The Fourth Quarter (And A Bit Of Overtime)

Today’s article is total speculation but the assumptions that serve as the basis of those speculations are very much grounded in fact. Many will not like to read what I have written but only the willfully ignorant can deny that it is all too possible. Let’s explore.

Recently I’ve been doing some thinking ahead to my fourth quarter schedule. For the last several years I’ve budgeted part of the fourth quarter and first few days of the New Year for travel/family/grandpa duty. I’d like to do the same this year but I don’t see this year being like the last few.

Even if we had taken swift and prudent action in the face of the coronavirus pandemic I doubt we could have averted a second wave this coming fall extending into the winter. Thanks to President Trump our response was slow and as a result an abysmal failure. Based on that and history I expect the second wave to be huge.

Voter suppression and electorate manipulation are keystones of the Trump team’s campaign strategy. (Voter suppression is something they inherited when they took over the Republican Party.) The Trumpublicans have figured out how they can get elections close enough to manipulate them into a victory if they suppress the opposition’s vote and get the most easily mislead of their base to show up. Republicans traditionally have a much better chance of winning in low turnout elections. The classic recent example is 2010.

I want you to take a look at the calendar, particularly the transition period between October and November. The second wave should be in full swing by then. Election Day is Tuesday November 3rd. That is D-Day in Trump’s plan if, as expected, the election appears to be close or he is the underdog. The Republican goal will be to disrupt voting, especially in Democratic strongholds in battleground states. If you doubt me just look at what the Republicans did in Wisconsin a few weeks ago. They caused confusion and made people literally risk their lives (several coronavirus cases have already been reported as a result of their actions) to vote. Republican Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has gotten a lot of praise in progressive circles; not here; he illegally shutdown voting on the eve of the primary. Why last minute unless to create turnout depressing confusion in the event his plan failed. (He had to go to Plan B to succeed.)

The Saturday before Election Day is October 31st and this year is also Halloween. The cute thing about Halloween that I like, (I think it is a nitwit holiday for adults), is the little kids in costumes going trick or treating. Expect it to be cancelled out of sudden concern for public safety. Don’t be surprised if Republican Governor Brian Kemp in Georgia suddenly gets concerned about the health and welfare of little black children in Georgia. I’m sure the facts that two Senate seats are up in Georgia and that it is a 2020 battleground state will have thing to do with his sudden concern.

Pandemics don’t come with on/off switches so the interruptions will continue. A few weeks later, Thursday, November 27th is Thanksgiving Day. In recent years this has become the number one family gathering day. With 21st century American families now so far flung getting everyone in one house is difficult.

Now I can get into the negative economic impact. The days surrounding Thanksgiving are the busiest flying days of the year. The airline industry is one of the most negatively impacted by the coronavirus. You connect those dots. (Hint: it doesn’t make for a pretty picture.)

The Friday after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday in the retail industry. Traditionally (although the sales are going more to online in the last few years) it is the busiest shopping day of the year and sans a successful Black Friday many retailers cannot turn a profit for the year. I really have a difficult time envisioning retail stores jammed on Friday November 27, 2020.

You don’t have to be a devote Christian to celebrate Christmas in America. There is a good chance your extended family will be celebrating it over Facetime or Zoom in 2020. Think of the negative economic impact of fewer presents and family dinners on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Another industry among the hardest hit has been the restaurant industry. For many New Year’s Eve is the most profitable night of the year. Restaurateurs hate when it falls on a Friday or Saturday because to a degree that cannibalizes their regular business. In 2020 it falls on a Thursday but if your place is shuttered or its seating is restricted it is impossible to maximize revenue. If restaurants are allowed to be open on New Year’s Eve but we are in the midst of a second coronavirus wave how many people are going to go out?

OK, here is the political overtime. Some time back I wrote that Americans should not laugh at the fighting in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela. Inauguration Day is Wednesday January 20th. If Trump loses and says the election was rigged/stolen I can see his gun carrying followers taking to the streets of Washington. Look at the current demonstrations. These people buy the malarkey the right wing media is feeding them and they believe it is all a hoax. Hopefully the authorities will defend the Constitution but the scene won’t be pretty. The silver lining for Trump even if he is deposed he will be able to truthfully say that he drew a larger crowd of inauguration supporters than his replacement did.

I couldn’t use a sports metaphor in the title without a sports reference in the body of the op-ed. Here we go. The NFL will announce its 2020 schedule tomorrow. They have already announced that international games are cancelled. While it may start, I wouldn’t bet on the season coming to completion as originally scheduled. I cannot foresee a way the playoffs and Super Bowl will go on as originally planned. You can also forget about the usual plethora of bowl games. While it may not be mine, football is America’s favorite sport.

This was far from a feel good article but there is a price to be paid for electing an incompetent leader who cares not about his people. We collectively elected Trump.   Many of those who will pay with their actual or economic lives voted against him, but in the battle against the coronavirus we may be asked to pay for the bad decisions of others.

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One thought on “The Fourth Quarter (And A Bit Of Overtime)”

  1. What do you think are the chances that the voters Trump needs to win will, in their blind, ignorant support of him, contract the virus and die?

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