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Eight years ago

October 28, 2020

This time eight years ago the mainstream media in the United States and around the world were saying the election was too close to call, that Barack Obama could easily lose to Mitt Romney. I believed them.

Obama’s election in 2008 had led to a segment of the US population – that section that simply could not accept being governed by a black man – losing their shit completely. It led to the formation of the crazy, gun toting Tea Party which in turn took over whatever was left of the soul of the Republican party. In the 2010 mid-terms the Republicans had taken back control of the legislative branch with elected Teabaggers (as Bill Maher and others so delightfully dubbed them) in their midst.

It turned out eight years ago that the mainstream media were committed to a more interesting story (the too-close-to-call election) than the real one. Obama easily won re-election.

Oh, those innocent days, when tax-hating, gun-loving Teabaggers were the worst thing on offer in the US, when the Republican primaries eventually led – after early stage anyone-but-Mitt voting – to the nomination of a semi-sane candidate. (It’s possible, although I don’t remember, that even Herman Cain won a primary, before dropping out and returning to his real life, before being eventually killed by the Wankmaggot’s Tulsa rally in June.)

Now that fervid subsection of US society has its very own racist-in-chief and the Teabaggers look quaint compared to maniacal QAnon devotees – at least one of whom is running for Congress in a district she could easily win.

Don’t get me wrong. Every country has its own conspiracy-mad group of nut jobs. (Brexit, anyone?) In most countries, however, few of the nut jobs are armed. And there is something peculiarly American about QAnon. (An elite Democrat cabal of cannibalistic, Satan-worshipping paedophiles? Seriously? Can I interest you in this bridge I’m selling?)

I so want this to be a repeat of eight years ago. (Or more accurately a repeat of twelve years ago when the Dems swept into power in both the executive and legislative branch.) The long lines for early voting are encouraging, even in the face of all the election-stealing measures being taken by Republicans. I want what looks like a neck-and-neck (in terms of the stupid electoral college) race to in fact be a blowout for the Democrats.

But if we’ve learnt nothing else from 2016 it is this (as political think tanks in Europe and elsewhere have come to appreciate): American voters cannot always be trusted.

To paraphrase H L Mencken, nobody ever lost an election underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

From → Columns

  1. krysross permalink

    It is so damn tense right now, I can barely stand it.

  2. Donna permalink

    Nerves in shreds. Fingers crossed. Thinking of taking up drinking….even more….

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