Election Day is just around the corner. Thank goodness. Much of the country is exhausted by the hyperbolic rhetoric and our efforts to maintain some normalcy during the deadly months since COVID-19 arrived.
On Tuesday, hopefully the electorate, no one or nothing else, will decide who leads the nation for the next four years.
Here are some observations about that all-important electorate.
Some say they are voting for the person they believe will boost the stock market and put more money in their pockets. Many of them are middle- to upper-income folk. Things are going pretty well for them. They like the stock market and no one begrudges them a few more dollars.
Then, there are millions of Americans who long for a few dollars to go to the local market. They are unemployed, recovering from illnesses and COVID-19. Tens of thousands of them are newly homeless. They hope for a bowl of chicken stock for them and their children.
They are looking for a leader who will help them.
There are those who want an Election Day free of worry and impediments to voting. The U.S. Constitution gives them that right and they are told that they should vote at every election as a civic duty. It’s democracy in action.
Simultaneously, there are congressmen, state officeholders and flag-wavers who remain silent as certain groups threaten to show up at polling places bearing weapons, an obvious effort to intimidate certain folks. Those Congress people who often scream about the rights they like in the Constitution, are quiet on the voter suppression tactics of all sorts.
What’s most interesting is that Black Republicans are mum about ongoing voter suppression tactics and intimidation efforts against people that look like them.
There are pro-life groups that say they are voting for a certain candidate because of their similar pro-life stance. They want someone who supports their interests. Who can argue against that?
Interestingly, many of these pro-lifers don’t take that position on both sides of the birth canal. They don’t protest efforts by some federal and state government officials to deny the parents food and other assistance to feed and house children after birth.
Some heading to the polls feel that the best candidate is the one that ignores science and believes that wearing a face mask is an abridgment of their constitutional rights. In their minds, their forefathers died to protect them from such harsh, unbearable treatment. Their forefathers fought for their right, if they so choose, to be a danger to the lives of their fellow Americans.
By contrast, there are those who believe in science that proves that wearing a mask and practicing safe distancing can save lives, just like using a car’s turn signal and seat belts, or cleaning a drinking glass before pouring a drink for a neighbor.
There are those going to the polls who believe that the media should tone down its coverage of COVID-19 and the news about the 230,000 dead, 9 million with the virus — along with the sick and those that will have some residual effects for years. It’s such a downer, “fake news,” an unfair attack on their candidate, his supporters say. To them, it is what it is.
Conversely, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have lost loved ones who probably want more coverage of the cruel way their family and friends died, and those battling the horrible disease. They probably didn’t like learning that the nation’s lead protector lied to them early on about the seriousness of the virus that killed grannie, grandpa, their spouses, best friends and even children.
With these challenges and contradictions aside, everyone hopes that America has a fair and safe election. Oh, wait. There are groups that want to change the way the votes are counted, essentially denying some people who have turned their ballots in already the right to have them counted.
Still, let’s hope that a fair election happens, all votes are fairly counted, that the U.S. Supreme Court does not decide a winner, and that our democracy is still intact, no matter who wins.
Email Edward Pratt a former newspaperman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.