November 25, 2020

Election Leftovers

By Stephen Tuttle | Nov. 14, 2020


* The folks doing the political polling need to change their methodology or there is no reason for the media to report their results. Even in the states correctly predicted for Biden, the projected margin was off well beyond the margin of error. This was a far worse performance than in 2016.

*Mail-in ballots encourage turnout and are reasonably safe and secure. There are no reliable reports of massive fraud or even minor fraud, no reports of thousands of ballots being dumped in a river or being delivered painfully late. Both parties should agree more eligible people voting is a good thing that benefits the democratic process. Preventing it for partisan reasons is shameful. 

*Democrats have not yet figured out what Republican voters want. There were more people than just President Trump's hardcore base who voted for him, again. Immigration, civil unrest, blue-collar jobs, taxes ... though Biden won nationally, most Democrats have not yet found a path that assuages their own orthodoxy and more moderate conservatives. If unresolved, it will be a big problem in 2022.

*We knew Donald Trump would be a sore loser who would try to use the courts if he lost; he told us as much. It's an old Trump business strategy; when a deal goes sour, use the courts in an attempt to gain some small concession so he can declare a great victory.

*Trump's foray into the courts won't be so easy this time. Despite all the anecdotal nonsense on social media, there is thus far zero evidence of widespread fraud or any other kind of irregularities. The handful of alleged outrages, which grew exponentially into huge scandals on social media, were all minor glitches quickly resolved and involved only a few hundred ballots. 

*Trump's lawyers are, first, going to have to find plaintiffs who can show harm was somehow done in the voting process or counting. Then a judge will either have to allow tens of thousands of new Trump votes that don't currently exist or disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters who cast ballots for Biden, or some combination. Extraordinarily unlikely. 

*There is almost no chance a recount will change the outcome. The margins in every late Biden victory state — Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania — will not change sufficiently during a recount. No state has ever been flipped in a recount during a presidential election, and none will be flipped this year, either. Recounts, at most, change a few hundred votes — not thousands, and certainly not tens of thousands.

*Republicans, stuck in a cult of Trump personality, seem unable to see the forest for the big tree. Except for the presidency, they had a very good election, indeed. It is likely they will maintain control of the U.S. Senate (the senate seats in Georgia will be decided in a January run-off, and Democrats must win both to reach a 50-50 senate split), they picked up seats in the U.S. House, and they improved their control of state legislatures, flipping two from all-Democrat control of both houses to Republican control. They should be celebrating an extraordinary accomplishment in a year their incumbent president lost.   

*President-elect Joe Biden is not a radical tool in thrall to the extremist left. He's an old-fashioned liberal of a nearly bygone era. He isn't for open borders or defunding the police or most of the Green New Deal or massive tax increases for the middle class. He'll undo much of Trump's executive orders (by the same method) that loosened environmental regulations, but most anything else will be done incrementally. Even if he was inclined to make dramatic changes, he doesn't have the votes to accomplish them.

*We're going to have to get used to election results being delayed. More than 102 million Americans availed themselves of early ballots, an unprecedented onslaught that took time to process. States that retain their early ballot rules — and all of them should — will be better prepared in 2022. So many people voted, it took a long time to count the ballots. That's good news, not cause for concern. 

*Those now advocating violence — and there are far too many of them — because their chosen candidate or candidates lost either don't respect our system of government or are just too ignorant to know any better, or both. Neither the violent rhetoric nor the threat of gunplay will change the outcome.

*The transition of power from one administration to the next is one of the most majestic moments in our system. Even when we believe the wrong candidate won, we bemoan our loss with grumbles and complaints but ultimately accept the will of all those other voters. It will be a sad part of his legacy that Donald Trump has chosen to ignore even that tradition. 


Leland Noir

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