Folks, I’d like to take you back to 1995 (yes, I’m old, leave me alone)(and get off my lawn). It was a notable year as the time we all realized we could have a sexual predator in office, and, more notably, two greats in the world of newspaper comics retired. I’ll spare everyone the condescending discussion of pre-Internet media and go right to the important part: Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, and Gary Larson, creator of The Far Side, stepped down. They both felt (and I might be misremembering or paraphrasing, forgive me) that they’d both said as much as they could, and they wanted to move on while they were still beloved figures and collecting royalties on their IP. JK Rowling might do well to listen. But, it’s an important, under-discussed aspect of good manners and civility that we tend to ignore that we need to bring back: leave the party early, while you’re still in the hostess’s good graces.
We seem to have nationally forgot about why that rule of etiquette was enacted: Better to leave now and miss being a part of drunken Jenga, rather than risk becoming personae non grata and missing out on the next event. This rule is being highlighted by an Administration that thinks the Presidency works like some schoolyard hazing game where the first person to call “Uncle” loses. As a voter, I feel compelled to point out that the presidency goes to the person who has the most electoral votes — traditionally marked by the number 270 — and not the person with the best ratings. I feel this is an important distinction to make, because I don’t want Cardi B suddenly declaring herself president based on Youtube views (don’t get me wrong; I’m sure she’d be more-presidential than Donald, but there is an actual, formal, legal process to go through, first).
In the ensuing weeks since Joe Biden secured both Pennsylvania and Georgia (admittedly, the latter was by a razor-thin margin, but every minority member in America — and especially Georgia — needs to hear the message; you matter; your participation in democracy can change democracy), I’ve become the sort-of go-to consultant for the ongoing presidential crisis for my European and Canadian friends, who are, justifiably, rather puzzled about this whole thing. Let me make it clear; I am wholly unqualified in this position; I’m just a guy with a university education who’s taken a few civics and history classes and has voted in almost every election since 2003 (I skipped 2012 because I was out of the country and, by the time I figured out how to ship things internationally, I’d missed the deadline)(I feel there’s a pertinent lesson to Donald’s last living three dozen vocal supporters, but I digress). Which makes me more-qualified than the current occupant of the Oval Office, but not a Constitutional Scholar. I tell them that, from my admittedly uneducated perspective, there aren’t enough lawsuits in enough states with enough of a basis to flip the election — this is not like Gore v Bush, where 500 votes decided the Presidency. It’s going to go to Biden.
Showing the grace, magnanimity, and good will that has been the hallmark of this shambolic administration, Donald has promised that he will have to be dragged kicking and screaming from the White House. And, if there’s one thing the last 40000 years have taught us, it’s that this president consistently keeps his promises. Or, y’know, we could just have a bunch of unarmed protesters come to the White House, scare Il Douche into the White House Bunker, and then lock the bunker door behind him. Hey, I wasn’t the one who decided that the most powerful democracy in the world was going to operate on the same rules as a Looney Tunes short, but I know that the sort of bizarre, convoluted schemes this administration requires to stay on life support traditionally ends with the coyote holding a sign reading “Uh oh,” or something similar. Most other commentators have pointed out that R. Giuliani’s bizarre press conference in the parking lot of an industrial park kind of signaled that the end-credits music is starting. As many, many, many other writers and analysts have pointed out, a concession from the loser is not mandated, necessary, or actually mandated for the peaceful transfer of power; it’s simply traditional. Of course, traditionally, Georgia is a Republican strong-hold; a quarter million dead Americans is a horrific national crisis; and black women are property, not Vice Presidents, so we probably left tradition in the dust back in October. In short, whether Rudy or Donald or Ivanka wants it, they will be looking for jobs in late January.
I mean, there’s a lot they can do to gum up the works, but, given how well the border wall went, I’m not sure I’d put a whole lot of faith in these half-hearted attempts (C’mon, Donnie, any decent dictator knows that you don’t go golfing in the middle of a rigged election — if you’re the one doing the rigging, you want to make sure there aren’t any screw-ups, if you’re the one being ousted, you want to clear out the good silver and double-check that your Swiss passport is in order). In short, January 20, 2021 (and change) is coming. If I were remotely connected to the RNC, I’d make sure Donald was nowhere near the White House during the inauguration, because, if he is dragged from the White House kicking and screaming, it will be filmed. It will be broadcast on every major network. Not once, either; any savvy democrat will have it burned into their hard drive, and play it every single time a candidate claims to be a “law and order candidate.” As many other writers have pointed out, reacting to accusations of blatant hypocrisy would require a sense of shame that has not been displayed by the RNC for a while. On the other hand, Georgia is now a swing state, we’ve had a crazed game-show host as president, we will have a black woman vice president, and Georgia is now a swing state, so, anything is possible.
And, yeah, if this article seems a little vindictive and petty, well, yeah, that’s the point. The GOP has had over 10 years to address its own blindness to inescapable political realities and adjust — not only can women now vote; they make up a significant voting bloc. White, able-bodied, land (and human) owning men are now a minority (and a shrinking one — look up “COVID long-haulers” for those of you who still operate under the mistaken assumption that the only two outcomes of serious illness are death or perfect health). Tailoring your platform and approach to appeal to them is like investing in a telegraph company — not a good long-term idea. And you need to abandon this idea that you can legislate your way back to 1855, that’s another losing proposition. Instead, what would public-private partnerships look like with universal housing? What are the market-oriented solutions to global warming? How do we incentivize employers to hire women? What is a share-holder-friendly strategy for distribution of necessary medicine and medical equipment when supply chains are disrupted? These were the issues on the ballot this year that Donald completely failed to even mention, and, combined with his abusive, abrasive personality and continuing malfeasance and criminality, gave Biden a sweeping, historic win. I don’t want to see the GOP become the next Whig party; I want them to form a viable opposition party that doesn’t run on racism, sexism, and prejudice.