Victory! Yes? Maybe? Probably….. And Still The Gnawing Question!

At this moment, it’s

BIDEN: 72,308,434

TRUMP: 68,801,672

At this moment, Biden lacks six electoral votes for victory. Nevada would give him that, and he’s ahead there. It seems extremely likely that he will win when all the write-ins are counted for all the still undecided states since all assume the write-ins are majority Dem. My friend Laura told me that there were 300,000 votes sitting in the Atlanta post office which a judge had ordered delivered to be counted. Maybe that’s happened by now. If Trump wants to stop the count right now, Biden would still win Nevada.

It seems that the Democratic Party is not going to go all calm and supine, as they did in 2000, when Gore decided to be above-it-all rather than fight to win. And of course the Dems really don’t have a CHOICE to roll over and wave their paws in the air, as they have done so often because there is an ENORMOUS POPULAR PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT committed to getting a fair and honest result for this election. But there are still a lot of ifs. I will save my joy and celebration for the moment when the Associated Press declares Biden President.

Apparently, the NY Times and everyone else has decided that the AP gets to call it. I feel good about that since I have a personal relationship with the Associated Press. I’ve been performing a solo play since 2013 about Lorena Hickok, a star reporter for the AP in the 1930s (and also Eleanor Roosevelt’s lover). One of the settings in my play is the AP office. Hick says “AP” and “Associated Press” many times. I cannot believe the AP would do anything skanky to favor Trump.

I must admit that I was hoping for a GIANT REPUDIATION of Dear Leader aka Der Toddler aka The Orange One. And that did not happen. At this moment, 68,801,672 American votes have been counted for Trump, and they can’t all be Proud Boys or billionaires slobbering for more tax breaks.

I DID experience the joy of that giant repudiation on election night when I smoked a joint for the first time in a long time. There was a certain moment when Biden was ahead in Texas and some other reddish state and James Carville (a very canny politico) said on TV not to worry, and I thought:

WE’VE DONE IT!

THE EVIL GOP IS GOING DOWN IN FLAMES!

IT’S HAPPENED!

AMERICANS ARE REALLY GOOD AT HEART AFTER ALL —

OR AT LEAST NOT INSANE!

And I went outside and yelled “WE WON! WE WON!” to the whole neighborhood. And then I got on the phone and called friends everywhere, waking up distant ones to the east with the joyful news. I was so HAPPY. What a lovely feeling that was. I guess I did have a little bit of niggling doubt deep down, wondering why I was the ONLY person who seemed to realize Biden had won in a landslide.

Eventually, I got to “L” in my phone book, and Laura convinced me that I was a tad premature. But you know what? I’m glad I felt that joy, even though I was stoned and deluded. I have that memory to keep me warm ….

But now I’m back, in reality, unadorned by drugs, and I want to understand….

WHY, WHY,WHY , WHY, WHY

did 68,801,672+ people vote for Trump?

We have to face the fact that the decision to vote for Trump — after four years of experiencing the chaos, incompetence, criminality, and heartlessness of his Presidency — voting for him in 2020 is a fundamentally different decision from the one Trump voters made four years ago when they could see him as an unknown, a great businessman, a Voice of the Little Man, a change for the better in some way.

People have started saying that Trump supporters are a cult. What does that mean? According to one definition:

  • A cult is a group or movement held together by a shared commitment to a charismatic leader or ideology. It has a belief system that has the answers to all of life’s questions and offers a special solution to be gained only by following the leader’s rules.

But what is TRUMP’S belief system? What are his answers? Now Hitler, THAT’S what I call a belief system! Basically: Everything bad in the world is the result of the Jews. Therefore if we murder all the Jews, we’ll all be happy!

Simple! Right? Actually, I did once experience succumbing to Hitler’s belief system. For five years, I immersed myself in reading about the Holocaust while I was writing a play that took place in Amsterdam during the Nazi Occupation.

At one point, I was reading one of Hitler’s speeches, and I, a Jew, surrendered to its belief system for a few moments. Yes! It’s simple! All evil is contained in the Jewish people!

There was something so compelling about the SIMPLICITY of it. I felt it in my soul, my Jewish soul.

Because, you know, the world, life, everything is so complicated. It’s so HARD to figure out what to do about climate change, the drought, immigration, the pandemic. Isn’t there something so NICE about someone who has the miraculous power to make all the difficulties disappear? What a RELIEF! And even if Dear Leader DOESN’T in fact make the problems disappear, you still have the joyful memory of the moment that you heard and believed. And certainly, you can find your next joyful moment, since he’s always out there rallying the troupes.

This longing for simplicity is so CHILDISH, but I think it’s somewhere in all of us. I found it in myself, even though I was a Jew believing that Jews were evil!

All news that contradicts what Dear Leader says, is FAKE NEWS. That’s it! Problem solved!

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Written by

Terry Baum is an actress, director, teacher, filmmaker, political activist, and award-winning lesbian playwright. Her blog BAUMBLOG is a “Top 100 LGBTQ Blog.”

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