On 3 November 2020, Americans took to the polls for the last day of in-person voting in the 2020 election cycle. After nearly a month of Early Voting in many states, and several weeks more of absentee voting throughout the nation, a record number of voters cast their ballots for President and many down ballot races across the country. Nearly 158,037,000 citizens cast their votes in this General Election, according to NBC News’ election count estimates.1
The race was, unfortunately, not without its dramatic and unceremonious ups and downs, as has become commonplace in the Era of Trump. We saw unabashed, uncouth, and very unbecoming behaviour on the part of the current President, Donald J. Trump, on Twitter. What’s more is that Trump made a direct attack on the very fabric of our Democracy: Claims of fraud, theft, and illegal vote tampering were made in prime time on television—an event which caused nearly all of the major networks to immediately pull away from the broadcast feed from the White House to factcheck, in real time, the President on live television.
But by the end of the morning on Saturday, 7 November 2020, the results from Pennsylvania were to become definitive. With the latest counts from Philadelphia coming in a little before 12-noon time, the Electoral College threshold of 270 votes had been satisfied and former-Vice President Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. became the President-Elect, soon to become the 46th President of the United States! And with him, Senator Kamala Devi Harris became the Vice President-Elect, soon to become the 49th Vice President of the United States, and the first woman to hold the office, the highest African American woman to ever hold office, the highest woman to ever hold office, and the first daughter of immigrants and Indian American to hold the office! Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, while they may not be the Left’s ideal candidates, are now the incoming President-Elect and Vice President-Elect of the United States of America. Trumpism has been defeated at the polls (although we will struggle with it as a nation and a society for many years to come). This genuinely historic election—not only in terms of voter turnout, but in terms of the “firsts” accomplished in the election of the officials—is worthy of celebration by all Americans, regardless of for whom their individual ballots were cast.
It is, however, worth taking a moment to reflect on what else happened during this historic and noteworthy election… Trumpism grew. It may have ultimately been defeated for now, but it was not the resounding and repudiating defeat that we, on the Left, were so sure and confident would and should take place after nearly four years of borderline fascist rule by an absolutely unqualified, unprepared, and ill-informed wannabe authoritarian. Almost 8.1 million more people voted for Trump in 2020 than did in 2016.2,3 And, yes, this is, in part, a consequence of the dramatic increase in mail-in/absentee voting but also despite a raging pandemic ravaging the nation’s populace. We need to come to terms with this and affect that repudiation in very real terms.
There are pundits and talking heads on Twitter, and other social media, echoing messages of reconciliation right now, urging that we should come together with our “friends” on the Conservative Right, from the Land of Trumpism, to find “common ground” and give the Trump Voter “space to come to terms” with their “feelings of grief and loss” over the election results. And I appreciate the motivation behind the message, the urge to be the genteel and gentle party. But, and I say this with all due respect to these members of academia and journalism, fuck that noise.
If the populace of the “Fuck Your Feelings” crowd are butthurt over losing the election, let them stew in it. They have—not once, but twice—chosen the expedient rewards of fascist ideology, xenophobia, homo– and transphobia, anti-intellectualism, lies, and confidence men over the wellbeing, health, and prosperity of their fellow citizens. They do not, now or in the future, after telling the rest of us for four years to “suck it up, snowflake” get to hypocritically demand a safe space to grieve the loss of their false sense of supremacy. After joyously wrecking havoc on our system of government, societal norms, and the very foundation of our Constitutional System’s functions, the Trump Machine—from the “low information voter” to Ivanka Trump, from Stephen Miller to Cherie Berry, all the way up to Donald Trump himself—have, through their own actions and behaviour, garnered no grace from their opponents. We have, for far too long, excused the Republicans’ corrupt behaviour. It’s time to call them on their bullshit and make them own up to it. We cannot, we will not debase ourselves in search of some “common ground” from which to seek “understanding” with fascist sympathisers.
President-Elect Joe Biden has already announced that he plans to issue a broad swath of Executive Orders to reverse and repair some of the damage done to the country and its standing on the international stage by Donald Trump. We will be rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, repealing the “Muslim Ban,” reinstating the DREAMER programme, and—perhaps most importantly right now in the time of COVID-19—we will be rejoining the WHO.
Congratulations, United States of America, you’ve shown the world through your election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that you are able to recover from your abhorrent mistakes, even in the face of a broken electoral system no longer relevant to the times. And congratulations to President-Elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President-Elect Kamala D. Harris!!