No winner declared in the election, but the media and pollsters are clear losers
TV Cable News voice: “Meanwhile, in state X there’s a new poll showing Democrat Joe Biden with a double-digit lead heading into Election Day. Experts say President Donald Trump has only a slight chance to win the state and the election on November 3.”
How many times have we heard this pronouncement from an establishment media host in the past year? Too many to count. If you’re like me, your neck is sore from shaking your head so many times that a brace might be required if the pontificating elite class keeps up the boldfaced lying much longer.
In the strangest of all election years, perhaps it’s fitting that the final result was not decided last evening -- or this morning either. In case you locked yourself in a media-proof room last night, the election still lies in the balance. As of this writing, President Trump clings to leads in Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania as Biden supporters try to talk themselves into thinking their candidate still has a realistic shot to win the White House.
Wisconsin was in the Trump column until around daybreak Wednesday with Biden leading by .8 percent with 99% of the votes allegedly counted at time of publication. It looks as though some Trump-leaning votes are yet to be returned, but it doesn’t look promising for Republicans.
A spry but mush-mouthed Biden spoke to an assemblage of cars at a little after midnight, telling the folks in the automobiles that he believed he would win. The president waited until after 2 a.m. to hold his media appearance, defiantly declaring that the election should have already been called in his favor. By the looks of the voting patterns, Trump appears to have the better argument. But it’s close.
Needless to say, it looks like it will be some time before a winner is announced -- if at all. Lawyers are crawling all over the states still counting and the left will stop at nothing to keep the process opened until they get their way.
Here’s predicting that Trump will eventually prevail, an Electoral College win to rival his triumph over Hillary Clinton in 2016. If this is the case, the push for “faithless” electors will be even more intense. Biden probably wouldn’t ever concede and we could have the first presidential election ever where the parties are both still disputing the results. A mess? Is there a better word?
Regardless of the result in the presidential race, Democrats fell well short of the “blue wave” that the pundits and party honks gleefully forecasted. The liberal party did retain the majority in the House of Representatives, but apparently didn’t add many -- if any -- seats to their tally. Democrat Rep. Donna Shalala lost her race in South Florida, one of the election’s biggest surprises.
On the Senate side, Democrats failed to take down South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, despite dumping in over a hundred million dollars to oust him. It was the most expensive senate race in history, yet the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman was reelected easily.
Republicans lost seats in Colorado and Arizona, but retained incumbents in Iowa, Texas and Montana. GOP candidates in Maine, Michigan and North Carolina are ahead and likely winners. So “Chucky” Schumer will stay in his Minority Leader capacity. Prediction? At least two more years of whining and griping about Mitch McConnell and the senate rules.
The results will continue to trickle in, but one thing is clear: the polls were wrong again. The potential for vote fraud is serious, with lots of votes still uncounted. The media’s bold predictions of a Trump flameout did not materialize. And the country remains on edge.
Searching for the magic answer on how to unify the country
Regardless of whether you voted for President Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden in yesterday’s election, all Americans probably have one thing in common this morning: a hangover.
And it’s not just from alcohol, stimulants (coffee) or other kind of self-inflicted chemical imbalance. It’s safe to say just about every American placed some sort of stake on the outcome of this year’s election and there’s an awful lot of joy and hurt out there. We speculate that Donald Trump won, or it certainly appears that way. For the better part of two years the country has been treated (cursed?) to the never-ending campaign as furiously fanned by the never-ending news cycle flames.
If the sheer number of insults from both sides were tabulated, it would constitute a balance sheet rivaling the size of the national debt. In case anyone thought there wasn’t much unity to begin with, there’s even less now. The winning side rejoices in the races that have been called, the losing contingent mourns. And yet the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west. What’s done is done and at least for the moment, it doesn’t look like there’s anything anyone -- outside of the lawyers -- can do about it.
Going into Tuesday’s vote, everyone with a functioning brain realized that the next president faces a monumental task ahead of him. The new president must not only try to grapple with the pandemic that had such a profound effect on the mindset of the country, but he must also consider that the United States government is dead broke. The treasury is empty and the IOU’s are piling up. Tax receipts remain at record highs, but there’s never been a spending year that even comes close to matching 2020. And 2021 figures to be just as challenging to the bottom line.
The campaign is now over. Both sides went to the mat in demonizing the other. As Abraham Lincoln said in his second inaugural address (delivered a month or so before the South’s surrender in the Civil War), both sides can’t be right. And the almighty has his own purposes. It’s up to the living, breathing souls to try and find a semblance of truth in this. And it won’t be easy.
For a year-plus the liberal Democrat faction has not only smeared and jabbed at Donald Trump, they’ve gone overboard in suggesting anyone who doesn’t share their penchant for emotional extremism is guilty of a politically correct thought crime. “Silence is Violence” they scream, making sure they commit their vehemence -- rhetorical and otherwise -- in loud enough tones to frighten and intimidate. Yet conservatives and lovers of traditional American values and liberty weren’t fooled and they certainly weren’t cowed into submission.
The traditionalists responded to the “peaceful protests” and rioting, looting and historical statue desecration by arming themselves as though the loony left were planning a revolution. As we all know, fringe elements are doing just that, the question being whether the anti-Trump voters who emerged by the millions will go along with the most outlandish of miscreants and thugs to champion anarchy and disorder instead of law, order and domestic peace.
With so much talk of the need for unity in the air, the concept sounds impossible to attain. About half of Americans seem to place extraordinary importance and impossible abilities on the Oval Office occupant to “bring people together.” But assuming we could coax the divergent sides into the same room, would there be a magic solution at hand?
Unlikely. What’s the answer? Writing before the election results were known, Roger L. Simon wrote at The Epoch Times, “[W]e have businesses and homes boarding up their windows and entrances all over the country, hedging against an explosion that would be caused by a Trump victory, which we were told for months is unlikely.
“So where does this leave us after the election? …[N]ormally an optimistic person, I’m pessimistic, at least in the short run. It will be a long time before there will be ‘bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover’ for the United States—or for the UK for that matter. Neither side is prepared to accept defeat and reconcile…”
“[H]ow then to return to the halcyon days of that democratic republic of people caring about each other described eloquently so long ago by Alexis de Tocqueville? Are there enough people who even care? For those who do, three words of advice: Reform our schools. That’s the most important thing and where you start.”
Answering Simon’s second question, yes, it appears there are enough people who care. The tens of millions of Trump voters demonstrated that there’s a significant segment of the American people who still place greater emphasis on issues and the future of the nation rather than one man’s tweets, off-putting (to them) personality and media generated hysteria over a foreign flu bug that threatens some folks’ mortality.
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” 2020 has been all about the tug-of-war between liberty and safety. Judging by the utter and shocking deterioration of discourse in the past four years, liberty seems to be losing the battle… which essentially means we’ll neither be free nor safe.
The question for a lot of free-thinking people has been whether the government, in the midst of a health situation, possesses the constitutional authority to compel people to change their personal behaviors to possibly safeguard someone else. Having the government order someone to close his or her business isn’t really that much apart from demanding that you turn over your firearm because it could be loaded with ammunition and fired in another person’s direction to harm them.
Or what if the governor limited drivers to driving ten miles-an-hour or less, which would result in the elimination of all traffic fatalities and damage to vehicles in accidents? If that’s the case, then why don’t we do it? Why not insist that all vehicle operators wear a helmet like bicyclists and motorcyclists? How many head injuries would be prevented? What about a heavy body suit too? How many soft tissue injuries could be avoided?
That’s how absurd the hub-bub over the Chinese Communist Party (or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus has been. The roughly half of the voters in this country that think it’s okay for the government to direct everyone to do something (wear a mask) or stop doing something (not go to work or close their business) apparently have no qualms with surrendering individual decision-making and other aspects of liberty.
To answer Simon again, these people don’t care about anyone but themselves. Can they be made to care? Can education save them -- and the country -- in the process?
No doubt a more thorough grounding in American history is vitally necessary these days. The left has worked overtime in recent decades to play up the importance and relevance of our nation’s past warts and ugliness. Seriously, is there a single person in the United States who would defend the institution of slavery? Educated people know that the Founding Fathers didn’t defend it either, even if many of them felt trapped to perpetuate it.
So yes, improving the education system would help foster a sense of unity. But what about morality? Should the government order citizens to attend religious services (the answer in colonial times was yes, oddly enough) too? What if we required students to pass an ethics and conduct test? What if we conditioned a high school diploma on passing a civics exam?
The morning after the 2020 election, all we have is uncertainty. Or more aptly, the only thing that’s certain is that the days ahead will be contentious, nasty and probably violent. If there was anyone looking for healing from the results of the voting, they’re hopelessly disappointed. How this nation unites in the face of these challenges, one can only guess.
If the trends hold and President Trump is reelected, he will need to shift his personal demeanor to be effective in his second term. If Joe Biden wins? It’s a scary notion. With the senate still most likely in Republican hands, the most disastrous aspects of the left’s agenda will have to wait -- or will be stopped entirely. But how anything else gets done, it’s a mystery.