When It Is All Over…

I’m writing this shortly after midnight in the eastern US, and there is no winner yet in the American presidential election. There may not be by the time you read this.

I have great respect for the Republican party’s ability, as the minority party, to get their supporters to the polls. That is how Donald Trump won in 2016. Democrats took the outcome of the election for granted.

Though he is trailing in the electoral college as I write, I still expect Trump to be re-elected. Commentators on the “liberal” US TV network I am streaming seem a little worried.

What has shocked me was the announcement that they weren’t going to count all the ballots on election night, in Pennsylvania anyway. It had been a long day and those counting the vote were going home.

It reminded me a little of 2000, when they never did a final count of the votes cast in Florida. if there was ever an “stolen” presidential election, that would be it.

As I watch the coverage there are so many posts I want to write. Why can’t they count all the ballots on election day? Yes, there are a lot of them, but counting is done locally isn’t it? It isn’t rocket science.

Why does the US not have a system to conduct a national election? No wonder people have questions about integrity when the rules are different in 50 states.

What does it say about American democracy when Donald Trump challenges the results before the votes are counted? When he suggests the election has been stolen and he will go to court to stop the count.

The big question though, at least in my mind, is where does the US go from here? These aren’t the results anyone hoped for.

Republicans were hoping Donald Trump would win big. Democrats hoped the same for Joe Biden. It didn’t happen. America may be more divided today than it was in 2016.

The impression I have is that the divide is about more than political choices. The people of the United States have some many things separating them. There are inequalities of race and class to be addressed.

But that won’t happen without honest dialogue. There has to be a willingness to listen and discuss rather than pronounce.

At this point it seems to me that Americans don’t understand each other. And they are so polarized that they don’t want to try and understand why their compatriots think they way they do.

We already know that Donald Trump has no interest in bridging the divide. Does Joe Biden? I’m not convinced.

We should know who has won the election by this time tomorrow. Unless the courts get involved.

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