What happened to the Blue Wave?

I turned the light out early this morning when it seemed pretty sure that Biden had won Arizona, knowing the outcomes of critical races would remain in doubt for hours and days. Kelly eased out McSally in the AZ senate race, the second Dem pickup after Hickenlooper unseated his opponent in Colorado. Nevertheless, with an expected loss in Alabama, the Dems netted only one seat.

A few hours later, I woke up to learn that the Senate was tied 47-47. The prospects for a Senate takeover looked pretty dim. The national map hadn’t changed much since the debacle of 2016. The Republicans for the most part were clinging to Trump. The much-anticipated Blue Wave was not to be. It had foundered on the pernicious rocks of Trumpism. 

Even as I asked myself how anyone who has witnessed Trump’s assault on democracy, the reversal of the hard-won triumphs in civil, women’s and gay rights, his disdain for the value of human life, his willful ignorance of the crisis of climate change, and his refusal to take arms against the coronavirus or in defense of the planet can still believe him, it became clear that most of the red states were still solidly in his thrall. 

It’s easy, I guess, to believe his lies when you receive no information that contradicts them. But don’t they know anyone sickened or killed by the virus? Have none of them lost their homes to floods or fires that occur, not once a century as before, but with increasing regularity? Some farmers must have noticed that Trump’s vaunted tariffs have resulted in crops they can no longer sell to China. Factory workers should have noticed their jobs migrating to foreign shores.

Yet here we are. What bothers me most is the refusal or inability of almost half the country to see how Trump is betraying them. As for the other half, we have to suffer the violations of the laws and customs we were taught to respect and value. Not that we are blameless, far from it. Both sides have transgressed, and the injustices rampant in American society cry out for correction. But in order to do that, we have first to agree on what the injustices are. Our deepest problems will remain, no matter who lives in the White House.

Having followed my stream of consciousness, setting down my rambling thoughts has had a calming effect. At times this morning, the tears were brimming, about to erupt. Now I’ll turn to music for its ability to distract and soothe.

As of this writing, Biden has flipped Wisconsin and Michigan. He seems to have a path to the winning total of 270 electoral votes. Democratic control of the Senate, though theoretically possible, is likely lost.

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Filed under 2020 Vote, Politics

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