Day 251 of self-isolation and Day 112 without gas.
I was walking Dusty and had forgotten my phone in my apartment when Biden officially got the necessary 270 votes for the presidency. As I walked my dog towards my local coffee shop, people started cheering from their balconies and passing cars began honking their horns. I assumed Pennsylvania went to Biden and the major news networks had called it; I got confirmation by a pedestrian walking towards us who gleefully shouted, “Biden won!”
I couldn’t help but smile beneath my mask. Everything just felt lighter, as if a heavy burden was lifted (which, in retrospect, it was). It was as if you found 100 dollar bill on the ground — it was an unexpected surprise, and the possibilities of what to spend it on is endless.
But then reality hit, and I got sad…
Yesterday, I was watching Trivial Dispute, NYC’s famous bar trivia that moved online to Twitch. I usually play with Morgan and Brett Burton each week, but they were busy yesterday. Bored on a Thursday, I streamed Trivial Dispute on my TV and just watched host Adam Kessner make jokes and show foster kittens. The theme of the night were conspiracy theories, and the final tie-breaker question was Price is Right style: “the number of people who believe Trump won the election/the election was stolen + the number of people who believe Lizard People have infiltrated the government, in the millions.”
That number? 70 million people — 58 million Americans felt that Biden and the Democrats cheated, with 12 million who believe in Lizard People overlords.
After Pennsylvania was called, I was shocked to see that 71 million people (and counting) voted to reelect Trump, how +71 million either believe in him or were willing to give him a soft pass. In my head, I’m pondering how could +71 million people thought everything Trump has done was okay — how could the lies, corruption, racism, tone-deafness, misogyny, xenophobia, and above all else, the poor response to the pandemic motivate +71 million people to vote for him? I know Trump has his die-hard base who are inherently misguided and probably racist as fuck, and perhaps many millions of people just simply vote Republican. Still, how can you cast your vote for him on moral grounds? How can you be this ill-informed?
Now, that number of 58 million Americans who feel Trump actually won, and Biden was cheating — that fucking scares me. That’s way too many people who believe the lies and accusations Trump has spewed since losing the electoral count, who are way too brainwashed by fringe media and a narcissistic master marketer. They are the very definition of a cult of personality. Part of that 58 million is what frightens me come Biden’s Inauguration Day, with their conspiracy theories and irrationality, and what (if anything) they plan to do next. Is that 58 million redeemable? I hope so, but the forecast doesn’t look so good; they may be dragged down, kicking and screaming and violently clawing with Trump, to a really dark place in American Democracy.