Social media distancing

This week one of my cousins sent me a message on Facebook, commenting that I have been quiet lately and asking if everything is all right. I waited a couple of days, then replied to her message, saying that I have been spending little time on Facebook recently. I proceeded to suggest that avoiding Facebook was good for my blood pressure.

I was tempted to go on to say that avoiding Facebook is also good for handling anxiety and depression and maintaining sobriety, but I didn’t want to concern her.

Actually, I have been lurking on Facebook, just not posting or commenting or even liking posts. When I feel my patience dwindling, I quickly turn off Facebook and visit somewhere else. Another of my cousins posted a link to the news story about the five hundred children from Mexico who were taken to the US border and left unclaimed; their parents still cannot be located. This cousin proceeded to say that anyone who still supports President Trump should unfriend him immediately. I was tempted, but I neither unfriended my cousin nor commented on his post. It is better to ignore such provocations and move on than to get involved in ugly political debate.

I am looking forward to election night—partly because of my ongoing interest in national politics, and partly in hope of a sense of closure for the year’s ugliness. I realize that I will probably go to bed that night not yet knowing who won the election—in fact, it might take days to count all the votes and declare a winner in the “swing states.” The media outlets that constantly remind us how far ahead Candidate Biden is in the polls and how desperate President Trump’s campaign must be feeling will have egg on their faces again next month, as the polls once again fail to judge correctly which Americans bother to vote and which have an opinion which they will not express with their ballots. Voter turnout will be key; President Trump motivated many citizens who do not usually vote to take part in the process four years ago. With the help of the national media, he may be drawing those same voters—who did not vote in 2018—to cast their ballots once again in his favor.

Last night during the debate, President Trump predicted not only that he will win the election but that Republicans will again reclaim the House of Representatives. Obviously, for President Trump that is a best case scenario. The national media not only expects the Democrats to keep the House but thinks that they might gain a narrow majority in the Senate as well. Once again, voter turnout will be the key. The campaigns and their advertisements are no longer designed to win over undecided voters; their purpose at this point is to motivate voters and persuade them to express their feelings with their votes.

Last night’s debate presented the President Trump that the Republicans want voters to see and also the Candidate Biden that Republicans want voters to see. Citizens who watched the debate saw a President who is in control, understands the issues, and has answers for the empty rhetoric of his opponent. They also saw a candidate who hesitates and stammers under pressure, who renounces several of the passions of his base supporters, and whose motivational campaign statements are becoming increasingly tired and worn.

We are still at the point where anything can happen. When the election results are announced, many people will be unhappy. My family is preparing as if for a winter storm, making sure we have enough supplies to shelter in place for several days in November. Somehow, by God’s grace, we will get through this together, and when the smoke clears, we will still have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. J.

Updates and promise of a platform

First, I must say that the computer I use to access WordPress during the day seems to be malfunctioning. I am able to see posts but not to interact with them. I’m still out here, folks, but I’m not liking your posts for a reason that has nothing to do with my reaction to your posts.

Second, my analysis of Super Tuesday is this: the Democratic primary voters seem to be backing away from Bernie Sanders and his Socialist policies. But, with other candidates dropping out, the only viable choice to Senator Sanders appears to be Joseph Biden. This puts him in a place like that occupied by Walter Mondale in 1984 and Bob Dole in 1996. All three were long involved in politics (Mondale even being a former Vice President), well-known within their party, but hardly poised to overtake an incumbent President during an election year. Over the next eight months, attention will increasingly turn to the balance of Republicans and Democrats in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. President Trump could win reelection but face an opposition Congress, as did President Nixon in 1972. Or, he could draw voters into the Republican column, as Democratic voters sit out the election, particularly after Candidate Biden embarrasses himself during his debates with President Trump.

Third, this week I took the time to visit the web sites of candidates Sanders, Biden, and Trump. I analyzed the issues each candidate presents, and I am drawing together my own 25-point platform on the major issues of this election. Over the coming weeks, from time to time, I will post portions of that platform. Not that I’m running for anything this year; it’s just good practice to remain informed and poised on all the issues. And, who knows? A platform created this year may be helpful as the 2022 election approaches. J.