Don’t Let Nation Come Apart;
Next Election 2 Years Away
Not a great choice.
On the one hand, Donald John Trump, 74, the Republican incumbent, who made dramatic advances in China relations, trade, border security, Mideast peace and the economy in his first term, but whose erratic behavior, particularly in combatting COVID-19, has eroded support.
On the other hand, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., 77, the Democratic challenger, prepared for the presidency by 36 years as U.S. senator and eight as vice president, but whose frailty makes it very possible Kamala Harris, an unseasoned freshman U.S. senator, will succeed him in the next four years.
And because of their stark policy differences – on the economy, the environment and energy, taxation, all issues, really – and contrasting temperaments, most of us reading (or writing) this have made up our minds months or years ago, any endorsement seems irrelevant.
In New York State, the presidential outcome is predictable anyhow.
There are 5.8 million registered Democrats in the Empire State, compared to 2.7 million Republicans, and 159,355 independents. It’s a foregone conclusion Biden will win our 29 electoral votes.
(FYI, outside New York City, there’s more balance: 2.7 million Democrats to 2.3 million Republicans, and 362,178 independents.)
While the state’s voters, nonetheless, did elect a Republican governor, George Pataki, in 1994, 1998 and 2002, the state has supported all Democratic presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan (1980 and 1984).
So, at the presidential level, think what you might, but it’s settled: Joe Biden will win New York State’s 29 electoral votes on Nov. 3.
Then what? That’s more to the point.
There are active secession movements in California, Washington State and, in particular, Oregon. You may have seen recent reports questioning if its coastal progressive communities will accept a second Trump Administration. Meanwhile, there’s talk in the more conservative inland counties of merging into Idaho.
On the other end, segments of President Trump’s supporters are heavily armed, and the plot – foiled – to kidnap and “try” Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, indicates there’s nuttiness at each end of the spectrum.
Pick any book on the English Civil War (1642-1651). Then, as now, the problem was true believers who converted every policy disagreement into a moral conflict – good vs. evil.
Instead, let’s judge policies practically:
Do they work or don’t they? Can we expect politics, a craft dependent on compromise,
to lead us to the Promised Land?
As Nov. 3 comes and passes – subject, this year, to a perhaps weeks-long lag as absentee votes are counted and challenged – let’s remember this is only one election of many to date and many to come.
Whichever party loses the presidency, it will have another chance at it in 2024. Whichever controls the U.S. Senate and Congress, can lose it as soon as 2022.
All of us, let’s accept the outcome and continue to work toward, if not a perfect union, a more perfect union, one we can all be proud of.