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    • Reasons For Hope (1): The Solutions Are Known
      Ok, this place has mostly been about how fucked we are, and how we’ve fucked up. Blame is more on our leaders than us, but as a species we’re on the hook. But there is cause of hope because mostly we know what we have to do. We know we have to reduce CO2 and Methane emissions. We even know mostly how. We pretend we don’t, because the how will involve changin […]
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Just Some of My Own Personal Pre-Election Thoughts

I have been reading everything I can about the elections, focusing on early voting numbers, models, extrapolations. I’m far from an expert on statistical analysis, but I try to figure out what the numbers mean.

Speaking only for myself, I am encouraged by what Simon Rosenberg and Tom Bonier have to say about the early voting numbers (calculated by the registration of those who have voted), but discouraged by most of the other things, including the fact that the oddsmakers, who take millions of dollars of wagers, have the odds so much in favor of Republicans, that one tends to think that they have access to more information. For example, they have Vance something like 10-1 in favor of him beating Ryan. It could be that they are just being overwhelmed with bets from people who are sure the Republicans will win these key races, but the odds are so predictive of a Republican victory, that at the least it is disconcerting. Of course, all that matters will be the actual vote.

The generic polls are about even. Unfortunately, relentless Republican gerrymandering, which Democrats virtuously refuse to do, has meant that Democrats have to win the vote by 5% or so, just to break even. Supposedly, the great work of Marc Elias and his team on protecting voting rights might have lowered that number to 2-3%, but an election where the votes are about equal, would mean Republicans win most of the House races. The Senate cannot be gerrymandered, so there is more chance there.

The best news is that Democratic voters are about 4.2 million more than Republican voters so far. Of course, Republicans have disdained early voting, their goal is to be ahead in every race, and then when the early votes are finally and deliberately tabulated later, it will look like Democrats cheated. But that is the least of my worries, we just need more votes. This could be the last election where the actual votes will matter, if the gubernatorial candidates from the likes of Arizona and Wisconsin win, as they have virtually guaranteed that they will never let a Democrat win an election there.

It is grim. I don’t care about “usual trends which see the party out of presidential power winning the midterms.” This is a far more dire situation, and Republicans must not win, we cannot afford it. And by any reasonable standard, at least to me, Biden and the Democrats in Congress have done an excellent job. But the media has continued to ignore most of it, and simply hammered away on inflation. The media is not our friend, and that makes it very hard to win elections.

Before I saw various things yesterday predicting a big Republican victory, I was starting to gain some optimism. Then this morning, more hope from Rosenberg and Bonier. The latest generic polls are about even. The question will be, who will vote? The disappointing thing is that so far, the Black vote is down, and the youth vote is not too great, although apparently it is better in the so-called battleground states; and those groups who are connected with trying to get out the youth vote promise that they will really show up on election day. We have heard that before, of course. Maybe it will be true this time?

That is really the key to our chances: the hope that the new voters have not been polled, and so the polls are inaccurate on that score. Rosenberg wrote today, “Despite the electorate (as has been counted so far) being older and whiter than 2018-2020, Democrats lead 50-39 in the early vote.” Democrats have this so-called coalition, and each part of it has to vote in very large numbers. How hard is it to get a ballot, fill it out, and send it in, especially when the fate of the nation and each citizen in it, is at stake? Republicans vote, they live for this battle they think they are fighting. Do too many Democrats not care to bother? Or have the Republican efforts to act like the election is over, and the media’s endless derogating of Democrats, cause this? Or is it just laziness and complete ignorance of the effects, which causes it?

Actually, as I’m typing this, I know that none of it will matter by Tuesday night. I actually wish that the campaigns went on another six months, not because it is fun, but so that I don’t have to deal with the possible “Republicans sweep to victory in the elections, promise major changes immediately” headlines, and all that this would portend. I think about which country I could move to. I think about simply trying to ignore politics and news, but that is hard to do, and would not work too well. We have lost elections before, but the landscape was not like this. I wonder if the people who have decided that Biden caused inflation, and that Republicans thus should be in power, realize that if the Republicans, as indicated, refuse to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. economy will suffer immense damage, far worse than 8% inflation. And if they do as promised, and get rid of Social Security and Medicare, it won’t matter what the prices are, because so many will have no money to buy anything.

It comes to a point where one realizes that so many people out there really do not know anything, nor can they reason logically. This sounds elitist, but I do not mean it that way. It used to be, that we could see something happen in the news, and think, “Well, that is going to make people realize how awful Republicans are.” Now, it seems to not matter, so many people either ignore it, or draw the wrong conclusions, or are simply too brainwashed by decades of Far Right stations pounding into their brains, that they are impervious.

Trump presided over an incalculably awful pandemic; lied about it, told people to take dangerous drugs. He supported dictators. He orchestrated a riot in Washington which almost turned this country into a fascist state. He stole top secret documents from the White House, and probably gave or sold some of them to totalitarian leaders of other countries. And yet the long-term polls show him running even or ahead of Biden if they ran against each other. Is the American public so hopelessly mind-controlled, or ignorant, that there is no rational sense in us ever thinking that any awful thing that Republicans might do, will actually change their minds?And if somehow they do, will it not matter, because Republicans will have such control of the institutions, that it would be akin to some Russian or Chinese person hoping that things will change in their country?

These are things that I think about. If we lose, there will not be any use in going over all of it, though I know that some admirable people will write their eulogies or requiems. There are indeed many good people out there, who are trying so hard to get out the vote, to urge people to go out and save this country. And we probably are still a majority, but various factors and manipulations have allowed the large but still minority, to game and control the system so that they can do what they want, and all our tears cannot wash out a bit of it.

That sounds dramatic, but it is how I feel. We have to win. In the past, if we lost a few seats, my parents would find the bright side, the races we won, the possibility of regaining the majority in Congress in the next election, when we discussed the results the day after that election. But I don’t see it this time. Even if the Republicans held a one-vote edge in the House, and two votes in the Senate, they would vote like zombies, and push though everything that they want. They are brutal in that way, I have seen it in various state legislatures they took control of. All they would need is to do what they have done, pour in billions, have the media backing them, and then win the Presidential election in 2024, and we have a full-blown fascist state. I wonder if the media will care when they are controlled and shut down as the Republicans choose. The owners would not, probably.

Getting back to the actual races, how can an absolutely awful, even ludicrous, group of Republican Senate candidates be so close to winning? As in devolution, they get worse and worse. Walker, who is a liar and a cheat. Oz, a dangerous quack who doesn’t know anything about the state he is running in. Masters, who Shannon Watts said evokes the aspect of a serial killer. Vance, a phony who pretends to support the working class but does not at all. And all the rest of them, worse than I have ever seen. And they are all running against very decent, bright, and caring Democratic candidates. And people are going to vote for the Republicans, because of “inflation,” “wokeness,” and a bunch of insane fantasies and lies about how the liberals are going to castrate people, control their minds? It is all insane projection, and so many do not see it, or want to. As bad as the past eras might have been in some ways, this is worse, because the dumbing down of America continues every day, and is probably irreversible for millions of these people.

As to the Democrats, imagine if we lose New York because some people just had to act outraged that Governor Cuomo might have acted somewhat inappropriately in terms of trying to flirt with women. An investigation showed that the accusation that he groped someone was not borne out by evidence, but they just had to force him to resign. I don’t have to love Cuomo to know that Democrats are so eager to show how virtuous they are, that they force effective leaders like Cuomo and Franken (who never did anything wrong) to resign. One party grinds and stomps and kills their way to power, and the other one acts as if they are at a social gathering in the 1890’s, where manners and propriety are the only important things.

Well, post-mortems can wait, for those who want to make them. Right now, we just have to hope that the Black vote suddenly turns out larger than so far, and that the youth vote, 18-29, drastically increases on election day. That’s about all we can do. All of us have voted, and each of us has tried to convince others of what the only right side is, in this country. That is all we can do, and we have to be proud of that, at least.