Has it occurred to you …

… how odd it is for President Trump – the incumbent – to be complaining about the possibility of a rigged presidential election in 2020?  Consider some of the world’s most renowned autocracies:  Russia, China, Turkey, and Venezuela.  Add in innumerable little autocratic nations across the globe masquerading as democracies.  Isn’t it usually the challengers that claim an election system is rigged?

Although our presidential electoral “process” – which, based upon a federalized, decentralized structure, is actually 51 (counting the District of Columbia) individual processes – is less amenable to manipulation by an incumbent than those of many autocracies, and while acknowledging that four of the six generally-accepted swing states — Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – have Democratic Governors, I note that each of these four states has a bicameral legislature in which both houses are controlled by Republicans.  Arizona and Florida Republicans respectively control their statehouses and both houses of their bicameral legislatures.  Clearly, and despite Mr. Trump’s claims, Republicans will be in position to monitor the fairness of the elections in these pivotal states.

As of the time this is posted, Congress has yet to renew the federal unemployment relief that expired at the end of July.  The Trump Administration and the Senate are currently balking at the bill extending current unemployment benefits, affording funding for COVID testing, and providing relief to local governments passed months ago by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.  In purely political terms, the Republicans’ intransigence seems to me sheer lunacy.  Certain impressions are too deeply embedded in the American psyche to be readily overcome.  If one asks the vast majority of Americans whether Ronald Reagan ever agreed to an income tax increase during his presidency, they’ll say, “No”; but he did.  Given the widespread and deep [and not entirely inaccurate ;)] conception of Democrats as profligate spenders, most Americans in need will viscerally hold Republicans accountable for the delay no matter the GOP rationale.  While the Republicans figuratively quibble about gas mileage and tire tread, their dawdling – and perhaps in some instances, 2024 political posturing — arguably adds to our death total and undisputedly increases the burden upon our financially desperate people.

From a legislative perspective, there is obviously little we citizens can do but watch and wait; from a health perspective, we need to continue to be our own best friends. 

Stay safe.

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