Stop the Spiel

What if “Did Not Vote” Had Run in 2016 and 2020? Trump’s crazy spiel and that of his mindless followers are not even as outlandish as this!

No doubt you’ve seen the “electoral map” that Donald Trump exhibited recently at Mar-a-Lago during a rambling spiel, purporting to prove that he won the 2020 election by “a landslide,” with a total of 410 electoral votes, compared to only 1281 for Joe Biden.

My first reaction to this was not to denounce it as nonsense, or the febrile ravings of Trump’s demented brain, but as a callous reflection, be it conscious or unconscious, of the way in which white people voted all across the country. But that notion was dispelled as soon as I saw that he claimed California as one of the states that he won, though in the Golden State, whites voted 51%-47% for Biden.

Nationwide, white voters favored Trump 56%-43%, but they didn’t align or coincide with Trump’s gross fabrications and his ersatz cartography. Go figure.

Which I did, fruitlessly, until by sheer luck (serendipity, if you prefer) I came upon a new website, aptly named, which specializes in reconstructing events in space-time from various perspectives, both to educate and enlighten (red states) while it amuses and entertains (blue states), and vice versa. They’re located in London, which makes them objective (sic), at least about the Colonies, and, unlike Trump, they strive for scrupulous accuracy, which is a novelty in this dark day and age. Two of their many ingenious maps caught my bulging, mercator-projected eyes:

(1) What if “Did Not Vote” Had Run in 2016? and its sequel,
(2) What if “Did Not Vote” Had Run in 2020?

Stop the Spiel! (Click to enlarge. Map created using 270 To Win.)

I won’t keep you in suspense — “Did Not Vote” won both times. In fact, in 2016, DNV won by a landslide — one that Donald Trump would envy, as might anyone who ever ran for dog catcher, regardless of outcome. In 2020, the race was much closer, but DNV survived, getting just enough electoral votes to win re-election. There’s something to make The Donald insanely jealous, if that’s statistically possible.

Here are the box scores:

A. 2016: DNV 471, Clinton 51, Trump 16.
B. 2020: DNV 278, Biden 162, Trump 96.

Shocking, isn’t it? Then again, maybe not. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau observed, in the 18th century, the practice of democracy occurs only once every four years — far less, in countries that don’t even pay lip service to it as we do. Which may explain why registered voters stayed away in large numbers, either as a form of mute protest or else to register collective ennui, while exercising their right not to be bored (as opposed to being dismayed, disgusted and disillusioned).

In 2016, voter apathy was such that DNV captured 42 states; Clinton carried 7, Trump only 2 (Iowa and Wisconsin). In 2020, things tightened, yet DNV still won 24 states, Biden carried 18, Trump 9 [Washington, D.C. counted as a state in both races]. DNV won the popular vote the first time around, with 44.37% (Clinton had 28.43%, Trump 27.20%). The second time around, Biden won the popular vote, but it was a squeaker: 33.96% to DNV’s 33.80%, with Trump coming in third again, at 31.02%.

However, DNV won enough states to offset that, as Trump did in 2016, when he only had Hillary and Jill Stein to worry about, if ‘worry’ is the right word for it. Whether this means that we have conquered apathy, or that it’s merely taking time off from politics to take more time off from politics, remains to be noted at the exit polls — or at U.S. border exits, as the turnout may be.

Yet one thing is clear: when you’re fighting against a vindictive candidate who will stop at nothing, don’t get discouraged, and don’t give up. But when the enemy is ignorant and indifferent, you haven’t got a chance. Don’t ask me why, because frankly, dear Melania, I don’t know and I don’t care.

1 The map, which first appeared on Twitter only a few days after the election, was thoroughly discussed (and debunked) at the time, yet resurfaced periodically, even in the months since Trump left office. For analysis, Kim LaCapria, “Were Electoral Votes (410 for Trump and 128 for Biden) Found on a Dominion Server Seized in Germany?”, 11.17.2020. Ms. Manga Anantatmula (R-VA), who ran unsuccessfully for Congress, spread the viral word. Trump has turned it into a Sharpie fetish, clinging to bluff and revision.

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