Too Close Is Too Close

Too Close To Call Is Too Close


Leonard Zwelling

On the morning after the election, we awake to find—confusion. It’s three days later and we haven’t gotten to clarity yet.

We still don’t know who won except that I will lose my bets that Biden would come within three points in Texas and we would know the answer to the presidential contest by the end of the day on Thursday. Whatever you do, if I bet one way, you bet the opposite way.

The fact that the election is still too close to call is a function of many things, not the least of which is the relative mediocrity of both candidates.

First, the virus. I really cannot imagine this would have even been close had it not been for the coronavirus and the miserable way the government secured the country (i.e., it didn’t). In Mr. Trump’s first real test of leadership, he has failed and continues to fail in quieting the concern in the body politic and guiding our country through a collective strategy to deal with a crisis whose origins had nothing to do with us until we started to lock down businesses. People have said that the response to the virus by both the government and the media was different this year, an election year, than it would have been in an off year. I think that’s right. Trump would probably have opted for a Swedish response and the media would have hyped up the death less than it did. Chances are that once the Chinese got away with their irresponsible behavior in not warning the world of the virus’ threat and then of blocking attempts, even to this day, of trying to figure out what really happened in Wuhan, this scenario was likely.

Second, Mr. Trump has divided the country in a fashion not seen before or at least since Reconstruction. During elections, we expect to be at odds with one another, but once the voting is over and the results are in, we are supposed to come together. That was not the case in 2016 and hasn’t been since. Mr. Trump gets full credit for taking a cleaver to America and the map last night revealed the rift between the coasts and the rest of the country and between urban areas and the rest of the country. It’s a damned shame that we simply cannot come together behind one vision for the future, but Mr. Trump has given us the vision of “American carnage” so we should not be surprised that caravans of pick-up trucks flying Trump banners surround a Biden bus on a Texas highway and threaten it.

Third, we are better than Trump. But, to be honest, Biden was never going to be the answer. He is way too old to give the country a glance into a better future. He needed to end his affiliation with a portion of the Democratic Party that has now managed to reduce the party’s influence in America to cities only (the AOC crowd). Mrs. Pelosi and Senator Schumer are not the answers either. Both ought to resign their leadership positions in the Congress given Tuesday’s results. America is a right of center country even if blue New York and blue LA pump out the entertainment content for the rest of us to consume. I was always afraid of Tom Perez’s leadership of the DNC and now I am sure that he was the wrong guy at the wrong time. A younger non-hack needs to lead the party back if it ever wants to have another chance to capture the levers of power in Washington, again.

By any stretch, this election should not have been close. Without the virus, it was Trump in a cakewalk. With it, any good Democratic candidate should have won. That we still aren’t sure what our government will look like in January, says everything about a series of disastrous decisions made by both sides.

But as of this moment, it looks like Biden will prevail and once the calls in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Arizona are made, Mr. Trump needs to strap on his big boy pants and concede. I suspect he won’t do that and he may need to be wedged out of the White House by Seal Team 6.

I am not sure where we go from here no matter which of the two candidates is president. My guess is that we are in a holding pattern either way and that is no place for a great nation to be.

Finally, in a word to my generation of Baby Boomers—stand down! The perpetual grasping for power among those born after the Second World War and into the 1950s has to end. Give someone else a chance as soon as possible.

Finally, that Republicans held the Senate and made gains in the House, while Trump lost (if that is the case) indicates a lot of ticket splitting on the GOP side and a true repudiation of Trump the man. As the lawn sign says: Bye, Don!

The next chapter will be written in a New York State courtroom.

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