Two days have passed since the election for President of the United States, about a third of the 100 Senators and all 435 members of Congress.
We knew this election was not going to be like any other. Besides the nature of the incumbent, there is also COVID-19 and that caused many more people to vote early and by absentee/mail-in ballots.
In Florida, voting early and by mail (when voters request ballots) have been done for years, and election officials know what they’re doing — at least when it comes to that. Voting early means voting at a machine, so the results come in as quickly and easily as for any day-of voter. It takes longer to count ballots that were mailed in, but the state allows counting those votes weeks before the actual election day. That’s why, like it or not, the decision by Florida voters was called on election night. There’s no more waiting.
In Pennsylvania, voting early and by mail is pretty new. When I first moved here, voters had to show they wouldn’t be in town, or able to vote, on Election Day. Again, this time was different, and as usual there was conflict between the legislature and the state Supreme Court. Early voting centers let people register to vote, get a mail-in ballot on the spot, and drop it off right then and there. (Notice, there was no early voting by machine. Also, mail-in doesn’t necessarily mean the ballot has to be mailed back. Considering the state of the Postal Service, I dropped off my ballot at one of those early voting centers, two Sundays ago. And on Election Day, a judge ordered the USPS to stop and look through several postal facilities for misplaced ballots, and it couldn’t follow through.) The state Supreme Court ruled that any “naked ballot,” which was not inside the secrecy envelope, could not be counted. Also, ballots postmarked by Election Day could arrive up to three days later, which means through tomorrow. Most of those ballots were mailed locally, from a voter to their county election board, so that shouldn’t take more than a day or two under any circumstances. And there were drop boxes, similar to mailboxes, out on streets for people to drop off their ballots.
All of those ballots arrived at the county election headquarters, but the whole counting process was not allowed to start until the actual election day. Therefore, no head start like Florida, and no complete results for days. State Republicans sued over allowing mail-in ballots to be received after Election Day and lost, but were willing to make a deal with the Democrats. They would allow early votes to be counted before Election Day only if Democrats would get rid of the drop boxes. The Democrats refused and that’s how today’s situation, with no final count, came to be.
These were scenes from a mid-afternoon “All Votes Matter” rally outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where Philadelphia votes are still being tallied — despite pressure from Trump — in the birthplace of America. There were also counter-protesters and music playing. Keep in mind, Philadelphia registered voters are about 7-to-1, Democrats over Republicans.
New Jersey and Nevada mailed ballots to all registered voters, whether they were requested or not, but those are different situations.
Democrats in several states did incredible jobs getting people registered to vote, and getting people who were registered to actually fill out and turn in ballots. That’s why the votes still being counted tend to be in urban areas like Philadelphia and Atlanta, with many minorities who tend to be Democrats. And that’s why we knew before the election it would look like President Trump was winning on election night, but Democrats would come back to some degree after that.
These Trump tweets are in chronological order. Can you feel his desperation as those Biden votes finally get counted, shrinking his leads in different states as expected? (Republican leads are also shrinking in other races, down the ballot. The race for Pennsylvania attorney general was actually reversed, with the Democratic incumbent taking the lead from his Republican challenger.)
Do you notice a pattern? Trump was able to get the Census counting stopped last month, rather than the end of the year.
But back to the election votes, watch the Trump tweet machine keep ticking away, and it’s not getting any better. Can you imagine him returning as president after being such a crybaby? What would Vladimir Putin say?
Every citizen, with a few exceptions, has the right to vote (notice “right” and not “privilege,” like driving a car) and it’s unfathomable to me how anybody could suggest somebody’s legal vote shouldn’t count, or that the counting should be stopped. Our country has a history I posted on Facebook, back on Oct. 19.
I haven’t heard from poll-watchers from either party about issues. They are doing their jobs, working together to be accurate, and some of the counting is even live streamed on the internet!
But Trump continued his modus operandi, following his playbook to try to make it seem the election would be stolen, more than a week before Election Day.
“Sleepy” Donald Trump (to be explained in a moment) revealed his game plan in a 3am tweet on Oct. 30. He said the only way for Biden would become president is if the Supreme Court doesn’t stop it. In other words, he planned to take the election to the Supreme Court, days after Justice Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in. She sidestepped whether she’d rule on an election case. Now, the question is, would she help him because he appointed her?
About two weeks earlier, I posted something similar from Trump on Facebook.
Here is another tweet, vilifying the moderator of the debate that wouldn’t take place until that night — well after this 11:24am post. When it was over, Philadelphia’s very own Kristen Welker was determined to be the “obvious” winner!
And he broke his promise to 60 Minutes by releasing video from his lousy interview in order to blame the the person who conducted it. That didn’t hurt ratings. They skyrocketed. CBS had stood by its journalist and made a spot-on prediction!
But Trump knows his audience and that repeating something over and over to them will cause those people to believe it, despite that something being a lie.
And his less-educated voters (Do you remember, “I love the poorly-educated!” from four years ago?) are more likely to believe it without critical thinking or research.
If these calls for counting to stop was happening in another country, you know we would be out there with poll watchers as we’ve done many times, and afraid of a dictator-to-be taking over the country. Take a moment to imagine what the rest of the world is thinking!
Sadly, President Trump’s blind followers too often believe the propaganda that has been coming from him and his campaign. Do you remember “alternative facts” (from South Jersey’s own Kellyanne Conway) or think every Democrat is a socialist? What about his health care plan that was about to be released four years ago?
Or COVID-19 “rounding the corner” for more than nine months?!
I’ll add, with Trump’s complete support, the Republican-led Senate held hearings on and voted to confirm a Supreme Court justice while Americans were already voting! Now, the Supreme Court could eliminate the Affordable Care Act and its protections. Of course, they didn’t come up with a second COVID relief bill because Trump was even against negotiating with Speaker Pelosi, despite his concern about the economy.
Then, three days later and with the election getting ever-so-closer, he reversed his awful decision for political reasons.
Maybe the President and the Senate’s lack of empathy for victims, both medically and the jobless, came through stronger. One thing that may keep Trump bragging is how he’s helping the the stock market!
It’s too bad that last week, Axios reported this time after the election “is ripe for an unprecedented level of exploitation by bad actors, particularly hyper-partisan media and personalities on the right.”
And the week before, a Yahoo News/YouGov poll found “a full 50 percent of President Trump’s supporters now believe the bizarre, made-up claims about an international ring of child sex traffickers at the core of the extremist conspiracy theory known as QAnon.”
Pollsters called it “a disturbing sign of how susceptible partisans have become to bogus stories in an age of rampant polarization and unbridled social media.”
You’ve probably heard Trump’s childish name-calling, referring to people as Sleepy Joe Biden, Crazy Nancy Pelosi, Crying Chuck (Schumer), Crazy Bernie (Sanders), Crooked Hillary (Clinton), Cheatin’ Obama, Shifty (Adam) Schiff, Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Little Marco (Rubio), Mini Mike Bloomberg, Foul-Mouthed (Ilhan) Omar, Low Energy Jeb (Bush), Dummy Beto O’Rourke, Weirdo Tom Steyer, Low-IQ Maxine Waters, and of course Pocahontas for Elizabeth Warren. Most of those would also be Do-Nothing Democrats.
We can’t forget Dr. Anthony Fauci who’s always wrong while trying to save people from the China Virus, AKA Kung Flu.
In the media, Trump actually critiques the appearance of Sleepy Eyes (Chuck Todd), Dumb as a Rock Mika Brzezinski, Psycho Joe Scarborough, Crazy Megyn Kelly, Wacky Glenn Beck, from the Clinton News Network (CNN), Fredo (Chris Cuomo) and Sour (Don) Lemon, and Mike Wallace wannabe (son Chris Wallace). We know what he thinks about Lesley Stahl and Kristen Welker, plus MSDNC instead of MSNBC, and the Failing New York Times (which really turned things around online).
There’s also Jeff Bozo (Bezos), Husband From Hell George Conway, Dopey Mark Cuban and Punchy Robert de Niro.
And teasing an unfriendly foreign leader who he tried to make a friend, which can have different implications, with Rocket Man (North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un).
Besides the nicknames, there were threats — even while trying to win the electoral-rich swing state of Pennsylvania. Not too bright!
But if you dish it out, then you better be prepared to take it!
Now, how about “One Term” President Donald Trump, since at this moment it seems The Age of Trump is coming to a close? He went from The Donald to saying anybody who criticizes him has Trump derangement syndrome, and that his impeachment was the Greatest Witch Hunt in American History.
Of course, it’s all the fault of the Corrupt News Media, Fake News Media, Lamestream Media, and Radical Left Wing Media. Well, not really.
It’s Trump tweeting like this, out of nowhere. Joe Biden has held office since the early 1970s, except the past four years. Where has there been any proof?
It’s also Trump’s mouth that has him being called un-American.
If you don’t believe that, then please explain how this executive order from late last month is anything but hateful towards us all and un-American. Please. The comment box is at the bottom of this post.
Just like his war on the election (and, as you see above, the American people), he has been getting his followers to discredit journalists and instigate them into attacking reporters.
Speaking of wars, last month, we saw an accusation Trump tweeted about President Obama in 2012 come back to haunt him, eight years later.
That’s not much different than another dirty trick: last week’s road skirmish in Texas, in which he said his “Patriots” did nothing wrong. Let’s trace Trump’s role.
Pathetically, that tweet contained this video followed by a disturbing response, at least disturbing to people whose safety was threatened and were forced to listen to more than 26 seconds of this:
It’s so hard to figure out truth from lies, like it’s so hard to figure out bad people from the “fine” ones.
That brings me to the news networks. They’ve seemed to keep their promise to be right instead of first, which I hope lasts forever. I was also happy they learned from previous polling problems and used their own formulas to update the vote count as each saw it.
Four of them — ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC — didn’t interrupt regular programming for the president, which would usually be the case, but actually cut away from him at 2:30am Wednesday when he “pushed numerous outright falsehoods about the state of the 2020 election,” according to Mediaite.
They fact-checked the president’s lie, which is what they should do when anybody on air, especially guests with agendas, say things better not true or sound fishy.
(It would be nice if TV and radio stations could refuse to air political ads, paid for by candidates for federal office, that contain lies, but they’re not allowed to censor those ads in any way. The stations are also protected from lawsuits, since they’re required to air the ads. But ads supporting candidates that are paid for by PACs are a different story, and the stations can actually be sued for falsehoods, even though those cases would be hard to win since the targeted candidates are public figures.)
“We are reluctant to step in, but duty bound to point out when he says ‘we did win this election, we’ve already won,’ that’s not based in the facts at all,” MSNBC’s Brian Williams said.
“This looks like competitive race in which one of the candidates is so afraid of the ultimate tallying of the votes he’s pulled this Hee Haw laugh track move tonight,” Rachel Maddow said on MSNBC. “He literally said ‘we want all the voting to stop. We’ve already won it.’”
“It’s straight-up autocratic malarkey, and what we have to do keep in mind is that he’s not the boss of the counting,” Chris Wallace said on Fox News.
“This is an extremely flammable situation and the president just threw a match into it. He hasn’t won these states. Nobody is saying he’s won the states. The states haven’t said that he’s won.
“You know, this goes right back to what Joe Biden said, which is that the president doesn’t get to say that he’s won states that, you know, the American people get to say it, the state officials get to declare it. And I guess and I don’t know whether he literally means it, but he said we will be going to the Supreme Court because we want all the voting to stop. Well, voting to stop, yes. But vote counting? You know, these states by state law all have the opportunity. And states routinely are unable to count votes by election night or early into the morning of the day after the election. And it goes on for days.
“Now, there may be a question as to how long you can continue to accept ballots, but there’s no question that all these states can continue to count votes for days. They don’t have to certify for weeks who has won the state. That was what happened in Florida back in 2000. So I don’t know if he literally meant that he’s going to try to stop the counting of the vote. But I would think that that would be extremely inflammatory. And frankly, I don’t think it’s something that the courts would allow.”
AND BREAKING NEWS: It happened again. Just before 7pm, Lester Holt interrupted Trump during a live special report, claiming the president used several falsehoods. There is no evidence of anything illegal going on despite Trump claiming he was winning all over, but that’s not the case anymore. Trump also mentioned issues down the ballot, which was interpreted as asking other Republicans to help him save his presidency. Trump might get more time to speak to the nation live if he only told the truth.
I was thrilled responsible news organizations, along with social media platforms, decided before the election to flag any falsehoods that would confuse the American people and perhaps orchestrate chaos. Despite most of what I’ve written on this blog, this is the reason the media exists, to properly inform the people about important events of public interest using the public airwaves. Like what I posted to friends on Facebook before the election.
Now, even the Republicans who hated Trump and said rotten things about him, four years ago — but became opportunists as Hillary Clinton alluded to — are jumping off his ship.
At least he has the support of a certain movie star you may recognize, but that could be due to his legal fees.
Of course, not everybody was on board with the media fact-checking. News anchor Kari Lake, who I’ve written about before at Phoenix Fox-owned TV station KSAZ appeared to not be happy when her parent network called Arizona for Joe Biden.
First, she tweeted out that her state should continue to count votes…
I’d rather be wrong for suggesting we should count more votes before calling AZ–than calling the state and getting it wrong. If there are 800K-1m votes to be counted, we need to count them. Even if the majority come from Maricopa County–did they come from Mesa? Phx? Big county.— Kari Lake (@KariLakeFox10) November 4, 2020
..but she changed her mind about an hour later, when Trump decided the canning should stop.
Pres.@realDonaldTrump: We DID win this election. Our goal is to ensure the integrity. We will be going to the Supreme Ct. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find ballots at 4am and add them to the list. We will win this. As far as I’m concerned we already have won.— Kari Lake (@KariLakeFox10) November 4, 2020
(Perhaps tweets like those are what really cause people to not trust the media. And this was her avatar on the top left of her tweets!)
This country is already so divided, perhaps at no point since the Civil War, so why is Trump grasping at straws, using a double-standard by encouraging vote-counting in some states but not others?
And how will it affect his plan to govern for the next four years — in the unlikely event he gets the opportunity?
Please leave your comments to this post in the box below.
Top photo courtesies: (left) March 15, 2020 President Trump speaking with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, official White House photo by Andrea Hanks. (right) Feb. 14, 2020 Joe Biden speaking with supporters in Henderson, Nev., from Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia.