The U.S. presidential election of 2020

trump biden and the presidential election of 2020

My blog was never intended to be a political one; I’ve never endorsed any candidate over any other one. But this particular election has been — shall we say — unusual enough that an analysis of it is called for. I will simply state what I’ve learned and let the reader draw their own conclusions.

Trump’s comeback

Former Senator (and now President-elect) Joe Biden enjoyed a strong lead in pre-election polls across the United States. Yet as the 3 November 2020 election day rolled around, his lead narrowed considerably. Although Biden won both the popular and electoral votes, it was a real cliff-hanger of an election — with many voters caring deeply about the outcome. So why was President Donald Trump able to close the gap as much as he did? I saw a big list of “reasons why” on the internet; the size of the list was a sure sign that nobody really has a clue. So instead, let me give you three reasons of my own:

Trump is a master persuader

According to Scott Adams book, Win Bigly, President Trump won the 2016 election not so much because he was the better candidate, but because his weapons-grade persuasion skills were able to “flip” enough voters to give him his win.

Trump has a loyal core of supporters

Trump has been using a formula that has been used by strong leaders throughout history. Choose a subset of your population — such as those of a particular race — and make them your favored group. Shower them with governmental benefits and receive their support in return. The unfavored groups of course won’t like it, but with enough support from the favored few, that won’t much matter.

The economy

The third reason is the American economy. Employment is up while taxes are down — a sure formula for popularity. But these were just continuations of trends that started during the Obama Administration.

Besides, it’s always possible to turbocharge a national economy with enough deficit spending. So why don’t all countries do this, all the time? Because doing so always comes back to bite you, like Greece in the 2010’s, Argentina around 2000, and Germany in the 1920’s. Yet the pain always comes a few years later, tempting leaders to deficit spend now and leave the damage for the next administration.

But even economic sorcery was not enough to stem the effect of the Coronavirus. The U.S.A’s handling of the virus was a confused mess, enough so that the economy had to be shut down anyway, and more so than if the problem were addressed earlier.

But Trump hasn’t conceded

It’s customary after an election for one candidate to admit defeat and give their congratulations to the winner, express hope that they can work together for the good of the people, and — implied — that we’ll try this all again in a few years. Yet Trump has refused to do this, sparking rumors that he will just refuse to leave when his term is over.

On 8 November 2020, former U.S. President George W. Bush called President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations and best wishes for their administration. I couldn’t help but get the feeling that because Trump refused to concede, that Bush was having to do it for him — so that Trump’s stubbornness wouldn’t spill over and taint the rest of the Republican party.

This episode has given me the inspiration to write the following short story, which may or may not be indicative of the actual situation:

Poppa George: What’s all this fighting about?
Joey: Donny won’t give me my ball!
Donny: But I won it fair and square!
Poppa George: But son, Joey got more points than you. 306 points. That means he won.
Donny: But I would have won if he hadn’t cheated!
Poppa George: I’m sorry Donny is behaving so badly. He’s always been a sore loser.
Donny: Are you apologizing for me? That just makes it look like I’ve been bad. I’m not bad, he’s bad. He should apologize to me and tell me I won!

Aunt Amy: What’s going on here?
Donny: Aunt Amy! (Runs over to her and gives her a hug.) Joey cheated!
Aunt Amy: I’ve been watching carefully and I didn’t see any cheating.
Donny: But aunt Amy! You’ve always been my favorite aunt. I’ve been nice to you!
Aunt Amy: Yes you have, dear. But you’ve been mean to other members of the Par– I mean family. Like your uncles Marco, Ted,
Joey: Don’t forget my aunt Hillary!
Poppa George: and my brother Jeb!
Aunt Amy: Yes Donny, you have been good to me. And I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life. But I have to think of the other members of the family. If I’m going to be loyal to anyone, it’s to the family, and not just you. I have to make my own choices now, and do what’s best for everybody.
Joey: Give me my ball!
Donny: Waaah!

Was there any election fraud?

Any discarded ballots, altered ballots, people voting twice, dead people voting once, things like that? With all the threat of lawsuits challenging the results, this election was conducted under a microscope, and it was found to be very clean.

If there were any shenanigans during the election it was in the form of trying to disqualify legally submitted mail-in ballots. For example, attempting to deny ballots received after election day, even if they were postmarked on or before. This sort of thing, of course, was not done by the Democrats.

Court challenges?

Three of the U.S. Supreme Court justices were nominated by President Trump himself, with another three already leaning towards the conservative side. When push comes to shove, will they support Donald Trump? Perhaps, but the way things are looking now, they are more likely to support mainstream Republicans rather than the Trumpist faction. With many high-ranking Party members feeling rather embarrassed by the president’s behavior, many would prefer to let Trump quietly pass in the night and return to the traditional rules of political competition.

The plans of the new administration

Biden has already released his agenda for his upcoming term, covering a wide range of topics from climate change to rejoining WHO. If I were ever to have the opportunity to give him advice I would simply say, don’t try to do everything at once. Take it one step at a time, and don’t create sudden economic disturbances. But there is one item not on his list that he ought to give priority — election reform. Without that, nothing else he does will have any lasting effect.


Elections are far too automated in the United States. Votes counted manually are a better guarantee against fraud and corruption. While an individual poll worker can be bribed, giving the favored candidate a few dozen more unearned votes, workers can’t be hacked like a computer can, falsifying 10,000 to 100,000 votes or more.

A manual vote counting system is more expensive. Where I live, for every 100 voters or so, they have one election worker. Defending an honest democracy does not come cheap.

How not to have to leave the White House when your term is over

President Trump has made clear his intention to not leave the Oval Office on 20 January 2021. Perhaps this is all a smokescreen so that when he does leave, on schedule, it will make whatever he does do instead of holding on to power seem mild by comparison.

He has declined to facilitate the usual transition proceedings — such as holding transition funds back, not allowing his successor access to foreign leaders through the State Department, not giving him access to intelligence briefings, and blocking the General Services Administration (GSA) from dealing with all of the administrivia necessary to change from one president to the next. And most frighteningly, he has quietly promoted his supporters in the military to top positions. Also, that he has sent an envoy to leaders around the world to assure them he will remain in power in America (unconfirmed).

But there is one thing the sitting president cannot block — if he outright refuses to hand over the nuclear launch codes, that’s not a problem — the Pentagon will simply cancel those codes, create new ones, and give them to Biden.

Worst case scenario

If court and other “peaceful” challenges fail, and Donald Trump is absolutely determined to stay in power, the only way left would be a coup d’état, backed by the U.S. Armed Forces. Opposition — like pesky senators and their endless debates — would simply be rounded up and put into a stockade. This of course would be the death of the American democracy.

A miliary dictatorship?

And just how would the military keep a leader in power? The first step would be by surrounding the White House and threatening to arrest anyone who would dare try to come in and take his place. The next step would be to defend the communication lines, so if the leader wanted to give an order to the Department of the Interior, for example, the order could actually arrive there and be acted upon. Otherwise, no one would hear what the White House had to say, and would simply be ignored.

American soldiers and sailors are pledged to defend the Constitution and obey all lawful orders. Not installing the next president, legally elected, is unconstitutional and orders to keep that from happening are unlawful. But it won’t be the Supreme Court that will rule on such things; the military will make its own decisions on the matter. To paraphrase Joseph Stalin, “how many divisions does the [Supreme Court] have?”

Some military personnel, I’m sure, would refuse to participate in a forceful takeover. But how many is that? Trump has lost some support among active duty servicemen and -women, and I honestly don’t know how such an attempt at a power grab would work out.

A new Civil War?

If some U.S. States support a takeover while others resist, those that resist could split off and form their own central government — which would lead to a new Civil War for sure.

A general strike?

If enough people refuse to coöperate, a general strike might move the needle. But expect the-powers-that-will-be to strike back hard if that should come to pass.

Protests?

Of course there will be protests. Demonstrations have been a time-honored way for the multitudes to make their voices heard; just be aware that a protest might end up less like an outdoor party and more like Tiananmen Square. Having said that, I wrote a protest song that I graciously offer to anyone needing it. It’s at the end of this article.

A third alternative

In addition to the above two scenarios, it’s also possible that President Trump honestly believes he is the better Chief Executive, and that he’s doing the American people a favor by refusing to step down. That the people really want four more years of the same, with the exception of a very few misguided individuals. (I wonder what color the sky is in that universe.)

Just remember

Just remember, dear reader, that I don’t think anything in the section above will come to pass. I think President Trump is bluffing, hoping to make anything he does do instead seem mild by comparison. But will it happen? Let’s just wait until January and see.

And how do I fit into all of this?

No matter where you are, the events now happening in the United States will affect you — and the whole world. Every four years, you can hear of people in the U.S.A. saying, “if [so-and-so] wins, I’m moving to Canada”. But even though hardly anyone goes, I actually did move out myself in 2007 to escape the growing insanity. But even though I’m no longer an American, I do fear the current situation and the worldwide effects it could have.

And now here is the protest song I promised you:
 

Gimme Hope Joe Biden
to the tune of Gimme Hope Jo’Anna — with apologies to Eddy Grant — adaptation by Jennifer Freeman, November 4, 2020

 It’s the way Trump — has run the country
 From Manhattan down to Arkansas
 He makes a few of his people happy, oh
 He don’t care about the rest at all

 He’s got an app that the folks call Twitter
 To spin the news of him his way for fun
 But maybe pressure will make the President
 See all about the harm that he has done – oh

 Gimme hope, Joe Biden; hope Joe Biden
 Gimme hope, Joe Biden ‘fore the morning comes
 Ah, gimme hope, Joe Biden; hope Joe Biden
 Hope now that the voting’s done

 He don’t care if you are — a racist
 In the police he finds his inner joy
 While every mother in the inner city fears
 The killing of the next homeboy

 Sneakin’ up – on Biden’s campaign bus
 Because they just — want a little fun
 He don’t care if the fun and games they play
 Is dang’rous — to everyone — oooh

 Gimme hope, Joe Biden, gimme hope Joe Biden
 Gimme hope, Joe Biden ‘fore the morning comes
 Ah, gimme hope, Joe Biden, gimme hope Joe Biden
 Hope now that the voting’s done

    –solo–

 He’s got supporters in high up places
 And he — built him a protective fort
 But he don’t fear — a legal challenge, ho
 It’s his — Supreme — Court

 I hear that Trump won’t release his taxes
 That tells about — all the money earned
 But he has had — so many bankruptcies, and
 That should be our lesson learned — hooo

 Gimme hope, Joe Biden, gimme hope Joe Biden
 Gimme hope, Joe Biden ‘fore the morning comes
 Ah, gimme hope, Joe Biden, gimme hope Joe Biden
 Hope now that the voting’s done

 Trump likes to use — executive orders
 He uses them — like they were free
 He even used one to expel all of the
 Transgenders in the ar-my

 Biden can — you fix the damage
 The damage of the last four years
 Can you start — to set the country back
 And wash away a million tears — hooo

 So gimme hope, Joe Biden, gimme hope Joe Biden
 Gimme hope, Joe Biden ‘fore the morning comes
 Ah, gimme hope, Joe Biden, gimme hope Joe Biden
 Hope now that the voting’s done — hey, hey

 So gimme hope, Joe Biden, gimme hope Joe Biden
 Gimme hope, Joe Biden ‘fore the morning comes
 Ah, gimme hope, Joe Biden, gimme hope Joe Biden
 Hope now that the voting’s done

If anyone wants to record this song and post it on YouTube, please go ahead — but please credit me, Jennifer T. Freeman, as the revisionist and vocalist, and please mention WWW.FRESHNEWIDEAS.EU also.

 

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