At this writing, there is no newly elected president of the United States. And with lawsuits and recounts in the works, it's not clear when we will know that we have one or who it will be.
But a number of conclusions are clear as we watch this latest drama unfold, and they raise deeply serious issues about the political future of this country.
1. The path to minority support is not through identity politics and class warfare. Notwithstanding the efforts of the left to demonize President Donald Trump as a racist and a bigot, he has drawn record support across racial and ethnic lines, and he has done so by promoting policies and solutions that actually improve people's lives. A message of empowerment and hope resonates. A message that is nothing but hatred, excuses and blame of systems, structures and other people doesn't.
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2. The left's obsession with race and ethnicity is nothing but political expediency. Social and other media are filled with comments about how Cubans, Venezuelans and even blacks who voted for Trump are now "white," because "whiteness" – as you should have figured out by this point – is a catch-all designation that means "You don't agree with us politically." How long before we call out this hypocritical posturing for what it is and stop groveling before those who profit by it?
3. The left still thinks most people who don't vote the way they're "supposed to" are stupid. Even if minorities who voted for Trump aren't white, they only did so because they were manipulated by "misinformation campaigns" tying Biden to socialism. It doesn't occur to the left that many of these voters fled countries with systems that promised – much as Kamala Harris' little video did – that everyone should "end up at the same place." They know firsthand what that "same place" looks like, and they'll pass, thank you very much. Do the rest of Americans understand?
4. Blue-state politicians continue to get rich making empty promises. Joe Biden has become a multimillionaire as a "public servant," but the people of Delaware aren't any better off than they were 47 years ago. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters live in mansions, and Gov. Gavin Newsom is doing very well, indeed. But the number of homeless people, the amount of human waste and the number of used drug paraphernalia on the streets of California keeps increasing, as do the taxes and the onerous regulations. Meanwhile, basic services like electricity are interrupted. Illinois is run by Democrats at every level, but poor Chicago neighborhoods are battered by gun violence, and the state is, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt. How long are voters in these states going to keep electing – and reelecting – politicians who line their own pockets but never manage to improve the lives of their constituents?
5. Governments that do not protect the people will force people to protect themselves. It isn't just the congressional representatives and senators who are abandoning their constituents; Democratic mayors have permitted riots, looting, arson and bloody violence in blue cities across the country with few consequences for the perpetrators. This should concern everyone, and not just because of the horrific economic and human toll. At some point, it will become clear to even the most patient and hopeful citizens that vigilantism and frontier justice are their only options unless they are willing to have everything they own destroyed. Are we waiting for that? Is the rioting going to be successfully used as extortion to obtain by violence what the rioters cannot achieve through peaceful political means?
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6. A "win-at-all-costs" mentality will destroy the country. Is it possible to have a free and fair national election in this country anymore? I'd call what we're seeing a "circus," but it's much more serious: states not being called for President Trump despite his overwhelming lead with 90-plus percent of the votes counted; states being called rapidly for Joe Biden with millions of votes not yet counted; the inexplicable "problems" that somehow only took place in battleground states (water main breaks, insufficient numbers of ballots, insufficient numbers of poll workers, broken voting machines); the unprecedented suspension of counting votes in all those same battleground states; the hundreds of thousands of "mailed-in" ballots that magically appeared in those states during the night, after the suspension of regular counting, all of which were cast for Joe Biden – at least in Michigan. (Not a single vote for Trump or Jo Jorgensen or Kanye West? Not a single write-in candidate? Not one? Out of 138,000 mailed-in ballots? This is statistically impossible and thus utterly lacking credibility.) The fact that all of these ballots that arrived after counting was suspended managed not to strengthen Trump's lead in a single state but to eliminate his lead in every single one is implausible, and the circumstances are suspect.
It's abundantly clear that this is fraudulent. Politics ain't beanbag, as the saying goes, and everyone wants to win. But far more important than the win or the loss is maintaining the public's belief in the integrity of the process, and their faith that their voices are heard and their votes matter. A stolen election is a shallow victory and a temporary one. When cheating becomes the norm (and if it's permitted, it will), then only those politicians who cheat will run. The electorate will cease to care or participate. The United States will collapse under the weight of its own corruption.
That sounds like the description of a banana republic. Is that where we are headed?