Curmudgeon’s 2020 Presidential Election Salon

As you are already aware, tomorrow is election day in the US. Your Curmudgeon won’t be bothered by crowded polling places and long lines, because we emerged from our luxurious underground control room last week and voted early. That leaves us free to monitor events throughout the day.

There probably won’t be any news tomorrow about The Controversy between evolution and creationism — there rarely is these days anyway — so this post may have to sustain us until the election activity has subsided and the results are known. Whoever wins, your Curmudgeon won’t gloat or rant. We don’t need to; you already know our preferences. But if you feel like being more expressive, we’ll understand.

Besides the Presidency, there are also elections for a third of the US Senate and for the entire House of Representatives, so the whole shebang is up for grabs. You can also comment on those races if you care to.

This is the perfect time for an Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. As with all our free-fire zones, we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

Okay, we now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

31 responses to “Curmudgeon’s 2020 Presidential Election Salon

  1. I remain baffled as to how any political party can remain viable after it has made it clear that its strategy is to prevent completely legitimate votes from being counted. Everything else – from a creationist running mate to death toll denial pales in comparison: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/10/texas-drive-through-voting-throw-out-ballots.html

  2. I believe that most people stick with their party no matter what. I wonder what compels people to remain loyal to their party, even if they dislike policy changes or the current leader.
    I had little problem switching my vote in the recent New Zealand elections because I thought our current Prime Minister will do a better job for the next term.

  3. @hans435, A lot of people agreed with you, and with good reason

  4. Michael Fugate

    https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/10/30/david-burns-why-is-mike/
    Like the founders, some white males are afraid people won’t keep them in power just because they are white males. How could we not see that Mike is superior to everyone else just because of an accident of birth – through no effort of his own.

  5. @Michael Fugate, Salt Lake Tribune not available in UK (cookies laws). Can you send me the article as a file?

  6. From Historian over at WEIT:

    Historian
    Posted November 2, 2020
    Let’s be prepared for the worst scenario and hope it never comes. This is not a prediction but a fear.

    1. By Thursday, all media outlets declare Biden is the winner, although some states are close.

    2. Trump says the vote was rigged and riddled with fraud. He says he is going to the courts. He will not concede.

    3. Republican leaders back Trump by saying that the courts must decide.

    4. Armed right-wing militias patrol the streets of many cities for the purpose, so they say, to keep Antifa from creating violence. The police stand by and do nothing.

    5. Trump drags out the court proceedings to January 20, 2021. He refuses to leave office because the courts haven’t decided.

    6. The Supreme Court finally rules that Biden won. Trump says the Court was “bought.” He still refuses to leave. Republicans say nothing.

    7. Tens of millions demonstrate in the streets against Trump. In several states, the police and the militias fire on the protestors, hundreds are killed.

    8. Hundreds of thousands of government workers walk off the job in protest against Trump. Economic activity in the country collapses as the virus rages.

    9. Starving people do engage in violence by raiding grocery stores, giving the police and militias another excuse to fire on them.

    10. Finally (and this is being optimistic) enough Republicans become bold enough to denounce Trump. The military intervenes to depose Trump (although thousands of the military desert to join the militias) and Biden is sworn in on March 1, 2021 after the military puts down the militias. There are heavy casualties on both sides.

    11. Trump flees to a country without an extradition treaty to avoid prosecution. Biden faces a country in ruins. Starvation, joblessness, homelessness, and deaths from the virus bring despair to tens of millions. The military patrols the streets to keep order. Each half of the nation hates the other with a burning passion. The religious claim this is all God’s punishment on a wicked nation. Others fear their children and grandchildren have no future. Right-wing militias plot guerrilla warfare.

  7. chris schilling

    “Whoever wins, your Curmudgeon won’t gloat or rant.”

    No, but the Chinese probably will. How comfortable to be in their place, standing back and watching with great interest as the US tears itself further apart.

  8. I voted awhile ago, and I have a bit of election fatigue, so I’d like to recommend this excellent Australian video to fellow travelers who want to have a good cry over what religion does to a country. The explosion that destroyed a large part of Beirut has its roots in religious bickering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20iB09b7Ycc

  9. I cannot complain on your ear-ring, which bears a dance of dreams, my daughter, but complaints of absolutes of the commonality of destructions of permissive desires of romance and the intellectual inquiries of a future darkened by the swears of a today that has no more results than the studious creep of belief, which is intellectual fear and laziness, I beg thee in the bird named Swifts, the honor of being complete in the romance called god that we have no other predicate to call than in the mystery of the stars which prevail in our wistful and wishful lives.

  10. @Douglas E – Hopefully it won’t get that bad. There is still the old Wild West mentality in the US. Look at all those guns floating around. In the meantime keep buying gold. It’s going to go up even more.

  11. “A Muslim activist in Lackawanna, New York, said she suspected her vote had not been counted after she dropped off her absentee ballot in the town’s June primary elections. An attorney then asked the local board of elections to see the names of voters whose ballots had objections.

    “Of about 200 ballots with objections filed against them, all but one had names that sounded Muslim or Middle Eastern. The ballots were all related to contests with Arab American candidates.

    “And less than an hour after a Freedom of Information request was filed with the Erie County Board of Elections, all objections to those ballots were withdrawn by the local politician who had filed them.”

    https://religionandpolitics.org/2020/10/27/across-the-country-muslims-are-fighting-voter-suppression-and-intimidation/

  12. (Spolier Alert: this is satire)

    Woman stranded at MAGA rally in Omaha says Trump wanted to teach them a lesson

  13. Sorry, folks. Here’s the link —
    Counting votes in Denver, CO (GMT-6)
    Livestream
    https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-elections-divison.html

    My Dear Curmudgeon — would you please delete the erroneous link in my previous Comment?

    Thanks!

  14. Jim Newell, Slate (16 Oct):

    “Nearly 21 million people have already voted, as of Friday afternoon. To put that in perspective? If each person were equal to six cats, nearly 126 million cats would have already voted.”

  15. Charles Deetz ;)

    See you on the other side!

  16. In 1960, many of JFK’s detractors loudly wondered whether as President he would be subservient to the Pope to the point of betraying his duty to the US and its Constitution.

    In 2020, the source of a potential threat to Amy Coney Barrett’s independence and fealty to the Constitution is much closer.

    The calls are coming from inside the house.

    Graham: Okay. So, uh, when it comes to (ahem) your personal views about this topic — do you own a gun? (gesturing meaninglessly)
    Barrett: (pause)
    Barrett: (glances left) Uhhh, (looks front) we do own a gun. (nodding)

    Barrett’s hesitation, and her reframing of the question in her reply, indicate to me that she is wholly subservient to her Pentecostal Catholic husband (and to her People of Praise “Head”).

    To the extent, at least, that she is apparently not allowed to own a gun in her own right, and dissembles about it under oath.

    NIV: “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands . . .
    [T]he holy women of the past who put their hope in God . . . submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord.”
    * * * * *
    “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

    And remember, hubby Jesse Barrett has seven hostages against Amy Coney’s good behavior.

    He knows where they live.

  17. From a non-American, the best thing that can happen for your country is:

    1. Biden wins tomorrow.
    2. Biden dies within the next 4 years.
    3. Harris becomes the first female black president. This will never happen any other way.
    4. All the privileged old white men choke to death.

  18. What the USA need is a reform of the corrupt political system. That’s not going to happen, no matter who wins. The worst scenario as presented by DougE is still not bad enough to induce such a reform, I’m afraid.

  19. @FrankB
    People who are elected by one system can not be expected to change that system. For example, gerrymandering.
    It will be difficult to explain why the first past the post should be dropped.
    Moreover, the US Constitution forbids
    changing the system of the Senate.
    One change which has a chance is the Electoral College.

  20. Here’s my prediction:

    [1] The US Election produces no clear result, and the country descends over the next few months into an impenetrable morass of legal challenges and demonstrations in the streets—with escalating violence, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, all a toxic brew bringing the nation to the brink of civil war by March 2021.

    [2] Meanwhile, in the Britain Formerly Known as Great, a hasty stitched together ‘compromise’ is made with EU on trade arrangements, but it pleases nobody as it fails to avert massive chaos at the borders, rapidly rising prices for goods, renewed violence in Northern Ireland, and a massive boost for the Scottish Nationalist Party. De facto reunification of Ireland transpires, and the SNP follows suit by declaring UDI and takes Scotland out of the Union. As in the USA, the nation is brought to the brink of civil war.

    [3] But in an inspired act of saving grace, Her Majesty QEII issues a Royal Proclamation which pardons all the descendants of the erstwhile North American colonists and invites the USA, which has now demonstrated itself incapable of self-government, to replace the vacancy created by Scotland and Northern Ireland in a new British Empire, to be known as Great Anglospheria, under her crown. Parliament is dissolved and MP’s sent home as Nigel Farage is appointed, by Royal Decree, Prime Imperial Poobah for Life and takes up residence in No 10.

    [4] The Great Anglospherian Empire sets out to re-conquer its former colonies around the world, declaring war on Europe, Africa, and South America in the process. Global slaughter, devastation, and famine quickly ensue—to universal delight, as mankind throws off the pretension of ‘civilisation’ and returns to its original state of barbarism.

    Happy days!

  21. Hans, I hope the same. My hope is that Trump loses big time, and being such a loser, he resigns to get Pence’s pardon. Then he jets off to Russia – no extradition treaty. I have been a small time coin collector for decades so might make it for a while with my metals 😋

  22. Ladyatheist:
    Thank you for that link.

  23. It has been argued that most people made up their mind pro or anti Trump 4 years ago, and all of the campaigning didn’t make any difference. See Sabato’s Crystal Ball:
    The Campaign That Didn’t Matter
    By Alexander Theodoridis
    centerforpoitics.org

  24. I’m predicting a Biden landslide and it includes a blue Texas. There are a lot of Trump voters out there, some in my extended family, but it won’t be enough–all significant states are winner take all. Trump has not expanded his base at all, and a significant portion of those that voted for him regret it.
    These long lines for early voting aren’t rabid Trump fans, they are people who have been waiting 4 years to get rid of the embarrassment that is Trump. When the winds of change blow in, they blow in hard. I expect the Republicans to lose the Senate, though Moscow Mitch will keep his job, but become minority leader.

    So even if there isn’t a blue Texas, a blue Florida could pretty much seal the deal tonight at about 10 or so Eastern. If Florida isn’t blue then I’m probably wrong about the landslide, though Biden will still probably win.

  25. Michael Fugate

    One thing is clear – the current US president is none too bright and has always flown by the seat of his pants trusting he can bluster through anything. He had no plan going into office 4 years ago and still has none. A case in point, he gave no thought to his being in public office opening up his private life – all the shady deals, bankruptcies, tax audits, non-disclosure agreements. He may need to escape the country just to get out of the endless legal tangles.

  26. I’m not too concerned about Trump refusing to concede and getting backing from the military or significant parts of law enforcement. The military has been as absolutely clear as they get that they will support a peaceful transition of power, and you could put all of the militia and the police officers up against the Armed Forces and the Armed Forces MIGHT notice. Add in several large cities and states that have said similar things and … there will be violence if Biden wins, most certainly, but short of a civil war.

  27. I too believe there will be violence and unrest for a period after the election.
    I also believe Trump will continue to incite the violence and refuse to accept the results of the election. However, it will ultimately not change the result, which will be a Biden presidency. It is of course absurd that we have to hope for a Biden landslide so that the worst won’t happen but that’s the way its going. In regard to the electoral college issue, changing it would be a massive constitutional undertaking. Expanding the house of representatives using the so called wyoming rule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_Rule) would be a far simpler process and would obviate the worst excesses of the current system – and it would only require a legislative change which should be entirely possible if the democrats win the trifecta today. We shall see.

  28. @Megalonyx – Great Anglospherian Empire. As long as the old colonies in the southern hemisphere stay out of that.

  29. @ hans435: alas, the notion has more advocates Down Under than it does in the mother country.

    Just like there are still American Southerners who dream of restoring the Confederacy…

  30. Theodore J Lawry

    Montana’s new governor, Gianforte, is a creationist loon, “Gianforte was a significant funder of the creationist Dinosaur and Fossil Museum in Glendive, Mont., which presents exhibits on the Earth’s age and the origins of the dinosaurs “in the context of biblical history.” He also says that “retirement is not Biblical” because Noah was building an Ark when he was 600 years old.
    He is also the body-slammer of a reporter from the Guardian.

    He is a Republican, as is the state House and Senate. Montana GOP is new to having a Deep Red state, so they may be dumb enough to give SC some real entertainment! Too bad for Montana, but something to look forward to, right?