Liberals would be fools to think the election was a turning point. The next four years will be as much a trial of democracy as the last four, just more diffuse, the cancer cells of Trumpism poisoning states and localities, as we’ve already seen locally in the last couple of years. Not the America we know? If you’ve been paying attention since 1980, it’s exactly the America we know.
Can Biden and Trump neighbors drink with each other? Come Nov. 3, there’s room for a toast–not to either candidate necessarily, but to the election, to democracy, and to what endures. Presidents don’t. Neighbors do.
Biden’s lead in none of the key battleground states is outside the margin of error and national polling is only reflecting the concentration of Biden votes in already-blue states, and the migration of some Trump votes in still-red states. The polls have it right, but Trump’s road to re-election is actually less daunting than presumed.
We don’t have to imagine what Amy Barrett’s jurisprudence will look like regarding gay rights, abortion, women’s rights, sex discrimination, even human rights and the separation of church and state. Reactionaries can party like it’s Deuteronomy again.
What country of 5 million has 300 fewer overall coronavirus cases than Flagler County, seven fewer covid-related deaths and zero mendacious elected officials who pat themselves on the back in the face of infections, suffering and cavalier attitudes?
By refusing to censure Joe Mullins for insulting Greg Hansen and Charlie Ericksen, Commissioners Donald O’Brien and Dave Sullivan are cowering enablers of Mullins’s bigotry, his bullying, his indecency. They all demeaned the County Commission and the constituents they represent.
If Flagler County had a Nobel Prize, Flagler Health Department Chief Bob Snyder and Dr. Stephen Bickel, the medical director there, would have won it this year for their management of the coronavirus pandemic, absurd claims against them notwithstanding.
Flagler County Administrator Jerry Cameron put on a show behind closed doors of interviewing what may be his successor. Though 121 people applied, Cameron knew who he was going to pick from the start, skirting public record and open meeting laws along the way.
Flagler County and Florida schools are reopening not because it’s safe, but because ideological debauchery or anti-science vigilantism are forcing them to, even though alternatives are in place for safe and effective education.
Flagler County officials often speak triumphantly of the county’s lower covid numbers compared to the rest of the state. It’s a deceptive and reckless comparison that denies the severity of the local pandemic when placed in its proper context.