Hi, there, Dear Reader. As I start this post, it is just a bit past noon on Friday, November 6, 2020 here in my tiny corner of Florida. Currently, the temperature is 82˚F (28˚C) under mostly sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the east-northeast at 13 MPH (22 KM/H) and humidity at 71%, the feels-like temperature is 86˚F (29˚C). The forecast calls for a high temperature of 86˚F (29˚C) and mostly cloudy skies. It will, of course, cool down at night, when we can expect mostly cloudy skies and a low of of 70˚F (21˚C).
Today has been a vexing day on many fronts. First of all, I woke up this morning feeling doubly-stressed due to what I call “Election Anxiety” and my inability to write more than 250 words yesterday for my NaNoWriMo project, The Tonic of Their Victory: A Novel of Normandy. I shouldn’t be overly anxious over the election; Joe Biden has a good lead (253 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 214 in the most conservative estimate – Facebook’s), so I think 45’s Presidency is essentially a lame-duck one now.
But Trump and his MAGA/KAG bunch are not graciously accepting the possibility that he will lose, and I fear that the more extreme groups will start behaving like wannabe stormtroopers, especially against people they know are not Trump supporters.
So, yes…Even though I’m trying to immerse myself in 1944 France and the Battle of Normandy, it’s hard not to fret about what is going in my country and the world outside it. The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening in the U.S. rather than getting better, and half of America’s population apparently hates the other half with a passion.
The only time in my life that I remember the U.S. being so convulsed by political and social strife was during the Vietnam War era, and even then my family and I lived in Bogota, Colombia, 1,500 miles away from my hometown of Miami. I was young – we moved to South America when I was three in 1966 and came back in 1972 around the same time that the war was winding down and I was nine – so everything I know about that era comes from books and documentaries. But I knew there was a bad vibe of division that only settled down to a slow simmer after Richard Nixon resigned in the summer of 1974 as a result of the Watergate scandal, then began to gradually heat up again during the Reagan years. Trumpism is merely the latest incarnation of what I call “conservative white America’s temper tantrums.”
I would rather lose myself in the characters and situations of The Tonic of Their Victory, but “election anxiety” is giving me – as they used to say – the “heebie-jeebies.”
One of the reasons behind my anxious state of mind is Trump’s dishonesty and his refusal to accept that he did not win the 2020 election.
More specifically, I am bothered by his claims that there was fraud galore in the mail-in ballots.
As I wrote on my Facebook wall earlier today:
Those of us who are not – and never would-have-been – Trump supporters knew, KNEW, that he would lie and cheat to stay in the White House if he saw that he was going to lose the election.
We knew it as long ago as late this summer, when he started railing that mail-in ballots would lead to “massive fraud,” that he would file lawsuits to stop vote counts in states where Trump was behind.
Some of you who are Trump fans went along with this before people started opting for vote-by-mail because those of us who are sane and want to live just a bit longer with healthy lungs do not want to get COVID-19 from infected people in lines at the polls. I saw so many people putting “No Vote by Mail” memes and demands that EVERYONE had to vote in person that I had to unfollow a platoon’s worth of people on my friends’ list.
The irony of all of this Republican pearl-clutching about mail-in votes is rich, and it covers several salient points that I will throw out there just for the fun of it.
1. Trump himself voted by mail. (Melania did not, but she did not wear a mask when she went to her precinct near Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach….even though “FLOTUS” had had COVID-19 just a few weeks ago)
2. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump supporter, has done everything in his power to slow or hinder the vote-by-mail process, including the removal of sorting equipment and, possibly, the deliberate mishandling of ballots. (I tracked my mail-in ballot all the way through the process and was happy to see that it was counted.) So if the election counts are slow, you can thank Trump for that.
3. Trump supporters in Arizona went armed with long guns and pistols to a vote counting station to demand that election staffers from both parties STOP the count prematurely. (So much for the mantra “law and order.” And the only thing THAT brilliant move did was to have that particular station closed off to the public and media…and Arizona seems to have gone for Biden.)
4. Trump lost Arizona, I think, because he was so nasty to the late John S. McCain III. McCain was never a particular favorite of mine as a POLITICIAN, but he was the grandson and son of two great Navy admirals, and – despite Trump supporters’ claims to the contrary – comported himself honorably as a POW in Vietnam. Trump’s insults aimed at McCain might have turned off GOP voters and helped flip Arizona for Biden.
Nice ironies, no?
I will, of course, try to get into the write-the-damn-novel mindset and write more in my manuscript. But in order to do that, I need to get away from Facebook and other social media and read from either my writing books or my World War II ones. And I should listen to music of the period to get that 1944 vibe in my brain.
And with that, Dear Reader, I must beg your leave. I hope that you are well, and that you stay healthy, safe, and calm, especially if you live in the U.S.!