My Nerves Are Rattling Like Ghosts in an Attic About the Midterms Tomorrow

[Previously: Trump Suggests the Midterms Will Be Compromised, I Am Very Worried About the Midterms, I Am (Still) Very Worried About the Midterms, I Remain Very Worried About the Midterms, and Yup, Still Worried About the Midterms.]

First, let me say that I'm hopeful. I am hopeful that there will be amazing turnout on Election Day, and that all the votes cast on the day and all the votes that have been cast via absentee ballots and early voting will be counted fairly, and that the Democrats will at least regain a House majority.

I am still not in the business of telling other people what to do with their vote, but I will tell you what I'm going to do: I am going to vote for Democrats, like my life depends on it, because it just might.

(And as a person with multiple preexisting conditions, including an illness for which I need drugs to keep me alive, who is not independently wealthy, that's not hyperbole.)

I am hopeful that lots and lots of other people are as keen to vote for Democrats tomorrow as I am, and I am hopeful that all the dire predictions about turnout regarding this demographic group or that one are wrongity-wrong. I am hopeful that good people of all stripes will turn up tomorrow.

Now, let me confess that I am incredibly anxious about the outcome of the midterms tomorrow.

I'm anxious about the possibility that there will be election interference from foreign (Russia) and/or domestic (Republicans) actors.

I'm anxious about the fact that federal agencies "have logged more than 160 reports of suspected meddling in U.S. elections since Aug. 1, and the pace has stepped up in recent weeks, when there have been as many as 10 incidents a day," but we're not even having a serious public conversation about it, instead continuing to inexplicably pretend that our elections are secure.

I'm anxious about the certainty that there will be voter suppression, and that the election will not be free and fair, even if there is no additional interference than the gerrymandering, voter roll purges, voter ID requirements, felon disenfranchisement, and other tactics the Republicans have been using to try to steal elections for decades.

I'm anxious about the finger-pointing and blaming that will happen in the immediate aftermath of the midterms, if the "blue wave" that so many folks are certain is coming doesn't actually materialize. I'm anxious about how divisive that will be for an already fragile progressive coalition, and I'm anxious about those narratives taking hold before we even find out if they're valid.

I'm anxious about the fact that I'm beginning to think the worst-case scenario is Democrats winning just the House — which is also the most likely scenario — because winning just the House will still leave them largely impotent, which most people do not understand. (Hell, most people don't understand why the Dems aren't doing more when they're in the minority in all three branches of government.) The Democrats, and very specifically Nancy Pelosi, will be further demonized for a failure to restore our democracy.

(Also: Even if we manage to retake the Senate majority, too — a long shot — we won't have a veto-proof 2/3 majority. The importance of which, again, most people do not understand, in terms of governing power and holding Donald Trump accountable.)

Meanwhile, Trump will declare the election illegitimate and conspiracy theories will spread like wildfire throughout his base that the Democrats and liberals stole the election with "illegals" committing voter fraud.

It's not that I want Democrats to lose the House, of course! I just fear that, even if we win, it's going to be ugly AF. Maybe even uglier, in the short term, than if we lose.

If the Democrats win the House in a squeaker, Trump and the GOP will also use it to undermine the argument regarding election interference and Trump's fealty to Russia, i.e. If the Democrats can win, it's proof that Trump isn't colluding with Russia!

A squeaker in the House could severely undercut Mueller's case. Not actually, but rhetorically.

And I still fear that a close race in which a Democrat wins will somehow be revealed to have been "fixed," turning the narrative back to Trump's contention that it was the Democrats who were colluding all along.

Basically: I'm anxious that we are going to lose either way.

Finally, let me state firmly that I am resolved. No matter what happens tomorrow, it's not going to be the end of our fight to preserve our democracy. In even the wildest, most improbable, best-case scenario tomorrow, Donald Trump will still be president and all the damage he and his party have done won't magically disappear.

We have a long slog ahead of us, regardless of the outcome tomorrow, so I am ready to persist nevertheless, no matter what.

Let's go.

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