Putting Off the Apocalypse


As I write this, Associated Press has called all the states and Joe Biden beat Donald Trump 306-232. And it also looks like we have a chance in the two Georgia Senate races.

This is good news. But we need to be honest. The future looks very bad indeed.

Reagan vs Trump

In 1980 Ronald Reagan ran for president with a very positive message: that conservatism was going to make us all much happier. It was bullshit of course. But the people were voting for something positive — something that would make their lives better.

I’m the first to point out that Reagan was the Trump of his time. Proportionally, Reagan harmed our country as much as Trump. But at that time, Republicans still believed that they could and should win majority support.

Right now the Republicans are not offering anything to the American people. They don’t need to. As bad as Trump was, he almost won re-election.

Razor-Thin Margin

As I write this, Biden won the popular vote by 6 million. And that will likely grow as the vote continues. That’s 52 percent of the popular vote (excluding third parties). But he won 57 percent of the Electoral College. What am I complaining about?

Trump would have been re-elected had he won Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. So let’s look at the number of votes Biden won those states by:


Let’s put this in context. This is roughly half the number of votes that Trump won by in 2016 and we all rightly noted that it was basically nothing.

What these numbers mean is that this country is every bit as in love with Trump as they ever were. In my darkest moments I think about how I might eventually retire elsewhere because I don’t want to die in a fascist country.

The System

Because of the American system, Republicans grew their numbers in the House of Representatives. And it is likely they will stay more or less where they are in the Senate. So there will be no fundamental changes to that American system. And this is very bad indeed.

By the time we have our next election, the states will be even further gerrymandered to the benefit of the Republicans. And we have a Supreme Court that will absolutely not stop them from doing that. At the same time, we can count on the Court to stop Biden from doing everything possible via executive action — something that a less-conservative Court was not willing to do to Trump.

It’s good that Biden won. It’s better than Trump having won. But things look very bleak. It looks like there will be Republican minority rule for a generation because half of America thinks the benefit of expressing their racism publicly is more important than fighting a pandemic and saving the economy.

Our only real hope is that the Republicans will, as usual, do such a bad job governing that they throw it back to the Democrats. But that’s just at the national level. States like Michigan and Pennsylvania are still controlled by Republicans because of their 2010 election gerrymandering. And now they get to do it again!

Brace Yourself

So I think things are really really bad. Access to abortions will be gone within a couple of years. I had thought Obamacare would be gone next year with nothing to replace it, but it looks like some conservatives on the Court are exhausted by this issue. (But don’t count them out!)

In a fundamental sense, America is exceptional. We have an exceptionally bad anti-democratic system largely the result of slavery. And we still have huge numbers of white people who think the only racial problem in this country is that they aren’t given special privileges for being white. Hopefully, this will change. But there’s no indication that it will.

The Republican party has fully embraced authoritarianism. And even if people like Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio had not embraced it, the base would have demanded it. Forty percent of this country is made up of authoritarians.

Brace yourself. This is going to get bad.

Image by ArtTower via Pixabay. I cropped it.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

11 thoughts on “Putting Off the Apocalypse

  1. Wow, good picture. One thing I’ve learned from sportswriting is, you pick a good picture, that writes the lead for you. The beat photographer at Twins home games is outstanding; away games, it’s hit-or-miss.

    Since Democrats almost certainly won’t have the Senate, it’s time to straight propose some things that can’t pass, just to make Republicans go on record as opposing them. One no-brainer I can think of is abortion. Make it the law of the land. It’s been a judicial loophole for almost 50 years now. Right-wing evangelicals already think Democrats are all baby killers, no part of Clinton’s “safe, legal and rare” will change their opinion. So just own it. But push for all free contraceptives while you’re at it. Heck, condoms are expensive! Propose making those free, some fundamentalists will holler, but you’ll get the “horny guy” vote. Not a small number of horny gals, too.

    • I’ll believe it when it’s over but the party of stupid/evil seems to be trying to own goal/fall on grenade in the GA Senate runoff. I’m raw and spent and just keeping my drink full and my own house in order.

      • Yes, definitely, booze is necessary right how. And some home vacuuming, although I’ve been neglectful on that front.

        I’ve always thought Trump isn’t 100% gone until the Secret Service ushers him out the door. Keep in mind, he appointed three Supremes, and two more will rule for anybody with an “R” behind their name.

        Booze and housecleaning. I have kept up with wiping off doo-doo stains from toilets, that’s at least something.

      • Yeah, I don’t know if this is going to mean anything for the final vote. But I love to see it — especially since it’s been a problem on the left for a while.

    • I’m not sure how well that would work. Although Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of reproductive rights, they don’t much vote on it. More broadly, however, I’m sure conservatives will continue their push to outlaw contraceptives. Regardless how they go on about the fetus, this has never been about “life.” And the fact that they hate the Pill shows what it is really all about.

      • Something Dan Savage has pointed out for years is that if conservatives overturn Roe, overturn gay marriage, they’re not gonna stop. They’ll keep going until they can reinstate the Comstock laws. Or the Puritan codes of 1600.

        I don’t always agree with Savage (and on one particular bit of sex advice, I found him to be dead wrong), but he’s a good writer. His book “The Kid” about the obstacles to adopting is funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and ended up with me in happy tears.

        • I’ve been saying for decades that if the right out-laws abortion, they will go after birth control. And then I was proved wrong; they didn’t even wait that long! This is absolutely correct, however. Despite what they say, their opposition to abortion has nothing to do with protecting life. Fundamentally, it is about cultural signaling. The bad people have abortions and the good people don’t (except when their daughters or girl-friend need one or just when it’s inconvenient).

  2. I thing I just thought about, and I do have to credit Trump for — how do you cheat construction guys, in Jersey, for decades, and not have your ass thoroughly kicked? Who cares if you’re rich; you’re definitely dealing with some mobbed-up dudes. That’s just not a thing I’d ever advise anybody to do. Like getting in a snow-shoveling contest with a Minnesotan. It’s possible you could win, but it’s highly unlikely. If it were me, I wouldn’t stiff Jersey construction guys.

    • Could that mean that he has friends in the mob? He talks like a mobster in film. And my understanding is that the films have had a profound effect on how people in the mob talk. But if Trump were whacked by a drywall contractor, I’d be fine with it.

        • This reminds me: Elizabeth messaged me on Twitter wondering if I didn’t know that Trump has connections to the Russian mob. I’m not sure if I do. There is certainly a lot of evidence that points to. But I try to be more careful. Although truthfully, it’s more pathetic if he’s just a wannabe.

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