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Some Random Thoughts on the 2020 Elections

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"Either this nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation." (S. Jonas, August, 2018)

Trump. For how long will he continue to cast a shadow upon the flag?
Trump. For how long will he continue to cast a shadow upon the flag?
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These thoughts on the elections just past are presented in no particular order of importance.

 * Some (many?) observers have referred to this one as one of the most important elections on U.S. history. I beg to differ. In my view, this one (and it ain't over yet, see below) is THE most important election in U.S. history. For one candidate is running first and foremost to restore some semblance of bourgeois parliamentary/ Constitutional democracy to the United States, while the other is running to install his particular form of what I have called "Accidental Fascism." There of course have been other critical elections in U.S. history, e.g., those of 1860, 1864, 1932, and 1980. But, for example, even if the South had won the Civil War, presumably the North would have remained as a Constitutional Democracy. If Trump wins, and he still could (if enough Republican state legislatures and the Republican Supreme Court will it), in my view this nation is on the way to fascism. And further, in terms of the world, it would be well on the way to an Era of Global Warming that likely would be irreversible.

 * The question is asked "Especially given the Trumpidemic 2020 , which is just now appearing to be roaring totally out-of-control, how could so many people vote for Trump?" Back in March, I projected that the Trumpites would run on what I call "The Six R's and The Two C's": Racism/Xenophobia, Rage, Red-baiting, Religiosity (that is the use of religion for political purposes), Repression (of the vote), Russia (interference, again); and Cheating and Conspiracy theories (to the max). (To be sure, MANY other observers made similar projections.) Just watch Hannity any night as he repeats himself over-and-over again, just to sure, I am sure, that his audience does get the full thrust of his Constant-Trump-Commercial. You will see that all the above are there (except that the Russians didn't seem to interfere too much this time around, or perhaps they really, really tried, and the FBI/US Counterintelligence services were really, really prepared, and really, really effective this time around --- very quietly and well out of Trump's purview, of course). That list pretty much explains it, with the emphasis in the latter days on Racism and Red-baiting.

 * As I have been saying in the lead to my columns for some months now, "Either this nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation." If Trump does get back in, that statement could well be proved to come to pass.

 * Some (many?) self-styled Leftists are saying the Biden is just as bad as Trump, in the sense that he is a fascist too. For example, Caitlin Johnstone, presenting a list of reactionary policies (in Biden's case from some time ago) as "fascism," takes this position. But fascism isn't simply a list of reactionary polices. It is a system of government, designed to replace bourgeois parliamentary democracy (as what the U.S. has had since the founding) with a government based on a unitary Executive, with no separation of powers, no Constitution, no list of individual rights and liberties (of course not always homered in the breach), and etc. as in the definition linked above, in the service of a capitalist ruling class. Biden was a right-wing Democrat in the past. At least in terms of the Democratic Party Platform he ran on, he has moved away from his earlier positions to a more centrist stance. But regardless of whether that is true or not, with an understanding of what fascism is historically (see Horthy's Hungary, Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany, Franco's Spain, Salazar's Portugal, and the Japanese Empire of the Sun), Biden ain't no fascist.

 * Why have Cruz, Graham, and etc. jumped on the Trump-train for contesting the results of the election? As many have noted (and it is worth noting again), they are already declaring for the 2024 nomination and they know that unless something quite remarkable happens, having the TrumpBase on board is essential for victory, certainly in the primaries. Of course, McConnell, jumping just as quickly, is not a 2024 candidate. But he surely wants to win the two Georgia Senatorial races (that is if two happen --- the Trumpubs. are going for a recount, and if it were done for the Senatorial races, and somehow [magically, given the Repub. Sec. of State] Perdue snuck over 50%, whatever happened there would become irrelevant). But he desperately wants to hold on as Senate Majority Leader (and not just because he just likes saying "NO") both for himself and for the future of the Trumpublican Party. (Of course, on the future-candidate front there is Nikki Haley. She doesn't seem not have gotten the message --- you want that 2024 nomination, even for Vice-President, you had better be a Trumper if you expect to make it through the primaries. And as widely noted that applies whatever happens to Trump if he doesn't manage to remain in office.)

 * The word on "Defund the Police" is still out, and will be until lots of follow-up surveying is done on it. It may have turned off white folk but it may have turned on Black folk in larger numbers (Rep. Clyburn to the contrary notwithstanding).

 * For the Democrats, this election turned on getting out the vote. Of course, Stacey Abrams established the model for organizing it well in advance, in Georgia. But if it had not been copied with a significant degree of success, V-P Biden would not have won.

 * If Joe Biden does become President, but the Senate remains in Trumpublican hands, the Committee investigations will start immediately, led by Ron Johnson at the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee. They will become the "Benghazi's" of the Biden Administration. And they will continue for the four years of Biden's term, regardless of their findings (or not).

 * If Biden does become President, how soon will it be before the Trumpubs.(C) are blaming the whole pandemic on him? My guess? Hannity/Carlson/Ingraham/Levin will be on that line on the evening of January 20th.

 * Of course, even if Biden is President, Hannity et al will still be going on, and on, and on, about the Steele Dossier, Carter Paige, "Obama-spying-on-the-campaign" (which were actually perfectly legal counter-intelligence investigations of U.S. political figures communication with foreign governments --- as in "The Trump Tower Meeting"), the Mueller Investigation, Impeachment, the Clinton Emails, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, of course Hunter Biden, and etc.

* Finally, what about Trump's future, that is if he doesn't manage to cheat his way back into the Presidency. Of course, it is very well-known that he faces a huge amount of civil and criminal legal difficulty, at the New York City, New York State, and potentially Federal levels (at all three just beginning with tax fraud). (Johnathan Chait in New York Magazine and Jane Mayer in The New Yorker have summed this list up very well.) To say nothing of the potential treason charge he faces for ignoring the "Russian-Bounties-in-Afghanistan" allegations. He will of course no longer have the protection of "can't indict a sitting President." Funnily enough, from the talk about Trump's running again in 2024 to the projections of a Trumps'-Own-Trump-TV the civil and criminal legal swamp that he faces is deep and slimy. And so, what is Trump to do?

Back in July , I predicted that if he lost the election, he would resign the Presidency and (having "stuff'' on Mike Pence to make sure he would do it) get a Federal pardon, and then before Jan. 20, 2021 leave the country, with as much of whatever have had left in cash or convertible bonds with him. But I am now beginning to wonder about that. Such a decision would be one of the few rational ones Trump has ever made in his lifetime (the only one?). He might indeed stick around, and go for "beating the rap" (in this case, of course, raps). The greatest Con Man in history has done that so many times in the course of his life. So much so that a long-time golf writer who has known Trump, and golf, for decades, wrote a book entitled "Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump." After all, he has made a career (actually built a career) on turning losses into "wins," from the Atlantic City debacle, to the many failed businesses, to the failure-on-paper of his years-long "birtherism" campaign.

How would he do this (or at least try to do it)? Why with the Box of Six Magic Tricks that have carried him through is life all the way to the Presidency of the United States. To review, they are: 1. Always having his Protectors and Enablers, either personal, or financial or both (although he may well be running out of these and he certainly doesn't want to have to depend entirely upon "Porn-shop-in-background" Rudy). 2. Having learned it from Roy Cohn the all-important tactic "Always attack; Never defend." 3. Also learned from Roy Cohn: "when you run into a problem, just sue" (just as his "legal" team is doing now in the aftermath of the election). 4. Run it (whatever "it" is) himself. 5. Trump has lived his life surrounded by enemies, and if there are not enough, he makes them up. He relishes them. He thrives on them. Negotiation is just not his thing. 6. As noted above, Trump is history's greatest con man.

Rudy: Operators are Standing By!
Rudy: Operators are Standing By!
(Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)
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They have worked for him before, over-and-ever again. He may well think that they could work again. He might just manage, in one way or another, get out of every single legal bind that is currently in (or shortly will be if he sticks around). And then on to the 2024 Trumpub. Primaries (and that's what they surely would be). He fooled everybody in that party once. Why might he not be able to do it again?

Well, we do have to hope that finally, this time around, if he sticks around, all of his Magic Tricks will fail him and the law, both civil and criminal, will finally catch up with him. As for the consequences of the truth about him finally coming out and leading to legal consequences, for that we shall have to wait and see.

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Postscript: For those who think that there was never a Trump-Putin connection, do note that the Russian media are VERY unhappy about the Biden win, and Putin is just about the only major world leader who will delay the congratulatory call to President-Elect Biden "until legal challenges to the U.S. election are resolved and the result is official." Gee, that language sounds familiar. Where have I heard it before?

(Article changed on November 12, 2020 at 18:55)

(Article changed on November 14, 2020 at 18:13)

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY). As well as having been a regular political columnist on several national websites for over 20 years, he is the author/co-author/editor/co-editor of 37 books Currently, on the columns side, in addition to his position on OpEdNews as a Trusted Author, he is a regular contributor to From The G-Man.  In the past he has been a contributor to, among other publications, The Greanville PostThe Planetary Movement, and Buzzflash.com.  He was also a triathlete for 37 seasons, doing over 250 multi-sport races.  Among his 37 books (from the late 1970s, mainly in the health, sports, and health care organization fields) are, on politics: The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022; A Futuristic Novel (originally published 1996; the 3rd version was published by Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, Brewster, NY, sadly beginning to come true, advertised on OpEdNews and available on  (more...)
 

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