Why Seeing President Obama Gives Us Hope
(Also, why Trump’s latest anti mail-in voting mantra is just plain dumb)
It’s not because we’re suckers (we don’t think). And we’re not going to sit here today and rhapsodize about Obama or his Presidency. Just that he was spitting fire during his Democratic National Convention speech; we’ve linked to video here. (And also on Medium, Obama published a transcript of the speech.) And when a relative of ours reacted: “Now, he should be President”, we got their point. (No doubt tonight will be a big test for Joe Biden.) We don’t mean to take away either from the speech by the now official Democratic nominee for Vice-President Kamala Harris either. Hers was a forceful, personal introduction.
But our point today has less to do with Presidents and candidates, and more to do with Americans. Because seeing and hearing from Obama was a resounding reminder to us at least, that the people of this country elected him. Twice. By a lot. Both times with far more electoral votes than Donald Trump got.
And even though those Obama victories seem like a long time ago, and have at least to some extent been pushed out of our minds by the ensuing nightmare we’ve yet to wake up from, the ability to remove Donald Trump from office is far from a dream. The evidence it can be done is plain. The numbers are there. The only questions is those of determination and will.
As President Obama himself said:
“Democracy was never meant to be transactional — you give me your vote; I make everything better. It requires an active and informed citizenry. So I am also asking you to believe in your own ability — to embrace your own responsibility as citizens — to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure. Because that’s what’s at stake right now. Our democracy.”
This seems to be the brainchild of new White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, because he’s been running around shouting it even louder than the President.
Stop for a split second and you’ll realize it’s utter nonsense. The basic idea is that vote by mail has got to be a scam, because the same people demanding it due to the pandemic had no problem coming out in public to protest against police brutality, or for Black Lives Matter, or against Trump, or all 3.
The reason that’s so ridiculous is there are about 200-million people of voting age in the U.S. We don’t know the total number of protestors across the country, but let’s make it a huge number: say, 1-million. That still means 199 out of every 200 potential voters didn’t go out to protests. 99.5% didn’t “PROTEST IN PERSON”.
Perhaps because they weren’t in support of the protests, or didn’t care. But also maybe because they felt too at risk of catching COVID-19, which is still very much a risk. And they shouldn’t have to put their lives on the line to vote.
We have no way of knowing this for sure, but we’d bet plenty of the people who did protest, would have few issues with presenting themselves in person to vote. But at risk people will. Yet, everyone who might possibly oppose Trump is lumped together as usual, and singled out for punishment.
Even if you reduce what they’re talking about to the number of likely voters this year (120-million people voted in the 2016 Presidential Election, and it’ll probably be more), the majority still didn’t directly participate in the protests. Even if you assume none of the protestors will vote for Trump, you’re still talking about a multiple of many millions of people when you put that number up against the total number of people who won’t be voting for Trump.
Trump and his minions know all this. It’s just another bit of glib BS that they think they can use as cover for actions such as the Trump campaign suing the state of New Jersey to block making it easier to mail-in ballots in light of the pandemic. They’ll just talk fast, and quickly move on to the next thing, and a lot of people won’t bother to think beyond that.