Ann Telnaes lays out today’s danger, both in terms of what happens in the case of an authentic Red Wave, and in a case in which apathy and pessimism cause people who value small-d democracy to stay home.
Granted, even if the GOP were to take both houses of Congress, we’d have two years of Presidential vetoes over authoritarian legislation.
But we’d also face a 2024 election in which SCOTUS might have granted state legislatures and secretaries of state the power to overrule their voters, at which point it won’t matter a great deal whether it’s The Former Guy or Ron DeSantis whose head pops out of that box. The past few presidential elections have been close enough without having partisan thumbs on the scales to guarantee a tipped balance.
There is this interesting, if not entirely encouraging, development: The contest between Trump and DeSantis started earlier that most conservatives wanted, with TFG coining an insulting nickname for his likely 2024 rival, and it didn’t go over well with the party faithful.
However, while a mud fight in the primaries could temporarily disrupt GOP solidarity, the issue of who emerges victorious doesn’t seem like a practical obsession. A look at their current crop of candidates suggests there’s really nobody the party won’t get behind.
For which reason I’ll break my self-imposed rule against Handmaid cartoons to share JD Crowe’s reminder of why today’s vote matters. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you don’t likely need to be persuaded of the importance of voting, but, then again, it never hurts to remind people of what’s at stake.
The discouraging take is to note how quickly the massive pussy hat demonstrations that broke out around the country on Trump’s first day in office faded away, and to fret that perhaps Kansas voters only slapped down that forced-birth referendum because it came so soon after the Dobbs decision.
Do they remember? Do they still care? Have the dutiful handmaids of the right had time to rally and cancel the votes of the pro-choice forces?
I guess we’re going to find out, and I’d add that this is not an issue simply for those with two x-chromosomes. If you’ve got even one, you should respect and honor its source.
David Horsey lays out more of the issues, while simplifying the decision they dictate. This is no time to play the “both sides” game, because they don’t both do it, and a well-informed voter would know that.
But that brings to mind the apocryphal story of the woman who said to Adlai Stevenson, “Every thinking person in America will be voting for you,” to which he allegedly replied, “I’m afraid that won’t do — I need a majority.”
Which takes us to this
Juxtaposition of the Day
The fact is, it is not just, as Horsey’s cartoon suggests, a contest between democracy and autocratic rule, but a matter of outvoting both the fascisti and the foolish, and there has been a great deal more ink spilled over the misery of gas prices and the cost of living than there has been to explain how those things happened and what might bring them back to bearable levels.
It’s frustrating that people are so readily distracted by these shiny objects and so resilient to any explanations of them.
Many people know how to listen to a funny noise their car is making and decide whether to ignore it, deal with it later or pull over to the side of the road and shut off the engine before you do more damage.
If only they treated politics the same way!
But if you point out to them that gas prices and inflation are a global, not strictly American, phenomenon and that, in fact, we’re better off than a lot of other countries, you might as well be talking to the dog, who will at least cock his head as if he were thinking it over.
This is why political advisors say things like “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Most voters would rather eat the single marshmallow right now than wait and get two marshmallows later.
It’s neither ignorance nor idiocy: It’s human nature, and, if you’re going to preserve a system in which humans vote, you need to operate with that reality in mind.
The Whole World Is Watching
One aspect of being a superpower is that, indeed, the whole world is watching, and it should be remembered that the phrase entered the lexicon when peaceful demonstrators were being beaten by Mayor Daley’s thugs in the streets outside the Democratic Convention of 1968. It was a call for universal shame over what was happening.
The jackboot is now on the other foot, as Australian cartoonist Pat Hudson reminds us of the shame exhibited to the whole world by Trump loyalists on the steps of the Capitol, a cartoon he posted with the note “Just a reminder to my friends in the US to vote.”
While, from Ireland, Martyn Turner lets us know that he understands the terms of this election, even if we don’t.
And Italian cartoonist Marco de Angelis (Cartoon Movement) offers a bit of sympathy to a nation that is dealing with far more problems than are healthy.
Dave Whamond seems less sympathetic, perhaps because Canada is close enough that he is awash in American media and can see a foreboding change in our national outlook that seriously widens the potential of danger for the rest of the world as well.
My generation chanted, “The whole world is watching!” and my parents’ generation never let Neville Chamberlain forget how he had come back from Munich claiming to have reached an agreement with Hitler, to the results of which the surviving Jews of their era swore “Never again!”
Yet here we are, and, while you’ll vote and I’ll vote, we’ve long since sold out the fervor once felt for the nation, and for each other, making the fascisti motto “Make America Great Again” catch in the throat as empty INGSOC rhetoric.
So go vote. Bring a friend.
And if there is good news tonight, thank a first-time voter.
NOTE: You’ll still see my daily reminders and links on Twitter for now, but you can also find me here:
4 thoughts on “CSotD: It’s Always Darkest Before The Storm”
One wonders if Donald J. Nutcase knows what sanctimonious means, let alone how to spell it without autocorrect.
Does this answer your question, Bob?
I think your Mastodon link may be malformed, though you can get there by following the link text.
Thanks, Brett. Should be fixed now.
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