By: S.L. Frisbie, IV for Polk News-Sun
S.L. Frisbie IV Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame Member, 4th-Generation Polk County Newspaper Publisher
For several months, I have kept my own counsel on the Election of 2020, an event which should rate an entire chapter in history books.
That is a challenge for a columnist, even more for one who is a retired editor and publisher.
By way of explanation, that has-been status explains my reluctance to venture into candidate support. That privilege goes to the owner of a newspaper (unless delegated to a publisher or editor) and I respect that fact.
So with the Election of 2020 decided (or almost decided, depending on your outlook) I shall come out of my shell, and comment on several related election topics.
It is, after all, the 500-pound gorilla of American politics.
Four years ago, I found both candidates to be unqualified for office — a failure of the two major parties to meet their responsibility to voters — and for the first time in my life, did not disclose who I voted for, because I was unable to be proud of my decision.
This year, I will repeat that non-disclosure, but for a different reason.
The animosity exhibited by one of the candidates is reflected in animosity among many voters. Unless you are a late night comedian, you’d best not poke a little political fun at either candidate this year. There was little room for humor in this year’s election.
Another topic: a friend asked me the other day if there really are people in the “electoral college,” and if so, if any of them ever votes for someone other than the candidate chosen by voters of their state.
Yes, and yes.
Electors are chosen by the Legislature from among political leaders (excluding holders of elective federal office) to cast their state’s electoral votes for the winning candidate. Each state has as many electors as it does senators and representatives in Congress (29, for Florida).
And every now and then a “rogue elector” will vote for someone else. As far as I know, this has never changed the outcome of an election.
What happens if the loser refuses to concede to the winner? Nothing; concession is a courtesy, nothing more. It’s like two coaches shaking hands after a hard-fought football game. It doesn’t change who won.
What will happen if Donald Trump refuses to move out of the White House on Jan. 20? I haven’t the slightest idea, but it should make for fascinating political theater.
No matter which candidate you supported, there is great merit in following Joe Biden’s first piece of advice since winning the election: wear a mask. It’s not a sign of subservience or surrender to government.
It’s a cheap and easy way to save lives, yours and those of your family and friends.
(S. L. Frisbie is retired. He is a political junkie, a condition for which there is no known cure; this year’s election came close to being one.)
Used with permission of Polk News-Sun