DEMOCRATS, LISTEN TO CHICKEN LITTLE: THE SKY IS NOT FALLING
FROM: Chicken Little TO: Democrats, Progressives, Liberals, People of Goodwill & Fellow Patriots SUBJECT: The Sky DATE: 19 Days To The Midterms
I HAVE AN important announcement: THE SKY IS NOT FALLING! You’ve heard and read otherwise. The Democrats in Congress are toast, and thus begins the long-predicted end of the American experiment. Polls say so. Pundits say so. The pits of your stomachs say so. Here’s a quick round-up of headlines I've plucked from various news sites on this very theme:
A slate of races now lean Republican in our latest forecast update (Politico)
Democrats’ failure to make 2022 about the threat to democracy (Washington Post)
Facing tough midterms, Biden releasing oil from US reserve (Associated Press)
Bernie Sanders, Fearing Weak Democratic Turnout, Plans Midterms Blitz (New York Times)
Are Democrats messing up their midterm messaging? (The Guardian)
And here’s Politco’s Dial-A-Despair graphic, showing the House as a lost cause.
SO, NOTHING NEW HERE. The doomsayers, the negativists, the spoilers, the half-empty glassers, the pessimists are at it again, as they have been for months. Midterm elections are hard on the party in power, historically; and Joe Biden’s poll numbers are pathetic; lots of Democratic Congressmen and Women chickened out early and didn't even try to run again. Maybe it was looking a little brighter for the Dems earlier this summer, but the tide is turning. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Look, as a legendary prognosticator, I admit that I don’t have a good record as to warning of a falling sky. My record is worse even more than that of the boy who warned incessantly of the arrival of my mortal enemy, The Wolf. But we pessimists do have this going for us: sooner or later, we ARE going to be right. We all die. Before that, we all lose, fail and collapse at some point in our lives. That center of our earthly existence, the sun, will run out of gas. And who can forget what came roaring out of the sky a while ago – it seems like yesterday – when that mother of all asteroids struck the earth, wiping out the dinosaurs. What a classic bit of bad bad-sky news, about which we’re still learning new facts. Just yesterday, the Washington Post added this new information - talk about rough seas: Sixty-six million years ago, a nearly nine-mile-wide asteroid collided with Earth, sparking a mass extinction that wiped out most dinosaurs and three-quarters of the planet’s plant and animal species. Now we’re learning that the so-called Chicxulub asteroid also generated a massive “megatsunami” with waves more than a mile high. But here’s the thing. We also know that just recently NASA sent a spacecraft after a contemporary asteroid, crashing into it so as to slightly change its orbit, a successful experiment that suggests that monster rocks don’t have to strike Mother Earth twice. “All of us have a responsibility to protect our home planet. After all, it’s the only one we have,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, in in a self-serving, but on-target news release put out by his agency. My point: the sky is not falling, certainly not the way it used to, definitely not yet. Here’s another thing to keep in mind: sports, particularly sports cliches.
SOCCER FAN, after a what seemed a lost cause, turned around in the final minutes of a 2022 championship match. CREDIT: NBC Sports, via YouTube
RECENTLY, MRS. LITTLE AND I took an interest in world soccer, AKA, "football." By way of background, we Littles are not big, bruiser-type athletes or even sports fans. By definition, we are little, and we definitely are chicken when it comes to contact sports. But thanks to streaming TV, we've become a wee bit knowledgeable about soccer/football, and developed some respect for sports' sayings, AKA "wisdom." Just this past May, the championship of the English Premier League was on the line as Manchester City played Aston Villa. Well into the 90-minute game (matches typically go longer, but that’s too esoteric for this discussion). At about the 75-minute mark, “Villa” was ahead of “City,” 2-to-nil. Hopeless, given that soccer/football is a low-scoring game. However, in the next five minutes, “City” scored three goals, two by the same player, a substitute. And Manchester City won the league championship. You see what I mean?
IT'S NOT GUARANTEED that the Republicans are going to take control of the House. Or, even worse,that they’ll take back the Senate, too. Or that Red State legislators will get their way as election fixers, bullies of transgender kids and abortion lunatics. What I can tell you is this: today is no time for predictions. It’s time to vote. Early voting has begun in many places. Mail ballots are already on voters’ kitchen tables. Election day is Nov. 8. People, who just a few weeks ago didn’t know there was an election this year, are waking up to, eating dinner to, going to bed to a chorus of grotesque, misleading, ridiculous campaign ads. But those ads have one big positive: they alert all of us to the fact that there’s an election. So, it’s time to persuade the two or three people left in the country who haven’t made up their minds about Donald Trump. Time to hector Democrats to do the right thing: get off the couch and go vote. Now is the time for the fanatics, the political junkies, the besotted volunteers to stop fretting about winners or losers, and, instead, round up their friends, their families, the people next door and across the street, and start talking to total strangers, calling, texting, ringing, writing, mailing, pleading, begging. This is our long-shot, our come-from-behind chance. So, let’s stay in the game. Let’s be positive. Let’s hope. Let’s get out there, do the work And even have some fun in the closing weeks, days and minutes. Do not worry about the sky. I’ll take care of that. The rest is up to you.
I'VE BEEN a reporter and writer for 58 years, long enough to have learned that journalists don't know very much, although I've met some smart ones. Mainly, what reporters know comes from asking other people questions and fretting about the answers. This blog is a successor to one inspired by our dog, Phoebe, who was smart, sweet and the antithesis of Donald Trump. She died Feb. 3, and I don't see getting over that very soon. Occasionally, I may try to reach her via cell phone.