Even with the race finally called, there have been worrisome signs that everyone won’t coalesce and accept it. That’s what BoomerCafé’s co-founder and executive editor Greg Dobbs writes about in this Boomer Opinion piece.
If you’re not still scared, you’re not paying attention.
Because even now when Joe Biden can confidently claim not just a popular vote edge of some four million Americans but a verifiable victory in the Electoral College, there will likely be trouble. Not from most of the 70 million Americans who voted for Trump and who respect our democracy. They might not like the final result but they are Americans, they are patriots, they will peacefully abide by the outcome.
But if the history of just the last few weeks is any guide, let alone the whole of Trump’s presidency, there will be trouble from those whose unflagging obedience and blind belief in the president might send them to the streets.
Some, I fear, with their guns. With the covert but clear encouragement of the president.
Look back to just the day before yesterday, when Trump’s former campaign manager and White House senior counselor Steve Bannon spoke on a podcast about Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray, both of whom have spoken out against Trump: “I’d put the heads on pikes. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning,” to which his podcast co-host added, “You know what, Steve, yesterday there was the anniversary of the hanging of two Tories in Philadelphia… This is what we used to do to traitors.”
Or look back, also two days ago, when the president’s rabid son Donald Trump Jr. called on his father “to go to total war over this election.”
Hyperbole? Depends on who’s looking.
Look back just a month to the documented plot to kidnap, try, and execute the Democratic governor of Michigan. The president’s repugnant response? “Maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t.”
Look back to Trump’s four years in the White House. Did this president ever try to pacify the conspiracy spreaders, the anti-semites, the racists? No. Remember what he said to Savannah Guthrie during his NBC Town Hall when she held his feet to the fire for tweeting nonsense about Joe Biden having a Seal Team killed? “That was a retweet. I’ll put it out there, people can decide for themselves, I don’t take a position.” He enables the fanatics, he empowers them, in their misshapen minds he even ennobles them.
Look back to Trump’s campaign against Biden. Did he honestly depict the differences between them? No, because he didn’t just exaggerate Biden’s place on the political spectrum, he purposely perverted it. Biden, a socialist? Hogwash. I’ve covered news in many socialist countries and what’s obvious is, neither Trump nor his followers have a clue what socialism means. What’s more, as Trump said so often during the campaign as if it disqualifies him, Joe Biden has been in the public eye for almost 50 years. If the man were a socialist, by now we’d know it.
But because Trump lies as easily as bees sting, tens of millions of Americans think Joe Biden is a socialist and, from Trump’s own lying lips, Kamela Harris is a communist. Will that drive some of Trump’s most fervent followers to go to any lengths to keep this president in office? The alarming answer might lie in talk on Trump’s side— including Bannon in that threatening podcast— of civil war, which would be a whole lot worse than looters smashing windows and grabbing a pair of Nikes.
Donald Trump these last few days has done all he could to undermine our faith in this democracy, which means, he undermines democracy itself. He’s been calling the vote counts (only the ones that went against him, of course) a conspiracy, a fraud. But maybe it’s not hard to understand: the narcissist faces not just humiliation but conceivably incarceration when he’s kicked out of office. So this selfish unscrupulous man unleashes the worst instincts of his acolytes. The scary thing is, even if he goes away— in chains if need be— they don’t.
Is Joe Biden the perfect person to lead this nation? Maybe not. But is he the right one right now? Absolutely. Because with Biden in the Oval Office, once again we’ll have a president who sends love letters to allies, not adversaries. Once again we’ll have a president who treats people decently, not maliciously. Once again, we’ll have a president with a history of compromise, not con jobs. Once again we’ll have a president who leads by example and wears a mask, not ridicule those who do.
I’ve said this many times but it’s more important now than ever: whether on the left or on the right, all of us— almost all anyway— want the best for our nation. The trouble is, we have different ways of getting there and sometimes, different definitions of what’s best.
If Joe Biden is the winner of the election, that’s what he’s up against. That’s what we’re all up against. As we have in the past, we can figure it out. Unless those who can’t accept a democratic outcome don’t let us.