No, I’m not confused. I hope you aren’t either. I know what day it is and what year it is. But, in two fateful years, it will be 2020. Then, on that ominous date, we will have a choice before us. If I arrive with you on that day, and I am writing for you again, here is what I might say . . .
Well, folks, here we are: the night before election day, Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, America’s 59th presidential election. Our choices? There are only two parties, a binary choice, or don’t you remember 2016? Choose: (yes, again) Republican Donald Trump with running mate, sycophant Mike Pence or Democratic challengers New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Vice-Presidential candidate, Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas.
Before you vote, remember, in the last two years, the many events that have transpired. They worsened our increasingly difficult economic situation. They were due to the 2017 massive tax cuts for the super-rich and the 2018 burdensome tariffs imposed on our neighbors and allies. They, in turn, responded, creating an unnecessary and devastating trade war. The effects hit all with higher prices but were felt more brutally in the Mid-West and the South.
In international affairs, things got worse through lack of realism, professionalism and diplomacy (even lack of government employees). Jared Kushner escaped jail but any betterment of the tense situation in the Middle East also eluded him. Michael Cohen did not escape jail, but President Trump pardoned him. Republicans in Congress kept their power.
The “Blue Wave” did not rise, because so many millennials and other potential Democrats failed to register or vote; had they done so, they could have overcome voter suppression and racial gerrymandering. So, the Republican dominant margin was slightly reduced but there was no essential change in the balance of power in Washington. (There were some bright spots: in Texas, Beto O’Rourke defeated Rafael Cruz, Cuban, born in Canada; until December 2018, he was still irritating colleagues in the Senate.)
We need not even include 2019-2020. The years 2017 and 2018 were enough to change America, perhaps forever. You remember the outrages? (I understand if you forgot some of them; so many, jaw-dropping blows to democracy and to the U.S. Constitution were delivered, forgetting is horrifyingly easy.) But think about mid-2018. That was the year (April through July) when America stopped being the “land of the free.”
An ethnocentric minority morphed into a cult, slavishly following an autocratic kleptomaniac and his grifter family, his inept and corrupt cabinet (viz: Scott Pruitt of EPA). The spineless (and soulless?) Republicans in Congress were frozen in their fear of racist revenge, should they oppose the President. He skirted the law, first separating families—children from their parents. He continued his lawlessness by deporting, without due process, hundreds of men and women seeking refuge from cartel and violence-ridden countries in the Americas. The courts, full of his appointees, looked the other way.
Oh, there was push-back. There were protests across the land. Genuinely religious people, people of faith spoke out. Others did not. Many—thank God, not all—who professed to be “Evangelicals” had already embraced Trump. They have, by now, lost any credibility, due to their disgusting hypocrisy. Other factors to explain why Trump remains: progressive forces and Democrats were disorganized and lacked, at that time, a central focus or leader; Mueller did not report soon enough or forceful enough.
Even much of the liberal media gave the President’s immigrant spouse a pass. She flaunted the Trump message of “I Really Don’t Care,” a sign she had scrawled in huge letters on her jacket. She had the audacity to wear it to the border, pretending to be interested in the welfare of the children her husband had separated from their parents. Many of them are presumably “lost,” (forever?) by design and/or by bureaucratic sloppiness.
Could there be anything that might have topped that whole mess? Perhaps one such topper would have been the bellicosity of Trump’s rhetoric toward North Korea and its dictator he so admired? But, true to form, he flip-flopped, relented, went to Singapore, and posed for cameras. He got some points for that manipulation and many breathed a (temporary?) sigh of relief. At least they were still alive.
So, no nuclear war, just yet, (although Trump bragged about his so-called “nuclear button”). Perhaps Trump’s image, at that time, improved by comparison with another dictator he admired, authoritarian President Duterte, of the Philippines. He has been accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of drug suspects. He commanded his military to “shoot female rebels in the vagina.” That nice man was invited to the White House.
One could go on and on, back to the beginning: there was the campaign; the trashing of Gold Star families; the disparaging of Senator McCain as “not a hero because he was captured;” the “pussy tapes;” the “Muslim ban;” “some Nazis were good people;” more epithets hurled at Blacks, Hispanics, and Females. Yes, all repulsive, in and of themselves. Moreover, entering his post after Republicans stole the rightful Democratic position on the Supreme Court, Trump’s nominee, Gorsuch, led the Court to uphold racist gerrymandering.
But it might be sufficient just to reconsider the convoluted, 2018 immigration policy (“Obama did it; no I can’t undo it; yes, I can undo (part) of it,” etc.). But empathy with those disparaged (children and mothers) might not be enough. Democrats were portrayed as too “soft,” too caring. So, they decided–wisely–to focus on Trump and his cult followers, on the Republican’s as they reneged on their health care promise; they denied sick people assurance of “no preexisting conditions” to receive health insurance. Besides the slogan “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” this Democratic campaign has been focused on Republican threats (now and over the years) to cut Medicare and Social Security.
Such a focus for the campaign of 2020 has made sense—good practical issues. Their candidates, Schumer and Castro, are a perfect balance of geography, age, and ethnicity. Surely, with Jewish Jared and Jewish Ivanka in power, normal Republican anti-Semitic prejudices will be silenced, allowing Schumer to focus on other matters? And surely, Mexican Americans from Texas, California, and Hispanics from all over the nation, will rally around Castro? (Some say he should have been the candidate in 2016.)
So, no, sorry if you are extra liberal, no female this time (although there are many worthy candidates). No African Americans either (“too soon;” sorry, Corey Booker, sorry, Eric Holder; Trump’s racists are still too strong). But, this campaign (2020) has been a perfect balance between the rallying cry of “Dump Trump (Before He Destroys America”) and “Vote for a Better Future, Now!” Tomorrow, November the 3rd, 2020, we shall see if common sense prevails, if America takes back its values. Go Vote! God Bless America!