This Week in 2020: Spooky Edition 


October 25th-November 1st

Halloween is upon us, the spookiest season of the year, yet what remains the scariest predicament is the growing unstable state of our nation. This week, we’ve had a the most disappointing and infuriating confirmation to the Supreme Court, we’ve come fresh off the final Presidential debate and the election is here, tensions grow between half of the U.S. and the other, and the global pandemic shows no signs of slowing down! How in the world did we get here? Before we dive in, of course we have to get through our honorable mentions from the week:

  • Actor Sean Connery, the first actor to portray the James Bond character, passed away on October 31st, 2020. He died in his sleep in the Bahamas.
  • The FBI have begun an investigation into an incident involving Trump supporters and a Biden campaign bus in Texas. It is said that a caravan of Trump supporters in pick-up trucks tried to surround the Biden Bus and run it off the road.
  • Many countries have gone into lockdown once again causing an April déjà vu, thanks to a second wave of Coronavirus cases.
  • A terror attack occurred in Nice, France this past Thursday. The knife attack killed about three people. Christian Estosi, mayor of Nice, suspects it is a terrorist-related attack. The assailant was identified by French police as Brahim Aousssaoui, who currently presides in the hospital after being shot by French police.

Moving on, this past Monday the Senate completed their confirmation process and officially swore in Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. This of course was infuriating to many people for various reasons; for example, she was appointed by an impeached president, eight days before a presidential election. . . in which half the country had already voted in. She also proved several times that she was the furthest thing from qualified for the job. 88 of her own colleagues wrote to Congress pleading that she not be confirmed. Just imagine for a second, you walk into an elementary school. You have no experience working with kids, you’re asked what you would do if there was a fire drill and you don’t know what to answer, everyone you know is telling them not to hire you and they hire you on the spot anyway. Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation feels a lot like that.

When you look at Barrett’s career, she had only became a federal judge in 2017, she’s very conservative, and stands against every progressive ideal that benefits the country. During the confirmation hearing, there wasn’t a day that something unbelievably infuriating didn’t come out of Barret’s mouth. Whether it was Barrett being unable to name the first five freedoms of the first amendment of the constitution, refusing to answer if presidents should commit to a peaceful transition of power, suggesting that the use of a racial slur does not create a hostile work environment, claiming sexual orientation was a preference, and saying that her beliefs on climate change aren’t relevant to the job of a Supreme Court justice.

It isn’t just the fact that Barrett was pushed through eight days before an election by an impeached president, or even that she is heavily unqualified for the job, but it’s the blatant reason that she was pushed through so fast. As mentioned before, Amy Coney Barrett is a very conservative judge, confirming her to the Supreme Court makes the court right leaning with six of the nine justices now being conservative. This would allow, oh I don’t know, a certain Presidential candidate to invalidate votes and leave it to a majority conservative court to decide the outcome of the upcoming election? Yeah, that’s exactly the reason.

Don’t just take my word for it, immediately after her confirmation, Barrett appeared for Trump at a White House campaign rally. Recently during his rallies, Trump has word for word straight up claimed that he was planning to use the Supreme Court to steal the election saying “If we win on Tuesday, or thank you very much Supreme Court, shortly thereafter,” very much implying that he’s expecting help from the Supreme Court to win this election.

Now it would be very unlikely that the decision would come down to the Supreme Court; if the election runs to a tie with electoral votes, the House of Representatives who would decide the election. The only way the Supreme Court could get involved is if there is a legal dispute involving votes, which at the moment is still unlikely. Nevertheless, Trump boasting the fact that he plans to use the Supreme Court is terrifying.

The election itself so far is also rather nerve wracking. With just days to go, and about 90,000,000 votes already cast, the race still seems unpredictable. Current polls still show Biden with a healthy lead. Fivethirtyeight projects that Biden has an 89% chance of winning, leaving Trump with a 10% chance, and 1% chance of them going to a tie. 270towin also gives Biden a significant lead in the election. Alan Lichtman, who has accurately predicted every Presidential Election since Reagan, has also predicted that Biden is favored to win this election.

That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. It is still very likely that Trump could pull an upset and take the election. As of right now, it comes down to Arizona and Pennsylvania. Currently, polls show Biden leading in both states, but a polling error in Trump’s favor could grant him a victory.

The presidential election is not the only important election we have to watch for on November 3rd. Seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives are also up for grabs. Currently, Democrats are also favored to win control of both the House and the Senate. It’s assuring to know that with millions upon millions of votes cast, Biden and the Democrats hold a steady and healthy lead.

However, regardless of who wins on Tuesday, there’s been new fears stemming from what could happen in the aftermath of the election. The nation has been heavily divided since the start of the 2016 election. As Trump’s Presidency ravaged on, the riff between the left leaning and right leaning parts of the country grew bigger and bigger, with disagreements over social liberties, and with what is humane and what is racist. What one side views as right, the other side views as wrong.

Many people may be inclined to blame President Trump for causing the division. To an extent yes, he strengthened the fire, but he didn’t start it. With the stakes of the 2020 election being high for both sides, everyone is readying for social unrest and violence in the aftermath. This week, Walmart pulled its guns and ammunition off of shelves to guard against social unrest. For the first time in its 25-year history, the International Crisis Group issued an in-depth report on the upcoming U.S. elections stating that the country faces an “unfamiliar danger,” and that “the ingredients for unrest are present . . .”

So, what does this mean? While it’s unlikely that that the election on Tuesday could cause a second Civil War in America, it is likely that it’ll cause a lot of commotion. What we are almost guaranteed is more civil unrest, more violence, and the riff that has grown in the country to grow even larger. We’re already seeing some violence caused by the election, whether it be attempts on Joe Biden’s life or attempts to run campaign buses off the road.

There isn’t much we can do to avoid the almost certain riots and violence that will be caused by the election, regardless of the winner. What we can do, is elect someone who will care instead of shrug it off or encourage it. Yes, I’m going there again. This is the last time I’m going to ask everyone reading this to go out and vote on Tuesday. Vote for democracy, vote for a better America; for the love of god, if anything vote so I can stop drinking every time the President says something completely moronic on twitter. Just go out and vote, because your voice matters.

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Raul is a new student at New England College majoring in creative writing. He’s been writing his whole life but only learned how to write the right way his senior year in high school. He recently graduated from Nashua Community College and is working on expanding his writing style and bettering his writing.
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