From 2016: “After watching the debates and talking about the election in school, Julia is very much into it. She fished out an old Obama button from some treasure trove and is wearing it along with two new Hillary buttons. Her assignment for Tuesday is to color a map as results come in. She told me that she is going to color the whole thing blue before any results come in. Magical thinking to be sure, but she’s got the right idea.”
2020: Julia can vote! And vote we did at the kitchen table on Saturday after which we drove down to the town hall and dropped our votes in the assigned box. There was an older man who did it before we did and we applauded him. The young woman who was behind us applauded us. We are all in this together.
A few weeks ago the presidential election got personal for Julia. We were listening to radio news while driving to Concord when there was a story about Trump’s executive order that would ban TikTok from operating in the States in 45 days if it was not sold to an American company. Julia loves TikTok videos. She doesn’t have an account and if she did she couldn’t use it right now because she is still on iPad vacation; however, she loves watching the videos on YouTube—many, many silly cosplay videos. TikTok is for Julia what abortion is for the conservative religious community which is not to diminish the passion of either the anti-choice community or Julia. I don’t try to engage Julia in the supposition of a candidate who wanted to close down TikTok but aligned with progressive policies that we value—a vote for TikTok might be a vote against Julia’s self interests. This is too much gray injected into her world of black and white. Then again, I would not try to engage in a similar conversation with members of the anti-choice community many of whom are likewise caught in a black and white world. Umm, the world would certainly be easier if it was cast exclusively in black and white; however, my world, my nation has many shades of gray.
In my political humor class at HILR, we were assigned to post an election prediction. This is mine (and I know, I’ve left out the Senate, House and state elections. A weakness on my part, to be sure.):
Prediction: Trump spends election day complaining that the mail in ballots are fraudulent and that the counting of ballots should stop at midnight with the winner declared then. The first reports of returns have Trump in the lead and his insistence on the midnight declaration intensifies; however, as the evening progresses Biden wins one of the contested Southeastern states and takes a modest lead. Results continue to come in and Trump doesn’t regain the lead. Neither candidate can claim the 270 electoral college votes they need to win. Around 11 P.M.,Trump does a 360 and demands that every vote be counted before a winner is declared. His lawyers and pole watchers begin to contest mail-in vote counts and to seek re-counts after many votes are rejected for technical reasons. Law suits are filed, many of which make it to the Supreme Court quickly. The Supreme Court waits until many, if not all, of the election challenges are ready to be heard and issues a per curiam decision that quashes GOP challenges. In a per curium decision, no justice signs the decision and the public doesn’t know how the court vote went. Meanwhile, violence erupts in the midwest and Trump attempts to declare martial law. The military responds but refuses to put in place any restrictions which impedes vote counting. While all this is going on, Trump asks/demands/pleads with GOP governors to appoint Trump supporting electors to the elector college ignoring the popular vote. A few governors do as he asks but not enough to give Trump the election. The electoral college meets on December 14, Biden has the votes necessary to win and Trump locks himself in the White House.
I’m printing out another map today and I’ll let Julia stay up a little bit late tonight in hopes of coloring a few states . . . coloring them blue, of course.