October Surprise

The first thing we need to discuss is the elephant in the room: what is an October Surprise? An October Surprise is defined by Wikipedia as, “in US political jargon… a news event that may influence the outcome of an election (particularly one for US presidency) whether deliberately planned or spontaneously occurring.” This year’s surprise is one that has definitely thrown itself into our faces with impeccable timing.

On Sept. 29, the first presidential debate for the 2020 campaign period was held in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a disaster, to say the very least. According to a report by CBS News, Donald Trump interrupted Joe Biden around 73 times during the nasty squabble. Another report by the Slate, estimates that Trump interrupted both Biden and the moderator of the debate at least 178 times. The debate turned for the worse after the moderator asked a question to Trump about if he would condemn white supremacists and tell them to stand down at protests. After being told that he was being expected to condemn the ‘Proud Boys’, 45 said in response, “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what… somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

After being nationally and globally criticized for his role in the debates and the news of changes coming to debate rules, Trump issued his familiar sort of apology, saying he didn’t even know who or what he was really talking about. Of course, it seems like 45 has a history of news coming forth more shocking than the previous day’s headlines. Only two days after the debate, on October 1, the surprises began to roll in. News broke that Trump’s close aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for coronavirus. The ball only sped up from there. The morning of October 2, we found out that Trump and his wife also tested positive. By the fifth of October, there were a confirmed 14 members of government, white house staff, and Trump family with positive Covid-19 tests.

As much information as this seems to be, the last October surprise, in 2016, involved much more dramatic information being released over the course of a single weekend. In the weekend of October 7-9 of 2016, we learned of Russia meddling in elections, Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” interview, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails, the dis-invitation of Trump to a rally with House speaker Paul Ryan, a classic Trump “apology”, the second presidential debate, Trump’s impromptu press conference right before the debate that included 4 women (three of whom were accusing Bill Clinton of sexual harassment, and the forth whose rapist was represented in court by Hillary Clinton in her attorney days), and an attempt by Trump of ultimate intimidation by trying to have the 4 women sit in the family section of the debate audience.

We have endured these foolish antics for too long. The president has endorsed white supremacists, police and government agencies are preparing for mass turmoil on election day, we are one of the most affected/infected countries in the world in terms of coronavirus, we are the laughing stalk of democracy around the world. Now is seriously the time to get out and vote. It’s time to get rid of this kind of clownery.

We already experienced one jam packed weekend last election cycle and here we are at the start of a week that has already seemed to put the icing on the cake this year. The thing is we still have two presidential debates, a vice presidential debate, and 25 days left until this month is over; the real question on everybody’s mind now is what else is in store?

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