Also, the governor's tweets: Our American systems have been failing—falling apart—for a long time now.
Our postal service is perhaps being dismantled—and under the stresses of the pandemic, the operations of other systems just keep getting worse. Consider a pair of front-page reports from this morning's newspapers.
On the front page of the New York Times, we read about the problems which are now afflicting the census. In print editions, the report appeared beneath this headline'
Census Facing Severe Doubts Over AccuracyThe report on the census is gloomy. Political motives are surely involving, and the fact of the pandemic makes matters that much worse.
On the front page of the Washington Post, we read about another challenged system. In print editions, this triple headline appeared:
Rejection rate for mail ballots could make big impactThe report concerns the complications arising from the move to expanded vote-by-mail—and changes in the postal system aren't the only problem.
540,000 CAST IN PRIMARIES DID NOT COUNT
Voter rights, accurate results may be on the line this fall
According to the Post report, many voters have trouble following required procedures for casting votes by mail. Then too, there's the apparent absurdity of thinking that election officials can determine if a signature on a mailed ballot matches the signature on file for that voter.
Ballots can be invalidated in various ways. How many votes could end up going uncounted?
According to the Post, the answer could be "a lot." In our view, this was the most significant part of the Post's detailed report:
VIEBECK (8/24/20): Democratic lawyers and election officials in more than three dozen states are now pushing to limit the reasons a ballot can be rejected, which studies have found tend to disproportionately invalidate ballots from younger voters and voters of color. Recent mail backlogs at the U.S. Postal Service have put additional weight.Younger voters and voters of color are most likely to have votes by mail invalidated—and those groups primarily vote Democratic. When we hear that Biden's ahead by six points in several key states, we wonder how many Democrats will forget to sign their ballot, or will break regulations in some other way, or will fail to request a ballot in time, or may not be living at the address to which a ballot is mailed.
Previously, our election system was falling apart because of eight-hour lines at polling places on election day. Now, under the stress of the pandemic, our election system is finding news ways to fall apart.
In some jurisdictions, of course, those long lines were a reflection of intentional attempts at voter suppression. Intentional monkey-wrench politics may also be involved as the census falls apart and as a large increase in vote-by-mail produces a new set of breakdowns.
We can't deliver the mail on time. We can't get an accurate census count. This November, a million votes, or more, may end up going uncounted.
Meanwhile, our journalistic system fell apart long ago, succumbing to various stresses and forced which largely go unreported and undiscussed. And of course, as all these things fall apart, we have our nation's rise in tribe.
World history largely turns on the rise and fall of tribe. We recall the great historical leaders who were able to "unite the tribes." Our endless wars have endlessly come as the tribes have split back apart.
In our failing nation, the rise in tribe has been extreme. Indeed, the rise in tribe is a major big business now. It's hard to see where the downward spiral into tribe will end.
On the one hand, the rise in tribe has given us a large bloc of confirmed Trump voters, many of whom are apparently able to believe The Crazy. More broadly, the rise in tribe has encouraged members of various tribes to beuild their understanding around devotion to beliefs and claims which can merely be called The Wrong.
Within the lats day, the rise in tribe has given us a peculiar set of tweets from Tony Evers, the governor of Wisconsin. We'd say his tweets were written from script. Angry members of other tribes are saying his tweets were just Wrong.
We'll look at Evers' tweets tomorrow. The rise in tribe and things falling apart proceed apace, hand in hand.
Tomorrow: Those tweets struck us as peculiar