As anxious as most of us are now, It might be worse next week. There’s a long article by Ron Suskind at the New York Times that I’ve been encouraging people to read all the way through, if they can. I realize not everybody subscribes, so here’s just a bit:
Nov. 4 will be a day, said one of the former senior intelligence officials, “when he’ll [Trump] want to match word with deed.” Key officials in several parts of the government told me how they thought the progression from the 3rd to the 4th might go down.
They are loath to give up too many precise details, but it’s not hard to speculate from what we already know. Disruption would most likely begin on Election Day morning somewhere on the East Coast, where polls open first. Miami and Philadelphia (already convulsed this week after another police shooting), in big swing states, would be likely locations. It could be anything, maybe violent, maybe not, started by anyone, or something planned and executed by any number of organizations, almost all of them on the right fringe, many adoring of Mr. Trump. The options are vast and test the imagination. Activists could stage protests at a few of the more crowded polling places and draw those in long lines into conflict.
A group could just directly attack a polling place, injuring poll workers of both parties, and creating a powerful visual — an American polling place in flames, like the ballot box in Massachusetts that was burned earlier this week — that would immediately circle the globe. Some enthusiasts may simply enter the area around a polling location to root out voter fraud — as the president has directed his supporters to do — taking advantage of a 2018 court ruling that allows the Republican National Committee to pursue “ballot security” operations without court approval.
Trump supporters, of course, fervently believe that everyone who isn’t a Trump supporter is part of some demonic, anti-American subversive force who must be stopped from voting. And since we may not know a winner until the end of the week, if not longer, there will be plenty of time for the hotheads to get out of control.
Still, some states will be called on election night, which might tell us which way the wind is blowing. FiveThirtyEight has published a handy guide to when to expect election results in every state. We should know the result in Florida, which could go either way, on election night, for example. Many of the early-reporting states will go for Trump, but it would be telling if his margin of victory is lower than in 2016. Some of the early-reporting states, such as Montana, South Carolina, and Colorado have critical Senate races.
The early voting suggests a really big turnout, which is supposed to favor Democrats. It looks like younger people are voting in higher numbers than usual. That should favor Democrats. I am hopeful the votes will give us a good result, if they are all counted.
Trump is on the stump declaring Covid has been vanquished and Hunter Biden Hunter Biden. See Paul Waldman, Republicans are trapped by Trump’s insane ideas about how to win this election.
Trump and the conservative media are locked in a self-reinforcing cycle in which this “issue” — fed, we should note, by bizarre and ludicrous disinformation — is all they can think about. He talks about it at his rallies, so Fox and other right-wing outlets devote endless airtime to it, and since Trump spends hours every day watching Fox, he becomes yet more convinced that it’s both vitally important and the key to his victory. And the cycle spins on.
It’s not just Hunter. One striking thing about not just Trump’s rallies but also his interviews and even his debates with Joe Biden is that Trump regularly tosses out references to a series of faux scandals and outrages that most Americans don’t understand, without bothering to explain. If you aren’t steeped in what is sometimes jokingly called the Fox News Cinematic Universe, you have no idea what Trump is talking about when he mentions Bruce Ohr or “ballots in a ditch” or “the hard drive from hell.”
I keep seeing new videos of recent rallies in which Trump repeats his “covid,covid, covid” whine, which on the local teevee news tends to be juxtaposed with recent reports of increases in cases and hospitalizations. Several of the so-called swing states are seeing a big spike in cases right now.
On Tuesday the White House science office went beyond Trump’s now-standard claims that we’re “rounding the corner” on the coronavirus and declared that one of the administration’s major achievements was “ending the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Who was that supposed to convince, when almost everyone is aware not only that the pandemic continues, but that coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging? All it did was make Trump look even more out of touch.
Hang in there, peeps. Vote early if you can.