So, the only organization that has called winners and losers in a U.S. Presidential elections on election night have been news organizations. They make predictions based on the percentage of counted votes that the States themselves make public. But suddenly this president is demanding that “we accept the call that’s made on TV the night of the election.”
Okay, so ignoring the fact that anyone who voted 20 years ago knows that’s not true. And ignoring the idea that most people prior to the mid-20th century must have just stared at the blank spot on the wall where their future TV would go, and waited for some answers from it. And ignoring the fact that the only reason he is president right now is because of the electoral college, which does not vote for at least a few more weeks (you’d think he’d want to wait around for that one, right? [*cough* *cough* 3 million votes *cough* *cough*])…
Putting all of that aside, you’ve got to wonder why the guy who has been doing his best to delegitimize “the fake news media”, suddenly wants to hang all of his hopes on what they have to say tomorrow night.
Editorial comment: Somehow a very important few words disappeared from the first sentence when I first published this. The first sentence has been changed to reflect that I meant ‘on election night’.
It seems that I tend to post this once in a while, and there’s usually good reason each time. Aside from the fact that this is one of my all-time favorite poems, for me it also calls up a reality check. I’m not alone in that fact, either. And, I have always loved the version that Joni Mitchell arranged, so today I am posting that with the text of the poem. Read deep.
We humans have enough of a history that shows how clearly we are capable of existential damage to each other, as well as our environment. I don’t believe there is anything particularly prophetic in this poem/song, but there are some huge reminders.
The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Today I saw two fairly typical rural New Hampshirey kind of guys (white males, beards and baseball caps, obligatory work boots, and a variety of apparel from famed designers such as Mossie Oake and Coco Flanell) slogging hip deep through the roadside tick-grass dragging a massive sign that proclaimed: “Asians for Trump”. These guys were in the process of hammering it into the ground directly between myself and a bunch of very beautiful fall leaves. I absolutely hate political signs.
I suspect if I had actually pulled over and pointed out to these guys just how dense their political irony was, it would be as welcome from me as breaking the news about where fortune cookies actually come from.
The problem is that publicly voicing any sort of political speech these days is just as likely to get you shot, as get you are to get run over by a muscle car or big-ass truck with giant tires and a Punisher sticker on the back window. All while sustaining a barrage of colorful potty words, and various observations about your appearance and pedigree.
I am afraid that no matter who wins this presidential election, there will be violent reactions across the country, leading to far more deaths than there should ever be in a country with free and fair elections. And if you’re wondering just how many deaths should happen as a result of free and fair elections, the answer is zero.
In America, there is a small town where things don’t work the way they do everywhere else. It’s a place that’s still small town America. Exactly the same small town America that politicians invoke during an election cycle when they are trying to convince people that they alone are somehow able to conserve the values many of our grandparents held dear.
In this place, everyone who is anyone was brought up in a good Christian home, raised on down-home rules pulled mostly from the Bible. But one value that’s sure to be upheld is the one that says that anyone who hasn’t accepted Jesus into their lives, has to go to the back of the line here in America. And that this value is an essential part of the fabric of a nation founded on Christian values.
Modern scientific “theories” don’t just automatically get accepted and taught here. Especially not if they fly in the face of what we’ve been taught and know in our hearts to be a part of God’s plan for us. In this town there’s a saying, “Noah didn’t need no nanoparticles.”
Of course everyone here knows someone who’s been addicted to meth, has diabetes, or is missing a few teeth (This is America after all). But, that is no reason to scare people into letting some socialist weaken our national defense just for some free doctor’s appointments.
More than anything, the people of this town do their homework. They‘re not likely to sit idly by while an oppressive government schemes their freedom out from underneath them. Microwaves, contrails, chip implants, and 5G… you name it and they’ve fought for freedom from it.
Here the law matters. And not those little freedom-killing laws that get forced on you by some liberal activist judge, but honest-to-goodness tough laws. The type that are designed to punish people. This town is founded on the age-old knowledge that “might makes right”, as well as a couple of other things that rhyme with that.
And with that deep respect for the law, comes an even deeper respect for our Second Amendment. Every citizen of this town is advised to keep and bear arms to show how each one of us cares about the safety of our neighborhoods. We will always do what we have to to keep them safe, unlike ‘other’ types of neighborhoods.
Most of all this is a town that exists in direct proportion to the amount of payola each politician gets from silent sources when they publicly invoke its fabled existence. And, it is entirely populated with the faces of each and everyone person imagined by a voter who wished their vote who somehow transported them to this safe little island of individual liberties with a type of justice they can secretly get behind.
This is a town that too many American’s wish they lived in. And what’s worse, most of them are afraid to admit it to their own friends and family. How can we expect an enemies country to learn from this, when a huge portion of its citizens can’t even reconcile their own beliefs with way they hope to appear to others?
I was listening to a music stream and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down came on. Rather than just enjoy a wonderful song on a nice sunny day, instead I thought, “I wonder when we’re going to start writing these types of songs for what’s going on in America right now?” I suppose one possible title would be something like, The Day They Gassed Lafayette Square.”
Today I woke up to stories about anonymous police forces patrolling the streets of our nation’s capital. When asked who they were, they replied simply that they “work for the federal government”. Further investigation seems to suggest that they are from the Bureau of Federal Prisons. So what are they patrolling for? Who are they tasked with protecting?
This is probably related to the fact that only a few days after the President of the United States steamrollered masses peaceful protesters in from of the White House with tear gas and rubber bullets (citizens and press alike), apparently because His Orangeness was suddenly gripped with the overwhelming urge to go pose with a Bible like a grumpy Billy Mays trying to hawk some overstock.
Of course, that gem had been done in response to news reports that Trump and his family had been whisked away to a bunker for their safety after a horde of protesters broke through some barricades the night before in their attempts to have a word with him.
Needless to say, that too had a prequel: The senseless death of George Floyd at the knee of a white police officer. This event wasn’t so much a ‘spark in a tinderbox’ kind-of-thing, it was more like a “a bonfire in an ammo dump”, if you catch my drift.
Because, why? Because, before all of these things there was the countless other things that have happened. There has been three and a half mother fucking years of this slow moving coup. And they’re getting away with nothing more than Trump smashes a bunch of dishes in front of a camera, while McConnell and Barr run out the back door with the jewelry.
Why has everything suddenly escalated? Why is becoming more authoritarian with each passing event?
The election is coming soon, and the idea U.S. citizens voting almost entirely by mail is now a very real possibility, and therefore a very real threat to the GOP. They weren’t counting on COVID-19 helping to level the voter suppression playing field. But they’re not fighting like this just because they’re worried about losing their jobs.
Nope… They’re worried about a whole lot more than that.
This headline is probably single-handedly sending a few people off the deep end. Why? Because, just like in 2016 Bernie is getting the popular vote, but not the delegates. And of course, in this case the DNC is far more willing to agree with the Electoral College.
Over the course of the weekend I had a few friends text me about their concerns for Bernie as the New Hampshire Primary approaches. Most of them, lamented in one form or another, “Why are the Democrats being so mean to Bernie?”
My answer was always the same: They’re not. They’re doing what every organization does. Protecting their own. Unfortunately, in this case, just like in 2016, they may be cutting off their nose despite their face.
Look, in the end the DNC is a just another business with a brand that they feel is threatened. In the end, political parties care about their own survival first. It’s how they make their money, and support their own candidates up and down the ticket. And since political parties are mostly about portraying a collection of common values to voters, whenever someone from the outside threatens to up-end those values, they get defensive. The Democratic Party is a business with a brand, and it’s one that Bernie doesn’t adhere to. However, his values closely aligned with democratic voters that he is able to run as a party reformer, promising a level of change that still scares the shit out of the party.
I’m not sure why people are surprised by any of this. Bernie isn’t a Democrat. He is a very proud Independent who labels himself a Democratic Socialist. He has been registering as a Democrat when he runs for President because he knows it increases his chances of winning. Because, without that big D after his name, he won’t get the political wind at his back that comes from running in a primary organized by one of the two big parties in America.
On the other hand, I don’t know about you but I am terrified of what will happen if Donald Trump gets a second term. So much so that I have every intention of voting for the Democratic candidate, whoever it is, in the general election. And I am not alone. The DNC knows lots of people feel that way. Which begs the question, why would they risk alienating Bernie’s legion of supporters?
The answer itself is simple, they’re doing it for the same reason a concert venues charge you $7.50 for a bottle of water. Because, who the hell else can you turn to?!
Sure, there are other candidates and other political parties.But when the stakes are this high, a protest vote becomes nothing more than a vote against anyone who’s running against Trump. And passing on negative rumors or stories about any of the democratic candidates is akin to endorsing Trump’s brand of politics. Just don’t do it. Instead, spend that energy passing on positive stuff about your favorite candidate. The worst thing that will happen is you might slow the spread of negative press. But by not reacting in a knee-jerk fashion, you can deprive your political opponents the pleasure of seeing someone knocked down a few pegs.
If we don’t learn this fact now, we may never get another chance.
While Congress wrings it’s hands over Bill Barr, here’s an idea:
Why doesn’t every person currently running for President (regardless of party) make sure to make the following pledge in every speech, “My name is Blah Blah Blah, I’m running for President of the United States and I refuse to accept help from a foreign power to get elected to be your President!”
At some point, what will be most notable and newsworthy will be the candidates who don’t make that promise. And it doesn’t take an Act of Congress!