To the Editor:
This election has been an eye-opener in many ways. Here are a few that have occurred to me.
1. Most people voted as they have voted before, with perhaps 2-3% shifting their votes. Thus, party politics seem to have put to rest any notion that most people make up their minds based upon facts on the ground.
2. According to polls, the U.S. voting public is divided by education; around 60% of white, male voters without a college education voted Republican, whereas only 45% of college-educated, white males did. The division was even more pronounced with women. Obviously, college education is having an impact.
3. I think it is a myth that the media is anti-Trump, that the media continues to carry endless stories and photos of Trump and his campaign, even after he has clearly lost the election. The media continues to give Trump the stage that he so craves and has been so able to use throughout his life. If anything, the media is Trump’s best friend and continues to be so.
4. A large segment of the American public distrusts and disdains knowledgeable experts in many fields. That has been apparent for years in the issue of climate change and now more recently with the Covid pandemic but is now shadowing the legal system. Republican politicians, pundits as well as Trump base supporters, are claiming that the judges of both parties, election observers of both parties, election security officials, and experts are mistaken and don’t understand the law. Even the Supreme Court is mistaken on issues of law.
5. Around three-quarters of Christian Evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016 and this year. In fact, they constitute a substantial portion of his support base, despite Trump disregarding and violating the Christian tenets of ‘turn the other cheek’, 'forgiveness,’ ‘love thy neighbor,’ prohibitions on lying, as well as several other basic Christian ethical principles. That to me raises the question of how deeply committed to those principles Evangelicals truly are.
6. I think that a large segment of the Republican Party is simply in denial. The fact that almost none of the 25 or so opinion polling groups showed Trump’s approval even close to 50% for more than a couple of months in their monthly sampling over his four years in office should have been a clear sign that his presidency was widely unpopular. In fact, his approval rating was the lowest of any president in 30 years, and polls now show that 50% of Americans see Trump as a failed president. Yet, for some reason, I think many Republicans believed that the election was stolen.
Perhaps all this was evident before, but, as I said, the election was an eye-opener for me.