WHILE WE WAIT:
DREAMS ABOUT WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN;
& STILL COULD BE.
“And now, it’s a long night,” Mr. O said.
“So, where are we?” I asked.
“Still waiting,” Mr. O said.
“Still hoping,” I said.
It was way beyond the time when Mr. O, the wunder-opossum of politics and I usually wrap up our state-of-the-nation discussions for the day.
However, the networks had “special reports” at 10 p.m., perhaps hoping they’d be able to call the election, and promote Joe Biden from former vice president to future president-to-be.
But there was no certainty, as they began.
Biden was “leading” in the electoral college count, 253 to 214 for Trump.
If you went to some websites, Biden had been moved up to 264 votes, with the Masters-of-the-Electoral-Maps throwing in Arizona’s 11 votes, bringing Biden within 6 tantalizing, so, so, soooo electoral votes close to the magical 270 that would make him the winner.
But the Associated Press, the networks, the Times and the Post, were all holding back Arizona, trying to play strictly by the rules of certainty, while at the same time hinting, hinting, HINTING that sooner or later, Biden would get Arizona, plus Nevada (11 votes) and/or Pennsylvania (20) and maybe even Georgia (16)
And that would be that.
And we both sensed the cold despair shooting through our exhausted bodies, the awful feeling that it was possible that 17 votes, or just 6 votes, would be as close as Biden would get to calling the White House home.
That Trump somehow would snatch it all back, confounding the same experts who’d been so sure that Biden would sweep into the White House, and the Democrats would retake the Senate and expand their hold on the House.
Which didn’t happen on Election Day. Nor the day after; and so far not the night after.
Would our hearts be broken again? Just like 2016, tossing us into to perpetual nervousness, anxiousness and bewilderment every single day – not so much as a weekend off – for the next four years.
But not yet.
Hope still was in the air.
WHILE WE WAITED, there was lots and lots of stupid talk, some of it originating from yours truly and the Honorable Mr. 0.
Like how, even if Biden won, he still would be dogged by Trump and his millions and millions of followers.
Nasty people, every one them. Bigots. Environmental criminals. Covid-19 super-spreaders. Immigrant-haters. Anti-vaxxers. Grifters. Misogynists. Incompetents. Sycophants.
And how disappointing it all was.
Can you imagine? Maine brought back Susan Collins, the phoniest of all “moderate” Republicans, for a fifth term in the Senate, so she could once again consider voting against her party, unless, upon reflection, she decided it’s better to vote with her party.
So few of us, smart, principled, caring people.
After four years, you’re still in a room, and half the people hate you. Look to your left; look to your right; you're surrounded by people who mean you actual harm. What’s got into them? Will we ever know? Do they know?
BUT HOLD ON!
Let’s clear away some of the silly talk. (Why do liberals always act like this? They’re – we’re – such whiners. No wonder nobody likes us).
First, if we’re going to get into Us-Vs-Them, there are more “Us’s”.
Biden voters numbered 71.6 million, or 50.5 percent; Trumpsters, 68 million, or 48 percent.
We know. We KNOW. It’s the weirdo electoral college system that counts. But that’s a flaw. Joe Biden should be president on winning 50.5 percent of the vote, which is what you’d expect from a democracy. Wouldn’t you be ashamed to be president, knowing your opponent got more votes?
Secondly, it’s hard to beat an incumbent president. Not impossible, of course. But it’s hard. So, we’ve actually done that. Or we almost have.
And how about this?
The country may be split almost down the middle, but what we could call the “Biden Coalition” has been a pretty united crew of people, who have been able to put a lot of personal grievances and preferences aside for the greater good, and that’s a hard thing to do.
There've been a fair number of Republicans willing to work, even vote, for the Democrat; a fair amount of conservatives voting progressive; a fair amount of liberals sticking with Middle-of-the-Road Joe. Lot of Black voters helping out White voters, knowing their rewards historically have been few, and always a lot less than they deserve, and that's happened in the past, especially when there was a war or an election to be won.
And finally, let’s not sell President Biden short, if we get to call him that.
There’s a lot of good that he can do in the next four years.
It’s one thing that Trump has proved: leadership counts. When you have a terrible leader, you can get a lot of people to do terrible things. If you get a decent leader, a lot of people will do decent things.
SO, LET’S keep our hopes up.
Maybe we’ll wake up in the morning, with a new president just a couple of months away from taking office.
Maybe not. In that case, more people voted for the right guy than the wrong one. And they aren’t going anywhere.
“So, get a good night’s sleep, Phoebe.”
“Sweet dreams to you, Mr. O.”
It always starts with a dream.