Interference, Suppression and victory in the House

What can we deduce from the recent midterm election ?  Both Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams came close victory in the race to be Governor of Florida and Georgia.  Republican candidates through chicanery and voter suppression managed to eke out contested victories it would seem according to the latest figures.  Bill Nelson is hoping to come from behind in the recount, while republicans are trying to minimize results from the recount.  Andrew Gillum seems to be too far behind to catch up to Desantis so the Florida Governor’s race appears to be over.  It is unfortunate that Florida chose conservative politics over an innovative, progressive approach that would have favored the state over Trump politicking.  The middle class and all poor people will suffer while Florida retains the antiquated political system that has stymied real growth, hindered progress and slowed progress toward a more open society.  It’s a victory for the trumpeters and a defeat for the State of Florida because Desantis is a conservative Trump follower who will not guide the state toward real economic revival and bold reforms; rather he will be SOS and the state will suffer.

      Herbert Goldwire who was a candidate for City Commissioner of the City of Dania Beach in Broward County, Florida carried out a valiant old fashioned campaign where with the help of friends and family he tried to talk to as many people as he could and knock on as many doors as legs carried.  What used to be the American way.  But nowadays politics in America is reminiscent of Gil Scott-Heron’s famous iconic song Winter in America, and money is the cold reality.  Herbert tried as hard as his money would carry him in a bold attempt to go against the grain, but his lack of funds was clearly a major handicap.  On the day of voting while his opponents were able to display posters and pass out professionally made literature with a bevy of volunteers, as witnessed in one particular case, Mr. Goldwire had to rely on flyers copied from a photocopy machine and relatives to man the polling sites and convince voters who had not already made up their mind.  The two candidates who won had significant funding and resources to defeat the incumbent Savino who despite laying out considerable money came up short.  Even though you lost kudos Mr. Goldwire!!!

      Three questions to be considered when we look at the results of the Midterm election: did the Russians interfere, was the election fair and did all eligible voters get to cast their ballots?  On the Russian font it is interesting that all is quiet as if it never happened.  Judging from what happened a few months ago when all the federal enforcement apparatus gave a press conference to talk about how the Russians had interfered in the presidential election two years ago and how they were preparing counter measures to prevent such interference in the future.  Then we have Facebook coming out with strong denials that they were lax in their riposte to Russian Hackers; isn’t it strange that we hear nothing from those enforcement agencies about how this election was free of interference.  No one is talking about possible interference in the races for Senator while hackers could have gotten in computers and changed numbers.  Maybe the Russians decided to stop interfering because Trump told them.  Who knows, after all he is good friends with Vladimir Putin whom he calls a nice guy.  Putin and he agree on many things like voter suppression, media control and personal enrichment from their respective positions.  So, we must believe that this election was free from interference because all is quiet on that front.

       Was the election fair is a tough assessment overall.  In a country as large and as diverse demographically as the United States it is hard to make blanket assessments and utter definitive assertions.  Looking at Florida and Georgia it is not a stretch of the imagination to say that all fairness was gone from those two states when major candidates were also in charge of the election they participated in.  Rick Scott was candidate for the Senate while still being Governor of the State and he was in constant contact with and we can say supervised the Secretary of State who set up the election machine.  He was involved in some aspects of the election and he had ample opportunity to interfere on his behalf.  In Georgia Kemp who may have won the seat of Governor over Stacey Adams was the Secretary of State of that state and he refused to recuse himself from his position.  This gave him the opportunity to set up the election in his favor since his position gave him the opportunity to put in place people in key positions to affect the outcome of the race.  Also he led a campaign to disenfranchise black and poor people who would have voted for his opponent.  It is a fair assumption that the election was not fair in both of these states and Republican victories in the case of Kemp and Desantis are tainted and far from the result of fair contests.

      Many eligible voters were kept away from the polls through gerrymandering and antiquated election rules.  Working in a polling station for Mr. Goldwire I witnessed a few voters turned away either because they were in the wrong place or did not have proper id.  I can understand about the id but when someone fully eligible is denied the right to vote because he is in the wrong place even though he is in the same district or township it is a relic of the days when voter suppression of Black people was the norm.  Florida and Georgia are part of the South where Jim Crow laws were in vogue less than twenty years ago.  Both Gillum and Adams lost a few thousand votes because because of redistricting laws that effectively prevented their followers from voting.  Others were discouraged by media messages and having to travel far to cast their ballots.  Chicanery and old fashioned information manipulation came into play all to minimize the amount of voters.  American elections have a long way to go before the true will of the people is taken into account.

      With their victory in the House of Representatives as far as a majority is concerned Democrats are now in the position to thwart or at least hinder Trump’s agenda.  We hope the slide toward fascism can stop and poor people and the middle class can breathe a sigh of relief because the Trumpeteers will have some sort of a barrier that will  put a stop to their maddening dash toward placing dictatorship above congressional oversight.  Off course since Republicans keep a majority in the senate Trump cannot be driven out of office and tried for his many crimes including being an asset for Vladimir Putin and Russian interest.  Most pundits agree that with a republican majority in the Senate Trump cannot be ridden out and he will last out his term unless Mueller comes up with real evidence of collusion and perhaps criminal actions.  Trump owes a lot to the Russians and how he is repaying them is a key question.  Will Trump twitter politics drive America to the brink of poverty while making a small minority insanely rich, content and wallowing in narcissism or can Democrats halt this slide by being a true blocking line in the House?  Only time can tell but we are witness to a time when money and unbridled consumption have become the epitome of achievement and young girls look up to Kardashian / Jenner excesses as something to aspire to with no thought of education, knowledge and sobriety as matters to consider in the search for material content.  Let us hope Nancy Pelosi can stand up to Trump and his minions to at least keep us working class stiffs who depend on a payday living in a country where we can do more than merely survive.  When a school teacher cannot afford to live decently in America change is needed for there are many who make even less than our classroom gladiators.

     Only the future will tell how this fight between Democrats and Republicans will end.  Prior to Gingrich in a certain way and Trump in particular political affiliation and the contests resulting used to be a affairs where both parties were more concerned with maintaining their respective privileges than lambasting and trying to crush opponents.  Trump has carried the rivalry to a level not seen before where Democrats, the press, and anyone who disagrees is an enemy to be ruthlessly eliminated so that the one party rule can be the norm.  Does that remind you of something?  Trump has stated that he is a Nationalist.  Where will this nationalism carry the country ?  Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat colleagues are the only hope against the Trumpeteers.

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