December 14, 2020
The Electoral College meets today, and so naturally the U.S. media is obsessed with the outcome, for one reason only – tweeter-in-chief Trump keeps claiming he won, firing up his supporters and inciting some of them to stage street demonstrations and even a few to commit acts of violence.
But serious as this surreal denial of reality is, it remains a sideshow. Trump well knows that he lost the election, but also knows that as long as he pumps “stop the steal” the donations keep pouring in. He’ll stop insisting he won when the donations of deluded followers stop – in other words, when the latest con stops working.
Here’s just a few all-too-real items that ought to be front-page, “top-of-the-fold” headlines each and every day:
At least 20 million workers unemployed. Four times that number losing federally mandated sick leave by the end of the month. 16 million more, on top of the first four million, about to have their unemployment benefits run out.
50 million Americans hungry, hustling meals wherever they can – from friends, local food pantries, mutual aid societies, etc. – and worrying about where the next bit of nutrition is coming from.
30 million renters staring into the abyss of eviction when the CDC-ordered moratorium ends this month.
7 million Americans newly entering the ranks of poverty, swelling the percentage of the truly poor U.S. population to 11% (and climbing). In 13 states, unemployment benefits falling below the federal poverty line.
Over 2 million women excluded from work force participation because they’re home caring for their kids during the pandemic.
Message to media: Say what needs to be said, again and again, if need be. Message to government: Do what needs to be done – Get real relief to real people who are suffering because their real needs are not being met. Otherwise, “America the failed state” is just around the corner.