I know you have a headache thinking about this, but it’s plausible that Donald Trump will never accept the results of this election, so it feels like a creative time to get back into blogging.
I’ve actually had this website long enough to have blogged about the 2000 Presidential election, although I don’t think many people used the term “blog” at the time, just as I don’t believe very many people use the term anymore today.
In my cutting satirical takedown of the 2000 election, I took a tack of grating sarcasm regarding the extensive news coverage. Was I trying to imply the media should cover something else instead? Probably not, because I then followed up this disturbingly long paragraph with another in which I was sarcastic about how weather works, and then a third in which I was sarcastic about what a Final examination was. I simply interpreted blogging as a platform in which you should be as sarcastic as possible about as many things as possible, or else somebody might confuse it for a diary.
There are two takeaways from this entry, and they’re both that I was an idiot. It would have been unfair, I felt, for me to infringe upon the delicate headspace of my audience with political hot takes when my readers were so hungry for another dose of my classic brand of high jinks, such as pretending I didn’t know what February was.
I also posted an election recap in 2004. By this point I’d evolved to typing variations of the word “fuck,” a caliber of writing from which I’ve mostly plateaued. But I rarely discuss politics on this website, for a few reasons: because I rarely discuss anything whatsoever on this website, because politics tend to be bleak, and because I’m incapable of delivering my political opinions without itemizing the people I believe to be morons.
However, the peaceful transition of power is in jeopardy, and I wanted to reiterate how abnormal this is, while also observing how big of a moron I believe Trump to be: very.
The 2000 election came down to a 537 vote difference in Florida, at least a hundred times closer than this year’s race in Pennsylvania alone. As the basis for accusations of stolen elections go, the 2000 election is the Michael Jordan of electoral impropriety. The recount was left in the hands of an altogether incompetent Florida state government, who had statutes for requesting hand recounts but no means to actually conduct them in a timely fashion, nor an established methodology for evaluating voter intent with respect to ballots designed by failed abstract impressionists.
The Gore camp pushed for tactical vote counting in counties most likely to help him, while the Bush camp moved to reject all hand recounts on the basis that they were ahead and wished to stay that way. They bickered their way up to the Supreme Court, who in a partisan 5-4 ruling decreed that the hand recount had to be halted and the results ratified, because democracy will collapse if you wait to swear in a new President in like March or something instead of January.
I will admit, it did seem a bit fishy at the time, that these five Supreme Court Justices nominated by Republican Presidents had moved to block a uniform statewide hand recount that could have jeopardized the inauguration of an additional Republican President. Rather peculiar indeed. Various studies sought to determine who would have won a statewide hand recount, but no official recount was ever conducted and nobody can say with any certainty what the outcome would have been. The will of the people will forever remain obscured within the margin of error due to the ruling of five ancient men in ill-fitting barber capes.
But the results were valid. Our judicial branch acted with the authority entitled to it. Although embittered Democrat voters nearly wore out the phrase “stolen election,” no Gore quasi-surrogates called for heads on spikes, and nobody stormed the offices of the Florida board of elections. Gore conceded within a day of the ruling, because it was time for America to move on with its collective lives, and sometimes democracy doesn’t break your way.
Donald Trump has lost the election, which makes him, in a very real sense, a loser. He now has an opportunity to become one of history’s very biggest losers. His status as a loser is inflated by the protraction of the losing process, by every second he fails to concede, by every baseless legal challenge, by every supporter who loses faith in American elections. The only way for Donald Trump to stop losing is to concede, which is why it’s so difficult for him. He’s just too big of a massive fucking loser.