Webb’s Wrap: Plenty to be frightened about . . . or not . . . Will polls get it right this time? . . . What will we line our birdcages with?

Happy Halloween tomorrow. There’s plenty to be frightened about. Anyone who wants to be miserable and depressed can find plenty of justification. Consider just three scary matters:

–The COVID-19 pandemic is getting worse, not better. Many states and nations are imposing harsh restrictions and we’re all becoming exhausted. The psychological toll is great.

–While the economy is rebounding, the improvements are uneven. Entire economic sectors have been decimated. Some jobs will never return.


–We are a politically divided nation with little hope of bringing the sides together. The presidential election in a few days features two flawed candidates. The election may end in chaos in some states and localities. Final results in some places may not be known for days. Activists on either side may not concede a loss. The potential for real election turmoil is high.

On the other hand, for the ‘glass half full’ crowd, there is reason for optimism.

–We are a resilient people, especially in Utah. We can cope. The COVID-19 death rate is low in Utah. Masks are a minor inconvenience and we can wear them. Hospitals will find ways to expand ICU availability.  Vaccines and better therapeutics are around the corner.

–The economy really is bouncing back. Good jobs are out there for people properly trained. Third quarter economic growth was an eye-popping and historic 33% annualized rate.

–While hardcore activists might try to use the election as an excuse for unrest, the vast majority of Americans will accept the election results. The country will be OK no matter who wins the presidency.

Personally, I’m among the rose-colored-glasses bunch. I think we can get through this challenging time and emerge stronger than before. Please wear your masks, but let’s not shut down.    

Polls, polls, polls. The Hill reports that an “avalanche of polling” going into the final election season weekend shows Biden doing very well, leading in key battleground states and across the nation as a whole. Expectations are very high that Biden will win the presidency and the Democrats have a good chance to win the Senate. 

Will the conventional wisdom of a big Biden win prevail? I have no idea, but I don’t bet against Trump. I’ve been confounded by him too many times.

Good Read. Will the traditional pollsters predict the outcome of the election? Pew Research President Michael Dimock says that’s wrong question to ask. Read his blog post HERE.

Reader Response. After reading my note yesterday about what to call newspapers that don’t use paper, reader Wes Johnson responded with more questions about a newspaper-less society:

How will we:

  1. Swat a pesky wasp or fly,
  2. Discipline our youngsters, or
  3. Start a fire in our fireplaces.

Or, I might add, line a birdcage. (Since I wrote a column featuring my mug shot for many decades, I’m sure a lot of birds have pooped on my face.)

Parting Shot. Protesting in front of Dr. Angela Dunn’s home is not only classless and disgusting, it’s also illogical and counterproductive to the cause the protestors seem to be promoting. It’s a great way to forfeit sympathy and support for your cause. Whatever brilliant strategist dreamed this one up ought to be embarrassed. Let’s start a new movement: “Wear your mask for Dunn.”

If you have a comment, an item you think should be publicized, or just want to tell me I’m an idiot, shoot me a message at [email protected].