Election Hangover: Now I Am Numb
For days before the election, I had this image, this memory, of a young woman crying on the phone to her father, in the midnight hours, in November of 2016.
How could this happen? She wanted to know. Well, so did we, and so did Secretary Clinton.
I must have been clairvoyant because late Tuesday evening, my wife and I felt the same way. Four years later, and now this again?
The best part of the evening was the stunning professionalism, on live TV, mastering the obscure counties of the U.S., handling the magic boards, like two pinball wizards, Steve Kornacki of MSNBC and John King of CNN. (We switched around.) My ballplayer pal Jerry switched to Judy Woodruff on PBS and raved about her calm neutral professionalism.
I fell asleep with Biden on the bad end of a lot of numbers, but I woke up five hours with reassuring tweets from Deepest Pennsylvania and Way Upstate telling me that there was a chance.
Trump was being Trump -- threatening to go to his judges on the Supreme Court. Twitter cut him off. Much too late for that.
So now we are waiting it out.
I still think of the young woman asking her dad from long distance: How? Why?
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(Steve Kornacki got a great writeup in Variety today:
(One of his colleagues said they forcibly ejected him from the studio after pulling an all-nighter, sent him to a place with a bed and pillows. Well-deserved.
Other than that, I am poleaxed by the mathematical complexities, the suspense, the rumors, the threats. . Going back to the tube soon.
Your experiences and reactions the last 24 hours?
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(This was my post before Election Day:)
I got nothing.
Maybe you have something.
This malignant earworm has been proposing and doing mischief since he loomed on the escalator eons and eons ago.
Now I am tapped out.
I’m leaving this post out there, starting Monday morning.
If you disagree with my point of view, please say so.
I’ve been typing about this guy for a while, reminding people that I grew up (on a busy street, houses close together), a crucial half mile from the Trumps. I resent the hell out of him being described as a “Queens guy.” I know Queens people, tens of thousands of them, who went into socially-redeeming lines of work.
Just check out the “Trump” category to the right of this. I’ve said my piece.
Nervous on the day before the actual Election Day? “Breaking News” on the actual voting day? Do Barr and the new Supreme Court pull some scam in the days to come?
Get it out of your system, here.
I’m already discredited. Pole-axed by the results in the midnight hours, four years ago, I kept telling people, “I know this guy. He will do something heinous, and will be out of office in 18 months.”
They let him go on, and now we have a pandemic raging because he was always incompetent, and now it has become fatal.
For all my blathering, the best two words of this endless campaign came from Michelle Goldberg in the NYT. On the night after the second and last debate, she wrote:
Mocking Biden’s concern for struggling families sitting around their kitchen table, Trump tried to position himself as being above political clichés, but he just came off like a callous schmuck.
A “callous schmuck.” I am so jealous.
I am sure that some of the good people who read my little therapy website, and respond to it will have your own angst in the hours and days to come.
George: I'd vote for a gnat before casting my ballot for that louse but The Left frightens me. Seems like no one represents my values and interests or is capable of uniting a divided nation. What happened to subtlety, integrity, accountability? The art of listening appears to have been lost. Spring training is far away and the winter promises to be cold.
11/2/2020 10:20:19 am
George—Trump fatigue is something that concerned citizens have been living with for quite some time. Hopefully, enough wisdom will have prevailed over the next few days that this malicious usurper of our democracy has been kicked out.
11/2/2020 11:36:07 am
George....For all of the complaints about this guy, the one thing that fascinates me is that very few people mention something I think is most obvious, most arrogant, most egotistical and bugs me the most.....he very simply is just so un-Presidential in everything he does it's an embarrassment.
11/2/2020 12:01:33 pm
Your sister Janet connected me to your blog. I’m just a regular person in Georgia who is totally fed up with living with high anxiety - waking daily to the “what did he do now?” show, daily 365/4. I’ve watched as little by little he’s dismantled our democracy, and no one did anything. (The Left said plenty, but were unable to do anything as the minority.)
11/2/2020 02:39:08 pm
Marilyn: welcome, thank you for your comment. I've got friends who are commenting both ways on the election...I'm stepping back in these comments....but I am so glad Janet pointed out my little site. Thanks for being a good friend of hers...and please check out this site now and again. George
11/2/2020 12:10:36 pm
My friend, Pastor Joe Atiles, died from the virus today leaving behind his wife and seven children aged 9 to 22. I met Joe when we worked at the same medical software company many years ago. Although we were worlds apart on religious matters, I'm not sure that I've ever met a finer person. So I'm a one issue voter. The virus is not going away. Joe Biden knows that. Donald Trump does not.
11/2/2020 02:40:55 pm
Dear Roy: I am so sorry to hear about your friend. With a large family like that, and a pastor, he must have had many unavoidable contacts.
11/2/2020 01:28:55 pm
george-you have your opinion of trump.but i will tell you what is really bad.having a mayor that walks down 5th ave. with a paint brush while innocents are murdered in the bronk and brooklyn. having a gov. that writes a book while sending 10000 people to their death in nursing homes while he has the javits and the hospital ship sitting unused.running someone for president with dementia who will not finish out his term.thank you,ahron
11/2/2020 02:16:05 pm
As you write GV. As head of a non-profit on LI my staff and I had first-hand dealings with trump, which repulsed us, pointed out his inability to empathize, (sociopathy) and false generosity.
11/2/2020 04:27:03 pm
11/2/2020 05:47:24 pm
GV, Ed Martin states it well, Let This Plague Pass although it could be Let These Plagues Pass, Covid and the Orange one
11/2/2020 08:50:20 pm
Gene: As an orthodox Jewish New Yorker living in Israel, my personal, religious, and social interests are varied and informed by diverse systems. In this election, I believe Biden is an imperfect candidate in a flawed Democratic party while Trump is a danger to the future of democracy. (Evidently, my father feels differently.)
11/2/2020 09:13:42 pm
I liked Alan's "May. . . Cyrus Vance of the Southern District of NY act." Reminded me of a great recent line from George Conway, of the Lincoln Project. At a rally earlier that day, Trump had said, "I bet you don't know where you'll be at this time of year in 2018. But I know where I'll be in X (name of a state), campaigning in the primary against Y (a Republican who had crossed him)." That night, Conway tweeted: "Are you sure? I doubt you'll be eligible for bail by 2018."
11/3/2020 05:49:08 am
George, a few days ago, I hosted an Election Day-themed episode of my podcast, which deals with the intersection of sports and the coronavirus crisis. I interviewed two men who were stellar pro athletes who went on to serve in Congress: NFL Hall of Famer Steve Largent, a Republican from Oklahoma, and ex-NBA center (and a fellow Rhodes scholar with Knicks teammate Bill Bradley!) Tom McMillen, a Democrat from Maryland. Good men with different backgrounds, from different regions, representing different parties.
11/3/2020 10:19:41 am
Hillel, I agree that both politics and sports were much more sane until fairly recently. Politicians routinely reached across the aisle to work together. Athletes of all ages, professional or not, respected their opponents and often helped them.
11/3/2020 07:26:43 pm
11/5/2020 10:28:28 am
11/4/2020 10:32:00 am
11/4/2020 08:45:53 pm
George et al: I figured I'd find a large share of the Vecsey crew weighing in the day-after. This confusing and in many ways unsatisfying election comes at a time of perpetual COVID isolation, shrinking daylight, colder temps up north here, SAD, and not even the NBA or NHL (let alone MLB) to look forward to anytime soon. There's football, but I just have a hard time getting into it anymore. I almost feel guilty watching it. The rancid political atmosphere is not going to make things easier. As of this evening (Wed) the path to 270 for Biden/Harris looks likely, although not inevitable.Without excessively romanticizing the past (!),I think most of the folks on this blog remember less polarized times an almost transcendent sense of citizenship and shared values as a nation. All of that seems lost, and I worry it may not be recoverable -- soon anyhow. Both politics and society are fractured. Trust is on the run.
11/4/2020 09:05:57 pm
11/8/2020 03:16:00 pm
George, Chris title as Harry Emerson Fosdick chair, rang a bell. First you and he obviously share a deep strain of spritual humanity.
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.