By Vernon A. Williams
There will be more false news reporting, blatantly inaccurate social media posts, unfounded rumors, baseless allegations and unimaginable distractions poured into public consumption over the next 10 weeks than anyone has experienced in the past 10 years.
It is fact, not hyperbole, that the United States is heading into the home stretch of destiny and the stakes have never been higher. The outcome of the November election has more bearing on the nation and world than any in recent memory.
Republican Party political and campaign strategists will do whatever they can to divert you from the business at hand – which is ridding the nation and the world of irrefutably the worst and most destructive presidency in modern history.
The anticipated line of fire over the next few weeks will undoubtedly take aim at the vice-presidential choice of Presumptive Democratic Nominee Joe Biden. The anticipated brutal attacks on his selection of Senator Kamala Harris will undoubtedly be rooted in misogyny, sexism and insecurity. Senator Harris is beyond reproach.
The fact is, Minnie or Mickey Mouse would be more qualified than a five-time draft dodger and six-time bankrupt racist with no record of public service and whose only expertise is spending his daddy’s fortune, mismanaging beauty pageants and hosting a reality TV show. Senator Harris is immeasurably superior to the incumbent.
The GOP hopes to make voters believe Biden, who is only a few years older than the Donald and is in clearly better shape physically, has too many speaking gaffes when he goes off script. This is the quintessential pot calling the kettle black. The Donald has a greatest hits collection of speaking blunders, mispronounced words and slurred utterances.
The truth is the incumbent is having a difficult time zeroing in on anything of substance on which to base his customary opponent vitriol and bitter verbal assaults. Biden comes with far more qualifications, experience, education, compassion and moral turpitude. This is not merely a ‘lesser of two evils’ choice. In this race, there is one distinctly evil combatant, and it is the current resident of the White House.
So, the GOP has no choice but to reach into its bag of dirty tricks and hope for confusion and distraction to divert focus. It will come in myriad forms but simply won’t work.
Who could have imagined that an institution as seemingly innocuous as the U.S. Postal Service would be transformed into a weapon to thwart voting rights? The Donald actually blurted out loud that Republicans would have little or no chance of winning national office if voter numbers were bolstered by mail-in ballots.
So “45” and his minions are working feverishly to discredit and handicap postal services to legally challenge mail-in voting, which is the majority of ballots in 22 states and increasingly necessary because of coronavirus fears. Like denying felons in Florida the right to vote because they owe fines attached to their convictions. This is an attempt to make America far from being a “one man, one vote” nation.
The Republicans are shamelessly working overtime to get the name of rapper Kanye West, a die-hard “Trumper,” on as many state ballots as possible. Their hope is that young people of color will be dumb enough in numbers to cast so many votes for West that it will diminish Biden’s lopsided majority among Black voters. Thanks to the recent Black Lives Matter movement, young Black voters are among the most conscientious in 2020.
It won’t work. But it is worth notice because it verifies the extreme to which the administration is desperately going to try to win re-election for a president whose first term has been an unmitigated disaster.
The one hitching post for the “45” strategist was once the economy; even though, in fact, it was a misnomer, since America’s economic resurgence was solidified during President Obama’s terms and simply sustained by the incumbent. But that argument is faded in the aftermath of COVID-19, which has the nation wallowing through the mire of a recession.
In 2016, “45” accomplished the seemingly impossible because of deflections on Hillary Clinton’s email issue, the indiscretions of the FBI director, immeasurable meddling by his close friend Vladimir Putin and Russia, and a lack of Black voter turnout in key Midwestern states that ultimately decided the outcome of the election.
In 2020, there will be no elements of ‘Trump’s perfect storm’ (except of course his dear friends in the Kremlin), and this time around he is not able to run on overblown rhetoric but must be held accountable for his abysmal record. It’s a different ball game.
But the bottom line remains the same. Black, brown and all concerned citizens who are disappointed and lack confidence in the direction in which this nation is heading – and recent polls indicate that’s about three out of four Americans – will have to not only sustain but build on momentum for change in the next two and a half months.
Voter registration, education, motivation, activation and Election Day participation is the one and only way to get this country heading in the right direction again. Get fired up and stay fired up – no matter what you see or hear to take your mind off the finish line. Distraction is the only hope for enemies of change. Unrelenting focus is our only prayer.
CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.