Matt Grocott

In today’s column, there are two subjects. Both have relevance to the month that just passed. Probably you are expecting me to write something about the election of last month and, indeed, it is one of the topics. The other may be more obscure but I think you will find it compelling.

Regarding the election and the legal battles that have ensued, I haven’t much to add to all that has been written and reported except one word: patience. The process needs to carry through to whatever conclusion. Certainly in 2000, candidate Gore was given his day in court over 537 ballot irregularities. In his case, they were in a single county in Florida and still the final decision did not come down from the U.S. Supreme Court until mid-December. President Trump, on the other hand, has many more cases in many more states involving many more votes. As Gore had the right to challenge, so too does the president.

Regarding the alleged election results, to me they are unbelievable. One reason is from my own experience. Having been a candidate for office six times, what I saw in each case is that, even with a small percentage of the votes reported, whatever the initial trend is, it holds throughout the night. So too with the final results weeks later. 

I remember with my first campaign, I went over to city hall at 8 p.m. to watch the results. Initially, only the absentees were reported and I was losing. I offered to a friend who was with me and who had helped with my campaign that I could still come out ahead. My friend wasn’t convinced. He knew from experience that however the early results went, so went the final. “Matt” he said, “barring a miracle, you lost.” He was right and there was no miracle.

In the case of president Trump versus candidate Biden, to believe that the candidate who could fill stadiums with thousands of people, have car and boat rallies spring up in support of him, have millions of followers on social media platforms and ultimately have incredible coat tails for many of the down ballot candidates of his party — to believe he would lose to a guy who couldn’t fill a high school gymnasium marked out with 6 foot circles is simply not credible. 

What is credible and believable is the way things were going for the president on election night before the vote count was stopped in key cities in key battleground states. All of those cities, by the way, have one thing in common: They are run by Democrats. 

Not only is it not believable that Biden beat Trump by running a campaign out of his basement but also that he theoretically beat Hillary and Obama too. It is simply not credible and there are millions of Americans who, like me, will never believe otherwise. Sorry, it just does not add up.

My second topic is nonpolitical and dates back to November of 1975. As a young kid growing up in the Midwest, I remember listening to the news on TV on the evening of the 11th and hearing about a large freighter that had gone missing in a storm on Lake Superior. 

Earlier in the day on the 10th, before the ship left port, the weather had been unseasonably warm. The warm weather, while pleasant, may have been partly responsible for what doomed the ship and her crew because as a massive cold front moved in unexpectedly from the north, the mix of the two opposing air masses created a storm of historical proportions.

To this day, what exactly caused the ship to sink is still unknown, despite successful efforts to reach and photograph her where she rests, deep in the waters near Whitefish Bay. Some believe two of her hold covers were not properly secured and she took on water from the waves crashing over her decks. Others believe it was caused by lax maintenance to the welds which held her steel skin to her frame. Still others believe the ship hit bottom coursing past Whitefish Point. Or perhaps she broke apart as she was lifted between two towering waves, leaving her midsection unsupported. All that is known for fact is that one moment the ship was in communication with a trailing freighter and then — suddenly — she was gone.

According to legend, Lake Superior never releases her dead. When the 29 member crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald lost their lives, they were lost to the deep forever. Their loved ones were never allowed the opportunity to say “goodbye” one last time or to have a typical memorial service. This is written in honor of Capt. Ernest Michael McSorley and his 28 man crew. May they rest in peace.

A former member of the San Carlos City Council and mayor, Matt Grocott has been involved in political policy on the Peninsula for 17 years. He can be reached by email at

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(10) comments


Mr. Grocott,

I see that Rel just posted some of the same info I was going to post so I will edit a bit on the fly. From your buy in of the Trump fantasy world it is obvious to me that you do not believe in the law of the land. To promulgate the mistaken idea that Trump was cheated and the election was rigged because Biden got 80 million votes means you also do not understand the simple reasons for the result.

Yes, 80 million people did not vote for Biden but those that didn't voted against Trump. Trump was elected in 2016 because many people would not vote for Hillary for a number of reasons. They voted for Trump only because they thought he would not win and there was no way they would vote for Hillary. Does the saying be careful what you wish for, you might get it ring a bell? After 4 years of divisive rhetoric, chaos and corrupt dealings those people learned their lesson. It wasn't that 80 million people wanted Biden, it was those that didn't want him for sure did not want Trump. It wasn't a case of the lessor of two evils, it was a choice between some sense of reason and an obvious evil.


Mr. Grocott is right to question credibility around issues of the election and the candidates. Who knew Americans would be confronted with a president who was measured to lie over 20K times? Who could foresee a leader who blasted our allies and sided with despots, including a love affair with Putin? How incredible is it, that Trump was informed in January of a pending pandemic, acknowledged to Bob Woodward the virus was 5X more potent than the flu, would later call it a "hoax" and that is would go away in a couple of weeks? Who would believe we would suffer nearly 265K deaths, much of which could have been preventable?

Mr. Grocott will never believe 80M people voted for Biden as simply not credible. I, too, have credibility issues. How could 73M people knowingly vote for an impeached, lying, incompetent, mentally ill conman after observing his 4 years? It does indeed strain credibility.

Ray Fowler

Hi, Matt

I agree. A call for patience is in order. When it's all said and done, we don't want anyone standing on the sidelines making unsubstantiated claims. That cuts both ways.

Wow... patience, grasshopper. Who would have known how wise that suggestion could be? Now, that we have waited until after the election... the mainstream media is scrutinizing China's role in the pandemic and at the same time saying it might be a good idea to open schools. And all we had to do was wait...

Oh, yeah... a pandemic stimulus package has been agreed upon. And all we had to do is wait. Funny how those things worked out after November 3...


Our right to vote is precious and we need the upmost in confidence in our elections. We spent over three years investigating Russian collusion and came up empty. A full investigation/audit into our elections is needed. There are too many anomalies, sworn affidavits and questions about voting machines that can manipulate the vote.

Terence Y

Well written, Mr. Grocott. I hope you realize you’re going to melt a number of snowflakes with this letter. Let’s see if they’ll be civil in their responses to you. Wait, as of posting this comment, there's already one published TDS-rant.

Tommy Tee

Terence says "Let's see if they'll be civil" as he calls people "snowflakes" and claims TDS rants. Gotta hand it to you, T. At least you're consistent in your hypocrisy.

Terence Y

Tommy Tee, maybe you’re unaware that timestamps are shown in the Comments section. If you’ll notice, one snowflake already melted before I posted my comment. Instead of trying to play “gotcha” with me, why don’t you agree, or document why you don’t concur with Mr. Grocott?

Cindy Cornell

Indeed this election proved to be astounding in its results. No one could have predicted how so many millions of Americans could have supported a man who is clearly malignant. The people who voted him out of office (yes, it's all over but the crying and slow emergence from denial) voted by mail, as they believed in science. They voted quietly and firmly to heal America and return it from the hands of a maniac. Yes, people in big cities voted ... people of color ... people of lower incomes ... people Republicans have excluded throughout their history. There were no red states ... only voter suppression states. The Republican party started to dissolve when it welcomed in the tea party ... people easily convinced of wild conspiracies. It then spread like a cancer. Your president helped it along to its inevitable self-destruction.


Excellent reply Cindy. You saved me a lot of keystrokes.


Cindy: Trump is probably right when he claims wide spread voter fraud! How else could tens of millions be so incredibly dumb and careless that they voted for someone like Trump, who has proven himself over and over again to be completely incapable of higher office, so unqualified and immature that the world is treating him as a laughingstock that no one respects?! What an embarrassment for the country, and what a danger for our security! Are really so many people totally clueless, and so easily fooled?

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