Let’s just go over the past few days.
Last Thursday, to cap off an endlessly nauseating Republican National Convention, Donald held a COVID super-spreader extravaganza right there on the South Lawn, having branded the White House in pretty much the manner envisioned by numerous political cartoonists back when this all started (Amy Klobuchar’s brilliant tweet: Get off of our lawn). He pretty much anointed himself Emperor, while revelling in a massive transgression of federal laws prohibiting the use of government resources for political campaign purposes.
He continued to lie and rant all weekend, while he and his gang of media propagandists persisted with the insane argument that the nation is descending into chaos because that’s what would happen if Donald wasn’t President, and America today is not safe, so vote Trump to keep America safe. Always happy to incite violence, on Monday Donald had good things to say about the 17 year old kid who took his AR-15 out after curfew amid the mass protests in Kenosha Wisconsin, looking for trouble, and wound up killing two people. The president figured it looked like self-defence. Good kid, seems like.
Eager to hide the extent to which the Russians continue to interfere in US politics to get him re-elected (scary thought: doesn’t it make sense that the grubby fingerprints of the FSB and GRU are all over the QAnon cult?), Donald then had his Director of National Intelligence tell Congress that there won’t be any more briefings on election security. This is illegal, but whatever. Thus will Trump’s minions in what’s left of the US intelligence apparatus avoid the aggravation suffered last week by Postmaster General Louis Dejoy, who looked, aptly enough, like a smug, smirking imbecile as he dodged questions from a House Committee on what he’s doing to destroy the post office as part of Donald’s larger scheme to cheat his way back into the Oval.
Then, having already destroyed the CDC, FDA, and NIH, Donald finished the process of turning his back on the epidemiologists and called in one Scott Atlas, a radiologist (!) and sometime Fox News personality, to more or less take over from Dr. Fauci. Atlas is a known advocate of herd immunity as the answer to the pandemic – that is, let’s just stop all this pussy-footing, let nature take its course, and get the two million deaths out of the way so we can get back to going to movies and restaurants. Why not? When you cut through the embroidery, that was kind of the policy all along anyway (see South Lawn super-spreader event, above). All the while, the metronomic clicking of the official COVID Death Counter more or less faded into the background, as no particular fuss attended the news that fatalities blew past the 180,000 mark, while total infections broke the six million barrier.
Oh, also, unemployment remained at over 10%, and the various benefits Congress had authorized to keep millions of people afloat amid the pandemic’s economic devastation ran out.
There’s more! There’s always more! I won’t even get into it!
So all of this is going on, like it’s always going on, like it’s been going on since January 2017, and against this backdrop of violence, civic unrest, mass death, economic collapse and relentlessly breathtaking corruption at the top, the idiot in charge is running for re-election, becoming the only President ever to attempt as much after being impeached. Another first! And here’s the thing: in the latest polls, anywhere from six to eight percent of “likely voters” remain undecided as between Trump and Biden. No sir, they just don’t know. Hard to say, without hearing more. Can’t really express a preference.
Now you’d think that after all this shit, there can be only two possibilities: either you’re a slobbering, unreasoning, Fox News-watching sack of half-congealed protoplasm brainwashed by Tucker Carlson into joining Trump’s personality cult, or you’re so sickened, enraged, and terrified at every aspect of the Trump Presidency that honestly, you wish the six foot picnic ham would wander off in the wrong direction the next time he goes to board Air Force One, and wind up getting sucked into a turbofan. Well, OK, maybe a third possibility, a category we might label Coma/Unconscious/Could Not Respond. But how could you be awake, reasonably alert and aware of your surroundings, determined to vote come November, oh you betcha, and still be undecided?
Can you imagine being the grunt from Gallup wielding the clipboard, standing there in the doorway when the guy comes back with “I’m undecided”? I can just hear myself – Have I gone mad, or did you say “undecided”? You’d want to slap him upside his stupid head. After three and a half years, what do you still need to see, you quivering pinhead? What might help you form an opinion? What if he declared all cats to be Democrats and drowned kittens in a ceremony held each Friday on the Truman Balcony? Would that do the trick? Suppose he just hauled off and punched a female reporter in the face at the next Medal of Freedom ceremony – would that supply a couple of the missing pieces for you? Suppose it was while he was bestowing the Medal of Freedom on Bernie Madoff? Who’s Bernie Madoff? Did you just ask “Who’s Bernie Madoff”??
I used to have conversations with friends in which I’d insist that sooner or later, people would wake up and smell the crapola. Look, I’d say, you can’t tell an out of work coal miner that he has a job, which he doesn’t, because Donald brought back coal, which he didn’t, and you can tell he didn’t because the mine is still closed. You can’t tell farmers that agriculture is going great guns when China just tariffed your soybean crop right into the crapper and you’re about to lose the land handed down to you by your Daddy, and his Daddy before him. You can’t tell people they got a tax break when it kept coming right off the top of their paycheques, just like usual. You can’t tell some poor slob who can’t get health insurance that you fixed the health care issue, and now no matter what he thinks he actually does have health insurance. Just like you can’t claim that the current fiasco is the fault of the next President, unless the next President is you, in which case there is no fiasco.
But you can. You can.
There’s this mythology that used to surround the fabled “swing voter”, the “independent” who might not make up his or her mind until actually entering the polling booth. Such voters must be the sage ones among us, the thinkers who weigh the issues and consider all the angles. You can tell they’re smart because their minds aren’t made up yet. So much to consider!
Yeah. Except sadly, as is by now all too clear, the undecided swing voter is actually a low-information moron who doesn’t know jack about anything, and isn’t even sentient enough to be duped by the lying liars on Fox. Not even QAnon gets through to these idiots. Even a raging white bigot who marches with tiki torches and believes that Hillary’s pedophilia ring is what killed Chuck E. Cheese can at least pick a side. Not the Undecideds, though. They aren’t paying attention. Yet apparently these knuckleheads do cast their ballots. Come election day, you can break down the numbers and tell which way they voted. God only knows how they make up their minds. Maybe they don’t, not really. Maybe they just put a mark in what looks to be a proper spot, and don’t actually know who they picked – but they voted, by God, that’s the point. They did their civic duty.
Biden’s ahead of Trump, for now, but when you look at the numbers, the striking thing is that he’s almost never above 50%. It’ll be something like Biden 49, Trump 42, and the rest “undecided”.
64 days to go.