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Election Day is just two months and three days away



And Trump is running scared. He’s worried about impeachment: “Winter is coming” and all that. Sixty-three percent of Americans want Mueller to continue his investigation, while an astounding 60% think Trump is doing a terrible job as president. And almost half of us want to see him impeached. So Trump has every reason to be afraid. Very afraid.

Story time: When I was a student of karate, I once asked a senior sensei for advice on how I—a small man—could fight against taller and younger opponents. They had longer arms and legs with which to strike me, and were often faster than I was.

“You must fight like a cornered badger,” sensei replied. That image has stayed with me: a cornered badger, frightened and fighting for its life, is a very formidable animal. It has sharp claws, knife-like teeth, and can slash and pierce in the blink of an eye. You do not want to confront an angry badger.

Donald Trump is an angry badger. He’s been backed into a corner, with nowhere to go except forward, which means: toward his opponents. Which means: he must fight, and win, or be killed. Which means: this is all-out war for Donald Trump. He’s desperate; he will do anything he can to survive.

Which means: this is a very dangerous time for America, if not for the whole world. Trump has nukes and troops. Formidable weapons. He has also his own private propaganda army (Fox “News,” etc.) with which to communicate to the one-third of Americans who still revere him and will obey him. What he does not have is the Constitution or the law on his side, but it’s evident by now he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Constitution or the law, except to the extent he can use them to bolster his own case, even if he has to lie about them, which he does all the time.

It’s hard to believe that John McCain was buried only yesterday, and that his amazing, poignant, dramatic and historic memorial service was held only two days ago. The entire country saw the current president of the United States humiliated, not just by Democrats but by the McCain family and by George W. Bush. One would hope this would have some impact on some percentage of voters who might change their minds about supporting Trump, and maybe it will: we’ll have to await the next series of polls. But the fear is that nothing will budge those Trump supporters, and as long as 90% of self-identified Republican voters support him, Republican congressmen and Senators will do nothing to stop him, but will continue to give him carte blanche to take matters into his own hands.

To what end? We’ve speculated endlessly for 18 months about the extent to which Trump may go to hold onto power and punish his enemies. My speculations have been pretty apocalyptic, but your guess is as good as mine. This situation may explode, sooner rather than later, or it might just fizzle out, with a weakened Trump remaining president—and running for re-election in 2020.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s comment, quoting Hemingway, is the most pertinent to come out of the memorial service: “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.”

What will you do today? It’s no longer enough to tsk-tsk and then go on with your life. If you care you must act, and now. Too few people, alas, care. So many Americans don’t vote. It’s almost spiteful on their part. It’s so self-defeating, and selfish, and ignorant. But they’ve made up their minds that voting is ridiculous, and so they won’t. What can you do about it? If you know anyone who won’t vote, talk with them. Explain to them how important voting it. Overcome their cynicism with your passion and informed arguments. Ask them, as a personal favor, to vote. They don’t have to cast a vote for every proposition and Municipal Court judge on the ballot if they don’t want to. But explain to them that they have to vote for their members of Congress (and, in 2020, for president). They just have to, because there’s so much on the line. Explain to them that things that are important to them—the food they eat, the air they breathe, the schools their kids go to and the subjects they learn about, the roads on which they drive or bicycle, the potholes in the streets, their healthcare, their physical safety, their ability to get married if they’re gay, or to serve in the armed forces, whether or not this country goes to war, their freedom of religious or non-religious belief—all these depend on government decisions. Explain to them that the current government and regime does not care about these things, which means it does not care about them. Tell them that the things this regime cares about—promoting evangelical Christianity, cutting taxes for billionaires, destroying the environment, outlawing abortion, reversing gay marriage, fostering white nationalism—are anathema to them. Let them know, as strongly as you can, that the current regime must be replaced by one of sanity and truth.

Because it all comes down to Tuesday, November 6. By midnight on that date we should know if the House of Representatives and/or the Senate go Democratic. That’s when Trump, the cornered badger, will make his move, with a violent, full-on attack. We have got to be ready.

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