Deep breath, Americanos. Let’s brace ourselves for what may be the messiest, most litigious and disruptive Interregnum in U.S. history. (“Interregnum” = the 79 day interval between Election Day and the swearing-in of the next president.)
What could possibly go wrong — besides strategic disruptions of in-person voting, blocking and disputing of the vote count (especially of mail-in ballots, which strongly lean Democrat), a victory proclamation based on early results before the mail-in count can result in the anticipated “blue shift,” proclamations of massive voter fraud (which the last few months of “mail-in voter fraud” claims have been preparing us for), emergency recount motions in multiple states (with postmarks becoming this year’s “hanging chads“), caravans of Trump-supporting (and sometimes armed) “ballot guardians” and “coup protestors,” appeals to state and federal supreme courts (for a replay of Bush-v.-Gore, this time with a clear conservative majority), and a state of emergency, to be quelled by riot police and military units when fights erupt in the streets, all in an attempt to bypass election results and re-impose “law and order”?
At least if we are ready for these measures, we won’t be too surprised. If we get through it all unscathed, it will be a little short of miraculous. (It can’t hurt to hope.) And no matter what happens, it will be studied for years to come. (That is, unless the condition becomes terminal.)
The question for media studies geeks will be: what have the media learned since 2016? What should we be learning, going forward? Gauging the answers given so far, we/they have either learned nothing, a few things, not enough, or we’re not sure. Perhaps we will find out.