By Larry Levine –
Am I glad Joe Biden won the Presidential election? Of course.
Am I happy Donald Trump will no longer be President? Absolutely.
Is my outlook on life overwhelmingly optimistic? Certainly?
Why then can I not open the door for even a hint of euphoria this morning?
We have to face the fact: more than 71 million Americans witnessed the lying, self-aggrandizing, neo-fascistic, demagogic behavior of Donald Trump for the last five years and then said with their votes they want more of that for our country. More people voted to re-elect a bloviating fool than had voted for any other candidate for President in the history of the country. Fortunately, that wasn’t enough because even more people voted to oust him.
Biden beat Trump by nearly 5 million of the nationwide popular votes, but that margin is a false promise. In California alone, Biden won by some 4.4 million votes. Subtract that and the 1.3 million vote margin in New York from the national total and Trump won the popular vote in the rest of the country. In more than half the states, Trump won the majority of the votes.
That’s a heavy dose of reality for those who danced in the streets yesterday and woke up smiling this morning.
I watched the Biden speech and was moved by the idealistic promise of it. He spoke of the nation I wish we were.
But think about it. A majority of the people collectively in 48 states voted for the dictatorial aspirations of a neo-fascist, demagogue racist. A majority of the people in the majority of the states endorsed the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the overthrow of the right of women to make their own choices, the acceleration of the march toward climate disaster, the mocking of the handicapped, the separation of America from the world community and a host of other horrors. Those people cast their ballots with the full knowledge of what they were blessing.
Am I supposed to be happy in the face of that? These people are still among us. After seeing Donald Trump on display for five years nearly 9 million more people voted for him this year than did in 2016. Am I supposed to be optimistic in the face of that?
In two consecutive elections we’ve seen an oaf, a blow-hard, a con man defeat first a woman who may well have been the most qualified person ever to run for President and then almost defeat a kind and decent man. What does that say about our nation?
Yes, I’m glad Joe Biden won this election. The alternative is too frightening to contemplate. And yes, I hope with every fiber of my being he can pull off the miracle of at least a semblance of unity. But as I hope for this I see Republican Senator Lindsay Graham promising his judiciary committee will investigate fully Trump’s baseless charges of fraud in the election. Instead of pledging to work with the new president for the good of the country we hear virtual silence from the Republicans in the Senate and House.
These Republicans live in fear of Donald Trump and his 71 million followers and will continue to do so even after he leaves office. They will fear he could endorse an opponent in a Republican Primary Election and his followers will sweep them out of office. They fear he will draw tens of thousands of loyalists to rallies in their districts and states. And that fear will block them even if they are inclined to want to act in a cooperative way with the Biden administration.
Donald Trump will not fade quietly into the night. Nor will those 71 million who stand ready to support the next neo-fascist demagogue who comes down the pike.