Well, that’s a relief. Even though there were warnings for weeks and months before the election about a “red mirage” that might happen election night, a result of Trump supporters voting on election day and Biden supporters voting heavily by mail, and the order in which the ballots would be counted, even though many of us knew about the possibility intellectually, it turned out actually experiencing was a whole different matter. It was a long week.
I realize this result is not a relief for many of my conservative friends. However, they can take some solace that even if the Democrats manage to take control of the senate through the Georgia senate runoffs, that control will be so tenuous that it’s unlikely any large scale liberal legislation will happen.
In truth, even the 52 majority many were predicting probably wouldn’t have enabled that. The Democrats had a far stronger majority back in 2009-2010, when they barely managed to pass a very conservative health care plan. The reality is there are a lot of moderate and a few conservative Democratic senators who would have complicated any far left agenda. (I say this as someone who would love to see many liberal ambitions happen.)
But at least we’re in a place where we’ll have a reasonably competent leader at the head of the executive branch, or at least one who isn’t as aggressively incompetent as possible. That will matter in the battle with the virus, in foreign relations, and in many other things. And Biden is arguably the best Democrat to be in the presidency if the only way forward is Democrats cutting deals with Republicans.
This was a 2020 election. It seems inevitable in this miserable year that it would end in a manner that will entirely satisfy no one.
The next ten weeks are not going to be pleasant. I anticipate Trump inflicting as much pain as he can before he goes. (Assuming he doesn’t just lose interest and disappear.) I also anticipate he’ll do everything he can to stay on the public stage moving forward. But hopefully this bloviating clown can be relegated to the lunatic fringe where he belongs, and the political right can find a less odious spokesperson.
It’s worth noting that Trump was a symptom, not a singular problem in and of himself. The effects of globalization are still leaving large segments of society in an eroding position. Our society’s response to those people, despite lots of hand wringing, has largely been, “Gee, sucks to be you.” Unless that changes, we’ll see other figures rise with a similar message. And the next one may not be nearly as inept, and may therefore be able to threaten our democracy in ways Trump could only fantasize about.
The future is unknowable, and we still have daunting problems. But at least today we seem to have a path out of the wilderness.
What do you think of the results, and what will happen moving forward?