Just can’t help it. I am feeling very nervous about Tuesday.
My concern is mostly due to the Republican party’s blatant voter suppression activities. From the legalized theft of votes from citizens through voter id laws that are targeted at the poor, people of color and college students. States like North Carolina passed laws that seemed fit for the old Jim Crow South. If Republicans had policies that worked for the public they wouldn’t have to resort to suppression tactics like that.
Research has shown that infrequent voters tend not to vote when the campaigns are nasty. Being nasty as can be has been a common thread for Republican campaigns for a long time. No doubt you have heard many folks say “Maybe I just won’t vote.” Score that as a win for Republicans.
Then there is still the looming question of whether our voting machines can be hacked. There has never been a definitive study. We have already had reports of votes being flipped from Democratic candidate to Republican in North Carolina. There has been little investigation of these incidents. The voting machines are by electronic standards ancient. But our governments are starved for money so the old machines are put out to work yet again. As far as I know there are still no auditing procedures in any state. We are fortunate in Iowa to have a paper trail, but we still need some audit process.
Our radio and TV media have been incredible in not covering issues. Climate change, perhaps the single most overriding issue of our time, has simply disappeared from the radar screen. Donald Trump’s character, which is evidenced through the lawsuits and accusations against him, by stories from his employees, partners and small business contractors, should be enough to stop most Americans from voting for him. Yet this aspect of Trump is only touched on and then buried beneath bogus stories on Clinton’s emails.
Print media has been somewhat better. It is telling though that we can only name a few writers who have really stepped up to expose reality. David Farenthold, Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek, David Cay Johnston and the good folks at the Guardian. Fortunately, today’s version of the back room press of Revolutionary days – blogs – have filled in where TV and radio have failed so miserably. Hats off to Dailykos, Talking Points Memo, Salon, Huffington Post and so many others.
What has me especially nervous is what happens after the election. Despite all the blockades that Republicans have thrown up it looks like Hillary Clinton should have a decisive and clear cut victory. The US senate may also see a major shift. Due to the Republican gerrymandering of 2012 the House looks like it might remain in Republican hands.
Clear cut victory or not, Republicans will not give up their power easily or willingly. They will continue to use whatever tools they have and will create new ones to stop any progress. We already know that Republicans in the senate will do what they can to stop any Democratic nominees to the Supreme Court. We know also that if Republicans retain control of the House, impeachment will be among their first orders of business.
There is also the concern of post election violence. Trump has already proclaimed loudly that if he doesn’t win, then the election was stolen from him. At a rally in North Carolina in August he suggested that the “second amendment people” would know what to do. This was a thinly veiled call for taking up arms. In a recent incident Trump supporter Sen. Richard Burr said a picture of Hillary Clinton should have a bullseye on it.
The FBI’s insertion of itself into the election process is very troubling. Having non-political agencies inserting itself into the election suggests that other governmental agencies may not work depending who wins the election. It also sends a signal that investigations may be based on political stands.
Should Donald Trump win, heaven forbid, then we have many unknowns to deal with. Expect economic ramifications due to these uncertainties almost immediately. By that I mean world markets will be very volatile. That is only the immediate fallout. Expect real uncertainty as we learn what Trump ties to Russia mean, what kind of foreign policy his administration will actually have. We have been given no real idea what a Trump presidency may be like. Markets hate uncertainty and will over react on nearly every move. Retirement savings may be among the first affected.
At a state level, will Iowa voters turn the state over to Republicans totally? Considering how much damage Terry Branstad has done with only one house of the legislature, just think what he could do if Democrats were not able to exert some small amount of opposition to his power grabs. Have you seen what a mess Kansas is? Kansas is Republican nirvana. If the legislature is Republican it could be “Kansas here we come!”