Other than finding headlines for tonight, I have stayed away from reading the news for the last day. But even without doing so, I know that it is unrelentingly bad. Everyone I talk with is upset. And we don’t know what to do other than write letters and postcards, send texts or make phone calls, encouraging people to vote. We donate as much as we can in response to the hundreds of emails that flood our inboxes every day. Under present circumstances, it doesn’t feel like that’s enough but I don’t know what would be.

Trump Declines To Promise Peaceful Transfer Of Power After Election—NPR

‘You misconstrue that, Senator’: Fauci tells Sen. Rand Paul he has the facts wrong on COVID-19—USA Today

Gunfire erupts in protests after Louisville policemen cleared in Breonna Taylor death—Reuters

September 23, 2020

Now what?
by Ruth Neuwald Falcon, Seattle, Washington

The first thing I heard yesterday morning when I turned on the CBS News Report that leads into Chris Cuomo getting after it on the SiriusXM POTUS channel, was that Mitt Romney had declared he will support Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. Mornings have never been my best time so I wasn’t feeling any too good already, but after that news, I felt sick to my stomach and lay back down. I spent the next hour listening to Chris C until the 10 o’clock news break when I couldn’t take it anymore and switched to Tom Petty’s Buried Treasure, also on Sirius. I can rely on Tom Petty (even though he’s dead, which is a little bizarre) to play solid rock and R&B selections.

I haven’t listened to the news or even glanced at my news feed for more than a few seconds since yesterday morning. But I can’t avoid the emails in my inbox and I felt compelled to open the one from Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, with the subject line: A story that couldn’t wait. Goldberg writes:

We’ve decided to move up the online publication date for The Atlantic’s next cover story, by our staff writer Barton Gellman. There is a pervasive and justifiable fear that Donald Trump will reject the election results if he loses to Joe Biden. But as Gellman documents in his authoritative and chilling story, the situation is far more dire than anyone, Biden included, might imagine.

 “The worst case,” Gellman writes, “is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him.” Merely by refusing to concede, Trump could keep the electoral result in doubt through the 79-day period between Election Day and the day the next president is to be inaugurated. Gellman’s reporting shows that Republicans are already discussing plans to bypass the popular vote and directly appoint electors to the Electoral College. This could lead the country to a precipice: Two men could show up to be sworn in on Inauguration Day. “One of them,” Gellman writes, “would arrive with all the tools and power of the presidency already in hand.”

Gellman’s report is a warning about the fragility of our entire system of governance. “An election cannot be stolen unless the American people, at some level, acquiesce,” he writes.

So what do we do now? How do we demonstrate our lack of acquiescence and are there enough of us who will do so? Four years ago, in these same final weeks before the election, the dread in my body and spirit grew. The night of the election was one of the worst nights of many of our lives. I don’t want to predict an even worse night this November but there is no way to banish the dread. Feeling impotent is debilitating, and the combination of the pandemic and the politics and the racial injustice feel like they’re sucking the life out of this country. Rise up, say Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bruce Springsteen. Yes. I just don’t know what that looks like when I’m trapped at home.

8 Comments

  1. I, too, am filled with dread and feel our democracy and country slipping away. Trump has said that he is counting on whoever he appoints to the Supreme Court to support him in is desire to stay in office no matter what the results are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Ruth. You express so clearly the fear and dread that many of us are feeling. How will this turn out and what will we be able to do? For now, I refuse to let Trump beat me, I will not let him crush my soul, so I, like you, do what I can do each day. “I will not throw away – my shot!”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruth, of course you are not alone. But, I too, don’t know what to do. We are not beaten, but it’s feeling more and more frightening everyday. As Rachel Maddow said on her show tonight, “We are here.” Meaning, this is what I’ve been worried about and talking about, and reporting about, for a long time, and we are here, NOW. And not in a good way. Hell, these terrible people are making every effort to steal our country!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From a friend’s post on FB tonight:
    Copied from another post:
    There is something we need to remember and pass along to every GA and AZ Democrat. There are TWO appointed Senate seats that, if won, will be immediately seated in November instead of waiting until January. In AZ (D) Mark Kelly is running against (R) Martha McSally who was appointed to finish Jeff Flake’s term. And in GA (D) Raphael Warnock is one of the candidates running against against (R) Kelly Loeffler who was appointed to finish Johnny Isakson’s term. We need to throw everything we can behind these two candidates so that they are seated in the Senate in NOVEMBER!
    WE MUST GET IT DONE FOR RBG!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had planned to drop a mail in ballot in a box on November 3rd. In light of his words yesterday, I will be using early voting to cast my ballot instead. I want there to be no doubt on Nov 3rd that he is no longer President.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I join you, dear Ruth, in your reaction to what is going on in our land right now. And it does help me, in my heart and soul, to realize how many of us are experiencing the same feelings. This morning, my husband and I shared our strong desire to know what we can do, and the answer I am focusing on is the awareness that there are many, many good, fair and caring people just like us in our country, and we are not alone. While I honestly do not know exactly HOW that will help in dealing with the “opposite” group of people, I need to use that thought to keep me from falling apart.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks, Ruth, for your comments. I fell into a momentary feeling of despair after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The last straw was the urgency and glee with which the Republicans immediately went ahead with plans to nominate a Supreme Court Justice. Such hypocrisy after what they did in 2016. Their word means nothing. I am sending money to Amy McGrath to defeat McConnell and M. J. Helgar in Texas. I am voting with my money and that’s all I can do right now.

    Liked by 1 person

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