Calm Down About The Time Article Already
I suppose it's inevitable in an age of social media that I'm just going to have to live with flip-flopping and escalating insanity depending on who wins any given election. Trump won in 2016 and it was the END OF DAYS and we needed to RESIST and MARCH and blah blah blah... Biden won in 2020 and had been barely in office for a week before BIDEN IS DESTROYING AMERICA, LOOK WHAT YOU VOTED FOR! memes began flooding the zone. Like, no, you sweet, sweet summer children: it takes a President at least six months to really destroy America. The dude is probably still finding office supplies and figuring out how to work the copier.*
Then, Time published this frankly astonishing article about The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved The 2020 Election, and now, the fingers are being leveled, the cries of 'J'accuse' are echoing across the dystopian hellscape of our political discourse but-
First of all, as longtime advocates against campaign finance reform are quick to remind us, "Money equals speech." It's no business of the government's how a group of well-financed corporate interests spends their money. So what's the problem? The GOP shot down extra money for election integrity if memory serves and if you're not gonna pony up the cash to make sure the elections are okay, expect that effort to go outside of governmental control. Money is speech, after all.
Second of all, Newtonian physics plays a role here. For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. President Trump began fucking with the Postal Service and trashing the idea of mail-in voting and undermining the election in every way he could by about June of last year. It was a constant theme, "I'm going to win because they're going to cheat." Is it any wonder that people began to be concerned about shenanigans and decided to do something about it?
I am very much an Occam's Razor kind of guy with all this stuff.
President Trump did some aspects of COVID very well. He cut through a lot of bullshit and got us vaccines in a hurry. He spent all summer throwing down transparently racist dog-whistles at suburban voters, shitting all over a war hero Senator from Arizona at every opportunity, and generally and inexplicably dropping the ball on a pandemic he had been... doing okayish at handling. The media and the Establishment hated his breathing guts, he knew that and he made it stupid easy for them to paint their picture and do their thing.
He lost suburban voters.
He lost Arizona
He lost independent voters who were tired of his schtick.
I'd believe everything I just wrote more than I'd believe an Establishment conspiracy to rig the election and somehow steal it. Our election systems aren't really one election system, they're fifty different election systems. They're creaky and underfunded on a good year and in a pandemic year where people have plenty of time on their hands, turnout was going to sky-high so it's no wonder people are seeing 'issues' everywhere they look.
He could have won this election. In fact, he should have won this election, really. But the thing about catching lightning in a bottle is that it usually doesn't happen more than once.**
Are there reasons to be troubled by this article?
Yes. Tons. A shadowy cabal of corporate and special interests pouring money into our elections that apparently nobody knew about? Troubling doesn't even begin to describe it. Every dollar spent on politics should be 100% transparent and we should know where every penny originates from and how it's spent.
But do I think it's some crazy admission that the conspiracy freaks were right all along?
No, so would you calm down already?
*If you're Conservative and reading this, you'll be inserting some joke about Biden's mental status/cognitive abilities right about now. I'd gently remind you that when Liberals made those jokes about Reagen back in the 80s, you probably weren't laughing. Oh and be a good American and hope he takes his echinacea and his geritol, because he's the guy steering the ship.
**By the way: he had conceded on November 7th and then worked his butt off to make sure the GOP kept the Senate instead of losing his shit for three weeks and pissing away their Senate majority, he'd be in a lot better position than he is right now. But that's just one man's opinion.