Now featuring the audio version of Rob’s Soapbox, read by the man himself, Rob Williams:
With two weeks to go until Election Day, November 3rd, it’s time to layout exactly what you need to be prepared for.
One thing that has been constant in 2020 has been disappointment, and much of that is our own fault. When the shutdown began in March far too many of us believed it would all be over in weeks. Our own President suggested that by Easter, everything would be back to normal. As time went on, we kept creating and clinging to fake goal posts like Memorial Day, July 4th, the new school year, and on and on it went as we were endlessly devastated to realize that no, we are not back to normal and we are not even close.
I’ve tried…I really have. I told you in May that the Aftershock festival concert wasn’t going to happen as scheduled in October and yet you clung to it right up until late July when it was made official. I told you that New Year’s Eve in Times Square would be cancelled and you insisted I was wrong, right up until I wasn’t. I’ve been telling you that 2021 isn’t the cure to 2020 and still too many of you actually believe that come January 1st, everything will be fine.
Most disturbingly, a mind-numbing number of Americans, on both sides of the political aisle, believe that election day is the cure to what ails us. This is beyond stupid, naïve, and dangerous. It’s maliciously delusional. Election Day is not only NOT the cure, it’s the next dose of poison, and you better prepare yourself.
And so, yet again, that’s why I am here.
Let’s start with this fundamental fact that you must accept; there is no such thing as election day this year. As of this writing, more than 10 million Americans have already voted via early and/or mail-in ballots. More importantly, we aren’t going to actually know diddly-squat on the night of November 3rd, other than the fact that we are beyond thoroughly fucked. Election Day? HA! Election week would be a miracle, and I doubt election month is even appropriate. The likeliness that we genuinely know who has been declared the winner of the presidential election by Thanksgiving is between slim and none and slim just left town.
And notice I use the term “declared the winner.” This is intentional. The way the next many weeks are about to play out in America, (barring something extraordinary occurring), guarantees one thing; unlike in 2016, when half the nation melted down emotionally over the results, this year, in true 2020 fashion, will be so, so, so much worse. It won’t be half the nation being devastated, it will be half of us being convinced that the results are bogus, stolen, and invalid. In a year defined by our very way of life being taken from us by Covid and our absurd reaction to it, if half of us believe that our vote has been ripped away as well, God only know what happens in the nation of guns.
How exactly will it play out? Here are your possibilities, with handicapping odds included for your terror:
THE LEAST LIKELY scenario is that on Election Night, November 3rd, former Vice-President Joe Biden is declared the winner through same-day voting results, exit polls and the few states who have begun to count mail-in ballots. Why is this the least likely? Because it’s the only way that the election isn’t a disaster, and there’s simply no reason to believe that anything this year is going to avoid being a calamity, particularly our presidential election. If Biden were to be ahead and/or declared a winner by extraordinary margins on election night, he would declare victory and it would be irrelevant whether or not Trump conceded. The results would continue to roll in, the calls from Republicans would become louder for Trump to step aside, and the Trump administration would be over…and with very little fanfare, as there’d be almost no credible, or even nutty, way to claim that the election wasn’t valid. And that’s why there’s essentially no way this is going to happen.
THE MOST LIKELY scenario is that on Election Night, President Trump is going to be wildly ahead, especially in the “battleground states” that truly determine the results. Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Arizona are the ones to watch. As those states report results, they will be almost exclusively results tied solely to people who voted on election day, and the overwhelming majority of people planning to vote on November 3rd are Republicans and/or Trump supporters. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/10/14/democrats-dominating-early-voting-in-2020-election/#49859ca61715
While laws vary by state, for the most part, early votes can’t begin to be counted until Election day, and the process for doing so, particularly as it relates to mail-in ballots, is much more tedious than the process for traditional votes made at polling places. https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/15/politics/early-voting-mail-in-ballot-analysis/index.html
Therefore, common sense dictates that traditional same-day voting returns and results will show Trump with a wide lead on the night of November 3rd…and even though literally millions of ballots will have yet to be counted, it is likely that he will, whether the media agrees with him or not, declare victory, much to the joy of his followers.
But unlike 2016, his proclamation of victory will not be followed by a concession by Biden, nor the emotional breakdown of Democrats. In fact, they will be more emboldened than ever.
What will ensue over the following days lands somewhere between chaotic and horrifying.
The Democrats will rightfully claim that every vote matters, and must be counted, and that there are tens of millions early & mail in ballots that need such, and the overwhelming majority of them are from registered Democrats. In some states, including Pennsylvania, ballots will be accepted this year up to 72 hours AFTER election day, further delaying results.
As those ballots are counted, the race will, without question tighten, and Trump’s lead will shrink. As it does, Trump and his followers, emboldened by his proclamation of victory, will squeal and scream about ballot tampering, and they may be right. While it is true that experts on both sides of the political aisle agree that there is no quantifiable evidence of mail-in voting resulting in fraud, we have never seen such paticipation to the level it is this year.
Historically, both Democrats and Republicans have essentially determined that while mistakes happen when it comes to mail in voting, they occur in equal numbers affecting both parties and essentially canceling each other out. In 2020, that modeling is meaningless. We have record numbers of people voting early, and an avalanche of ballots that will have to be counted, the overwhelming majority of which will come from Democrat voters.
Whether any shenanigans actually occur will be, for the most part, irrelevant. Trump and his supporters will believe nothing that shows him losing his lead and countless lawsuits will be filed across the fruited plains. By now, it’s late November and the country is beyond on edge. Thanksgiving dinners will be a real treat as families get together and find it impossible to not talk politics. Maybe Dr. Anthony Fauci is on to something when he encourages us all to cancel the holiday this year; not because we should be terrified of Covid, but rather, because we should be terrified of our angry and drunk friends and relatives who are going to ruin everything.
If the streets aren’t already filled with angry and rioting Americans by this time, they’ll be getting ready on both sides. For in the end, it’s impossible for any person with common sense to believe that this election will not be determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and if that comes to pass and Trump is declared the winner by a 6-3 conservative majority, the left will come unglued, unhinged, and uncontrollable. And as we’ve seen over the past couple months across America, they will be met by far-right vigilantes and white nationalist groups more than ready for the fight.
Conversely, imagine if Biden is declared the winner; perhaps because the Supreme Court cedes to various specific states’ upper court rulings or simply refuses to rule by fiat (not a stretch in a John Roberts led court). Even more likely is that the court forces the House of Representatives to choose the president, as the Constitution demands, when they are sworn in January 5th.
In any event, if after all of this, Trump is not deemed to be the winner, Trump supporters, who have already shown their willingness to defend their beliefs, and who will feel as though their country is being stolen from them, will galvanize and unite, and they’ll make the far-right militias who were plotting to kidnap Democratic governors this summer look like amateurs.
There are myriad other possibilities and all of them are bad, and many of them are confusing and over peoples’ heads, which will add to the mayhem. Various state governors and legislatures could demand that their electors don’t actually represent the will of their voters. Did that sentence even make sense to you? Probably not, but it’s a very real possibility. Imagine if the popular vote in Florida goes to Biden but the Republican controlled state leadership amended state laws to allow for the reallocation of the states’ electoral votes to go to Trump…it’s being talked about on both sides. https://www.270towin.com/alternative-electoral-college-allocation-methods/
So…there you have it.
What? You didn’t expect a prediction from me did you? Please, not in 2020. The only thing for certain is that the unexpected doesn’t even begin to describe what you should expect in November. Whatever happens, and whatever the outcome, it’s going to be awful. The nation is not going to unite, far from it. It’s going to burn; either literally or figuratively or both. And regardless who is ultimately sworn in on January 20th, 2021, half of this nation is going to genuinely believe that the end of America is nigh. Covid was never our biggest challenge in 2020 and still isn’t. We are. We are the true disease and we not only have no vaccine for our division, hatred, ignorance, and arrogance, we have no desire to find one. We just want the “other side” to die. That’s the State of the Union.