It’s almost over, people! The 2020 U.S. presidential election is almost done. I can see the light of sanity peering above the horizon; struggling and gasping as it may be. But it’s here. As with just about everything else this year, it certainly can’t arrive soon enough.
As of this moment, it appears Joe Biden will be the nation’s 46th Chief Executive. I was more excited when I got the battery replaced in my truck back in July. I’ve never felt so disillusioned with a political campaign as I have these past few months. I mean, here’s what we had in our two principal choices: a narcissistic autocrat and an antiquitous swamp creature. Try to choose the lesser of two evils amidst that morass!
Yet, I still feel optimistic about one thing: democracy seems to be functioning nicely in the United States; the nation that has promoted itself as “The Beacon” of freedom for more than a century. Despite all of the hateful rhetoric and angry Twitter-speak, I see a semblance of hope in our future. People are lamenting the lengthy recounts in some states, but that means enough citizens decided to exercise their right to vote more than their right to watch television and either mailed in a ballot or stood in line at the polls. I was able to walk in and out of a nearby voting facility with no problem last week. I ignored the slew of political signs glutting the grounds around the place and a local newspaper’s “recommendations” for whom I should vote. (I have a better idea! I recommend said newspaper let ME decide!)
As expected, faux-President Donald Trump hasn’t conceded and has already launched a series of lawsuits to stop the various ongoing recounts. He and his minions had tried to suppress the vote all year long. And, as with conservative attempts to undermine Barack Obama’s presidency, THEY FAILED! They couldn’t stop the vote! They just couldn’t. New-age voter suppression tactics – equally anticipated from the right-wing – didn’t play out.
Conservatives have always tried to undermine the voting process. Grandfather clauses and poll taxes segued into fire hoses and violent police officers in the 20th century. That then morphed into voter ID laws, cutting the number of early voting days, limiting voting places and – finally – to sabotaging the entire postal system. And, just like many White southerners have been fighting the U.S. Civil War for over 150 years and STILL haven’t won, right-wing extremists STILL couldn’t stop people from voting this year!
The post-election violence forecast by many hasn’t materialized. Yes, a number of folks on all sides have been protesting. But that belies an incredible number: 160 million. That’s the estimated number of people who voted this year; the highest number since 1900. Considering that more people aged 18-25 voted in the first season of “American Idol” than in the 2000 presidential election, it’s phenomenal!
Thus, democracy is working for us here in the United States. The system is still imperfect, of course, but it’s operating as intended. As tough as it’s been this year, that’s a good thing.
Now, damnit, let’s not see or hear another political ad for at least another year!