We’re Toast, People…

…at least for the foreseeable future.  Stick a fork in the good ol’ USA, ’cause we’re done.

Some reasonable, informed people have commented that the 2020 election has already been a loser no matter the outcome (W.J. Astore, for example, provides his reasoning here), because both candidates are abysmal on multiple levels.  I couldn’t agree more; the GOP contender is an abomination, and the Dem candidate falls far short of adequate. 

Despite the poor quality of the two people running for the White House, however, huge numbers of citizens voted, whether by mail or in person.  In fact, record numbers of mail-in ballots were received.  It appears that people were determined to make their choices known, pandemic notwithstanding.

Therefore on one hand, it makes a weird kind of sense that the Presidential race is close, given two unpalatable choices.  A closer look reveals differing dynamics, however.  Biden was a lackluster nominee, a center-right corporatist who failed to inspire much passion.  He was the “protest” choice:  voters went for him because the alternative was unthinkable.  Conversely, the incumbent is so unspeakably horrible that one would assume that anyone with a conscience who doesn’t live in a cave and has minimal reasoning ability would run the other way.  Why, then, are the results so close?  In each of the battleground states, where counting is still underway as of this writing, only a few thousand votes separate the candidates. 

Clearly, this country is not what I thought it was.  Many articles in the last four years have spoken about the roughly 30% to 40% of people who support the incumbent, his staunch base.  However, the results so far would indicate that one of two conditions existed on Election Day.  Either a large percentage of people who lean to the Dem side didn’t bother to vote, or the incumbent’s base is much bigger than pundits have imagined, on the order of almost 50%. 

For practical purposes, it really doesn’t matter which of the above conditions is the reality; we’re in dire straits either way.  If a sizeable number of would-be Dems are apathetic enough not to bother to vote* in such a crucial contest, then support for pushing forward with, say, Medicare for all or serious environmental remediation measures, will be too ephemeral to make a difference.  That’s a depressing situation, certainly discouraging to the progressives who have worked hard to promote those issues. 

The alternative is blood-chillingly frightening.  If the faction of U.S. citizens supporting the incumbent tops out at nearly 50%, there is no discernible way forward.  Not only have the voters who selected him in 2016 not had any epiphanies to speak of, more people have been converted to his views.  Such an occurrence beggars imagination.  It’s inconceivable to me that, not only would so many people vote against their essential interests, they’d also vote for the violence and hatred that the incumbent represents.  The sheer contempt for disabled people, war veterans, women, minorities, even pandemic victims.  How, in the name of all that’s holy, can anyone justify a vote for this creature?  Even if one can dismiss the ugliness and divisiveness he epitomizes, there’s still the Affordable Care Act, for instance.  It’s the only safety net for tens of millions of citizens.  Surely, not everyone who voted for him has employer-provided health insurance or is independently wealthy.  Surely, not everyone who voted for him did so because of his stand on abortion.  Surely, not everyone who voted for him is a climate change denier.  Surely, not everyone who voted for him thinks 234,000 pandemic deaths to date, with cases on the increase, is no big deal.  Surely, not everyone who voted for him condones a plot to kidnap a governor and take over a state capital.  Surely, not everyone who voted for him lives under a rock. 

I don’t know what the answer is.  I can’t comprehend the twisted reasoning it requires to check the box for a facsimile human who is demonstrably mentally unstable, treasonous, and felonious, convicted on all counts by his own words and actions.  What I do know is that the bare fact of this knife-edge election means that this country is in a black pit, a dark place with no candles at hand.

*I’m not counting the Dem or independent voters who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Biden. They are small in number and are to be honored for having the courage of their convictions. In no way are they spoilers.

10 thoughts on “We’re Toast, People…

  1. a numinous and inspiring article, denise… and categorically désolée for us who tendentiously gravitate toward the counter-press. exploring the aberrant behaviour of dump-trump’s votaries and acolytes leaves one parlous befuddled. are they bewitched? apologies for the paronomasia, but it seems sufficiently ‘counter’-intuitive that one must conclude trumpsters are suicidal. my sister is one of them, but she has never been suicidal, just dyspeptic, judgemental, mendacious, bellicose, belligerent, god-besotted, and arrogant her entire life. the cortical furniture of trump’s base must be floating rudderless in stygian rivers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agreed. Interesting you’d use the word, “suicidal.” I’ve seen multiple posts over the last year or so likening Dumpster followers to a death cult. I don’t think they’re necessarily consciously Jim Jones material, but perhaps there’s some nihilistic component to their personalities. Certainly, they’re dystopian, even if they don’t know what that means.

    :LOVE your phrase, “rudderless in Stygian rivers.”


    1. …but their death-cult god will save them… to live happily ever after in cognate apposition w/ all their consoeurs and confrères, swooning at the malodorous feet of their vindictive, punitive, jealous god [a male-gendered megalomaniac, of course, not a fe-male or wo-man].

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunate as it is, I believe you’ve pegged their beliefs to a T.

        And this is delicious! As it happens, I’m halfway through Anne Rice’s fifth in the Vampire Chronicles, titled “Memnoch the Devil.” The Devil appears in several forms, including that of the most ordinary man. He tells the main character, the vampire Lestat, that he is not evil, that he is God’s adversary, and that the selfish, devious, cruel, quixotic God is going to destroy the earth. I’m most interested to see how it turns out!


  3. Trump supporters have as many reasons to support him as there are supporters, but a big one is that Trump professes to hate what they hate. Trump is also the candidate of resentments, and people do have a lot of resentments — many of them valid.

    Of course, Biden didn’t offer his supporters much. His main appeal was “I’m not Trump.” And it’s hard to build enthusiasm around that — again, it’s normalcy without hope and change. Not very inspiring.

    A truly progressive and charismatic candidate is what we need. AOC in 2024 or 2028?


  4. My point exactly: Orange supporters are motivated by hate and negativity, which supersedes everything else. It’s not wholly or perhaps even mostly that they embrace his policies. That there are so many of them is a tragedy for our country, perhaps an insurmountable one.

    AOC as soon as possible! Not that the DNC would let her run…


  5. Alright, let’s all take a deep breath, people! This Country survived Herbert Hoover,& the Great Depression. We’ll survive this, too.
    Let us not forget that ‘we the people’ still have the power to intervene when the government get’s a little too big for their britches. Remember Richard Nixon,& Ronald Reagan? Of course you do! They weren’t so big that they couldn’t fall flat on their faces.
    Speaking for myself, only. I don’t care ‘who’ wins this history-making mockery of an election. Like I said in a previous post. I don’t trust ‘any’ Politicians. When they’re not kissing babies, they’re stealing their lollipops. I just hope that whomever it is that they govern with a half-ass sense of accountability,& responsibility, Pardon my French!
    However, whoever it’ll be, I’m not so immature as to threaten their life, or anyone else affiliated with them. That is just the kind of thinking that you could expect from a communist regime. This is, still, a free country. The common people, such as we are, ‘do’ have a say. Whether you know it, or not. We are not licked, yet!
    One of the abilities we maintain is that we can put them ‘in’ office. We can take them ‘out’, too. So, lets just see which bum wins,& hope for the best. After all, that’s what we did with the previous ones! Be strong,& endure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll say right up front: I’m not a Biden fan. But the alternative is too awful to contemplate. What worries me is that so many millions of people voted for a guy who’s quite open about being racist, misogynist, and a thief. Aside from the fact of his inciting bully-boy militias into violence and kidnap plots. Never has this country seen anything like that. This is completely new territory, and I don’t believe it’s any longer a case of, “We’re all in this together.” That’s frightening to me.


  6. I agree completely! All I’m saying is ‘we’ as a population ‘are’ survivors,& survivors are strong no matter what. I concentrate on that. I think we are stronger than that! Forgive me, I’m not looking for any arguments here!

    Liked by 1 person

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