LET’S RISK IT: If our fathers and grandfathers could scramble out of landing craft at Omaha Beach into a hail of enemy machine gun fire, I figure I can risk going to my polling place on November Third to cast my votes.
I go to the grocery store a couple of times a week, so it’s a good bet I can survive a trip to my polling place.
I can wear a mask, rubber gloves, and use plenty of hand sanitizer. So it seems like a reasonable risk to me – even though at 69 I’m more vulnerable to catching coronavirus – to visit our polling place in person.
The risk of voting in person is worth it to help avoid the difficulty that appears to be on the way of voting by mail, depending on the Post Office to get me a ballot and then get it back to the courthouse in time, then wondering if my votes were counted. Compared to landing at Normandy, doing my part for my country and voting the old fashioned way is a piece of cake.
That said, there are so many folks wary of the threat of Covid-19 that mail-in voting will be huge this year, and the Bush versus Gore chaos of 2000 could be surpassed as we go days or weeks without knowing who wins the presidency.
President Donald Trump sees the potential for fraud in massive mail-in voting, to which reporters who don’t like him add “without evidence” to their reports. (“Without evidence?” Where’s the evidence supporting the War on Poverty, throwing more and more money at education to get better results, and layer upon layer of government programs of questionable value? Don’t hold your breath waiting for reporters to demand evidence that those efforts actually work.)
I grew up in Cook County, Illinois, and recall the election of 1960. Vote totals from our county were suspiciously delayed, and the clear indication was that they were waiting to find out how many votes John F. Kennedy needed to win. (The handful of votes from Hubbard’s Mountain Cupboard, Wyoming – near where I now live – were also held up in that election, but by a snow storm, not political shenanigans.)
I also remember the much more recent election in Minnesota where it took an incredible eight months of counting votes, recounting them, and official challenges to find out that incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman had been defeated by Al Franken by a little more than 200 votes.
And then we have “vote harvesting” in California, in which activists run around collecting the ballots of those too lazy or too uninterested to cast their votes themselves. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Joe Biden has reportedly hired hundreds of lawyers to fight all aspects of a potential Trump victory, so it could be quite a while before we figure out who wins this thing.
I’ll do my part to make things simpler by trotting down the road to cast my votes in person, the old fashioned way.
It’s a lot easier than facing a hail of German machine gun fire.
ALL HET UP: I don’t blame my Democrat friends (I have some, having worked in journalism for 40 years) for looking forward to this election. Because the poor dears have been hysterical for the last four years about virtually everything Donald Trump does.
They’ve got to be worn out, being in Chicken Little Mode (CLM) for all this time. And the level of hysteria skyrocketed last week with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What we are now seeing could be termed uber hysteria, as Trump prepares to nominate a replacement for the liberal icon Justice Ginsburg.
Trump says he will nominate a woman, which will make it harder for Democrats to accuse the nominee of being a sex pervert. But I’m sure they will find something despicable about any Trump nominee. Maybe cannibalism, eating babies for breakfast, or torturing cute little puppy dogs.
The hard part for Republicans will be whistling past the Merrick Garland graveyard. Explaining why this time is different will be their challenge.
Buckle up, folks. This is going to be quite a ride.
Dave Simpson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org