Stopping traffic as a political strategy: Not exactly a shrewd Jersey thing | Editorial

Posted Nov 02, 2020

This usually doesn’t require explanation, but in New Jersey, the deliberate and spiteful obstruction of the Garden State Parkway is probably not the best way to gain support for your political cause.

It is, however, the best way to forever be remembered as a feeble-minded bully who takes cues from someone that most New Jerseyans regard as a historically bad president who has already driven the country into a ditch.

During the weekend, caravans of Donald Trump supporters jammed the Parkway, the Mario Cuomo Bridge and threatened a Joe Biden campaign bus in Texas, acts that are not only dangerous and illegal, they had the added benefit of being politically self-defeating.

But it is also a reminder that Trump can no longer rely on a majority of Americans to vote for him, and that his propensity to incite such acts of intimidation and violence only fuels concerns that a close or fraught election will increase the prospect of chaos.

We already know in New Jersey that traffic congestion is usually an ineffective political statement – we failed to reach Gov. Christie for his expert analysis — but it is especially repugnant to put lives at risk. That is what happened Friday in Texas, a state that is polling so tightly that Republicans tried (and failed) to get the courts to throw out 120,000 ballots cast in Harris County through a legal curbside drop-off. There, along northbound I-35, a flotilla of Trump-supporting rubes surrounded a Biden campaign bus and collided with a car carrying Democratic staffers.

Needless to say, if a fleet of cars driven by Biden supporters threatened a Trump bus on a highway, the president would have had the mother of all Twitter meltdowns, Fox would run it on a 24/7 loop, and Biden would condemn the submoronic squadron that tried it.

Trump called these cowards “patriots,” a reminder that every time he opens his mouth a fresh wave of shame washes over the land. And the Law and Order President makes it clear that he invites every Republican to join this MAGA joyride (“I love Texas!”), to flaunt their affection for maledicta and demonstrable snide, and to let their freak flags fly.

But as the election season comes to a merciful end, here’s a last reminder that this is not normal.

Clearly, Trump’s only chance at winning re-election is to wreck the integrity of our electoral system any way he can — with false accusations of voter fraud, by wrecking the US Postal Service, by doing nothing to prevent foreign interference, through suppression of minority voting rights, by endless litigation, and by intimidation from armed pole watchers or road-raged acolytes with little regard for fellow travelers or political backlash.

Your democracy, cherish it. Do it by voting.

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published this page in News and Politics 2020-11-03 03:21:55 -0800