My Prediction for the Amazing Election of 2020
In my life I’ve usually been properly labeled as an optimist but during 2020 I’ve flipped into a pessimism so dark that it’s been hard to find any light in the world. The coming presidential election was going to pit Donald John Trump against whoever the Democrats chose, and when my favorite candidates dropped out, one by one, only Joe Biden was left standing. That didn’t look good for defeating Trump, and my pessimism turned darker. Then in mid-March I flew to Las Vegas to visit my sister and while I was there the pandemic suddenly changed all our lives dramatically and for the worse. My flight to Vegas was routine, but the flight home was filled with paranoid people eyeing each other suspiciously and hoping no one would cough or sneeze. It happened that fast.
So we all cancelled our plans and hunkered down. We, the good citizens, bought masks and learned to observe social distances from each other. Both my husband David and I are in high risk categories, but he is younger so he’s had the most contact with the outside world. I love him dearly for this bravery. Our marriage hasn’t been much affected by the virus. We stay home and entertain ourselves, and both have multiple projects to keep us busy. I read somewhere that couples stranded together like this either break up or get closer, and, happily, we are in the latter category. We have had what one wag called the occasional “snarly disagreement” but mostly we’re in a good place and there is a lot of laughter in our home.
But the world is not in a good place. As I’ve emphasized in this blog before (see Related Posts below) we have a crisis few people are even aware of that will certainly bring down civilization: too many people. Estimates are that the earth can only sustain two billion humans, but we are at seven billion and pushing for eight. No one is doing anything about the terror this will cause, but as refugees from one part of the world try to flee elsewhere, chaos, already started in the Mediterranean and at the U.S. southern border (among other venues), will grow. Certainly the Trump administration has ignored the problem as it steadily made things worse. Much of the rest of the world makes half-hearted efforts, but without a big push from some source our earth will become uninhabitable for most humans by 2100. In the meantime this miserable year 2020 started piling on new problems: racial protests, QAnon conspiracies, fires, hurricanes, tornados, etc. Ruth Bader Ginsberg suddenly died and the Supreme Court gained a new very conservative Justice in her place in a breathtakingly short period of time.
One small hope would be for Joe Biden to defeat Donald Trump and then help organize the world to address these (and other issues) seriously. But . . . Joe Biden? He’s a nice guy, but he’s old (my age—77). He still has his wits about him but can sometimes be slow to summon them into service and tends to misspeak. I’ve never been a big fan of his, but Joe is all we’ve got now.
Things looked pretty bad and my pessimism continued. I read many books about Trump written by those who know him well (his niece, his lawyer, Bob Woodward, Anonymous). They made it clear that the private Donald Trump is an even bigger catastrophe than the public sees. Everything he does is self-centered, ego-based, without consideration of anyone else or any consequences except his own good. His lawyer says that he has no sense of humor and any supposed joke he makes is merely a trial balloon for something he is seriously considering doing (“President for Life”). His former Secretary of Defense said that carefully planned meetings with Trump were impossible to pull off since he wouldn’t read anything, had a short attention span, and usually derailed the conversation by bringing up something he’d just heard on Fox News that sends him into a wonderland of his own. The man has no respect for decency, tradition, fair play, and certainly not for the truth. Trump lies as often as most people breathe, and he loves making outrageous statements just for the hell of it.
But then something wonderful started to happen. Trump made big mistakes and huge numbers of people started backing away from him. Leaks from former associates made it clear that Trump thinks those who join the military are "suckers" and "losers." He thought the same thing about those who stormed the beaches at Normandy, and he refused to participate in a ceremony for them even though he was only miles away.
That offended huge numbers of people who were his base supporters. At a service in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor Trump had to ask “What exactly happened here that we’re commemorating?” He actually didn’t know about the Japanese attack that destroyed much of the U.S, fleet at the start of World War II! This is a demonstration of his lack of knowledge of basic things we all learned in school and it's embarrassing for a president to be so ignorant. Trump told India it was a good thing they didn’t have a border with China! He has commented that “Belgium is a lovely city.” The list goes on and on.
More or less every day Trump will say something that offends some of the people who voted for him: farmers, workers, government officials, etc.. And these stupid statements, of course, lose him votes. As David and I watched the news and these snafus occur I would mumble “Chip, chip, chip” to my husband, meaning that these gaffes were slowly chipping away at his base of support. Night after night. Chip, chip, chip.
The biggest event was his colossal mishandling of the corona virus pandemic. Woodward’s book makes it clear Trump knew how bad it would be last January, but said nothing about the problem and did little Other countries made huge efforts to combat the virus and some, like China, South Korea, and New Zealand have done so well that they are living something close to pre-pandemic lives. A recent documentary about what scientists and doctors in the US argued had to be done but couldn’t get from the Trump administration, which actively interfered with their attempts to suppress the virus, is called “Totally Under Control” and available on Hulu. David and I watched it with dropped jaws. We knew that Trump’s administration had failed to do the right things, but we were astounded at how routinely, how casually, they did the wrong ones. They still are making the same mistakes.
The pandemic has now exploded in Trump’s face. People come to his rallies and then die
of the virus because no masks were worn [for example Herman Cain, the former
Presidential candidate, who went to the Tulsa rally and died nine days
later]. Now, at the last minute the president is holding lots of rallies where he tells the crowd that the virus problem is almost over (!), and as they cheer him they spread the virus rapidly among themselves. Forgive my schadenfreude in pointing out that lots of those doing this are going to develop symptoms of corona infection right about the time they should be voting and will, alas, be unable to do so. Trump's political advisors warned him against holding these rallies, noting that they cost too much money and don't lead to many new votes. Even worse Trump paid for a buses to take followers to a rally in Omaha but then failed to provide sufficient buses to get them out , leaving them stranded and angry, with some of the elderly being hospitalized; see Hundreds of Trump supporters stuck in the cold for hours when buses can’t reach Omaha rally. Chip, chip, chip.
Some governors took big steps and had great results (like New York) but those who followed Trump’s advice to open up the economy are now watching their people die. Every time someone trusted Trump and then had major trouble with the virus leading to death or serious injury then that person and his friends and family abandoned Donald Trump. Chip, chip, chip. Then the entire Trump family came down with the virus! Chip, chip, chip. Then five of the people who work for the Vice President (the man in charge of the administration’s control of the virus) caught it. Chip, chip, chip. Then the president’s Press Secretary. Chip, chip, chip. Trump doesn’t pay taxes. Chip, chip, chip. Trump says he’s not responsible for responding to the problems caused by the virus—the governors of the states are! A national problem, but fifty local officials are fighting each other for scare resources! This is not leadership. It is not how a good president handles trouble.
Every day Trump does something or says something (or bombshell from the past explodes) that causes people who once admired him to turn away in disgust. Once they stop believing they also stop pretending and suddenly see him for the incompetent clown that he is. Their resentment grows. They start muttering that the Republican party should not be tying itself to this buffoon. DJT loses voters daily who either switch to Biden or decide to stay home on election day and knock back a drink or two.
Better yet, Joe Biden has stood his ground and presented a viable case for being able to guide the country back to something like normal. He looks very much like a responsible leader aiming to protect the interests of the United States of America and not just pad his own ego. Joe’s debate performances have been respectable, while Trump has either looked like a madman (first debate) or a grumpy bulldog (second debate).
The one thing that terrified me most about the coming election was the possibility that on election day Trump would be ahead in the actually counted votes and would then stop the tallying of the mail-in votes that could easily swing the election to Biden. There were predictions from experts that Trump might seize these uncounted ballots and destroy them, and then insist he was the winner, or at least throw the election into the electoral college, where Republicans have a huge advantage. This would smack of a Hitler-like takeover, and Trump as much as announced that it was his plan! The United States would be plunged into a nightmare, with riots everywhere. I wrote about this in depth in my last blog post (see Related Posts below).
Ah, but since I wrote that post I’ve changed my mind! Wonderful things are happening every day. The crisis I described isn’t going to happen, and old Douglas has recently become an optimist once again. Trump has handled things so poorly that he has lost the support he needed for reelection. We are going to have an election where Trump does so bad on November 3rd that he won’t have any credible argument he has won. Biden will stomp him. That's my prediction for the election of 2020. (I also think its likely that the Democrats are going to end up with both the House and the Senate.)
The polls show that the Biden landslide is coming first on November 3rd and then growing in the days that follow. Expert analysis says this. Early voting says this. And even Trump himself is starting to talk about the possibility of losing. Poor baby, Donald has speculated that he might have to leave the country. He damn well better hop on the first international flight out as fast as he can! Criminal indictments certainly await him in many a United States courtroom. If he stays his chances of going to jail are splendid. It makes me smile broadly just to think about it.
David and I have a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator. Now all we need is confetti. I’ll have to see if Amazon stocks it and order some in.
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog”; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-guide-to-best-of-my-blog.html
“A Constitutional Crisis: Trump Loses the Election but Refuses to Leave Office and . . . Then What?” August 24, 2020; https://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2020/08/a-constitutional-crisis-trump-loses.html
“Everyone Should Read Anonymous’s “A Warning”—An Insider’s Look at Trump’s White House,” December 16, 2019; https://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2019/12/everyone-should-read-anonymouss.html
“Bad News: Civilization Will Collapse By 2100,” June 24, 2019; https://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2019/06/bad-news-civilization-will-collapse-by.html
“The Collapse of 2050: Earth as a Ponzi Scheme,” August 17, 2015; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-collapse-of-2050-earth-as-ponzi.html
“Comparing Donald Trump to a Badly Infected Big Toe,” August 3, 2016, http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2016/08/comparing-donald-trump-to-badly_3.html
“Trump University: A Fraudster for President”? March 10, 2016; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2016/03/trump-university-fraudster-for-president.html]
“Joe Biden, Plagiarism, and Why He Shouldn’t Run For President,” August 25, 2015; https://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2015/08/joe-biden-plagiarism-and-why-he.html