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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 11/3/20


Well today’s the day (predictions at the end...). This arguably is the most important election of our lifetime. Our ability to retain and reinvigorate America’s leadership in the world, ensure the future of global free trade, the continued vibrancy of the Atlantic Alliance, the vitality of the FBI and our intelligence services, and the independence and ethical standing of the Department of Justice and other instrumentalities of the federal government—these and other matters of great national importance are teetering in the balance.


Will we continue to conscience repeated attacks on political adversaries, fueled by threats of indictment, screams of treason, and encouraging chants of “lock her up” (and the like)? Will we continue to encourage an administration and a movement hell-bent on ignoring science and reducing facts to mere political positions? Will we try to stem the expansion of unfounded conspiracy theories, propagated and republished by sympathetic media? And are we prepared to impose standards of behavior and respect on our President and his allies?

We've all read reports of armed resistance, poll watchers, demonstrators, and voter suppression that will be in full bloom today. I have received several invitations to webinars about staying safe and stemming the anticipated violence. None of this was necessary if we were in normal times. It doesn't feel like America.


For many years now I’ve been voting via an absentee ballot. Earlier I voted in person. While I understand the necessity of remote voting--particularly in these times--there is something lost in its remoteness.

I first voted in 1980, at my elementary school, Adelaide Price Elementary School in Anaheim. I was a student at USC and drove down to exercise my right of franchise at this tiny school where I first learned American history. I was so proud, feeling I was performing a sacred duty; a tear came to my eye. I've voted religiously ever since. [For you Anaheim trivia buffs, Adelaide Price was a matronly school nurse from 1924-1948.]


In this era when voter suppression is a real issue, let’s celebrate the memory of Thomas Mundy Peterson, the first black man to vote after passage of the 15th amendment. A school janitor, who also was the first Black person to serve on a jury, was a lifelong Republican (back when that party was just a tad different than today's party...) and Prohibition Party member.


I hope Joe Biden wins. I hope the Senate flips. And I hope the far left end of the Democratic party will accept meaningful advances of a national inclusive agenda, rather than playing into the hands of the far right. We need to find ways to further our collective best interests and stop continual tit-for-tat in the halls of power. I hope that everyone in our vast political spectrum can accept two notions:

  • Many on the other side are acting in good faith based upon their fundamental beliefs

  • The other side has some good ideas that I can accept in fashioning change that is sensitive, productive, and kind

Finally, from Jeremy Rosen:

Tomorrow is Election Day. My Facebook friends are a diverse group. Some are happy with their choices for President. Others are voting for what they perceive to be the lesser of two evils...I don’t care who you vote for and I certainly wouldn’t presume to advise you who to pick. I will, however, make a plea for much needed civility. It is fine to be a passionate supporter of your candidate of choice. But remember that 60 million or more Americans will vote for the candidate who loses the election. We will not be able to survive as a great nation if we continue to write off with disdain people who share different political views. We have had too much division these past 4 years and the blame for the division is on both political parties who each seek to divide rather than unite us. So go out and vote. Then celebrate or mourn the result tomorrow. But then reach out to the other side with civility and seek to solve our problems together.


Time for a few predictions:

  • It will be over, one way or another, and we will have to dig our way out of a long divisive period, address COVID in a more coherent way, create economic stimulus, and address racial justice. It won’t be easy.

  • Biden will win. Hopefully by a lot, so we can spare ourselves the pain of a prolonged count, recounts, court cases and recriminations. Watch Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina for early indications of how the presidential race and the Senate races will come out. Mr. Trump can’t win without Florida and 80% or more of its vote should be known in the early evening.

  • The Senate will be flipped. Collins (Maine), Tillis (N. Carolina), McSally (AZ), Loeffler (GA), Ernst (IA), Gardner (CO), and Lindsay Graham (yes, you heard me right, I’m betting against the odds) are on their way out.

  • This election will be a sea change election. When the history books are written, this election will be seen not as an election to determine who is our President, or even what we do next; rather, it will be seen as an election where the American people were voting on who we are.

  • There will be some demonstrations.  The extremists on both sides of the political spectrum are armed and perceive the other as a clear and present danger.The fact that Trump supporters are physically confronting voters is a terrible crime. I fear this emboldening of angry elements his is a problem that won't be going away any time soon.

  • It will be over and we will move forward.

  • And yes, I know, the "Kirk Gibson Series" was 1988...

Stay safe,


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