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A Perfect Storm

I have several friends who have been in a panic over the possibility of Trump winning for a couple of months now. They have been texting me on a daily basis for weeks, wanting me to talk them off the ledge. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Not because I was trying to keep them calm, but because I was positive that there was absolutely no chance that Trump was going to win.

Well, that’s no longer the case. I can see his path to victory now. Just like in the 2000 election, it’s going to involve a perfect storm. So many people love to point the finger in one direction and proclaim, “THAT’S why Bush became president in 2000”. Anyone who does that is wrong. I’ve lived long enough to understand that in most situations in life, when something terrible happens, there’s seldom one reason why that terrible thing happened. There are usually a number of contributing factors. In 2000, we had the perfect storm with Gore running a bad campaign, ridiculous butterfly ballots in Florida that made it impossible to figure out who you were voting for, Nader voters who decided to get cute with their votes in a tight election, Jeb Bush quietly scrubbing the voter rolls in Florida for a couple of years before the election, and then subsequently the partisan right wing hacks on the Supreme Court. All of these things were factors in what happened in 2000. What happened wouldn’t have been possible if a single one of these factors weren’t present.

I have a sick feeling that we’re looking at another perfect storm situation. All of the polls that have been taken over the past five days have tightened to the point where literally either candidate can win. I’m not going to go into a wonky state by state analysis of what’s going on because it’s complicated, and I can make my point without boring you with the details.

I will say this:

  • Trump is very likely going to win Ohio.
  • Florida can go either way.

Hillary has to win Pennsylvania to stop Trump. Now there are a few other states (Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, New Hampshire) that need to fit together like puzzle pieces in varying configurations for her to win, but she must win Pennsylvania, or her chances of stopping Trump go down significantly. The polls tell me that she’s going to win Pennsylvania. What the polls don’t tell me, is that the public transportation (SEPTA) union in Pennsylvania is on strike. That means that the busses, subways, and trolleys that low income people depend on to get around aren’t running, which effectively throws the polls in Pennsylvania out the fucking window.

Remember the scrubbing of the voter rolls in Florida that I mentioned earlier? Well, republicans have quietly been scrubbing voter rolls just like Jeb did for a few years now so that’s another factor in play.

Now I know that four days worth of polls don’t constitute enough data to know what’s happening. I understand that you need an aggregate of the polls over a period of a couple of weeks to get an idea of what’s really happening. But we don’t have a couple of weeks. As someone who believes in data, I have to believe the best available information before me right now. I believed all of the polls that said that Bernie would do much better against Trump than Hillary would. Why did I believe them? Well for one, all of the polls said the same thing and also because that was the best information available to me at the time. And it was probably correct, because this election against the most ignorant, spectacular career failure, sexual assaulter of a candidate should not be close. And all of the primary Hillary supporters who kept insisting that she would clean his clock were wrong. They were wrong because they used conjecture to refute data, and that’s never going to turn out well for you.

Now I can dwell on their fuck up. I can dwell on how the DNC put their fingers on the scale in her favor. I can dwell on the sleazy tactics they used on Bernie (like calling me a “Bernie Bro”). I can dwell on everything that I didn’t do to put me in this situation. I can dwell on everything that I know is corrupt and broken about our elections, but none of that dwelling is going to change the situation before me.

That’s a fact.

One of two people is going to become the President Elect on Tuesday night. It’s either going to be Hillary or it’s going to be Trump. It’s not going to be anybody else. No matter what you do on Tuesday, you’re enabling the one who wins to become president. You can stay home, but then you just enabled the candidate that others (and possible a shut down subway system) chose. You can vote for your cat, or someone else who is definitely not going to be president, but then you just enabled the candidate that others (and possible a shut down subway system) chose. Whatever you do on Tuesday is going to enable either Trump or Hillary to become president.

That is just a fact.

You can tell yourself all the grandiose tales about your “conscience” and “picking evil” you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are going to enable either Trump or Hillary to win on Tuesday. No one else is going to be the next President Of The United States. The difference between you and I, is that I know who I’m enabling. You don’t. I have looked at the two options before me, and I have used my brain to make a calculation on who will damage my self interest less.

We very might well have another perfect storm situation on our hands. Looking back at everything that went into creating this storm isn’t going to change where we are today, and it’s not going to change the fact that every American is participating in the election of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. Personally, I can’t think of anything more stupid than being the hapless enabler. Let me repeat: whether you stay home or vote for someone who definitely isn’t going to be president, you are enabling one of the two major party candidates on Tuesday.

It’s time to decide. You can decide which candidate will benefit your self interest. You can decide which candidate will damage your self interest less. Or you can decide to be a hapless enabler for the eventual winner of this election, without knowing who you’re enabling when you cast your vote. No one is going to respect your “conscience” if you choose the latter.

It’s time to choose.

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