Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Day After

It’s been four days since the second debate and Trump’s decision to go scorched earth has netted him a total of two points. When paired with the fallout from the Access Hollywood video, he is trailing Clinton by 9 points in the latest polling with just under four weeks to go before the election. As things stand now, she still has a solid lead in the all-important battleground states. If the election were held today, she would win with 340 electoral votes. And while, if I were team Clinton, I would resist the urge to do a victory lap, it’s looking more and more like the election is hers to lose.

And that leads me to my greatest concern: the day after the election. What happens on November 9 to all those Trump supporters, like the woman who said she’s “ready for a revolution,” if Hillary wins the presidency? How are they going to take defeat? More importantly, what happens if Trump, himself, doesn’t concede? We could be looking at a Constitutional crisis that would make Bush v. Gore look like a pinky swear gone bad.

We've never seen anything like this in the history of the country. The nominee of a major political party not just suggesting, but flat out stating, that the election has been rigged before it's even held, and that the only way he can lose is if certain people - you know, those people - vote more than once. His call to place "monitors" at polling sites is straight out of the Nazi playbook.

And the worst thing about all this is how he's managed to create an alternate reality for himself. The polls? Don't believe them. His own party? A bunch of weak-kneed traitors. The media? They're nothing but lackeys for Clinton. In Donald Trump's universe, everyone is out to get him. I swear, there are mental patients at Bellevue that aren't this paranoid. Unshackled? Try unhinged! Or how about we just put Donald in a straight jacket and be done with it?

With less than four weeks to go before voters go to the polls, Trump isn't merely a loose canon; he's an entire platoon. He sounds more like Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now than a candidate for the office of President of the United States. Forget his misogyny and his racism, I think the guy is bat-shit crazy. Seriously, when Glen Beck is the one calling you on the carpet, you haven't just gone over the edge, you've disappeared into the abyss.

I'm really scared about this. Think about it. Hillary Clinton is likely going to inherit the keys to the kingdom and there's a very strong probability that 40 percent of the country will not accept her. Even worse: depending on how bad Trump loses, the entire GOP might spend the next four years making the last eight look like a glee club. Not only won't she be able to govern, but her whole presidency will be undercut and undermined by the alt-right, which will stop at nothing to make her life a living hell. If you thought things were bad now, just wait until January.

And then there's Russia. It is now crystal clear that the Russians were behind the hacked emails from both the DNC and the Clinton campaign. For the most part the revelations from those emails have been more embarrassing than damaging. But intelligence officials are growing more and more concerned that an attempt might be made to hack into some of the voting machines on election day. I doubt Putin would want Trump to win, as some have suggested. He's a despot, he's not crazy. But if he could produce a situation where Hillary won a narrow decision - say 272 electoral votes - that could play right into his hands. A crippled Clinton Administration would allow him to get away with murder in the Ukraine, perhaps even the Baltics.

I actually do not know how we get out of this looming disaster. It's like watching a movie on the Titanic. You know what's about to happen, yet there's nothing you can do to prevent the inevitable. The Republican Party may have created this monster we know as Trump, but come November 9, they and the entire nation will have to contend with his unholy offspring. 

In the words of Stevie Wonder, Heaven help us all.

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