Cliffhanger Time

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Before the presidential election there were three questions, (1) who will win, (2) if Biden wins, what will Trump do, and (3) in that case, what will the president’s most devoted followers do?  There is no answer to the first question yet, but there is a partial answer to the second question.  Last night Trump said that all ‘voting’ should stop because of the risk that thousands of votes could be ‘found’ somewhere, suggesting foul play on the part of the Democrats, declared himself the winner and added that the Supreme Court would seal his victory.  The president also stated that the people who want ‘to count every last vote’ intend to ‘disenfranchise’ his voters, which is a rather unique perspective on losing an election. He said those things off the cuff when votes were still being counted in Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Arizona and Pennsylvania – where absentee ballots won’t be counted until later this week – and Biden had more pathways to winning the White House than Trump.  Pundits expect that the president will send in lawyers to delegitimize mail-in votes and demand recounts where the tallies are close.

Nothing Trump said last night was new.  Since the start of the pandemic he has been maligning mail-in voting and saying that if he doesn’t win the election must be rigged.  His claiming ‘we won already’ last night is a message to the current and future domestic terrorists in his cult to come into action if Biden is declared the winner.  The president is too much of a pussy to call them to arms directly but he hopes this foghorn will do the trick, although it is unclear what such action would accomplish.  Democrats are confident that they can fight off any legal challenges, even if they end up in the Supreme Court.  At some point in time historians will debate what was Trump’s most shameless attempt to affect the outcome of the election in his favor: appointing a Postmaster General who seriously crippled the United States Postal Service, making voting by mail a risky endeavor while a pandemic is raging, or soliciting voter intimidation by calling upon his armed goons to ‘keep an eye’ on polling stations.  But it didn’t work.  As I write this, Biden is leading in Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin.  If he wins those states he is the next president.

Meanwhile COVID is wreaking havoc across the US.  Daily infection rates are now approaching 100,000 and the death toll is rising steadily.  At his superspreader rallies, often held in pandemic hot spots, Trump changed his message from ‘we have turned the corner’ to ‘we are turning the corner,’ indicating that even he understands that the end of the road is not in sight.  Meanwhile at his own campaign meetings Mike Pence consistently proclaimed that ‘it will get a lot worse,’ as a last reminder that he once headed the now defunct Corona Task Force.

After he dropped Scott Atlas into the task force like a cuckoo’s egg, with the assignment to hatch and push the real scientists out, Trump is now threatening to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, even though he doesn’t have the authority to do that, while Dr. Birx went rogue and her memo that criticizes the administration’s current approach of the pandemic was leaked to the press.  The president meanwhile falsely claimed that doctors receive extra pay for COVID deaths.

In a discussion among pundits this morning it was said that initially everybody thought that the Republican Party would have to reinvent itself after this election, but that whether Biden wins or not the Democratic Party will also have to do a lot of soul searching before the 2024 election.  Nobody mentioned that if Trump would win there most likely won’t be an election in 2024.

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