Where Have All the Ballots Gone . . .

No, I haven’t written in over seven months. I penned something just before the impeachment, which now seems like a ridiculous exercise from a bygone era. It’s the usual problem. I become so outraged by the latest travesty that I have exorcise my demons on the keypad. But when I finally get to my computer to unload, the insult has gone into hiding. You know, it’s vanished to make room for the next insult, and the next one, and the next one, until I’m too demoralized and disoriented to remember which travesty I was upset about. I’ll tell you what else is disorienting. The migraine that tortured my head for five days. The one that started pulsating after RBG’s death. Three days over the right eyebrow, one day over the left, and then a vestibular plant right in the middle of the head. I had to hold on to the bed so it would stop spinning. The bed, I mean.

Yes, I grieved this remarkable woman’s death, but I grieved her legacy even more. And then I grieved over the predictable shit show to come. It’s been much worse than I expected. I anticipated maniacal glee from Trump, McConnell, Barr, and the sycophants, but the rest of the lot?  Complete senatorial acquiescence? (With the exception of Murkowski and Collins, whose gestures are empty at this point.) I was foolish to cling to any notion of honor. But yada, yada, I could go on for days about the ugliness of the Supreme Court and election battles, etc. Our democracy is at stake, the American experiment is failing, blah, blah. I’ve been paralyzed over the power grabs and the prospect of a Trumpian future for days–despite the vertigo.

So I’ve discussed/disgust/snarled about all this ramming of the nominees, and the voter suppression ahead, with my husband, who is accustomed to my histrionics. But I haven’t been histrionic. I predicted how all of this mess was going to play out almost a week ago. I’ve managed my expectations too much to wig out. Any hysteria over this nightmare has morphed into a calm paranoia.  And I don’t care what he says, or the Wall Street Journal, or even Nate Silver. We do have something to fear.

And no, it’s not Trump, the autocrat baby, refusing to leave. He’ll be forced out kicking and screaming if he’s shown the door. We have the military for that. And Bill Maher. No, what keeps me up at night are the ballots. It won’t matter if Biden wins in a landslide if the landslide can’t be counted. And I’m not being simplistic. We received a letter from Florida the other day that took over five weeks to arrive. Five weeks. (Hats off to DeJoy, he knew what he was doing.)  I don’t care what the cut-off is, if people start mailing their ballots this very second, what guarantees they’ll arrive in time to be processed? “Ballots that are postmarked by Election Day will count, if received within six and nine days of the election.” (NPR) Nine days? What about within three weeks of the election? Or five weeks like our letter?

CNN reports, “But beyond Trump’s rhetoric, his campaign and Republicans at the state and local level are moving to make it more difficult for voters to cast a ballot, more difficult for states to count votes and more likely that tallies will be challenged in the courts — with a particular focus on mail-in voting.”

Every vote must be counted—no matter how delayed–if we’re going to be beat this man. God knows he’s pulling every dirty trick he can to win. I don’t want the ballots, like the insults, to go into hiding.

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