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Odds of Biden winning this year are better than the odds of Clinton winning in 2016, but the defeat of democracy is still possible. A personal note.

2020-10-22
dog and cat love in our front yard, circa 2016

Back in 2016, a commonly accepted prediction based on opinion polls was that Hillary Clinton had an 80% chance of winning the presidential election. This is actually worse than one in six, which is the chance of any particular number coming up when one throws a die.

So people who were “shocked” that Hillary lost have not played with dice much. Her chances were, even if the 80% prediction was correct, not really that good. This was because the right-wing propaganda machine was uncommonly effective during the 2016 campaign and long before. For 25 years, the propagandists had inveighed against Hillary, making her extremely unlikeable among even middle-of-the-road voters. Right-wing voters despised her, not because of her actual characteristics, but because they had been indoctrinated for years.

Most people were unaware of the virulent propaganda campaign being waged against Hillary, in part because it was so comprehensive. The invective was subsumed into popular discourse and infiltrated national media to such a degree that no-one noticed how extensive it was.

The campaign was already in high gear when Hillary said, “…the vast right-wing conspiracy” and people laughed… because they didn’t know it was true. They did know that Hillary had been duped by her own husband and that Monica was doing the dirty deed with Bill. A long story, better left untold, but few people know:

A holdover from the George HW Bush administration, Linda Tripp held a “low level” position in the Defense Department. She used her position to get Monica to confide in her, then she took the information she had gleaned to Ken Starr. He was the “independent counsel” (actually a right-wing conspiracist lawyer) who was “investigating” the failed Whitewater land deal. After finding nothing there, he broadened his investigation to Bill Clinton personally. Linda Tripp gave him the infamous dress with semen stains, and the impeachment was born.

Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is personally protecting the president from a civil suit that claims that he defamed a woman that he (allegedly) raped many years ago… my, how things have changed in our government. Back then, a president was impeached for lying about a consensual sexual relationship; now, a president is defended by his own DOJ against a civil suit that claims he defamed a woman by lying about her claims that he raped her, saying “she’s not my type.” (Any unprotected woman is his type.)

Back to 2016, four years before a woman came forward with claims that the now-president raped her in a department store many years ago. How far our government has fallen.

I was recovering from major surgery: a laminectomy and fusion with hardware that included a rod extending from S1 to T10, roughly twelve inches. I had to have the surgery because I had spinal stenosis and severe compression of my spinal nerves (look it up if you don’t know how painful this is.)

The surgery was on August 8 and 9, 2016 (yes, two days in a row); the first surgery, from the front, was to insert spacers to restore the collapsed disks at several lumbar segments, and the second surgery, from the back, was to cut off the backs of the lumbar vertebrae (all five) and screw them to a rod that extended from the last two thoracic vertebrae across all five lumbar vertebrae to end at the top of the sacrum.

It took three weeks in the hospital to learn to walk again, with a walker and then with two canes. After that, it took three months of daily exercise to graduate to walking with a single cane.

At the time, I posted on this blog a picture of myself in a brace in the town where the surgery was done, my home town in fact, San Francisco, California.

During this time, I was blissfully unaware of the presidential campaign between Hillary Clinton and he-who-must-not-be-named. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the pain much more than I would have enjoyed the constant fighting, insults, and lies (mainly by he-who-must-not-be-named) that characterized that campaign.

I was not invested in the campaign, although I supported the Democratic side. I was deeply disappointed by the result, but I did not pay as much attention as I should have to the evil Republican who won.

Now, I am deeply invested in this campaign and I have done what I can to prevent a repeat of 2016. Not having any money as I am still disabled, I supported my wife in contributing what she could to Joe Biden’s campaign.

I can only hope and pray that Joe Biden, without the 25 years of propaganda and lies that Hillary Clinton was weighed down by, and not being a woman (which was still a major disadvantage, 96 years after women had gained the right to vote) will win the election that concludes in twelve days.

If you have not already voted, then mask up, bring a chair, snacks, and your favorite music, and go vote in person at the first opportunity. Do not use the mail. It is worth dying from the novel coronavirus to make sure your vote counts on November 3. Having read this far, I am confident that you, dear reader, will do the right thing and vote for Joe Biden.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 2020-10-23 12:31 PM

    Not using the mail-in ballot… will vote in person on Nov. 3

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2020-10-24 6:47 PM

      I should have noted that, if you are in a “swing” state which is contested, you should take a risk and vote in person. If you are in a state that is thoroughly blue (or red) your vote is probably not worth the risk of voting in person because the balance in your state is too far off for one vote to make a difference… but then there are the local candidates and the propositions, so a vote by mail is at least advisable.

      Liked by 1 person

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