should be able to beat this out of control and brazenly corrupt president who has wildly mismanaged a lethal pandemic — and if Biden still somehow manages to lose, he has nobody to blame but himself. Almost everybody looked at his problematic record and his uninspired campaign and nonetheless sucked it up and fell in line for him because we understood the stakes — so if he still somehow manages to shit the bed, it’s on him.

    If Biden (hopefully) wins, the narrative will be the opposite — we will be told that he won because he refused to fully embrace a progressive economic agenda. In this mythology, voters were supposedly desperate for a return to the kind of corporatism, incrementalism and neoliberalism that defined the Obama era and that continues to define Beltway Democratic culture amid the economic, public health and climate crises.”

    So, for Progressives, it’s Trump they win, Biden we lose. Especially if Biden wins, we had better not rest.

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    1. I can just see Joe Biden after “winning” as the “anything better than Trump” candidate. He will summon Rahm Emmanuel from Chicago and install him as Chief of Staff so that he can summarily dismiss as “fucking retards” any “progressives” deluded enough to think that “the President” might want anything to do with them once he already had their vote. Somehow the movie “Dave” comes to mind.

      For my part, I expect an epic cat-fight with “first lady” Jill Biden, former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, Michèle Flournoy, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Victoria Nuland — and perhaps even Madeleine Albright — all jockeying for power, office, and influence. In Wagnerian operatic terms, let us call it, Gotterdammerung II: The Twilight of the Girls. With a senile Siegfried soiling his diapers on the throne, look for BroomHillary to make her last desperate grasp for the brass ring while a host of venal Valkyries descends on the “battlefield” of Washington, D.C. picking over the political corpses and deciding — from the absence of any worthy heroes — to take over Valhalla themselves.

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      1. May I add I admire Jill Biden, if only for this rare burst of honesty:

        “I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that,” she said at a campaign event in Nashua, N.H. “But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race.”

        “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” she continued. “But you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election. And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I personally like so and so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”

        “Swallow a little bit” and vote for Joe. Not inspiring, but at least it’s honest!

        https://news.yahoo.com/jill-biden-maybe-you-have-to-swallow-a-little-and-vote-for-joe-142524433.html

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    2. A creature like Trump, who has only escalated the preposterous falsehoods he emits like his exhaled breath since taking office, can only be re-elected (assuming a fair election!) if enough of our fellow citizens remain colossally incapable of reasoning things out for themselves. If enough of them swallow the nonsense of “the threat of Socialism” in a Biden win, then this nation is kaput in my opinion. We’ll be on a path leading back to putting “witches” on trial. The truth? I have no faith in Americans waking up one morning miraculously endowed with reason, so the best bet for returning to wretched “normalcy” is for enough voters to be appalled at Trump’s verbal assaults on Dr. Fauci, etc., to decide the Big Man needs to be handed a pink slip.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trump’s instincts failed him here. Why attack Fauci? It’s not like he’s LeBron James or Lady Gaga.

        Fauci, a true public servant, won the respect of virtually all Americans. Trump seems to have attacked him because he (Fauci) is better liked than Trump.

        If Trump loses, the biggest reason might be his vanity.

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        1. Yeah, Trump should be more vigorously verbally assaulting the REAL threats to our GREAT NATION, Lady Gaga, LeBron James and…Bruce Springsteen!! SOCIALISTS one and all, right?

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        2. More of Trumps Instincts failing !. 1. Being the Law & Order Prez. dammit!, 2. Then pepper-spraying & rubber bulleting mostly peaceful demonstrators this past Summer. 3. Holding aloft a Bible albeit upside down!- I couldn’t believe that one coming from Ivanka’s Louis Vuitton pocketbook! lol 3. The Space Force! more lol’s. 4. I’ve done more for Blacks than Abraham Lincoln! 5. Terrible instincts in Firing Cabinet example- Gen. Mattis, Tillerson, etc. etc. etc. 6. basically being tone-deaf on the Corona virus it’ll go away, ignoring the Experts, the Scientists etc. ad nauseum! His I alone can fix it rhetoric…! I have to agree as finally I can’t go on any longer with Bidens assessment in the 1st. Debate. “Man You are the worst President that ever was”

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  6. When I got home from voting and turned on my computer to my Homepage, CNN, there was an ad for Biden, stating “Ready on Day One.” And he happened to be posing with soldiers in dress blues! Thanks for rubbing it in, Joe. Brief (yeah, sure!) feedback for Mr. Astore: On your point #2–The NY Times Editorial Board opined recently that the GOP is “finished, through, done, kaput” (my paraphrasing of an op-ed piece of which I only read the headline). If only that was true! But for me, having seen the Republicans embrace Trumpism with only a few mild internal dissenters, I can say I simply can never vote for a GOPer in local or state level elections. To stick with that party is to endorse every ugliness Trump stands for, to the extent he stands for anything beyond his own self-glorification; your point #5–Biden/Harris never guaranteed nothing will change. What MUST change is to turn the calendar back to the “old normal,” bad as that was. Only when that is accomplished can we accuse the Dems (boldly assuming their victory) of opposing any significant “reforms,” any genuine change in capitalist status quo; point #6–I heard a soundbite of Trump saying today he has prepared neither a victory nor a concession speech. Hmmm. His cocky confidence may be slipping!; and finally, point #7–a Biden presidency will ensure the continuation of the Cold War that never really ended, and increased hostility toward Russia, China, the massive threat of Venezuela (!), etc. In this arena, foreign policy, we can be just as assured of continuity of business as usual as in a distaste for attempting to “reform” capitalism here at home. After all, “The Business of America is Business!”

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      1. No, you misinterpret! He meant AFTER something like “normalcy” is restored. Right now, if Biden gets his Day One as POTUS, he’s staring at a still raging pandemic (no reason to believe it will subside in the winter months, and no reason to expect a reliable vaccine soon) and an economy in the crapper. He needs to roll back as much of Trump’s executive actions as possible, cooperate with scientists (which he pledges to do, because he’s not deranged, like Trump), appoint a Fed. Reserve Board that is cooperative on economic stimulus, etc. Speaking of which, it looks like it will require a solid Dem. majority in Senate to get any additional “relief” for working people. After addressing all that, THEN he can, he WILL, work to ensure no fundamental changes in The System.

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          1. Whatever, kid! The reality is that we are in the throes of a crisis for USA unprecedented in my lifetime. “Social lifelines” are fraying. Before much longer it could be like the Great Depression economically crossbred with the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Don’t that paint a lovely picture! Biden has no choice but to address this crisis. We know what a Trump re-election would mean.

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          2. Agree with all except Biden’s “having no choice.” He can choose to do not much of anything, as Obama did. What are we gonna do in that case? He’s a one-term President, and he knows it, has made noises to that effect.

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  7. Just returned from voting here in sunny California and want to chime in on your #1 thought, and flip it: Biden/Harris/The Dems/etc. are not running against Trump, but against a caricature of the “conservatives” and the Republican Party. Clinging to ancient and outdated stereotypes, railing against what has now become the past, while reality has passed them by. As I’ve alluded to here before, the only real progressives are the ones that can actually make something happen. Everything else is wishful thinking. Looking forward to waking up tomorrow (or in a couple days, or a couple weeks, or…?) to a true progressive victory. Posting here today so we can look back though that magical lens of history to the reason why Trump won in 2020: Reality.

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      1. I’m afraid TJOSTEEN has had to put his Trump Victory Blowout Celebration on hold! Well, we were warned it would take time for the dust to settle and reality (I think!) is bearing that out. As for my ol’ Army buddy in Ohio and his prediction of Biden in a landslide…oops! I tried to warn him against that, honestly!

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        1. Yes, as I’d commented a few weeks ago after traveling around the Buckeye state, Biden signs were outnumbered by the other guy’s 100 to 1, in some areas. The northeast part of the state is reliably blue, but that’s it.

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