Enjoy this! Winning feels good and this was a prize fight of Blue Wave v. Red Wave. Politics and governance is the expression of lawful power and there are no breaks in the battle for control over that incredible power. Winning is everything, and the senate and Mitch McConnel are proof enough of this fact (if you have been paying attention for any amount of time).
In my election seasons of political commentary, I try hard not to “shoot past” the public figures at their individual supporters. Everyone lives a lifetime of experience and influences that drives them towards their beliefs and political preferences that for the most part are completely unknowable to anyone but themselves.
But a reminder, the “sycophants” don’t get to pretend to be “Libertarians” or “principled” conservatives ever again. Tossing out ideology, this presidential race was a battle between revanchist authoritarianism, which viscerally played out in front of our eyes at the cost of real human lives and the integrity of our democracy, and a candidate that can best be described as “not that”.
It’s chilling to think, but after seeing the votes cast the only thing that saved us from Trump the authoritarian was Trump the incompetent.
Joe Biden will do, and is doing, a better job at bringing this country together than I am capable of. I look at the staggering 70 million people who witnessed four years of Donald Trump’s leadership, and while still mired in his failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic, chose to double down on him and can’t see it as anything else but a crisis of the heart. Loving this country requires more than Trump worship, and unfortunately the Republican Party has vacated being (whether accurate or not) “the party of ideas”. The ready appetite for authoritarianism and even Donald Trump himself are not going away anytime soon.
It scares me. I am an ideologically engaged person, but can’t humor politics being about “ideas” or “progress” knowing that so many people in this country are at the ready to march forward into an illiberal and undemocratic future where reality is framed by the “non-reality” of social media silos and whatever is also dumped downwards on them by a wannabe tin-pot dictator.
We can do better, but until then we, meaning Democrats, just have to keep winning elections.
Wrapping up this season of political commentary, I have to recognize that I have been “joy scrolling” as much as anyone else these past few days. Doing this, I caught a comment that stuck with me after another election where we were “saved” by minority voters (again) and specifically women of color. In short it said, “Don’t waste your breath lauding them, just hand them the microphone.” So in that spirit, I wanted to share what I think was the most important speech given this election season and encourage anyone reading to watch.
“But we are a mighty nation because we embedded in our national experiment the chance to fix what is broken. To call out what has faltered. To demand fairness wherever it can be found. Which is why on Election Night, I declared that our fight to count every vote is not about me. It is about us. It’s about the democracy we share and our responsibility to preserve our way of life. Our democracy–because voting is a right and not a privilege.”
And yes this was two years ago, and yet change has now arrived.
To do my part. I am committing myself to voting enfranchisement and to making more friends than enemies.
As part of this American experiment I believe we are connected together as one people in times of crisis and in peace. This belief doesn’t stop at the door of partisanship, and if a person or faction of this country chooses conspiracy over reality, I am diminished by that, just as much as I am diminished by every underserved child in America, destitute senior or traditionally harmed minority.
“E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one. Now onwards to a future as a better and more mindful whole.