It’s 5:09 in the morning, the Wednesday after Election Day. I’m here with my breakfast; I turned on my computer, but broke from my routine of checking emails and news feeds before doing pretty much anything else.
Like probably everyone else, I’ve had a bellyful of election news, to the point where it’s no longer news anymore. I voted a week and a half ago, on the second day of early voting. That much, at least, was done.
My wife asked me to get home early last night, fearing that there might be rioting in the streets: not as outlandish as it sounds, as many of the businesses in midtown Manhattan were pre-emptively boarded up. Macy’s in Herald Square was boarded up; the Victoria’s Secret across the street, which had remained boarded up since the spring, got its boards renewed. Chase and Citibank were not boarded up; Santander and some of the smaller banks were. Sweetgreen, an overly pretentions salad place, was boarded up; most of the other eating places were not.
I had wanted to get home at 5:30 pm, but got stuck at the office. I cheated and took an electric Citibike (electric bikes are fun, but they don’t count as exercise) most of the way, then walked the last mile or so. Downtown Brooklyn looked mostly normal, or at least the new normal with restaurant seating in the curb lane and the queue outside Trader Joe’s. I got home at 5:45 pm.
Back home, I resisted the habit of the evening news. I watched part of a Hunger Games movie, itself a political statement of a sort. Then dinner, a M*A*S*H rerun (it’s a timeless classic), a shower, and bed. No election reports whatsoever.
A week and a half ago, I voted for Trump. Even if I didn’t like him, I couldn’t vote for Biden. He may be the last of the old-time moderate Democrats, the kind my mother would have voted for without a second thought, but he’s gotten old and slow. He made very few campaign appearances, and those were sparsely attended. And while Biden remarked, ‘I am the Democratic party,’ in the first debate, the party very clearly has other plans.
I had low expectations for Trump. His campaign slogan, ‘Make America great again,’ suggests that the President and the government can make the country great. They can’t. The best the President and the government can do is to create an environment in which the people can make the country great.
But for three years, that’s what happened. In spite of relentless attacks from the media, and the spectacle, which I’ve never seen before, of the President having to fight the rest of the government to get things done, Trump accomplished much of what he promised. The border was made more secure; taxes and regulations were moderated; unemployment dropped to historic lows.
And then Covid came. The essential problem with Covid was that nobody knew quite what it was or how severe it would be. The best we could do is muddle through. And we’re still muddling, although I hope that now that the election is over, one way or another, we can ease off on trying to treat Covid as a political issue.
In brief, from my perspective, the worst part of Covid was not the sickness, it was the response of Democratic politicians. I believe the Republicans could win the New York City mayoralty if they can run a candidate more compelling than a live turnip.
I hope Trump wins cleanly, but I doubt that will happen. My second choice is for Biden to win cleanly. I’m really worried about what a Biden/Harris (or is it Harris/Biden?) administration would do, but at least the election would be over.
As I’m about to look at the news, my sense is that the election results will be inconclusive at 6:00 on Wednesday morning. Trump may be ahead on electoral votes, but not all the way there. And there is Pennsylvania. I lived in western Pennsylvania for a time, years ago. My gut feeling is that the state will go for Trump, but the state’s leadership seems to be trying really hard to put it in the Democratic column.
OK, here goes….
We’re not there yet. At this point, Biden has 224 electoral votes, Trump has 213, and Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona are still in play.
The soap opera will go on.