David Brooks, NYT columnist, NPR commentator, and moderate Republican is right: What we have in this country is a crisis involving trust, namely a lack of it. I got my ballot in the mail today, filled it out, and read the instructions for delivery. Here’s what it said, “If you have concerns regarding delivery of your ballot by the USPS, you may use one of our 20 ballot boxes.” That from the state of Washington Elections Department. So that’s what it’s come to: an official state elections agency cautioning us about the possibility of our post office intentionally not delivering our ballot by the deadline. That is something I’ve never had to consider before, and it distresses me to no end. I struggle now what what to do with my ballot: take a chance and put it in a post box or drive around and put it in an official ballot drop box or drive downtown and hand it directly in to the elections office. And this is supposedly one of the world’s most stable democracies! I also worry, with the atmosphere of violence that is permeating the air around the election, that someone will torch a drop box, ruining and disqualifying all the ballots inside; or that armed militia might patrol polling places around the country as the president of our country has requested, thus intimidating voters not to vote at all. Trust. Or lack of it.
Vaccines are another issue. Trump is pushing companies with his project Warp Speed to fast track vaccine research to get a vaccine ready before the election to obviously help his chances. Would I, or anyone in their right mind, take such a vaccine? Not hardly. Again, trust. Or lack of it.
Or take this bogus Supreme Court nomination being pushed through the Senate so the Republicans can pack the court with another conservative just in case Trump loses, and that Trump can have a Justice that will rule in his favor in case the election is contested as it was in 2000. Again, why would I trust a national government that attempts to pull off such a desecration of what is just and moral and right, failing to allow the people to decide who they want to choose to a life long term to the highest court in the land. Trust. Or lack of it.
There’s the pandemic and how it’s been managed by Trump and his gang of Keystone Cops. I trust nothing that exits the mouth or the tweets of this charlatan or any of his puppets, yes men and women, and surrogates.
And of course there are the rash of psychotic conspiracy theories and locked-and- loaded racist white supremacist militias who Trump either tacitly or directly supports and encourages. How can I trust a man who gives credence to QAnon, for example, which borrows virulent antisemitic myths that go back to the Dark Ages? Trust. Or lack of it.
Did distrust start with Trump? No, I submit it started with JFK’s murder, then the Vietnam War and Johnson’s escalation, then Nixon’s Watergate, then Reagan’s misdeeds, then Clinton’s peccadillo, then the 2000 Supreme Court-infected election results, then 9/11 and the Iraq War, then the dimwitted Bush, then Barack and the bully McConnell, then the stolen and manipulated 2016 election, and then after all these prior undiagnosed and untreated pains comes the diagnosis and full blown case of metastatic stage four cancer that is Donald J. Trump and his cult of widgets.
A democracy without trust in those leading the democracy is not a healthy democracy. Common sense tells me that’s an impossible way to run a viable democracy. Common sense tells me the democracy will eventually crash and burn as a result of such a lack of trust. Is that my prognosis for this great country of ours? If Trump is reelected and the Republicans continue their control of the Senate, then yes, a lack of trust will bring us down hard, I’m sad and sorry to say.
The solution will not be an easy one. Biden, of course, will need to be elected. But so will the Senate need to flip to the Democrats. For if Biden is elected and the Senate continues under the control of Mitch the Merciless and the Republicans, the majority leader has already stated that he will block Biden as he did Obama (which I always felt was treasonous). And nothing, nothing of great value will get done. Biden will reverse most, if not all, of Trump’s Executive Orders, but real change happens with creative and enlightened legislation. And with a Supreme Court weighted 6-3 in favor of extreme conservative versus liberals, Biden’s legislative initiatives will be under attack by that court for years to come. As Trump and the Republicans have done in the reign of Donald the Racist, Biden, if need be, should indeed pack/increase the court with as many respected Merrick Garland-type Justices as necessary to retain any kind of balance to a court that will surely set this country back years in terms of civil, social, and environmental rights.
So I urge you, in no uncertain terms, to Vote Blue, up and down the ticket, as I have, for the sake of the survival of our country and its ever-evolving egalitarian democracy.