So yes…let’s start with the obvious. I haven’t written a serious piece about anything since last January. I posted a handful of “funny” videos about dealing with Covid, until it became clear that there was nothing funny about it any longer.
But, the last real post of any import, was my prediction for the 2020 election, based on the results of the Iowa caucuses, and the polling that all but had Biden done for.
I realized that writing anything “substantive” here, was ludicrous, because everything had become a moving target. Every day gave us another 50-pack-tweet-storm from our Commander in Tweet, the coverage of the primary elections became insanely incorrect, and Covid simply scrambled any real ability to prognosticate beyond a couple of weeks.
So what has changed?
Seriously? You are asking that after almost a year of utter chaos and misinformation?
The short answer: Not Much.
Trump is still tweeting a mile a minute…with the lie-to-truth ratio still coming in at about 99.99/.01% on any given day. (The .01% usually having to do with a re-tweet).
The polls, about almost any topic, continue to be wrong, for the same reasons; under-sampling, and asking the wrong people, because the right people won’t answer.
The only REAL changes that have come out of this two-year election cycle, (besides the long goodbye to Trump and his immediate family and close social miscreants) is that we are now left with a very obvious and sad truth about the nature of “the electorate.”
We are no longer a “two party system.”
Not by a long shot.
In a record-breaking election, for votes cast, votes re-counted, and total verbal abuse of the integrity of the electoral process, we have to admit to a fragmented Two Party System that is anything but.
Not since the “Tea Party” reared the collective multi-headed beast in the late 1990s, has division within the Republican Party been so evident. Campaigning on a “clear-the-swamp” message (before it was actually called the swamp), the real rise to power wasn’t so much the Bush era version of hawkish-conservatism, as it was the total enjoining of the party and Fox News (along with a handful of even more radical-right media options).
What is interesting, is that during this same time period, with Fox on the rise, the Extreme Left tried their hand at extreme partisan broadcasting, with the short-lived (thankfully) Air America Radio Network. It simply never worked to have comedians doing “angry shtick” when what most liberals wanted, and already had, was the even voice of NPR, and the early incarnations of CNN. But, I digress…
Over the course of the past decade, the basic battle lines have hardened, over the same, damnable, simple issues that fuel every election. Any political operative will tell you that if you want to start dividing up a room (and yes…pollsters do this too), you just ask opinions on a handful of very simple…and seemingly never-solved…issues that can make or break a candidate.
- 2nd Amendment Rights
- Immigration/Minority Rights
- Gay Marriage/LGBQT Rights
- And to a lesser degree, States Rights and the Role of Government in our Lives.
Look familiar? They should. Because they have been the same hot-buttons for decades. Sad but true. They used to be simple indicators of party stances between the Dems/Reps, Libs/Conservatives, Our Team-vs-Their Team, or however you want to look at it.
Nothing Changed in 2020 for the “Basics.” But, in many ways, EVERYTHING CHANGED…and not for the better.
The Republic Party was immediately parted after just a few months into his first term, by those who would follow Trump anywhere, and those who realized the vast void of his ability to actually lead. But this created a new group of “Trump apologists” who were more than willing to overlook his long, and arduous history of lying, cheating, inability to focus on national issues, incoherent and irrational international policy decisions, and revolving door admin/cabinet staffing, because it served their purposes.
This creates Sub-Block#1- Selfish Bastids. The primary reasons for this group are mostly monetary. “My 401 did great!” Forget the fact that he inherited 8 years of growth…and that it is clear that the stock market, due to deregulation in the late 1990s, is unbridled, and apolitical. It is all about making deals, with good and bad news being the false narrative. This group moved a small (maybe decisive?) number of moderate Republicans over to Biden (Lincoln Project/Republicans Against Trump), but they are mostly “on loan.”
Sub-Block #2 is made up almost entirely of Evangelicals and Closet Racists. Yep. That is a bold, and combustible statement. But, absolutely true. For me, the worst part of this group, is their abject hypocrisy, for the very values they pretend to extol. They are voting primarily on Gay Rights and the Abortion as their primary issues…but, completely ignore the fact that Trump embodies a person who Breaks All Ten Commandments regularly. Every, single one of them. Ironically…their argument is that it is “God’s Job to Deal with the Sinners,” while they commit the worst sin of all…collusion.
This subset is also notoriously famous for decrying the actions of “ANTIFA” while supporting the actions of “The Proud Boys.” I could go on and on about the state of the Catholic church in the Midwest, and upper Northeast. Or, the outright irony of Evangelical leadership to be continually embroiled in sex and fraud scandals (Righteous Gemstones anyone?). But their weird, hypocritical support of pedophiles, while decrying loving relationships between two-same-sex people, speaks for itself. God will make the final judgment, indeed.
And finally, we have the Subset#3- “TEAM SPORT WHACKJOBS“of the Republican Party. This is where QAnon, Whackjob Militias, and illiterate morons who vote against “the other team” even at the expense of their own lives, go to hang out and let their voices against “The New World Order” be heard. This is where the “Anti-Maskers,” “Clean the Swampers” and “Don’t Tread On Me-sters” hang out…without any clear agendas, policies, understanding of the Democratic process, or real planning outside of threatening those who disagree, by brandishing weapons, along with pepper-sprayed screeds of “Respect the Police” ambiguity. These people are dangerous…but mostly to themselves. At some point, common sense will prevail, and many more “Ruby Ridge,” “Branch Davidian” and other horrible outcomes are bound to unfold. They have caches of rifles and home-made explosives. The government has the U.S. Military. Just, sayin’…
But, Division is Also Part of the Democratic Party.
The Democrats united…mostly…just enough to get Biden elected. But have no doubt about it…”The Party of the People” is as fractional as the Republicans. However, we have known this for decades. The Democrats are the party of “special interests,” who mostly put their specific interests aside every election cycle, in hopes of unifying enough to earn a Super Majority in both houses…which will then allow them to ram through a wide-ranging agenda of items that will “Change The World As We Know It!” Except even when we have super majority…we screw it up with special interests taking over…as they did when Pelosi and Reid mucked up the original (far better) version of Obama’s health care proposal in 2008. Read Obama’s Book. It’s ALL in there.
Not wanting to place all of the division on the Right, The Dems have:
- Moderates (Old School Swampers)- folks who have been given “lifetime appointments” to look like they are doing something, while actually accomplishing very little.
- Progressives (New Schoolers who want the Swampers run off, and Democratic Socialism brought in)
- Extreme Fringe Lefties– who mostly just want to burn it all down…for no good reason…with no agenda…and no real solutions being offered. We allow them to go under the mantle of ANTIFA, but their ilk has been around for decades, masquerading as The Weathermen, Eco-Terrorists, and yes…certain factions of the Black Panther movement. Ironically, this faction share most of its attributes with the extreme militias, and Timothy McVeigh types. Weird…but true. As in the case of their Republican Counterparts…their numbers are small in comparison to the rest of the electorate…but the damage they do to civility and actual social change, is extreme.
So…yes…this is all alarming…when you take into account the number of Americans who voted. If you just divide these groups into thirds (which is kind of what a pollster would do), you end up extrapolating that more than 24.5 MILLION Trump Voters would rather shoot your face off, than have a measured discussion about gun rights. And more than 26.6 Million Democrats would prefer to burn down Main Street and Wall Street, or turn us into a Socialist version of Sweden, than come to the table for discussions about military spending and international trade agreements.
I don’t believe either of these outcomes. But, I do know that we have gone several steps backward over the past 4 years, because the “He Tells It Like It Is” President, has thrown any sense of bi-partisan compromise and international cooperation out the window.
We are in the middle of a Pandemic. We are entering another period of deep recession. We are damn lucky that a leader has been elected that believes in working with others, finding consensus in planning and leadership, and action over rhetoric, and is going to take over on January 20th.
We are not remotely done with the journey. We have barely figured out the best destination. But, at least we are no longer doomed to being lost in a state of utter chaos. There is hope.