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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/5/18

The Day After*

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Either this country will kill racism, or racism will kill this country.


* With credit to the great anti-nuclear war television movie of the 1980's, of the same name. A Trump win tomorrow, in the long term, could have as much impact on the future of humanity --- think uncontrolled climate change --- as would nuclear war (which he could well also unleash in a moment of panic).


New Introduction (as of Election Day, Nov. 6, 2018, to this column originally published on Nov. 5, 2018)

On November 5, 2018, Nate Cohn of The New York Times published an article that pointed out that while the Democrats would probably "win" the overall national vote, by a wide margin, because of Repub. gerrymandering and voter suppression, especially affecting certain districts, they might not actually take back the House. Today, November 6, 2018, Paul Krugman of The New York Times published an article in which, I am perversely delighted to say, he supports the position that I have been taking on the pages of OpEdNews and elsewhere for quite some time, that Trump is an authoritarian/autocrat (and Krugman has also used the word "fascist" in recent months) and that if he wins, he and the Repubs. will be moving the nation in that direction as quickly as they can.

And Now to the Original Column

In my view, the mid-term election of 2018 will go down in U.S. history as the most important one since the Presidential election of 1860. That one, a four-party contest --- Republican, Northern Democratic, Southern Democratic, and Constitutional --- as is well known was won by a very different Republican Party than today's version. As is also well-known, the outcome, the win by the Republicans, whose platform supported the maintenance of chattel slavery in the states in which it already existed but opposed any further expansion to the Western Territories, led to the secession from the Union by most (but not all) of the slave states, and then the First Civil War. This election has only two parties: Donald J. Trump and Everyone Else.

Thus tomorrow's election will not be considered as just another mid-term election. Customarily, in those the party that controls the Congress and the White House customarily loses seats in one or both Houses of the former, possibly with a transfer of power there. In the last several weeks President Trump has managed to make this election, rather, about him, not his party. At many of his rallies, he barely mentions the candidate(s) for whom he is supposedly coming to offer support. Despite all of the serious issues facing the nation aside (issues that I reviewed in my previous column, "There is No Middle Ground"), by the force of HIS politics and policies, his personality and how he fights his battles, Trump, up, Trump down, or somewhere in-between is now THE issue. It can indeed be viewed as a PLEBISCITE ON TRUMP.

Trump.  This one says it all!
Trump. This one says it all!
(Image by IoSonoUnaFotoCamera)
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Yes, by the use of the completely-divorced-from-reality, built-on-lies, racist/xenophobic "caravan" issue, Trump has been able to make the election about him, not about the Congress and the distribution of power between the two parties, in the two Houses, except as the outcome will affect him and his future. Either Trump will win, or claim that he has won, or Trump will lose (and possibly, given who he is, still claim that he won). And, for better or worse, for a variety of reasons, the liberals and the Left will go along with this interpretation. So let's consider the alternatives.

I. If Trump wins (that is retains control of at least the Senate, which he will claim as a win. For what he will do if the Democrats take over the House, see below).

A. He will take credit for every single national, state and local office win the Repubs. managed to achieve. Any losses will be blamed on the candidates and the Party support.

B. He will, seriously, launch the following Congressional agenda (most of which would require retention by the Repubs. of the House as well as the Senate, probably starting in the lame duck session):

1. Nationalized voter suppression legislation.

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
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