By Myra Adams
Whether you are voting for Donald Trump, Joe Biden, or another candidate, my Election Day advice is the same: Pray for a peaceful outcome.
Remember, this is America, the world’s oldest democracy that many believe the Almighty had a hand in birthing. Our nation grew into a proud example of representative government without election-related violence ever associated with the quadrennial exercise of choosing our next leader.
Yet today, there are numerous mainstream media reports of militias forming. For example, at NPR: “Five states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Oregon – have the highest risk of seeing increased militia activity around the elections: everything from demonstrations to violence.”
On Sunday, a veteran Republican strategist told me he firmly believes a civil war is imminent if Trump wins. And I say perhaps the reverse is possible if Biden wins. After all, on several occasions, the president has publicly stated that if he loses, the election was “rigged.” Not surprising, since I know many Republicans who think that all this talk about a landslide is good news for Trump, not Biden. (Check out Rush Limbaugh’s radio show transcript from October 14.)
Then a handful of Republicans and boatloads of Democrats have told me that a Biden landslide would guarantee the most peaceful outcome. How could Trump rally his troops for an uprising if the results are indisputable?
That is one question on a list of thoughts, observations, and prayers for my last column of this nature before Election Day.
Topping the list is a strong feeling that Americans are totally fed up with the Electoral College. If an alien from Pluto observed the election campaign, it would think that the United States had only six states. The alien would beam back to the Mothership that two of those states reigned supreme – Pennsylvania and Florida – and those voters ruled over Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Arizona.
Currently, Republicans generally oppose ending the Electoral College after losing the popular vote in 2000 and 2016 and still winning the White House. Moreover, the GOP thinks that big “blue” population states would tilt the election to the Democratic nominee. But, if (BIG if) Biden were to win Texas – the “red” state “crown jewel” with 38 electoral votes – Republicans could quickly have a change of heart and start embracing a direct presidential popular vote.
Furthermore, a blue Texas under the electoral vote system would mean a significant chunk of the 2024 presidential campaign energy and attention would shift to winning the Lone Star State. Watch closely because, according to the RealClearPolitics Texas poll averages, Trump only leads Biden by 2.3 percentage points – within the margin of error in a state that Trump won by nine percentage points in 2016. If you are a Republican, pray that Texas does not go “blue.”
Second on my observation list, if Trump loses, his refusal to appeal to swing voters might prove to be his reelection campaign’s most egregious strategic error.
In June 2019, I wrote an RCP piece headlined “How GOP Insiders View Trump’s ‘Base-Only’ 2020 Strategy,” after being prompted and intrigued by a Trump quote in a Time Magazine interview. When asked if the president should reach out to swing voters, Trump replied, “I think my base is so strong, I’m not sure that I have to do that.”
Yikes, bravado red flag warning!
At that time, the economy was humming along strong, and “Contagion” was a virus horror movie. Still, Trump’s RCP job approval average in mid-2019 hovered around 44% – exactly where it is today – a remarkedly stable number that would foretell a tough reelection.
It’s worth quoting Mark McKinnon’s prescient quote from my piece. McKinnon was speaking from experience as the chief media strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign. Talking about Trump’s base-only strategy, he said, “It’s a risky strategy because in order to be successful, it means the campaign has to suppress turnout with Democrats to a level at or lower than it was in 2016. And given what we saw in 2018, Democratic turnout is likely to be significantly higher.”
Today’s record early-voting turnout and accusations of Republicans trying to suppress the vote are double scourges striking Team Trump that point to the inherent flaws of a base-only strategy. Not only lousy public relations for the GOP but when the voting pie grows, even a solid, static base serves up a smaller piece.
However, since the election is not over and if the president wins through prayers and Divine Intervention, then his base-only strategy will be considered brilliant but risky and non-traditional – like so much of Trump’s presidency.
Third on my list is a Trump action that could be looked back upon as a crucial turning point that did immense harm if he were to lose reelection. A poignant example of Trump serving his base with a “red meat all the time and to hell with blue land” attitude, this event took center stage Monday night when Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the Supreme Court’s newest member. Justice Barrett, a lovely, brilliant, pious, well-qualified woman, offers Trump the opportunity to please his base, especially “values voters” like no other presidential act.
Yet, rushing her through Senate confirmation in record time could yield some Election Day consequences, impact Supreme Court decisions for decades to come, and result in “court packing” if Biden wins. But for this discussion, let’s focus on the Senate optics.
The nation is hurting. No new COVID-related economic relief packages were passed, and now the Senate is adjourned until after the election. What signal does that send to non-base voters? Trump and GOP Senate leaders only had the base in mind when they rammed Barrett through while millions were in the process of voting. Furthermore, were those antics on the minds of record numbers of women and minority voters waiting in long lines to vote on Monday and through Election Day?
My last and overarching thoughts about the 2020 election is that Americans are sick of division. They are tired of all the Trump drama. Americans want to be unified, and Joe Biden, flawed as he is, offers that hope for millions of voters. Will this be a “hope over fear” election where unity wins over division? Or will Americans vote to keep the status quo? Never forget that for the vast majority of religious Republicans, Trump is their hope for a better America and with thousands of prayer groups asking to keep him in office.
Nevertheless, if “Blue America” defeats Trump and the Republican Party with resounding force, then the president and GOP leaders should look in the mirror and say, “We were the dividers. We fostered fear over hope. But we will be back in 2022 and 2024 when the Democrats overreach and with a kinder gentler message.”
In the end, no matter who wins, America will be transformed with God’s help.
But in the meantime and on Election Day, pray for peace. And depending on the outcome, an orderly transition, if that be His Will.
Myra Adams is a media producer and conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. She is also Executive Director of www.SignFromGod.org, a ministry dedicated to educating people about the Shroud of Turin. Contact: [email protected] or on Twitter @MyraKAdams.