It’s easy to make assumptions in all areas of life. Back in 2016, many people who opposed DJT assumed he could never win and so didn’t vote at all. Who would vote for a racist, narcissistic tv personality and real estate developer except other racist developers?
Even today, people might assume they know what will happen in some of the elections. For example, we might assume a Democratic incumbent Governor in New York, Kathy Hochul, will easily defeat a GOP challenger who still repeats lies about the 2020 election and opposes abortion rights for women. But according to FiveThirtyEight, Governor Hochul holds, now, only a 6 point advantage in polls. 6 points is wonderful, but in New York I’d expect it to be more.
According to Quinnipiac, crime is the most often cited issue in the New York election and the GOP are supposedly winning that issue. Is that reporting and polling accurate? Republicans have been using it to drown out the tides of anger about their program of taking away a woman’s right to control her own healthcare, right to abortion, and family planning, or anger about the GOP assault on voting rights and democracy.
The Jan. 6 investigation revealed that DJT not only incited but tried to lead the Jan. 6 assault on our nation. Since then, there’s been a record rise in attacks on members of Congress. On Friday, 10/28, a follower of DJT, inspired by lies and hate speech against Democrats, broke into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home, and assaulted her husband with a hammer. Then Fox disinformation media host Jesse Watters suggested the suspected attacker, who fractured Mr. Pelosi’s skull, should be released from jail, because “people get hit by hammers all the time.”
The GOP leader not only incited an attack on the US Congress, but consistently acted to undermine the rule of law. States under their control suffer more violent crime than states led by Democrats. So, for them to try to pretend to care about the rule of law or stopping crime (except when it’s directed at them) or for anyone in the media to support their claim is laughable.
Even now, the GOP are calling on people to use the threat of violence to intimidate voters, as in Arizona where armed followers of DJT’s lies are trying to frighten voters from putting their ballots in drop boxes. The GOP are purposefully de-stabilizing society by undermining community feeling and trust, creating fear, and inciting hate in the form of racism against black, brown, and Asian-Americans, anti-Semitism, hate of LGBTQ+ people and others.
When we feel we have little or no power or are hurting, we might assume we know what we don’t know. The realm of what we don’t know is always infinitely larger than what we do know. We use the illusion of knowing what will happen to bury our anxiety in the face of an unknown and possibly frightening future.
But this tactic can make the situation worse in at least two ways. It can foster delusion and interfere in our taking action, in voting, for example, and thusly contribute to creating the very situation we fear. It’s better for our sanity to take considered action, be kind to ourselves, and learn a lesson many of us are doing our best to learn: how to comfortably live with uncertainty and not-knowing.
And, according to Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, in her book Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good For You (Even Though It Feels Bad), it is better for our emotional well-being and sense of personal strength if we respond to anxiety, when we can, with awareness and curiosity. Anxiety can provide both information, that we care about the future, and motivational energy to work for the future we desire.
We not only can’t assume who will win an election; we can’t assume the election will be over when the polls close, or we’ll get the results before the end of election day. Or that the legal looser will concede or accept what the voters decided. DJT and his party are planning beforehand how to challenge election results, doing all they can to undermine a fair election. They are stripping Democrats and Independents from local election boards and planning to use state Attorneys General or state legislatures to interfere in the accurate counting of ballots. We need to be prepared for this.
And as Michael Moore and others have pointed out, we can’t trust corporate (and certainly not DJT) media. For example, one of the best corporates, the New York Times, had an article on 10/27 with the first line, “President Biden is unpopular everywhere.” And then goes on to talk about 4 districts showing mounting GOP support. Only later do they mention that Democrats lead in all 4 districts.
Moore points out these media outlets try to scare us with polls showing GOP closing in on Democrats and fail to report: that “wages are up, unemployment is at the lowest in half a century, more jobs have been created during this presidency than any other president in their first two years, inflation has slowed, the economy grew 2.6% last quarter, and everyone on Social Security is going to get a whopping 8.7% increase in their monthly checks in the coming year.” And evidence shows a possible blue tsunami– if we vote.
DJT and his party cry that fair, legal elections are unfair and fraudulent despite there being no evidence of it. They do this not only to try to win when they’ve lost, but so they can undermine trust in democratic processes. They yell lies about Democrats committing fraud so they themselves can be obvious in committing fraud, like DJT calling Georgia AG Brad Raffensperger to “find him 11,780 votes.”
They lie about an election being stolen from them so they can replace the truth with lies and steal the election process itself. And when they’re called on it, it then becomes a matter of “whose truths will you believe.” Facts are equated with obvious untruths so they will no longer be believed by many.
They gained access to voting machines after the 2020 election so who knows what they might do on November 8th or in 2024 with the information they seized.
The best remedy for theft is numbers of people being present, in person or remotely with cameras; caring for our neighbors so they’ll care for us; and in leaving lights on. The best way to protect an election, to protect democracy, is with numbers; is for everyone who can turn on the lights with information, who can help GOTV⎼ who can volunteer to watch over polling places and the counting of ballots⎼ to do so.
And VOTE. Vote so the future we need, a more just, democratic, and caring nation can be created; and our lives, rights, freedom, and safety can be protected.
This Post is republished on Medium.
Photo credit: iStock