2020 Election: American Nightmare?


But first, the unintended consequences of “sheltering in place”

I had a terrible dream about the upcoming 2020 election that I needed to share. But because, my dear readers, the retelling of my nightmare might cause you angst, apprehension and dread, let me start off with something lighter (or, in this case, heavier).

A friend sent me the following picture depicting the unintended consequences of “sheltering in place.”

Unintended consequences of “sheltering in place.”

Shelter in place. But please: stay out of the fridge!

And now to the nightmare.

In his column in yesterday’s Times, David Leonhardt wrote in part, “But there is another looming crisis, in addition to the recession and the public health crisis, and it’s one that Congress should be taking as seriously as the economy. Our usual methods for conducting elections may not work in November.”

Leonhardt went on to write, “Come November, people may still not be able to gather safely at polling places, and election workers — many of them elderly — may not be able to interact safely with hundreds of people. That’s terribly worrisome. As Seth Masket of the University of Denver has pointed out, elections are an essential institution in a democracy, much as grocery stores are.

Leonhardt’s “worrisome” let to my “nightmare,” which went something like this:

As the coronavirus pandemic went on and on for months, into November, I dreamt that Trump declared another “National Emergency,” but to up the ante named it a “National Catastrophe.” With this National Catastrophe in his pocket, he signed an executive order postponing all elections until some undetermined time in the future, a time determined by Trump alone. He then stayed in power until he deemed, in his infinite wisdom, the National Catastrophe to be over. Over never happened. So as I slowly awoke from this nightmare, the image I saw was Trump “Nero fiddling” while I wondered whether I was too old to “man the barricades.” And in the background the words and music from “Les Miserable” started playing:

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again

Was this just a ridiculously silly bad dream. Or, knowing how jealous Trump is of Putin’s and Xi’s ability to extend their terms in office against all logic, would this be the device he needs? Could this happen? And, if it does, who will stop him? Lindsay Graham? Kevin McCarthy? Devin Nunes? William Barr? Jean Valjean?

Of course, no worries, this will never happen!

Just like Donald John Trump could never become President of the United States.

Yeah, I know. One more reason not to stay out of the fridge. Sorry.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

6 thoughts on “2020 Election: American Nightmare?

    1. Agree. But even voting by mail is not without problems. As Meacham wrote, “There are security issues, of course: ballots could be intercepted and illegally cast by people with access to a person’s mail.”

      But he goes on to say, “No system — including the current one — is perfect. But we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      “This coming Monday, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Ron Wyden are introducing legislation to make mail-in ballots available to every voter in America.”

      You’re in agreement with good company!


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