Analysis: America needs an unequivocal verdict from voters


US politics so revolves around dueling visions of the country that tension always steeps before presidential elections. But it’s especially raw this election eve.
People on both sides of the political divide fear that the country they love will be lost if their preferred candidate does not win on Tuesday. Liberals believe another term for Donald Trump would so badly erode democratic institutions and guardrails that there would be no going back. Trump and conservative media polemicists tell his supporters that the country will be consumed in flames and taken over by radical socialist thugs if he loses to Joe Biden.
The President bears much of the blame for the national angst. He has been claiming for months that the election will be rigged, predicted it would go to the Supreme Court, refused to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power, and encouraged supporters to surveil polling places. On Friday, trucks and cars driven by Trump supporters surrounded a Biden campaign bus on a highway in Texas, prompting an FBI investigation and spurring fears of post-election violence.
More Democrats tend to vote by mail, and any reports of marooned postal ballots will revive suspicions that the pro-Trump head of the US Postal Service is trying to obstruct their delivery. it could be days before the final count emerges in key battlegrounds like Pennsylvania, but many election observers expect the President to declare victory on Tuesday night if he is ahead in swing states — even before all the votes have been counted. That would automatically subject the country to the pain of a disputed election. Ensuing legal challenges from both sides would further estrange the two halves of the country.

For all these reasons, whoever wins, America needs an emphatic and unequivocal verdict from citizens likely to vote in record numbers.

Trick-or-treat

‘I especially apologize to the national security community’

Dr. Scott Atlas, the radiologist selected as a White House coronavirus advisor, has apologized for appearing on broadcaster RT, a Russian government mouthpiece. “I regret the interview and apologize for allowing myself to be taken advantage of,” he tweeted later. “I especially apologize to the national security community who is working hard to defend us.” But while RT is widely considered state propaganda, it was Atlas who pushed misinformation during his appearance, claiming that lockdowns kill people, discouraging tests for asymptomatic people and misrepresenting the effectiveness of masks.

Last blitz

Just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it’s not true: It all comes down to turnout.

With more than 90 million votes already cast, the election may still hinge on whether President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden does the best job in driving remaining voters to the polls. On Monday, they and their running mates will be making their last stands in the states that could make the difference.

Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Michigan Sports Stars Park, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Washington, Mich.
Supporters of President Donald Trump leave after a Trump campaign rally on November 01, 2020 in Washington, Michigan.

Trump is banking on a series of late comebacks in the battlegrounds, and plans on visiting Michigan (twice), North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. As usual, he’s making no concessions to social distancing by holding big rallies.

Biden, in keeping with his more Covid-19 compliant schedule, is stopping only in Pennsylvania and Ohio — the latter amounting to a late raid into territory that Republicans were sure they had locked up months ago.

Supporters listen as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at Sharon Baptist Church on November 01, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Biden poses for a picture with a young girl during a canvassing kick-off event on November 01, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Their veep picks will be on the trail too. Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris will spend all day in Pennsylvania, which could end up being the decisive state. The man whose job she is after, Vice President Mike Pence, will also be in the commonwealth.

And Biden is also deploying his highest wattage surrogate, former President Barack Obama, to Georgia and Florida where a heavy turnout among African American voters could help the Democratic nominee move into his ex-boss’s old digs.



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