This Affects You

I know I’ve posted a lot about politics lately, which is unusual for me. Given the importance of this week’s election, I’m having trouble keeping my attention on anything else. Now it’s Thursday evening and we’re still awaiting election results. Depending on whose numbers you use, either five or six states are still undecided.

In the last couple days, I’ve heard from people who voted against Trump but are complacent about the results, saying that either way, the outcome doesn’t affect them. How is that possible?

Trump has encouraged his supporters to commit violent acts against immigrants, African-Americans, and anyone who opposes his policies. If you fit in any of those categories or live in a community that includes anyone who does, this affects you.

Trump has bungled the nation’s response to a worldwide pandemic, lying about the virus’s severity, ignoring the recommendations of experts, refusing to institute common-sense and scientifically sound national guidelines to control the spread, flaunting his own refusal to take recommended precautions, insisting on holding “superspreader” events, and mocking those who follow sound medical guidelines, resulting in the deaths of more than 230,000 Americans, many of whom would be alive today if he had taken this pandemic seriously. If you live in the U.S., this affects you.

Trump has curtailed protections for women in the workplace and for girls at school, among other things making it harder for those being harassed or sexually assaulted to get justice. And he has put a justice on the supreme court who believes women should not act without their husbands’ permission. If you are female, if you have loved ones who are, or if you are the parent of a girl, this affects you.

Trump has drastically scaled back environmental protections. If you breathe, require safe water, would prefer not to have our coastal cities engulfed by the ocean, and are concerned about increasingly larger areas of the country being at risk from wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, and other natural disasters, this affects you.

Trump has vowed to make same-sex marriages illegal. If you are LGBT or know anyone who is, this affects you.

Trump has begun dismantling the Affordable Care Act, and vows to remove it completely — in the middle of a pandemic — though he has never revealed a plan for a new health-care system to replace it. If you have health care, want health care, or may need health care at some point in the future, this affects you.

Trump refuses to take action to make college more affordable for middle-class and low-income people. If you are paying off student loans, are currently in college, want to go to college, or have loved ones who fit any of those descriptions, this affects you.

Trump has repeatedly called for cutting funding for necessary services to states and jurisdictions whose leaders disagree with him. If you live in those places, visit those places, or know anyone who does, this affects you.

Trump has set about dismantling the public education system. If you are in public school, know people who are in public school, or would like to see at least a basic level of education in the community around you, this affects you.

Trump has conspired with foreign powers to influence our country’s democratic process in his favor. He has alienated some of our most important allies in favor of aligning himself with dictators. Now he is still trying to keep several states from counting ballots that were legally cast, because he fears they will favor his opponent. If you care about the integrity and fairness of our elections, and about our nation’s reputation worldwide, this affects you.

And speaking of elections, we might actually have an answer tonight. I’m staying tuned.

Here’s where we stand now, according to AP. Fox and Politico agree, but some outlets still have not called Arizona, so this map is not definitive. Providing Arizona has gone to Biden, he can beat Trump if he wins Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, or Georgia. He is most likely going to win Nevada and has little chance of taking Alaska. But the other three states, though they are pink here, are actually possible Democratic wins. Trump is only slightly ahead in each one, and the votes that have not yet been counted are expected to trend blue. We don’t need them all, but the more decisive the numbers, the better.

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