Monday, December 18, 2017

Let’s not presume that Trump and his political ilk are beaten quite yet

I’m just as eager as anybody else who was appalled by the 2016 presidential victory of Donald J. Trump to believe that the electorate will come to its senses and dump Trump the first chance it gets.
Alabama provided nation with encouraging boost

But knowing what I do of the quirks of electoral politics makes me realize there are so many things that can occur that can throw the whole process out of whack. Consider that Trump “won” despite getting some 3 million votes less than his Democratic opponent.

WHILE I GOT some joy (shock was more the truthful reaction I felt) from the electoral victory last week of Douglas Jones, a federal prosecutor, over right-wing crackpot judge Roy Moore for a U.S. Senate seat from Alabama, I’m trying not to get too overly optimistic about there being any lasting political trend.

Particularly all the talk about how the African-American vote, particularly from black women, were the key to Jones’ victory.

I don’t doubt the black vote was significant in keeping Moore and his “10 Commandments” kick from becoming a part of the U.S. Senate. Exit polls showed black voters went in excess of 90 percent in support for Jones. Largely because they detested the idea of a Trump-type getting elected to yet another government post.

Some are already speculating that similar turnouts in future election cycles will further undermine the influence of those people who think Trump should be taken literally when he wears his silly red “Make America Great Again” cap.

WHAT I FEAR could happen is that those people will feel motivated to make sure they turn out in force in future election cycles.

As it is, we’ve already seen from 2016 that they can win even if a majority of people want somebody else. This is the “46 percent” president we’re talking about.

For all I know, those people who think there was a past version of this country that was an ideal that we’ve got away from, the lesson they may want to learn from the Alabama special election is that the black vote needs to be controlled.
Alabama election just another step, and not the whole journey, to a progressive future
Either overwhelmed by a white vote, or perhaps they fantasize of the days when things such as poll taxes and other racially-motivated tactics kept people who couldn’t be counted on to vote reliably from actually being able to cast ballots.

MY POINT IS that I expect a backlash from that element of society who seriously believed Roy Moore and his desire for teenage girls was somehow more in line with moral values than any possible Democratic Party candidate.

They’re going to go about thinking that Moore was deprived of what should have rightfully been his seat in the U.S. Senate. This was the man whom polls showed leading by about 22 percent until the tales of his involvement with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32 became publicly known. He wound up losing by about 1.5 percent.

Just as they’re going to go about thinking that Trump’s victory was the salvation of our society, no matter how many stupid and nonsensical things he says or does while in public office.

I suspect the people who voted for Trump will go to their graves convinced they did right for all of us – even if we, the majority of society, are too ignorant to appreciate that fact.
Would Barry Goldwater have been offended by Moore?

SO WHEN I think of upcoming elections, I’m keeping in mind that it ultimately turns out to be an issue of turnout.

It becomes a matter of which campaign can get its followers most worked up to show up at the polling place on Election Day to cast their ballots.

As for the black vote in Alabama, it was good to see that segment of the electorate (as much as 77 percent turnout in heavily-black counties) decide to make a priority of voting.

But if we’re going to truly restore some sense of sanity to our society, it’s going to take a strong turnout from many more segments that make up our masses to overcome that outspoken minority that wishes we still lived in the 19th Century.


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