3 long, dark nights for America: It’s almost over now

by awindram

Three long, dark nights to go. 

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Thank you Reno, Nevada. NOTHING will stop us in our quest to MAKE AMERICA SAFE AND GREAT AGAIN!”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Today in 1872, Susan B. Anthony voted—and was then arrested. Almost 50 years later, the 19th Amendment was ratified.

Daily election article of interest: Donald Trump and the death of American Exceptionalism

So three nights to go and then we’ll have some sort of blessed relief from this election a and from this nightly blogging experiment of mine. For better or worse they both will be over and done with.

One way of telling how close we are to the end is that the cable news networks are airing bombastic ads for their election night coverage.  They all sound more appropriate for trailing a WWE Main Event than a democratic election, but, in fairness, perhaps that tone is in keeping with an election that has featured a candidate whose ostentatious hectoring and playing up to the crowds would not be entirely out-of-place in a wrestling ring.

Another sign that we’re in the end days of Election 2016 is the rush of British journalists flying over to the States to be here in the last days of the election. They follow the same formula, a gawking, patronising obsession with Americana, the road trip and white Trump supporters – warm and friendly to us, but also clearly terrible racists. It’s a curious by-product of my newly-minted American status that I now find myself feeling defensive when reading such articles.

And finally my own electoral concerns are starting to shift. I’m becoming less obsessed with the latest polls and more with the actual banality of voting itself. Basically, I’m getting voting booth anxiety. The UK method of voting is easy: Go to your polling station, be given your paper ballot, mark your chosen candidate’s box with an ‘X’, place it in the ballot box. Here it seems things have to be a little sexier – or rather convoluted – methods can vary from state to state. I may, for instance, be presented with a machine, or a touch screen that I vote on, there may be a lever that I need to pull. In short, there seems to be plenty of ways for me to totally screw up what shouldn’t just be the most important civic action a citizen makes, but also the simplest one, too.

Tonight’s big news in the election was the secret service bundling Trump off stage in Reno. A man towards the front of the crowd with an anti-Trump sign was overpowered by Trump supporters. Someone cried out “gun” which naturally led to the secret service bear hugging the candidate away immediately.

As I write this more news on this incident is coming out. The man was detained by secret service and then released. There was no gun. He claims to be a Republican against Trump. He has been named as Austyn Crites. Some on twitter are claiming his name is listed several times on Wikileaks documents. This seems to relate to being a subscriber to Stratfor a global intelligence company that publishes analysis and books. According to The Atlantic it “is just The Economist a week later and several hundred times more expensive.” However, other are making nefarious conclusions that this shows that Crites is a paid shill of Clinton’s – and it really is fascinating seeing on social media a conspiracy theory form in embryo.