It’s Halloween, there is a blue moon tonight, we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that is getting worse every day, and if that wasn’t scary enough, the US election is in 3 days. Well, “Election day” is 3 days away but the elections started a long time ago. Years it feels like sometimes, at least in terms of campaigning, (I will NOT miss the all ads, phone calls and texts). However people have been voting for weeks. As of right now the tally is at more than 91 MILLION people. CNN and Fox News both report that pre-election voting has surpassed two-thirds of all ballots cast during the 2016 presidential election. That is awesome. Truly awesome. I hope this trend continues and this election has the highest voter turnout ever. Apathy towards voting is something that has always upset and offended me and although I am sorry it took this clusterfuck to get some to understand how dangerous it is, I am still glad it has worked. (As I finished writing this sentence I got a text message from a woman I admire very much telling me her daughter’s absentee ballot didn’t arrive in time. So this person flew her daughter in from college so she could vote. Point made.)
But in the midst of that positive note I am scared. There is not one single, realistic, outcome for the presidential election that doesn’t scare me.
Here are realisms top scenarios:
Scenario 1: Trump wins by a large margin. The left can’t cry foul because of the massive win and the nation goes into a frenzy worse than everything and anything we’ve seen so far. Both the right & the left will be fueled by the win and all sanity will go out the window. The next 4 years will be worse than the previous four (yes I think it will be possible) and I am not sure that the US will ever recover. Basic human rights will be at stake every damn day and we will be even more divided. What very little is left of bipartisanship work and civility will be gone. There might be promises of working for everyone, and being president for all but how that will be possible after woking so hard and for so long to divide us is a mystery. The Democrats will not work with the Republicans and we will continue fighting amongst ourselves for the foreseeable future.
Scenario 2: Biden wins by a large margin. The right will cry foul and voter fraud especially since the president has been laying the foundation for this for months now, creating the doubt in the minds of his followers that if he doesn’t win it’s obviously because of a rigged election. Trump then refuses to concede and will have to be forcefully removed from power. That will fuel the violent section of his base even more and divisiveness will again prevail. There will be lots of promises from the Democrats, as they have already said, of “working together” and of the United States of America, but with the right infuriated that will be much easier said than done and we will continue fighting amongst ourselves for the foreseeable future.
Scenario 3: No one wins by a large margin. This is the scariest of all the scenarios. With the Electoral College that exists in this “democratic” country and the ability of one candidate to get a majority of the vote but still not win the election (a concept I have spent more than 25 years trying to educate myself on, seriously) it could be a Gore vs. Bush in 2000 all over again where months after the election the results are still being contested. Both parties are fighting to get votes either counted or expelled depending on what helps them/hurts the other and it makes it to the Supreme Court for a final decision. Except this time the Supreme Court has 3 (THREE) justices appointed by the current president who did not win said popular vote and confirmed by a senate who’s majority represents 15 million people less than the minority. Let that sink in for a minute. #Democracy
These scenarios don’t even take into account all the Senate and Congress races in play across the nation. That is too much for my brain and psychiatric health to handle right now. At the moment I can only digest small bites so that’s what I am taking. When I am able to go to the buffet I will do so, but for now, tapas it is.
Yes, by todays standards I am a “liberal” and therefore considered a Democrat, but make no mistake, these scenarios should scare everyone, regardless of where on the political spectrum your ideals reside. We have created a world where political disagreement is not only unwelcome but also threatened. We live in an us vs. them time and that is not good by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not good for the country or the democracy that the US is supposed to stand for.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, politics was a way of life and the discussion of them is even considered “the national sport”. It’s also one of the things I liked most about when I moved to the states, that being a Democrat or Republican wasn’t what defined you as a human. It was a second or third thought if at all when you met someone and not as all consuming as being Pro Statehood, Pro Commonwealth or Pro Independence was and still is in PR even with all the other political parties that have been born recently. (That’s another essay for another day.)
So I am exhausted. And I am scared. And November 3rd, I fear, will NOT be the end of this nightmare by any stretch of the imagination. Whether you are daydreaming or not.
If I let myself day dream, Joe Biden will win, Trump will concede and there will be a peaceful transfer of power. The nation will start to heal from the disaster and divisiveness of the past 4 years and we will go back to disagreeing about politics respectfully and with class. Don’t laugh, I did say it was a dream and a girl is still allowed to do that, at least for now…