On the verge

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    ‘The pandemic has dramatically changed the short term future of the globe and of billions of people in it, and even the best scenarios depict a 2-3 year wait for a recovery – if not in fact also for a vaccine!’

    AMERICA is on the verge… of another down-to-the-wire election campaign, with the race expected to get tighter as the last 14 days of the campaign wind down. As in 2016, opinion polls seem to indicate that the candidate of the Democratic Party has an inside track to the 270 electoral votes needed for someone to be elected President of the United States; but also as in 2016 the polls may not be capturing the real picture on the ground. And here is one possible flaw: polls take the opinion of registered voters, those likely to vote on election day. Someone who is not a registered voter when the survey is taken is not counted. But what if the unregistered citizen registers as a voter after the survey period?

    His opinion then is not part of the “population” of the survey.

    And that’s what both parties are doing: getting qualified unregistered citizens to register as voters and then to cast their votes.

    So that’s a potential source of a last-minute surprise.

    But America is also on the verge of even greater dissension, given that a whopping majority of registered Democrats and Republicans alike who were polled have indicated that a victory by the other party’s candidate will leave them depressed if not angry.

    American society, it seems, is divided in a way it has not been since the Vietnam war era of the 1960s-1970s. That was the time when brothers John and Robert Kennedy as well as Martin Luther King were felled by assassin’s bullets, and when Kent State became a byword for student protests. This time it’s George Floyd and Black Lives Matter with the same amount of anger towards authority erupting in cities and suburbs. It seems a time when

    Americans are no longer united in an understanding of what they as a nation stand for. Both at home and abroad.

    Donald Trump, too, appears on the verge. Of re-election? Not so as of today; more so of a meltdown if you ask me. His diatribe against Dr. Anthony Fauci, and his subsequent walk-back (maybe after advisers told him how popular Fauci was) indicate a President under considerable stress – perhaps from the COVID infection coupled with worries that he might actually lose to Sleepy Joe Biden.

    Which also puts Joe Biden on the verge. Of election? Perhaps, which would render Trump the fifth President since Lyndon Johnson who did not get or finish a second term, the four others being Richard Nixon (resigned), Gerald Ford (defeated by Jimmy Carter), Carter (defeated by Ronald Reagan) and George HW. Bush (defeated by Bill Clinton).

    Then again Biden could be on the verge of just the third greatest upset in US presidential elections history, the previous two being Dewey being edged by Truman in 1948, and, of course, Hillary Clinton losing to Trump four years ago.

    How about the world? It, too is on the verge – maybe of the saddest holiday season in years, and of a potential recession in 2021. The pandemic has dramatically changed the short term future of the globe and of billions of people in it, and even the best scenarios depict a 2-3 year wait for a recovery – if not in fact also for a vaccine!

    Me? I am on the verge, too. Of retirement, or so I thought, until I was given a new assignment at work that could keep me busy for the next 50 years. When so many people are out of work I can only be grateful that I have more on my plate now than I have had in years. And that’s why I am hoping that what I am on the verge of is a second wind.
    Hopefully that applies to everyone else as well!