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Davis, California

Monday, November 29, 2021

My terrifying election predi—No I’m serious! Why am I in the humor section?!

This is not a humor article!

Well, Election Day is almost here. The news reports are aflutter with ledes like, “soon, we will know who America’s next president is.” This is misleading because we already know who the next president will be, and his name is Donald Trump. ***(Editor: “this is hilarious! can you imagine how crazy that would be?? are you writing this through the satirical voice of a Trump supporter who thinks Trump will win? or is this just sarcasm?”)***

No matter whether Former Vice President Joe Biden wins by 3 million votes like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or even as many as 6 or 7 million, we have to stop kidding ourselves about the idea that Trump will concede; he WILL NOT CONCEDE. Biden will win the popular vote by a lot, but he will only actually become the president if Republicans ALLOW him to, because the Republicans hold all the cards. And they will only ALLOW Biden to become president if the margins are so large that it would be totally untenable and potentially long-term political suicide for them to pull the dirty tricks that they are currently planning to pull. We live in a reality where a narrow win for Democrats is actually a win for Republicans, and unfortunately, we do not know how much Democrats have to win by in order to actually win. ***(Editor: “sorry, I don’t really follow this paragraph at all. I know you’re trying to be funny and provocative, but this is just a bit absurd. i mean after all, we live in a democracy!”)***

Trump has already refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power and essentially said that he needed to get Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court as fast as possible because of mail-in voting, constantly spewing obscurantist blatherskite and conspiracy theories about mail-in ballots being fraudulent. On his desire to swiftly fill Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat before the election, Trump said, “Yes, I think it’s very important, I think this will end up in the Supreme Court.” This has been interpreted as a clear signal that he intends to litigate in many or possibly all of the swing states in which mail-in ballots that are counted after Election Day tilt the vote in Biden’s favor. If this is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, Trump may now have his ace in the hole with Barrett on the bench. ***(Editor: “yeah maybe, but an election’s an election. if he loses, he’s a coward and he’s not really gonna pick a fight like that, would he?”)***

Court decisions could change the vote tallies—and consequently, the winners of swing states—by tossing out mail-in ballots, which I’ll discuss more later. But this is complicated by the fact that it is not actually written down anywhere that a state legislature must send electors to the Electoral College who will actually cast their electoral votes for the winner of that state’s popular vote. Republicans control both legislative chambers in every crucial swing state (OH, MI, GA, WI, TX, FL, NC, AZ, PA). If it is even remotely close and these legislatures are feeling ballsy enough, they may not honor the popular vote in their states. A Trump campaign legal advisor said as much to The Atlantic: “The state legislatures will say, ‘All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power. We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate, so here’s our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state.’” ***(Editor: “damn! that sounds pretty intense! how’d you come up with that quote? like, it sounds so authentic and real yet is obviously just totally ridiculous and unthinkable that that would happen. nice job!”)***

Before Barrett was sworn in, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that mail-in ballots received after Election Day in Wisconsin cannot be counted. But other states have different deadlines, meaning whether your vote is counted is a function of where you live and how fast your mail-service is, but Trump has admitted to actively sabotaging the Postal Service because of mail-in voting. If there is unresolved confusion in other states regarding which ballots to count and which to ignore, we could see a flurry of crucial court decisions in the next few months, giving us Florida 2000 times 6 or 7, which could result in the electoral votes in one or multiple states being changed from one candidate to the other or voided entirely. ***(Editor: “This is all great and really spooky, so it’s just perfect since it will be published around Halloween! Maybe add some sort of Halloween Florida Man joke? That could be funny!”)*** This could prevent any candidate from earning 270 electoral votes, in which case the U.S. House of Representatives elects the president. ***(Editor: “ha! didn’t something like that happen in the show ‘Veep’? sorry, spoiler alert haha. you might want to make sure you aren’t plagiarizing that from ‘Veep’ and come up with a more original scenario.”)***

While Democrats control the House and 8 million more Americans voted to elect Democrats rather than Republicans to the House in 2018, each state’s House delegation receives only one vote––meaning that 26 votes wins. And Republicans currently control the House delegations from 26 states. This process is technically Constitutional, but it’s essential to remember that we’d only find ourselves at this point if the Judiciary (where Trump has packed hundreds of arch-conservatives into seats that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to fill during Former President Barack Obama’s second term) and the Supreme Court (now featuring Barrett in a 6-3 conservative majority) end up collectively deciding to disenfranchise potentially tens of millions of tax-paying Americans who voted legally.  ***(Editor: “strong words. is that supposed to be taken seriously? sounds a bit alarmist don’t you think? you might want to reword this because some readers might not know that you’re joking here. just a thought!”)*** And how do we react if Fox News and other conservative media outlets start calling the outcomes in swing states on election day, misinforming millions of viewers with inaccurate results before potentially millions of mail-in ballots have been counted? It would be difficult to turn back from that position.

When considering all of this, I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable to suggest that we are looking at a real possibility of a second Trump term, won through what is nothing less than a procedural coup. ***(Editor: “again, you don’t want to confuse people who are just trying to escape by reading the humor section. how about you make it a little more obviously absurd by predicting that while Republicans are publicly spreading false claims of fraudulent mail-in ballots, they are actually making millions of fraudulent mail-in ballots behind the scenes that will deliver victory to Trump and force the Democrats to totally flip-flop on mail-in voting! that would be really crazy and it would make it more apparent to the readers that this article is just a joke!” Writer: “HELP! i’m trapped in the newspaper’s humor section and i can’t get out!”)***

Comment Section:

James Howard (a suburban, ex-Republican, slightly out-of touch, Biden-voting dad): “Stop worrying about the election, everything is going to work out just fine. This is America!”

Jefferson Lee (armed member of a white nationalist militia group that is currently “standing by”): “Stop worrying about the election, everything is going to work out just fine. This is America!”

Written by: Benjamin Porter— bbporter@ucdavis.edu 

(This article is humor and/or satire, and it’s content is purely fictional. The story and or names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


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