I don't usually talk politics on this blog but it is the news of the day. We truly are at a turning point in this country and we should all be concerned with the road we take.
Yesterday the media outlets called the election for Biden/Harris. It's not over but I thought this would be as good a time as any to share some thoughts and more importantly concerns.
Let's look at some of the bad that we've got to pay attention to
- 70,000,000 voted for Trump. That should be both sobering and frightening. Some of these are rich selfish people, some are racist, some brainwashed by Fox and AM talk radio but there's also a huge undercurrent of lack of decency. Trump has time and again shown these traits: bullying, ignorance, protectionism, isolationism, ignorance, compulsive lying, misogyny, divisiveness, racism and white supremacy. A vote for Trump says that none of those were disqualifiers. A Trump voter may fancy themselves not racist but are fine with a racist as the American President. This should be very concerning. Can we educate this group? Bring them over? We should not and can not just all be friends and pretend nothing ever happened. If I've got a friend who has any of the above traits I hope that I'd try to bring them over from the dark side but our friendship would be over if they just doubled down as Trump and Trump supporters have done time and agian.
- Republicans leaders haven't congratulated Biden/Harris Republican leadership has shown no indication of recognizing or wanting to work with our new Presiden. How will the Democrats react? Will they "reach across the aisle" only to be burned again? This would be a HUGE mistake. Sure, now is the time to extend the olive branch but come January, if the republicans still want to go scorched earth the Democrats must respond.
- It ain't over til it's over Trumps team and the GOP are still forging ahead to contest the election and some GOP leaders are telling states to forgo the will of the people and quite simply give the election to Trump. Even if this doesn't happen this should terrify you. Even if all goes well and we move on to a Biden/Harris presidency, these GOP leaders are still in power and they've shown their true selves.
- The Democrats still refuse to learn I thought Biden's speech was great last night. He hit all the right notes but let's see what the party actually does. Right after the election I saw tweets from Democratic candidates attacking the progressive wing of the party yet to my knowledge all the candidates that actively campaigned on progressive issues won. It wast he old school Democrats (that is, the ones who are really 1980s republicans with better social positions) that had difficulties. It certainly appears that most Americans want police reform, health care that's not contingent on employment or being independently wealthy and I do dare say most don't want to destroy the planet. If the Democrats continue to ignore the future, ignore the working and middle class, address income inequity and the aforementioned progressive line items we'll be back where we were in 2016 before you know it.
- Low turnout Finally, on the bad side, even though the past few presidential elections have had record highs for voter turnout we're still under 50% which is just sad. We have to both address the GOP's repeated attempts to disenfranchise voters and get more people to the polls. EDIT: I accidentally looked at US population instead of voting age population. It's actually more like 56% which is a great step in the right direction but still not enough.
Senate is still up in the air but it doesn't look like the Republicans will lose control. It's bad but I can't say it's a failure. It's certainly bad that Kentucky keeps sending McConnell to the Senate with him possibly doing more damage than even trump but not a surprise. The Democrats shouldn't have lost seats in the house but I haven't dug into those races carefully enough to say anything.
Fortunately, there's some good as well.
- close to 75,000,000 voted for Biden/Harris That's millions more than voted for Trump and they got support from all corners. This is terrific. Biden wasn't my first choice nor was Harris but both have grown on me and it looks like a broad coalition
- Blue wave? While it may not seem like there was a blue wave, maybe there was. Taking the senate was probably not a realistic goal and there's still a chance. You could say the Democrats lost some seats but instead of comparing 2020 to the midterms, compare 2020 to 2016 when the Republicans held the house. This plus looking at the states that went or still could go Biden? Maybe there was a blue wave afterall.
- The world response Certainly seems like our allies are happy with the results.
- We have a first dog Nuff said.
- The response of the American people. Parties in the streets all across the country. In New York, the party started with the announcement and kept going through the evening. I've never seen anything like this before. Not even when Obama was elected. I saw tweets talking about how this is the behavior you see when dictators are overthrown. Well, there you have it. This outpouring of emotion and relief never seen in our lifetime in America This says a lot about where we are and where we were.
That's the question.
If the parties don't change nothing's going to change and the parties aren't going to change unless the people force them to change. Groups like Brand New Congress are a start but we've all got to be active supporting candidates (or running), calling out injustice, using our position and platforms for those that can't.
It's been a rough four years and a super stressful election season.
I'm still concerned about this election and very concerned about our future but for the first time in a while I'm also hopeful.
Just remember though, hope without action won't take us from hope to reality.