About OTD 2020

Are you better off today than you were four years ago?

On 01 March 2020, I shifted my email updates to family and friends to a Substack newsletter. I sat in my car, outside my hairdresser’s salon, on 29 February 2020, listening to the press conference that announced the first (known) COVID-19 death in the U.S.

Seattle seemed like ground zero. We now know it was not.

On 29 February 2020, we were at the start of a presidential campaign that would have former Vice President Joseph Biden (D) face off against incumbent President Donald Trump (R). Biden won both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote. That made 2020 stand out this century.

  • In 2000, George W. Bush (R) lost the popular vote to Al Gore (D) when the Supreme Court of the United States stopped the recount in Florida on Dec. 12, 2000. It had been 112 years since a sitting president lost the popular vote. In 1888, incumbent Grover Cleveland (D) won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote to Benjamin Harrison (R). Bush won in 2004 as an incumbent.
  • In 2008, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D) won both the popular and Electoral College vote in his contest with U.S. Sen. John McCain (R). Obama won in 2012 as an incumbent.
  • In 2016, Trump took the small-state-centric Electoral College but Hillary Clinton (D) won popular count by 2.8 million votes. This mismatch has now happened twice in 20 years.

Here we are, again in the midst of a presidential election that features Trump, who admires authoritarians like Victor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary. The Republican Party has embraced Orbán, who took control of the country in 2010 after losing re-election in 2002. Trump wants to be like Orbán in more ways that being a come-back kid.

We need a constant reminder of what we lived through four years ago, because humans forget.

Kathy E. Gill


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“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” oprah winfrey