Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. The script of the United States may be playing out almost exactly as we thought it were in regards to the foreshadowing that was pretty clearly laid out by leaders and operatives of both parties for how election day would unfold. A night that had swings for both sides with the betting lines reflecting exactly that, Americans found themselves waking up the morning after the election with a race undecided and both parties still seeing a clear and just path to the 270 electoral votes they need.
First off, it’s funny how wrong the polls were. That is probably one of the biggest stories of the night considering both the Presidential and down ballot races yielded results that were widely off what the mainstream polls suggested. Before yesterday’s vote happened, people got blue in the face talking about how much more of a polling error there would need to be compared to 2016 in order for this race to be close, let alone Trump to win. Well, as of right now it is most definitely close and Trump still may win. The polling industry is going to need a great overhaul and figure out how to better understand the electorate regardless of who becomes the final winner of this race.
Obviously, what everyone will be talking about for the next week (probably much longer than that) will be who is actually the winner of the election and how we determine who received the most electoral votes to claim the White House. Both candidates spoke last night and Joe Biden, the challenger expressed confidence in his position and made a point to talk about how all the votes need to be counted. The latter of his statement was intentional and their main point of argument in the coming days, weeks, months, and maybe even years.
Donald Trump spoke a little over an hour later and basically declared victory of the election. He talked about large leads in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania where there was still outstanding votes, but he felt not statistically able to catch up to his totals. Pretty much everyone in the news and the states themselves have disputed that and none of those states were called last night. As of this morning Michigan and Wisconsin seem to have flipped blue. Wisconsin and Michigan have been called for Biden, but Trump has called for a recount in Wisconsin and a proposed lawsuit in Michigan. They are still very close.
Trump also said that he would be looking to take this election all the way up to the Supreme Court because he thinks there is some type of fraud going on. Is there necessarily proof of that? Not yet, but there are some statistical anomalies that raise questions and weird coincidences that could leave the door open for funny business. The 2020 election could most likely be decided in the courts. There’s a good chance it gets up to the Supreme Court.
Personally, I think to declare either person the winner right now is a little premature. This will be what was coined as the 79 days of Hell. Make sure to buckle in.
With lawyers coming in and results already being disputed, it will be imperative for both sides to maintain the image of their wins and how they see themselves as leader of the executive branch. The initial advantage will be whoever is first claimed the winner by the states and authorities, but again, there seems to be disputes already being lined up.
This will be a huge balancing act to pull off for both parties and each side has advantages and disadvantages to the fight. This is as much of a public relations battle as it is a legal battle.
I want to go through what I believe is a potential course of action for each candidate assuming this decision drags on over a lengthy period of time. I’d rather be wrong and hope a side concedes peacefully, but as of Trump’s most recent statements and tweets suggest, he will fight to the top.
If one of them wins in the next day or so then much of this will be meaningless. Let’s do it anyways:
Personally, I think the court of public opinion can be just as important as to who can be the President for the next 4 years then just how the SCOTUS ultimately decides. We heard throughout Trump’s first term how he was an illegitimate President, which was a lie. In 2000 Al Gore famously had to rescind his concession which hurt his image. So, now the tee is set up for both sides to claim fraud against the other and there will be evidence against each. This will be a full out legal and PR war. It’s really up to the candidates and parties themselves to fight for the acceptance of enough of the general public to accept either as President.
Again, to say that either candidate has won right now, I believe, is premature. Of course though as of 5pm on November 4, it is looking good for Joe Biden.
I think both candidates have a responsibility to act in a true unifying fashion to really convince people that they are the duly elected President. It will be a chess match of how to persuade the public in who should be in the White House for the next term. This is a volatile situation that can snowball quick. Pay attention to what everyone says because I can assure you it won’t just be Trump that says polarizing, false statements. De-escalation of even the tension is of utmost importance.
To be very clear, this for the idea of public opinion. The courts will ultimately need to make the decision in how these votes are counted and this could basically be a repeat of the 2000 election but across multiple states. We should all want the rule of law upheld. Because I believe in our judicial system, I will accept whatever results come about from them. That will be the legal decision, but again it will still be up to the public, in a very divided nation, to decide who they think is leading their government. In order to have a functioning government, people need to accept the results of what is to come.
This is in no way a call for violence or treason or anything of the like. I want to avoid a civil war. For either side. It’s just that we are at an inflection point where there will be evidence fogging the decision for both sides. It’s extremely flammable. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are going to operate in the next 79 days as if they are President and President-elect respectively. It will be extremely interesting to monitor both their actions and decisions in the coming weeks.
First for President Trump, it is important to remember that as he is still the President he still runs the government. Just because he may be in a “lame duck” session for the next ~3 months does not mean that he can’t govern and act as a President. With the GOP looking like they can retain the senate, this opens the door for Trump to actually get some things done in the next few weeks. If that happens with a legal victory in the courts, then he can springboard himself fairly strongly into his next term.
More specifically I’m referring to the coronavirus and potential stimulus deal that can come before the inauguration. Trump hinted the other day that a stimulus could happen regardless of this outcome. Providing Americans relief and giving them help as we steer towards potentially tumultuous times will get points for Trump from public approval. He can pass as much money in a stimulus package as he wants. He’s said he wants more than the $2.2trillion that was offered before and now that the senate doesn’t have their campaigns to worry about, he can convince them to go above and beyond. This puts Nancy Pelosi in a clear situation of either giving Trump a huge boost of public support or keeping resources away from the American people. It puts Joe Biden and the Democrats in a catch-22.
A vaccine could be released soon too. Hopefully both sides can see that this is a win for America and we can continue to fight through the pandemic. The problem with that, however, is states have already declared they won’t trust a vaccine released by the Trump administration even though it is FDA approved. The messaging on the virus and the public trust in a vaccine could potentially play a role in how people respond to what the legal battle decides. As I said last week, this is the initial step towards secession and the contested election only accelerates that. To say we don’t have some type of civil conflict going on, or at least brewing, is false. Just. a reminder, Bill Gates called the FDA the “gold standard” just a few months ago.
These I expect will be 2 very strong initiatives for Trump in showing that he is a President for all the people and that he rightfully won the vote and earned anotherm. In regards to physical actions, he has the advantage because of his incumbency. It will be up to him and his administration to take advantage of this and help those who need it. He will try to fight through the censorship and fake news in order to speak directly to people. This, of course, is also dependent that he gets enough votes to win the electoral college.
Obviously, I think he should do these things in good faith no matter what the result ends up. Transparency, truth, and freedom of information is what we all need right now. It’s what will keep everything together to as much of an extent as possible.
I’m sure from a more political approach Trump will look to further unbox the Hunter Biden scandal against the former Vice President. That story, whether Trump wins or loses, is probably not going away. Deservedly so; we should get answers. Then, Trump will also bring more awareness and pressure to the Durham Probe and try to show even more corruption by the establishment that wants Biden to win so badly.
Trump has a pretty good starting arsenal, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be an absolute, uphill dogfight to come to a conclusion on this thing.
For Biden on the other hand, it may be much more difficult to necessarily portray himself as the President and leader because of any real actions he can take. I think it’s most important for him to stay relevant and ensure that peace is maintained by his voters across the country. Thankfully, there wasn’t any widespread violence last night and that needs to keep up. People were expecting and preparing for chaos and so far it has been controlled to just the vote count. Regardless of what happens we can’t break out into what could easily snowball into civil war. If it seems like violent mobs of left wing voters are taking action in our cities, public trust in Biden could fade.
Joe Biden and the Democrats will preach that every single ballot collected needs to be counted, assuming that they help their case. It will be framed as a voter suppression fight claiming Trump and Republicans want to disenfranchise voters. Talking about the details of the actual votes, like when they were cast, when they were stamped, or if the signature matches the voter will not ever be mentioned. There have been anecdotal samples of electioneering. Democrats are already saying that counting every ballot cast gives them a win. Notice how they omit the word “legal” before ballot. They choose their words carefully.
The biggest advantage Joe Biden has right now is the mainstream media and big tech. I think there is nothing as clear as these institutions being Democrat leaning as the almost anxious, willingness to call Arizona for Biden and refusal to call Florida for Trump. Arizona still has a good amount of the vote outstanding. It’s very close. Why do they not want to count all those votes but make sure everything in PA, WI, and MI are done? The Trump campaign is extremely confident they are still alive in Arizona. Fox News I believe lost a ton of credibility with that call last night, even if they end up being right. No other network called AZ and them waiting for 97% of the vote to be counted in Florida revealed a strange approach that they would be taking. Networks were quick to call states for Biden and hesitant to announce for Trump. There hasn’t been transparency and as of right now those 11 electoral votes in Arizona seem very much up for grabs.
There is misinformation being sent all around by both sides, yet the prominent voices on the right seem to be the only ones getting flagged or censored. Matt Walsh has a tweet being so buried that it’s like a maze trying to get to the actual data point. Twitter is suppressing the ability to share it. To my knowledge, the fact that 138k votes were immediately just dumped to Biden in Michigan at 5am hasn’t been proven false. Does that mean it’s fraud? No, not exactly but it is strange and may need to be looked into.
Information needs to be as widely available as possible to the public in the coming weeks. The censorship is already out of control and we can really only expect it to get worse. It’s sad and not based in American values. Trust the American people to make decisions for themselves in regards to what is going to be an extremely complex story with multiple twists and turns. Big tech and the media are not the gate keepers of information and society. All Trump voters knew that he was going against these powerful institutions and this only brings that fight further along. The clear hypocrisy needs to be called out and addressed. If we continue to take these “experts” at their word then the polls would have been maybe close to accurate last night.
Also, when I say Joe Biden needs to stay relevant, what I mean by that is he cannot sink into the abyss of his basement and not be seen by people. He has to act like he prepping to be the leader of the country. He made a speech today. And whether the next few weeks includes announcing his transition team or potential cabinet positions, he needs to maintain at least the idea (or facade) that he is running the show. If he allows surrogates and pundits to do the speaking for him, then I don’t think people will not trust what is going on. Joe has to try to begin healing and unifying the country. Now that he won’t be talking about votes, maybe he’ll have to address the substance of what’s going on beyond just the coronavirus.
I thought it was smart of him to address the country relatively early last night and give his message of confidence. Even if it was premature and arguably inappropriate, he has to take the high ground initially vs. a guy like Trump. It might be dirty, but again it’s a chess move that Trump needed to respond to. A lot of people were still watching when Joe spoke. Trump waiting till after 2am when many went to bed opens the window for the media to show clips of the statement potentially taken out of context.
To be fair, there isn’t much to take out of context what he said. He thinks he won and believes that they will be basically “finding” ballots that magically all go to Joe Biden. To Trump’s credit, for better or worse, he has been raising this issue about mail in ballots for months and now we are actually going to have to talk about it. If the big tech autocrats don’t allow us to talk about it, though, then people may never accept these results. It will be the largest coordination of censorship possibly in the history of the planet. It’s scary to think about.
I don’t see how legacy media makes it through this. They are on their last legs. The trust in them is spiraling and they didn’t help their case last night. I’m not saying a fix is in, I’m just saying that when presented all the facts it becomes apparent that both sides may have a case and that’s why it will be challenged in court. On top of how this fight changes our government, it will also change how people use mediums to express their message. It’s time to sidestep the middle man.
Remember, this is probably going to be a long process. In 2000 the contested election lasted over a month. This time we have a reasonable timeline of 79 days. It will be hell. So dangerous for this country. I hope that it remains civil and that we can have real, decent conversations about what is going on and how we move forward. Neither side is going to quit and it will be a fight to the finish. This is another excruciating test to our democracy and I can only hope for the best.
Following a variety of news sources will be important and not putting too much stock into offhand tweets by random accounts. It’s important to try and get to the primary source of every detail.
It’s also important to believe your own eyes. One of the reasons I am happy that the actual vote is over is again proving how wrong the polls were. Everyone had this as a Democrat landslide. That clearly will not be the case. This is encouraging to me because when I saw the massive support being broadcast every night for Donald Trump it made me question whether he had a real chance or if my eyes were deceiving me. The demographic numbers that Trump drew in the election tackled the idea of his general mainstream reputation as well. It further reaffirms that everything you see/read online is not necessarily true.
Stay focussed over the coming weeks and don’t let this craziness fully absorb your life. It’s not that deep, regardless of what happens. I hope
For those who love history take a moment to zoom out and realize how significant this can be. Freedom will prevail, but it’s up to us to pave that path.