How did we get here? Come on. Don’t be silly. You know how we got here.

The blame for today’s reprehensible events at the U.S. Capitol lays primarily at the feet of the criminals and terrorists who stormed and vandalized the building. They chose to do what they did, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But there are others who bear at least some responsibility for getting America to where it is today.

An obvious candidate for scorn is President Donald Trump (R), who continues to claim—falsely—that his reelection was stolen by widespread voter fraud. Oh, there was fraud, as there is in every election, but it was not enough to change the result. The only state where the outcome is really in question is Pennsylvania, and it alone would not be enough to give Trump a win. President Trump, you contributed to this outrage.

But he is not alone.

. . . Continued

A special election will be held on January 5 to fill vacancies in the 2nd and 90th districts of the Virginia House of Delegates. I make the following recommendations in those races:

  • 2nd District: Former Delegate Carol Foy (D-VA 2nd) resigned in December to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. Candi King (D) and Heather Mitchell (R) stand as candidates to replace her. I recommend voting for Heather Mitchell.
  • 90th District: Former Delegate Joseph Lindsey (D-VA 90th) resigned in November after being appointed as a state judge. Sylvia Bryant (R) and Norfolk City Councilwoman Angelia Graves (Superward 7), who is running as a Democrat, stand as candidates to replace him. I recommend voting for Sylvia Bryant.

Per the Tangent style guide candidates are listed alphabetically by last name.
Winners are denoted with (w).

U.S. Presidential Electors

Joe Biden (D)
Electors: 306 (w)

Arizona (11)
California (55)
Colorado (9)
Connecticut (7)
Delaware (3)
D.C. (3)
Georgia (16)
Hawaii (4)
Illinois (20)
Maine (3) (split)
Maryland (10)
Massachusetts (11)
Michigan (16)
Minnesota (10)
Nebraska (1) (split)
Nevada (6)
New Hampshire (4)
New Jersey (14)
New Mexico (5)
New York (29)
Oregon (7)
Pennsylvania (20) *
Rhode Island (4)
Vermont (3)
Virginia (13)
Washington (12)
Wisconsin (10)

Donald Trump (R)
Electors: 232

Alabama (9)
Alaska (3)
Arkansas (6)
Florida (29)
Idaho (4)
Indiana (11)
Iowa (6)
Kansas (6)
Kentucky (8)
Louisiana (8)
Maine (1) (split)
Mississippi (6)
Missouri (10)
Montana (3)
Nebraska (4) (split)
North Carolina (15)
North Dakota (3)
Ohio (18)
Oklahoma (7)
South Carolina (9)
South Dakota (3)
Tennessee (11)
Texas (38)
Utah (6)
West Virginia (5)
Wyoming (3)

* Off on a Tangent cannot independently verify the outcome of the presidential race in Pennsylvania. Late and illegal ballots were accepted statewide, and there were serious ballot-handling and processing irregularities in some jurisdictions. The Pennsylvania Department of State certified Joe Biden (D) as the winner.

Ballot Races

U.S. President (VA)
Joe Biden (D):54.11% (w)
Jo Jorgensen (L):1.45%
Donald Trump (R):44.00%
Other:0.44%
U.S. Senate, VA
Daniel Gade (R):43.91%
Mark Warner (D):55.99% (w)
Other:0.10%
U.S. House, VA-10th
Aliscia Andrews (R):43.37%
Jennifer Wexton (D):56.51% (w)
Other:0.12%

Ballot Issues

VA Redistricting Amend.
Yes:65.69% (w)
No:34.31%
VA Veteran Tax Amend.
Yes:85.99% (w)
No:14.01%
Loudoun School Bonds
Yes:68.87% (w)
No:31.13%
Loudoun Pub. Safety Bonds
Yes:77.20% (w)
No:22.80%
Loudoun Parks & Rec. Bonds
Yes:68.94% (w)
No:31.06%
Loudoun Transp. Bonds
Yes:76.84% (w)
No:23.16%
. . . Continued

I voted this morning at my precinct in South Riding, Virginia. If you are a U.S. citizen who is eligible to vote, and if you have not already done so, you should go to the polls today too. Since so many people voted early this year, many precincts—like mine—are not crowded at all. It took mere minutes.

The only thing I ask of you is that you take the time to learn what’s on your ballot and make an informed choice. Don’t vote on the basis of blind party loyalty, fake news, or campaign ads. Put at least a little real time and effort into it. No informed vote is a wasted vote.

I encourage you to read my endorsements, but don’t only read mine. Read other people’s views too. Read the candidates’ websites. Read a variety of news and opinion articles. Know what you are voting for (or against) and why. And remember that, no matter how things turn out, we can all act like adults in the aftermath.

Now, with that out of the way, a few thoughts. . . .

. . . Continued

Gordon Johnson (Pixabay)

Tomorrow, millions of American citizens will go to the polls. Millions more have voted already. They’re casting ballots for their state’s presidential electors, for members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, for governors and state legislators, for local officials, for voter initiatives, for state constitutional amendments, for local bond referendums, and more.

Lots of people will be happy with the outcomes. Lots of people will be angry. Lots of people will land somewhere in-between. This, we know. Everything else is just guesswork. Even outcomes that seem certain aren’t necessarily so. There will be surprises. Somewhere in America, at least one candidate who is “definitely going to win” will lose, and at least one who is “guaranteed to lose” will win. That’s just how it goes. Only one opinion poll really matters—the one we’ll be counting tomorrow night.

These surprises can happen even at the presidential level. Anybody who didn’t know that already should have learned it four years ago. A repeat performance by President Donald Trump (R) seems very unlikely, but it is not out of the question. Stranger things have happened in American politics. And 2020 is, to say the least, a strange year. A lot of the normal “rules” may apply even less reliably than they did in 2016. The only thing that would surprise me tomorrow night would be if nothing surprising happens.

When the results are in, what happens next? In the presidential contest, it is possible that we’ll get stuck in limbo with some tiebreaker state hanging in the balance like Florida in 2000. That would be unbearable, but at least we’d all be forced to bear it together. More likely, we’ll have a winner . . . and it will be up to each of us to deal with that like mature adults. There should be no gloating by the winners, and no despair by the losers. And above all, there should be no violence and no rioting and no destruction.

I have said this before, of course, but people are going to do what they do. Some insist on being sore losers (or winners). And some insist on using things like election results as an excuse to vent their anger in harmful ways. That’s a shame. Don’t be one of those people. Be better.

On Wednesday, no matter who we voted for in any given race, we’ll still be Americans. Our political disagreements—however strong or justifiable they might be—are no reason to hate or hurt each other. We can fight tooth-and-nail over policy without dehumanizing. We can assume mutual good intentions. And we can win or lose elections with grace and respect . . . even when our candidates don’t.