This was a historic election no matter how you slice it. The shear size of the vote, the size of the early vote and even the relative calm with which people were able to vote on Tuesday will be talked about for years to come.
There is another aspect that I would like to bring up for discussion.
The Republican Party ran a person who was arguably the worst candidate they have ever run, or at least since 1900. In 2016, Trump was on paper perhaps the worst candidate they had ever run. But up to that time though Trump had many private activities that caused concern, he had no real record as a public servant. The bankruptcies, the racism, the allegations of rape, the long string of lawsuits gave great cause for concern though.
This year candidate Trump did have a public record. Almost no matter how his public record is analyzed, it is without a doubt the worst public record that any candidate had ever amassed. Even a short list as a reminder is extremely damning. But we do need a reminder.
To start with there was the the continuing to work in his businesses which frequently included taking “emoluments” from foreign leaders. Also
- hiring a National Security Advisor (Flynn) who was actually on the payroll of a foreign country
- firing an FBI director for not being loyal to the president
- Collusion with a foreign government to interfere in our elections;
- Separating immigrant children from their families at the southern border and then
- Keeping those children in cages like animals. Many of these children will never see their families again
- Dropping out of world treaties on climate change
- Continually befriending America’s enemies while treating our allies like enemies
- Blackmailing Ukraine to manufacture false charges against a potential presidential rival Joe Biden
- Total mismanagement in the face of the corona virus which has led to a quarter million deaths and over 10 million more ill.
- Continually stoking racial hatred and encouraging violence against perceived enemies.
That is just an off the top of my head short list of some of the lowest of the low lights from the past 4 years. Weaved throughout the tapestry of Trump are actions that are very questionably legal. Also there are actions by subordinates that are questionably legal. To add to that is a big chunk of stonewalling and ignoring congressional subpoenas.
No party has ever before run a candidate whose public record is one long string of bad decisions, questionable legality and scandal after scandal, after scandal. Yet for some reason the Republican Party lacked guts to stand up to do the right thing. Nor during the past four years were any elected members of the Republican Party moved to say anything to try and stop or reprimand Trump.
The US public watched this monstrosity of a circus day after day and appeared to yearn to deservedly turn this guy out of office at the first opportunity. But here is where the BIG surprise comes in.
When push came to shove and the election took place nearly half – nearly ONE HALF! – of American voters supported this guy. They supported his lies, his ineptness, his illegalities, his stoking of racial hatred, his dividing the country, his collusion with foreign enemies, his misogyny, the kidnapping and caging of children. HALF OF AMERICA CONDONED THIS WITH THEIR VOTE.
Living in Iowa it was even worse. Nearly 60% of Iowans gave Trump a thumbs up. What happened to your morals, Iowa?
This is shameful, shameful, shameful.
Jon Pavlovitz in a commentary titled “We Were Wrong About America” says:
Numbed by a cocktail of optimism and ignorance, many of us imagined this was a sick, momentary aberration; a temporary glitch in the system that would surely be remedied: after so much ugliness, such open disregard for people of color, such inhumanity toward migrant children, such a sickening failure in the face of this pandemic—sanity would surely come to the rescue.
We were certain that we would collectively course-correct; that the pendulum that had so wildly swung toward inhumanity would come roaring back to decency in these days; that we would presently be basking in the glory of a radiant dawn referendum on all this bloated bigotry.
We thought we would be dancing on the grave of fascism.
We thought, of course the good people of this nation would come to their collective senses, leaving behind political affiliations and superficial preferences and ceremonial ties, to rescue us from a malevolence that had proven itself unworthy of its position and toxic to its people.
We were certain there would be a mass repudiation of the racism that this man has revealed and the violence he’s nurtured, because for all its flaws we really believed America was better than this.
We were wrong.