Election Meltdown: Part 1

Turned out the ‘blue wave’ everyone raved would decisively wash away the Republican’s authoritarian, pro-patriarchy, anti-Earth regime was mostly just shitty blown-out shore break. Lots of froth and sand. Some discarded plastic beach toys. A screaming toddler.

So yeah, the US presidential election is in the can, votes have been cast, and what do you know? It’s a nail-biter, despite Trump predictably—and baselessly—claiming victory in the wee hours of Wednesday, a move so weak even conservative bootlicker Ben Shapiro told him to chill. Now, I’m not surprised it’s come down to the wire like this; it doesn’t take living here your whole life to know a broad percentage of the population trends toward dumb and racist, but I really wanted to believe the populace would hand Trump and his trash a mandate to GTFO. Besides, all the polls leading up to Tuesday said… Oh, never mind. Can we at least all agree pollsters should pack up and find new careers? They’re bad at what they do. Go predict the weather or something.

Anyway, here we are.

Thursday night. No president-elect. No Paris Climate Agreement, either—the United States officially abandoned that yesterday. We should’ve known the end of times would play out in slow motion across our glowing devices. Oh, what, you think I’m being hyperbolic? Pfft. The time for that is past, my friends. Nothing to do now but count the damn votes and pray—that is if Comandante Trump and his ilk don’t put a stop to it first. And man, have they tried. First with lawsuits, two of which have already been thrown out in Georgia and Michigan, then with the usual bullshit Twitter frothing about voter fraud and stolen elections, leading to crowds of MAGA protestors stomping their petulant little feet demanding votes not be counted. And here I thought they were the Constitution worshipping patriots. So much for that, eh? Luckily, so far they’re about as impotent as Trump’s attempted authoritarian legal wrangling.

If you’re surprised by the lack of immediate decisiveness, I’d like to point out that more people voted in this election (nearly 160 million, up from 138 million in 2016) than in any other election in our history, many of them by mail. That’s a lot of envelope opening and ballot scanning. Considering here in the US of A we generally boast the worst levels of voter turnout on the planet, the sheer numbers engaged is indicative of how vital this election is to the very soul of the country, as well as how deep and passionate the cultural divide.

So, what the hell is going on? Where do we stand?

As of this writing, it’s pretty damn close. From all appearances and predictions, Biden holds a slight edge, with 253 of the needed 270 electoral votes to Trump’s 214. That’s just 17 votes shy of being the most powerful man on earth. Of the six states still feverishly working their abacuses, Biden needs to win just Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, or some combination of Nevada (6 votes), Arizona (11, and worth noting many outlets have called AZ for Biden, but some, including the New York Times, are holding off on better data), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), and Alaska (3). So how come when you look at an electoral map of the United States vast swaths of it are splotched Republican red, but Trump is still trailing? And just what the hell is this ‘electoral college,’ anyway?

First of all, here’s an easy explainer on why all that red land doesn’t really mean shit:

Next, the electoral college. Basically, the electoral college are a small squad of 538 people selected by each political party who cast the votes that determine the president. Each state is allotted a certain number based on the latest census results (thus the outcry when Trump wanted to hobble the 2020 census). These representative’s votes are, for the most part, dictated by the popular vote in the state they represent. But it’s a system that can go awry. For example, in 2016 Hilary Clinton won the popular vote, meaning more Americans voted for her, but lost the electoral vote, so Trump became president. The same thing happened to Democrat Al Gore in 2000, leading to eight years of baby Bush chasing daddy’s dream.

Confused? Here’s a much better explanation, courtesy of the ‘failing’ New York Times.

In other news, the Democrats flipped two seats in the U.S. Senate, leaving them just four (three, if Biden wins, as then-VP Kamala Harris could cast a tie-breaking vote) seats from breaking a six-year Republican majority. The GOP, meanwhile, flipped one seat. As of this writing, they’re tied at 48 seats each, with four still being tallied and at least one, in Georgia, stalling in a runoff, meaning there will be a second round of voting.

In the House of Representatives, which Dems rallied by grabbing 40 new seats in 2018’s midterm elections, they held their lead, so far at 209 to the Republican’s 192. There are still 34 races up for grabs, but it’s likely they’ll maintain their hold. Still, all of this is a long way from the crushing defeat so many predicted leading up to the election, with the Dems grabbing decisive majorities in both House and Senate as well as the Presidency. Again, sadly this has been anything but a mandate against Trumpism.

As his chances of legitimately winning the election dwindle with each counted vote, an increasingly desperate Trump is growing more and more erratic. And he has every reason to fear losing—with criminal and civil cases mounting against him for everything from fraud to rape and creditors like Deutsche Bank getting ready to collect on the hundreds of millions of dollars he owes them, he likely won’t last long out of power. All the irate racist hillbilly patriots in the world can’t help him then.

It’s a scary situation, no matter how you shake it.

Desperate and lacking anything resembling humanity, let alone a moral compass, Trump is capable of doing anything to save his own ass. Whether that’s lying, cheating, and killing his way to an illicit victory, inciting his following into a wave of domestic terrorism to cover the visual of him being dragged yowling from the White House or just settling into another four years of raping and pillaging the planet, all bets are off and its extra double crazy time in the halls of power.

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