Election Day edition
AFTER 2-YEAR WAIT,THINKING POSITIVELY ABOUT THE MIDTERMS
“If I say ‘Yes,’ does that lower or increase the odds of the Democrats winning (or losing) the House in the midterms?” he asked. “And what if I answer ‘No?’ ”
“I can’t answer that,” I said.
“Why? ‘Cat asked.
“Because I don’t want to jinx the outcome,” I said.
“Good point, Phoebe,” Cat said. “This is no time to take chances.”
“Everyone seems to be thinking the same way,” I said. “The press people are jumpy. First they tell us the signs are that the Democrats are going to win, then they pull back and say, ‘Heck, remember two years ago?”
The Washington Post had something just to that effect yesterday by Aaron Blake:
According to projections, Democrats are a strong favorite to win the night’s big prize: this time, the House. As 2016 showed us, though, taking strong odds and reading them as guarantees can make you look awfully dumb.
“Dumb is bad,” Cat said.
Cat and I looked at each other, as if we had the same thought: Not only are we afraid of jinxing the election by having happy thoughts, but lots of others are scared of looking dumb, being wrong, and most of all, being disappointed.
“We’ve stopped hoping,” I said to Cat.
“Maybe we should be thinking about all the good things that could happen,” Cat said.
“A daring idea,” I said.
- Trump will be discredited and humiliated, maybe begin to lose support, even from Republicans. (Last part, admittedly, a bit of magical thinking).
- He’ll be vulnerable in 2020.
- The Constitutional balance of power will be partially restored, with the House able to veto or block some, maybe most, of Trump’s worst ideas.
- Treatment of immigrants, transgender people, African-Americans could improve as The Wall fades away as another stupid idea.
- The War on Science: over.
- The War on Climate Change: back on track.
- Demonization of the press: Be Nicer to Reporters becomes a national holiday.
- People feeling better. Getting more sleep. Having better digestion. Being kinder to their kids. (And pets).
- Obamacare: saved. Possibly improved. Thousands won’t die for lack of medical care.
- Trump’s central philosophy, that Americans are driven by fear, bigotry and hatred: out the window. People care that their country is built on tolerance, diversity, inclusion.
Grouchy said Rhode Island is where religious freedom took root. One of the state’s founders, Roger Williams, who was driven out of Massachusetts for his religious beliefs, envisioned a state that welcomed many religions.
Indeed, in just a half-hour’s walk, we passed a Catholic church, Saint Mary’s Parish, established in 1828. It’s where Jacqueline and John Kennedy were married in 1953; Kennedy later became the country’s first Catholic president.
We went to the Great Friends Meeting House, created by Quakers in 1699, oldest surviving place of worship in Rhode Island. Trinity Church, 1726, an Episcopal church with a pew where a visiting George Washington sat. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1806, where a sign proclaimed it’s the world’s oldest Methodist church “with a steeple and bell.” United Baptist Church (1638). The Community Baptist Church, which has a largely black congregation. Newport Congregational Church, 1859. And Channing Memorial Church, with a Unitarian congregation dating back to 1835.
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
The American flag outside Touro Synagogue was at half-mast, I presumed in honor of the 11 persons slaughtered in a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27 by an anti-Semitic gunman, an incident that many people believe was a predictable byproduct of Trump’s hate campaign.
“There’s a lot riding on the election,” I said.
“And a lot to look forward to,” Cat said.