Next Tuesday is Election Day. At this point, it’s turning out to be Y2K.2.
Remember Y2K, when everyone was worried that the world would go out of whack or maybe even end when the year 2000 came? No one knew for certain if computers, which pretty much run the world as we know it, would switch over to switch over to 2000 or revert to 1900 or even 1000. There were dire warnings from agencies and institutions, and everyone was stressing out, writing up plans and stocking up on goods and supplies.
It turned out that all the warning and all the stressing was all for nothing. The calendar went from 1999 to 2000 without a hitch. All our computers and all our devices switched over to 2000 with no problems to speak of.
I’d like to say that the bizarre, twisty, anything-can-happen presidential campaign, which has essentially been going on for nearly 2 years, will end up the same way with the final voting on Tuesday. The election will be over – finally! finally! – and our life will go on.
But will it?
It is possible that the election won’t be over on Tuesday. Donald Trump hasn’t said if he’ll concede if Hilary Clinton wins, and he says he may contest the election if he doesn’t win. It’s hard to say, however, if this isn’t just more of Trump’s blowhard self-promotion. (There are those who argue that Trump doesn’t really want to be president – see his lack of preparation and research – that his campaign has just been a publicity stunt.)
Or there are those who say the election will be too close to call, a la 2000 and the hanging chads in Florida. This could get particularly hairy, with the 8-member Supreme Court evenly split.
The mainstream thought, though, seems to be that Clinton will win outright, although perhaps not by a landslide. I’d like to think and I pray that this is what happens. But even if this is what happens, it will be an uneasy victory.
This all may well not end on Tuesday, because, despite what he says and thinks, this election hasn’t been and isn’t about Trump.
This is obvious, because he has gotten this far no matter how vulgar, lewd and stupid he has been. As he has said, he can stand in street and shoot people and still get votes. And why would a millionaire be so attractive to the blue-collar workers who are Trump’s core, die-hard supporte?
It really isn’t Trump that these supporters, primarily older white men, are voting for. And they’re not just voting against Clinton. No, they are crying out, angrily, in a world that is leaving them behind, that they don’t understand. It’s a world that is no longer right and fair, where women can easily get abortions, where men can marry each other, where there are more and more restrictions on guns, where some people can not only get by but get ahead with tax payers’ help, where a black man, most likely benefiting from affirmative action and other such government help, can be president.
“I call it the pissed-off steel workers party. A lot of people like someone who causes trouble,” a Trump supporter in Youngstown, Ohio, was recently quoted in the Los Angeles Times. A lot of people are pissed off and want to stick it to the man. Trump, who is just famous for being famous, is merely taking advantage of this anger and riding it. Trump is just these people’s vehicle, and, like rioters who burn down their own neighborhood, they don’t care if they ruin the country in expressing their anger.
Even if Trump loses fairly and squarely, with no doubts and lingering questions, there will be a lot of angry people. Or people who are even angrier.
On the other hand, if Trump does win – God help us – there will be a lot of people who are not happy, to say the least.