First off, thank Christ Biden won. Never mind all the other obvious benefits; just having a president who doesn’t slither all over a podium like Jabba the Hutt licking Princess Leia is going to do so much to improve the nation’s digestive health.
For me, the initial call of Biden’s victory was slightly anticlimactic. Maybe my 2020-addled brain couldn’t fathom something good happening. Maybe I was waiting for the other shoe to drop in a story that feels like it’s missing a few twists and turns. Maybe it’s a side-effect of months of isolation. Whatever the cause, the joy didn’t really sink in until later in the day when I rode my bike into Harvard Square and found a horde of happy, cheering, honking people. I swear I could see four years of steam slowly releasing through everyone’s ears all at once.
Getting to celebrate with the community was awesome. For the first time in a long time, it feels like there’s a chance we can make some significant movement in the right direction – but it’s still just a chance. More people voted for Donnie Ding Dong than voted for him in 2016. Ohio and Florida went red and weren’t particularly competitive. The divides between rural and urban Americans, male and female voters, and college grads and those without a degree seem starker than ever. If Democrats don’t win both run-off Senate elections in Georgia, Diamond Joe’s likely going to be stuck pushing his agenda through executive orders.
We’ve got a lot of work to do. The progressive message isn’t attracting a big part of the country. I’ll tell you flat out that I don’t personally give a flying fuck what some racist hillbilly with zero connection to the broader country living in a socially and economically irrelevant backwater thinks about tax policy, women’s rights, police reform, or much of anything, really, but–I want to have a nice life, and I want that guy to have a nice life, and if we don’t pull these people back toward reality just a little bit they will be a thorn in our sides for the rest of our lives. That said, I don’t necessarily think this is the domain of the Democratic party; I think any outreach they attempt in that regard will be soundly ignored, and I think they need to focus on expanding, enabling, and incorporating the progressive and African American coalitions that were so vital to winning this election. Reaching these people who are falling off the map is, I think, a job for smaller, community-based non-profits focused on moving the meter just a few decimal points at a time.
Perhaps the most interesting part of all this: what comes next for Donald Trump? I wish I could say we’ll never hear from Donnie and his brood again, but that seems highly unlikely. MAGA is basically a lifestyle brand at this point, sort of a Lululemon for dipshits, and there’s still a ton of money to be milked from it. I’ve always believed Howard Stern’s claim that Trump didn’t actually want to win the last election and was using it to build momentum toward the launch of his own cable TV network. The Trumps and their weird cult, unfortunately, aren’t leaving the spotlight anytime soon. There’s too much money left to be made and too much influence remaining to be exerted. That blows.
So yeah. Like most other things in life, the 2024 election brought with a combination of good and bad. But make no mistake: this was a victory not just for the Democratic party but for democracy, decency, and reality, and it could literally save lives if Biden’s able to adjust our country’s approach to dealing with coronavirus. That’s definitely worth celebrating.