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Election countdown: Open thread

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It’s coming. And whatever happens, it’s going to be a holy mess.


43 replies on “Election countdown: Open thread”

So the end result of this is either going to be Trump immediately seizing the opportunity to declare himself emperor, or another centrist fence-sitter who will ignore the fact that the Obama-era status quo never fucking worked in the first place and definitely won’t work now.

Truly, we are doomed.

I don’t know how I’ll sleep Monday night, much less Tuesday. I keep remembering my mom crying when Reagan was elected, and how I felt during the whole Bush v. Gore mess, not to mention 2016.

A few things to keep in mind are that if Trump appears to be winning election night, it doesn’t mean he is. And the military is unlikely to side with Trump in the event of a civil war given how he has mistreated them. That said, I am still very nervous. FiveThirtyEight is giving Biden 89% odds right now, which is better than the 71% they gave Hillary in 2016, but they admit that that forecast doesn’t account for various means of voter suppression, vote discarding, or constitutional violations that Trump could pull.

As the first US president not to agree to a peaceful transfer of power, it is likely that Trump’s base will be violent no matter the outcome. If he wins, they’ll go out and do terrorist attacks because they’ll feel vindicated. If he loses, they’ll do it as revenge. If you are in a red state, a red area of a state, or a swing state, be very careful. Arm yourself if you can, whether it’s with a gun, pepper spray, or a contact weapon like a club. And if you can, stay in on election night.

I’m more scared right now than I’ve ever been in my life, and that’s saying something.

Edit: I’m just going to put in here that I’ve woken up so, so many times now to trucks backfiring, doors slamming, etc. and immediately thought: “Welp, guess Trump ordered a nuking and this is the return salvo. I wonder if that prickly heat I’m feeling is the first touch of radiation. This is it, better get myself ready for the end.”

Boomers can go ahead and laugh at this, y’all probably have been there, but just… I don’t even have words left to describe how scared I am.

I keep thinking back to 2016. I’d drifted off to sleep, then my spouse woke me to tell me the bad news. I was so shaken, I took a Xanax, and had a generous shot of vodka.

My sister in law says she’s moving to the Netherlands, where she was born, if Dump wins.

I’m no fan of Biden, but I believe he’s vastly preferable to Dump.

@Victorious Parasol: My mommy’s a fascist. She was pleased as punch, when Reagan won.

Nate Silver reassured me that Election 2020 is nothing like 2016, much less uncertainty & undecideds. I’m hoping 2020 will help us forget the PSTD from 2016.


Seeing that I’m in DC, should I assume I’ll be at ground zero if and when attacks happen? I’ve already got messages warning me that I should stock up on food like a hurricane was about to hit, and a lot of shops have boarded up their windows in advance.

I’m not in DC right now, so I can’t advise completely to your situation, but I would say to be very careful where you go and avoid non-essential errands. If you have anything really important to do/buy, try to do it before the election.

I’m in a very red area of a swing state. I plan to be at my polling place at 7 AM, when it opens. I hope I can make it back home by 8:30, when I start work. (I telework.) I considered voting by mail, but I didn’t trust the USPS to deliver my ballot.

I feel guilty about never taking an interest in politics when I was younger, like many in my generation. The first presidential election I was old enough to vote in was 1988’s – I was 21. I couldn’t be bothered to vote in it. I was 51 years old the first time I voted in a midterm election, in 2018.


I went to the polls in person because I also did not trust mail-in voting. I live in a deep blue state where my prez vote won’t matter, but my downballot votes will matter a lot because my district is red af. The worst thing that happened was an asshole of the first degree staying in the line without a mask (couldn’t wear one for “medical reasons”, which turned out to be purportedly asthma: I would believe this except I definitely recall a dude with asthma who was only able to run a marathon BECAUSE of his mask filtering out pollens and shit… but I digress) and then hassling the poll workers with every Republican conspiracy theory under the sun. She didn’t even want to vote, she just wanted to hassle the poll workers, and ask them about her supposed friend who was turned away and told she couldn’t vote, it had to be mail-in only, man is she confused! And what about her daughter, who received TWO ballots, and was now going to vote in person as well! THREE VOTES! AHHH! And what about tHe ImMiGrAnTs? Was anyone checking that the dirty immigrants aren’t voting in this election like the dirty heathen immigrants they are?

But as frustrating and a time-waster as that was, at least she didn’t have a gun and wave it at anyone, and there were no Trump people outside.

@Big Titty Demon

And what about her daughter, who received TWO ballots, and was now going to vote in person as well! THREE VOTES! AHHH!

I’m surprised she thought that was an issue, seeing as her Dear Leader actively told an NC rally crowd to vote twice (which is illegal).


It seemed to be due to some problematic disagreements in who to vote for. She seemed mightily displeased that the reason there were two ballots received was one was at her house and one was at the daughter+boyfriend living in sin’s house. He was, from all accounts, a vile corrupter of All That Is Right And Proper, in all sense of right. The things that spiteful hags will spite about in public with nary a care.

If I was a religious man I’d be praying for all of you good people in the States. Hoping that 538’s 90% chance is right and Trump is beaten.
Will be keeping an eye on results through the day here on Wednesday

I fear the worse, basically. Trump is blatantly trying to rig it and have telgraphied a coup after the election.

@Big Titty Demon

It seemed to be due to some problematic disagreements in who to vote for.

Ah, that makes more sense. Conservatism is a philosophy built around “rules for thee and not for me” so that checks out.

Good luck America. I’m really hoping that it will be a landslide for Biden, too big for Trump to lie into oblivion.

I’m worried about violence too. I really hope all the Mammotheers stay safe.

I’m hoping for a big blue win, of course, but that’s just the start of a long and difficult process of fash-proofing the US, and I’m not convinced the Dems are up to the job.


I’m not convinced the Dems are up to the job.

The way I see it is, a Biden administration isn’t going to be able to do it, but it will be less openly hostile to those who can work towards that goal. It’s easier take direct action under an indifferent administration than an actively hostile one.

If Biden wins, one thing which will be key is to keep the pressure on him. With Obama, we relaxed too soon and let Bush off the hook, which showed the GOP that we wouldn’t hold them accountable so they could run Trump. If Biden wins, we need the pressure to simultaneously enact progressive legislation, investigate/press charges against the whole Trump admin, and to work on undoing the damage Trump has done. Some damage can be undone relatively quickly (i.e. rejoining Paris Agreement) while other damage will be a lot harder and requires work at the local, state, and federal levels.

Another thing to watch out for is terrorism. Trump supporters have brainwashed themselves into thinking Trump will win by a Reagan-style landslide, so if he doesn’t they’ll think the election was stolen and will likely start attacking anyone that they think might be a Biden voter, a minority, or an “antifa.” So far this has mainly consisted of blocking roads and chasing a bus, but it can easily get worse.

Edit: If Trump loses and is removed from office successfully, he has hinted that he would flee the country. I’m not sure where he’d go, since Russia probably wouldn’t want him anymore by that point, but if he flees it remains important to investigate the rest of his administration.

In retrospect, Obama was what the republicans try or tried to sell themselves as. An hawk mostly devoted to economy that still think about the little guy when he have time after helping the big corps.

His VP probably will be much of the same. And I don’t have the feeling he will even sue the ass of thoses thugs of the trump “administration”.

@ naglfar

investigate/press charges against the whole Trump admin

I understand why that’s a nice thought. I think it very unlikely though.

The Dem leadership will not wish to create a precedent that the first thing a new administration does, is seek to imprison the previous administration.

You can imagine the reasons for that. The prospect of a new norm of tit-for-tat reprisals, the further polarisation of politics and the encouragement of satellite legal proceedings becoming more relevant than voting as a method of achieving office, and just the optics.

Trump may well face pressure from individual prosecutors; but I suspect the Dems as a party will very much distance themselves from those and say it’s not for politicians to comment on or try to influence legal proceedings.

@Naglfar: I can see Putin having some fun hosting a ‘legitimate US government in exile’, though only until there was a deal to be made with the Biden administration.

On an unrelated note, I have happened to be the the US for work for the last two elections and I’m not sorry that I’m skipping this one.

Hope everyone there stays safe.

@Alan Robertshaw
I know it’s unlikely, but I still think that if Biden is elected we should try to pressure him to do it. We let Bush off the hook, and if Trump gets off it will only embolden the GOP and tell them once again that their actions don’t have consequences.


I can see Putin having some fun hosting a ‘legitimate US government in exile’, though only until there was a deal to be made with the Biden administration.

That’s a possibility, but I get the feeling that if Trump is removed from power and the international community recognizes Biden as president, Putin will no longer find Trump very useful and will cast him aside in favor of some new objective.

@Naglfar: I agree it wouldn’t be for very long. But portraying US democracy as being as broken as Russian democracy is a clear goal of Putin’s.

Maybe he wouldn’t go as far as hosting Trump but he will definitely use of the election outcome.

Trump would be a fool to trust him, but of course he is one.

Trump has legitimized fascism worldwide – look at Brazil and Russia in particular (countries whose leaders feel particularly flattered to have this man calling the shots for the US), and possibly other countries like Poland, Hungary, Turkey and several others.

As a UK citizen whose PM has had few but amicable relations with Trump, I don’t feel like I’m as concerned as I should be but I do have to keep an eye out for how this can fuck me over.

I speak as someone who is not white (despite being a naturalized citizen for most of my life of two decades), cis and willing to be religious and subservient to the capitalist order.

I wish American ‘democracy’ was only as broken as the current Russian system.

@Dalillama: If the US democracy were equivalent to Russia:

  • All non-Fox News media would not exist
  • Biden would have actually been arrested and Trump would be running against a Washington Generals type of candidate who would mostly just agree with what Trump said
  • Trump admin whistleblowers would all be dead or under arrest
  • The election would be a complete sham as opposed to a partial sham and Trump would be guaranteed to win by a slightly increased margin from 2016
  • The amendment allowing Trump to serve beyond two terms would already be a done deal
  • etc.

I know it is bad at the moment Russia is still worse. Mind you, if Trump manages to hang on to power the above will be part of his check list for the 2024 election.

Way to miss the point, sport. Guess which country has the most people behind bars, in both relative and absolute terms? Hint: it’s not Russia
Guess which country has the most people murdered by the authorities? Again, not Russia, although the US may only be second on that one what with the Uighur genocide in China atm.
Guess which country is currently engaged in more wars of aggression than anyone else? Again, not Russia.
Guess which candidate Americans can vote for that will change these things? Surprise! There isn’t one.

I already voted early. It was pretty painless – I was near the polling place already so I just scooted on in and voted. They even validated my parking. My down-ballot is especially important, because McConnell is on it. I have zero hope that he’s going to lose (too many racists and pro-forced-birthers in Eastern Kentucky who are perfectly content with his policies) but it felt nice to fill in that circle for McGrath, who is far from a perfect candidate but who would be worlds better than McConnell.

In 2016 I fell asleep before the polls closed and woke up again at like 3 AM, whereupon I checked the map and it felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world. I had saved my little “I Voted” sticker and planned to make it a souvenir of my vote for the first female president. It’s long in the trash now. Don’t need any souvenirs of the dumpster fire we have today.

I am not too concerned for my personal safety if the election goes south (which could happen with either of them winning) but I am very concerned about the blatant plans for voter intimidation. Usually the voter caging plans are very hush-hush, but this year they are right out in the open. The perps know that the SCOTUS has their backs, so why not be up front about it? It’s discouraging. We are in a situation of minority rule, and have been for some time now.

I’m terrified, I won’t lie.

The one advantage I have is that I also have Australian citizenship, but that doesn’t do me a lot of good since Americans are still banned from travel almost everywhere. And my passport needs renewing (actually, I think both of them might…), and I was hoping to put that off until AFTER I got my name and gender marker changed. But I also have to get my divorce and get custody of my daughter and tbh I’ll probably spend most of tomorrow evening in a haze of benadryl and alcohol because I’m trying to avoid weed entirely (it’s legal here but I’m not supposed to have it as part of my job and my husband’s an alcoholic so I can easily see him demanding I get a hair follicle test for weed if I demand he get a hair follicle test for his daily drinking. I don’t drink often as a general rule – typically no more than once a week – but I have a feeling I’ll need it that one day. And possibly the next.)

@Dalilama : guess what have nothing to do with having a broken democracy ? All your points, which miss that they are indicators of institutional racism more than of autocracy.

If you actually talk about freedom of thought, free election, and the like, America is *way* better than Russia, because the bar to pass is so low. There’s actual alternative, it’s just not the one *you* want.

Your hate blind you. Not much of a problem given that hating on USA is well justified, but it also mean you regulary make a fool of yourself, like here.

@ lumipuna

That story is amazing. I’m still trying to figure why there’s a station in the middle of a pond; but then again, just look at London’s DLR.

But what is just wonderful is that sculpture is called “Saved by the whale’s tail”.

Talk about nominative determinism.

@Dalillama: I don’t disagree with any of your points.

Either way, I don’t think I want to continue arguing about this at this particular juncture. If you are in the US I hope you are safe this week.

Just trying to keep sane.

I bought a shit ton of booze and clearance Halloween candy yesterday so I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

I’m somewhat comforted because the GOP is losing most of their voter suppression attempts in the courts. Cautiously optimistic but terrified and am concerned that whatever happens Trump supporters will turn violent (violenter?).

No offense, but you haven’t the first fucking clue what you’re talking about. You are aware, are you not (you’re clearly not), that incarcerated people don’t get to vote? And that despite this, they are counted as residents for purposes of allotting representation? And that prisons are specifically placed in white, rural towns to inflate their population counts? And that in most states formerly incarcerated persons are permanently prohibited from voting? And the racial bias of the US carceral system? That’s just a start, I could go on all afternoon, but I’m not here to be your tutor. I recommend you start lessening your ignorance by reading The New Jim Crow. Not directly related to the carceral system, but on the topic of American brokenness, try Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee and Neither Wolf Nor Dog, and Between The World and Me. The problem with the Russian government right now is that it isn’t living up to the Russian Constitution. The problem with the US government is that it is. The US is and always has been an Apartheid state, and such a state cannot meaningfully be considered a democracy.

See above. I am in the United States, and I will not be safe here no matter who wins any elections.

Seconding @Full Metal Ox. Well, not me personally – I was born in ’88 – but my father’s a boomer from the States, was a kid when the Cuban Missile crisis happened and grew up with all the Cold War spinoffs & on-and-off fears of nuclear disaster. He’s also pretty worried about this election.

He’s been watching the evening TV news for nearly a week straight – normally he’d rather read about ancient Hebrew verbs or something. 🙂

I don’t think (fingers crossed) that Trump could seize power and become a dictator now, but things could erupt into violence in smaller ways. And @Dalilama’s right that there are already so many less overt ways that power is being taken from people.

IDK if the U.S. is the worst for this. Canada’s been pretty horrible with racism, especially towards indigenous people, and is still keeping them from holding anything but nominal power over land that should be theirs. I don’t know that much about policing here, but there have been similar incidents of police violence towards racialized people.

It does help to have someone less Trump-like in office here, but there are lots of things Trudeau seems to be slacking off on. A bunch of (mostly Native) towns were promised clean water 3-4 years ago, and I heard a couple of days ago that 40+ still don’t have decent tap water. There’s a town that’s been under a boiled water advisory for 25+ years.

Anyway, I don’t know why I’m ranting about things in Canada. If I were in the U.S. I’d vote Democrat rather than not voting, and I’m crossing my fingers that the orange-faced one is kicked out of the White House, but people are right, the votes need to be fairer in order to make more of a difference.

Take care, everyone!!

I’m on tenterhooks over the election and thinking of you all and everyone in the US. I’m Scottish based and appreciating some amount of sensible behaviour from our devolved government.

I am feeling nervous about the results, but I’m glad that I’m going to have quite a bit to keep my mind occupied! I am seriously thinking of all of you over there and wishing for the Trump to be dumped.

@Alan Robertshaw

That story is amazing. I’m still trying to figure why there’s a station in the middle of a pond; but then again, just look at London’s DLR.

Yeah ! I saw that story too and was blown away by it. The image is really wild and how lucky the sculpture was there!
(I tried to post another pic of it but can’t see how to do that on mobile)


Glad to know I’m not the only one who has stocked up on booze in response to the election results.

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