The Day After

Well played, doughboys.

We’re more than happy to join the national pearl-clutching over Donald Trump’s remarks that he won’t necessarily concede the election if he loses.

But we also happen to think that it won’t make the slightest difference.

The tradition is symbolic but meaningful: The peaceful transition of power is not something to be taken for granted in human societies, and the fact we’ve managed to pull it off for more than two centuries — we’ll politely ignore that little contretemps of 1861 — speaks well of our polity. Our leaders may use the Constitution to wipe their arses now and again, but they always make way for new leaders to grace our laws with their butts.

You might call this the real Living Constitution: The document itself would be worthless without all the unwritten civic traditions that have grown up around it. We’re a pretty rowdy country, both historically and in our lifetime. Yet for all the potentially fabric-rending crises we’ve lived through in our nearly sixty years, we’re still one nation. One highly schizophrenic nation, but still muddling through.

We’ve already laid our marker on the notion that surviving 2016 doesn’t give the nation a pass on 2020. If Donald Trump was minimally politically competent, we wouldn’t have the luxury of fretting about his concession two weeks out from the election. The conditions that gave rise to Trump ain’t going away soon, and he’s shown other wannabe fascists the path to success.

We grew up thinking that FDR’s battles with the American fascists of his era were long buried in history. But fascism is one of those chronic conditions that beset us. It might go into remission for a few generations, but it never goes away.

And yet: We don’t have a care in the world about what might happen November 9.

Let’s take Trump at his word, although everyone who has done business with him has learned not to: The networks call an electoral landslide for Hillary early Tuesday night, and Trump fails to graciously eat crow as is customary.

Then what?

Well, for starters: Every prominent Republican rushes to a TV camera to declare the election over anyway. They’re all Players who know how the game is played even if Trump doesn’t, and they’re not going to follow him into a national insurrection.

Also, they can’t stand Trump and wish he’d go away. Those who remain are only pretending to stand by him because (a) they want those sweet, sweet Supreme Court nominations, and (b) they’re scared shitless by Trump’s yahoos, the very yahoos they cultivated for decades and thought they could control until this year.

There will be no Constitutional crisis. Nobody has a stake in it.

So we’re not worried about that.

The yahoos themselves are another matter.

Trump has been whipping America’s Idiots into a fever pitch for a year and a half. They do believe the election is rigged, that Hillary is organizing a massive heist for election night, and nobody can tell them otherwise — perhaps not even Trump himself, even if he does concede in another somnambulant teleprompter reading.

We’re not predicting Redneck Riots. We just won’t be surprised if they happen.

But it’s November, folks, and even those won’t last. Too cold, for one. War on Christmas season, for another. Also, football.

Besides, the yahoos will have a fresh, meaty target for their revenge: All those traitorous Establishment Republicans who stood in Trump’s way. And we’re not fretting about that at all.

Truth be told, we’re looking forward to it.

14 comments:

11:09 am • Saturday • October 22, 2016

The good news is that by 2020 it may be demographically impossible for the Republicans to win the presidency again. Now about that Congressional gerrymandering…

3:02 pm • Saturday • October 22, 2016

The hubs and I received and completed our ballots on Thursday, then I turned them in on Friday. What a relief that this nightmare election is almost over.

3:21 pm • Saturday • October 22, 2016

@¡Andrew!: I’m wading through Colorado ballot this afternoon. Presuming it’s less onorous than the Cali ballots I’ve suffered for 16 years, and which SFL still endures.

You know initiatives were introduced as a good-government reform? Funny how that turned out.

3:39 pm • Saturday • October 22, 2016

My college econ professor always said (back during the Cold War) that America has nothing to fear from communists–it would never go that direction. It would go fascist if it went off the rails. She’s also the one who said we were headed toward corporate feudalism. If there’s an after life, Peggy’s doing the I-told-you-so dance right now.

4:16 pm • Saturday • October 22, 2016

@nojo: Other than the 22 Presidential candidates, pretty painless. A pleasure not to worry about who is gaming which elusively worded initiative.

4:51 pm • Saturday • October 22, 2016

All I know is, if they can get a decent thin-crust pie to the Upper West Side in the 70s in under an hour, I’ll vote for them for anything.

2:44 pm • Sunday • October 23, 2016

Trump will probably refuse to accept the results just to keep his name in the news for a few more cycles. We (and the media) should just ignore him.

3:14 pm • Sunday • October 23, 2016

@nojo: 11 state ballot initiatives. SF initiatives – we had Initiatives A – X plus a Measure RR for shits and giggles.

Not to mention 17 people running for four school board seats. Mr. SFL and I got high Friday night before spending a couple hours going through two phone book sized voter guides.

5:07 pm • Sunday • October 23, 2016

@SanFranLefty: Colorado seems to have at least four different numbering systems for initiatives, and I couldn’t make sense of any of them.

Other Experiments in Democracy: Judges are all keep/toss, no competition unless recalled. And the ballot says you’re voting for Presidential electors, although only the 22 candidates are listed, not their puppets.

One thing I miss: The voters guide arguments for/against measures are apparently written by committee — no subsidized space for actual petitioners/affiliations. I always used that as a handy shortcut in California: Knowing that Random Venal Interest was behind some shenanigans, I could safely skip the rest.

11:17 am • Monday • October 24, 2016

@SanFranLefty: @nojo: Our sole referendum this year concerns whether the District should petition Congress to become the State of Washington, D.C. (where D.C. stands for Douglass Commonwealth, as in Frederick Douglass). The Council recently nixed the previously suggested name, New Columbia, I suppose because it’s easier to just change the meaning of D.C. than to actually change the name itself.

12:25 pm • Monday • October 24, 2016

@mellbell: I don’t understand why they didn’t just go with Washington, S.C., as in State of Columbia. People here in the Northwest who normally would be supportive now have their fur up ’cause they feel possessive of the State of Washington name.

1:46 pm • Monday • October 24, 2016

@¡Andrew!: Hadn’t even thought about the potential for confusion from State of Washington vs. Washington State. But it’s incredibly rare to hear anyone use Washington without the D.C. outside of a political attack ad (e.g., “Washington insiders”), and most people here just say D.C. or the District (or the DMV for the metro area).

2:19 pm • Monday • October 24, 2016

@¡Andrew!: Washington, South Carolina?

3:19 pm • Monday • October 24, 2016

@mellbell: We generally refer to the nation’s capital as The Other Washington. We also have our own Capitol Hill in Seattle, which amusingly is the longtime epicenter of the state’s LGBTLMNOP queer counterculture.

@nojo: Just brainstorming a way to easily convey statehood–just think of the terrible strain it’ll be on people to change the name everywhere–however you make an excellent point. State of Columbia (CB?) makes more sense.

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