The Fall Battleground Threat To Democracy

Sometimes when you are on a journey it is easier to predict what will happen well down the road than it is to predict what will happen during the next few miles. The coronavirus is such a journey. Anyone with an above room temperature IQ who has been paying attention is perplexed and perhaps a bit scared. The unknown is always uncomfortable at best. Let’s explore.

Most people feel that sometime later this spring or this summer we will see the end of the coronavirus. With the benefit of history I think that we will see the end of the first half during that time period and the second half will commence in the fall. There is a major political event scheduled for November 3rd called the election. Am I the only one who sees a potential problem?

I wasn’t around for the 1918 flu pandemic and my parents weren’t born until the 1920’s. However I remember one story my mother told me which – with a little background – I will relay to you today.

The ethnically Polish-American population of Buffalo was almost 100% Roman Catholic and the religion was arguably the main pillar of our culture. To illustrate just how bad the pandemic got my mother told me the story of caskets being blessed in front of the church with neither they nor the mourners allowed inside the building. To my present day agnostic version that is just a story; to the little boy being raised in a strict Catholic home that was a major happening of unthinkable proportion. I can only imagine how my ancestors felt over a century ago.

I am still firm in my prediction that the 2020 presidential election will be close in the Electoral College (which is all that counts). Voter turnout will be paramount. The best way to suppress voter turnout is to create confusion; the next best – and unthinkable until this point in American history – is to simply not hold the elections in the first place.

The reality is that the election will be decided in about fifteen battleground states. (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.) Six of them (Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire and Ohio) are controlled by Republican governors. Together they have 84 electoral votes or 15.7% of the total. In addition to the weight they have in the presidential contest there are 5 Senate seats up in those six states in November.

What if just those six governors created confusion by cancelling the election in the interest of public health and safety? Even if they were ultimately unsuccessful the attempt alone would throw the election into chaos. You say it couldn’t happen, well think again and as you do let’s look at five of them.

Ohio’s Mike DeWine stopped last Tuesday’s Ohio primary late Monday afternoon. When the courts correctly ruled that he did not have the authority to do so he ordered one of his underlings to do it. I don’t want to hear any arguments about legality; this crew doesn’t respect the law.

In Georgia (which is the only state with two Senate seats up) Brian Kemp is the governor. There is no doubt that then-Georgia Secretary of State Kemp suppressed the vote in 2018 helping  himself to win the governorship. Why would you doubt he will cheat?

Florida’s Ron DeSantis feels he owes Trump and his state’s 29 electoral votes are the biggest prize up for grabs. Between track records and heritage I see no reason the assume Arizona’s Doug Ducey or New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu will put democracy over party.

If you believe that the Republicans really care about public health and safety I suggest you feed those unicorns on your front lawn ASAP. They are consistently trying to cut SNAP, Medicaid and kill Obamacare.

This is the same crew –led by the Liar-in-Chief in the Oval Office – that called the coronavirus a “Hoax” until just a few days ago and now deny every saying so. They will conveniently turn its second coming to their advantage. They have no shame!

The conclusion to today’s article is what you can do. It all boils down to fighting through the obstacles like a defensive lineman fights through the block. Vote despite the obstruction. Early or absentee vote if your state allows such voting and when you do vote against Republicans including at the state level. Too many of us ignore the actions of state legislatures which is where a lot of the anti-democracy laws originate.

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