There are always opportunities in the midst of crisis. Some of the most pivotal moments in human history have come when things were at their most desperate. Today is one of those days. The road ahead is fraught with danger and disappointment, of course, but we seemed to have avoided disaster for now. Sometimes that’s the most you can hope for despite wanting so much more.
Joe Biden became president-elect after Philadelphia finished counting its ballots, rebuilding the Blue Wall across the upper Midwest. Biden might even flip formerly “red states” like Arizona and Georgia. Early voting and absentee ballots were off the charts for 2020, though in-person turnout was down across the nation on November 3. We also elected a daughter of immigrants to the vice presidency in Kamala Harris.
The pair certainly wasn’t my first choice, but they ended up being the best one for this particular moment in time. Even with all we’ve seen this year, the current occupant of the White House enjoyed widespread support for reelection. Depending on the final voter turnout numbers, this is the most troubling aspect for me. A third of Americans seem perfectly comfortable with abuse and gaslighting as national policy.
Standby for a repudiation of the election results now. The GOP and its right wing media enablers started crafting that narrative months ago. Drumph conducted super-spreader rallies at a furious pace, reinforcing the groupthink at every turn where it spread into the electorate every bit as much as COVID-19 did, spiking infection rates across the country and polluting our civic discourse to unprecedented degrees.
Given the results, I don’t believe there was an appreciable increase in voter turnout. We may have gotten back to 2008 numbers, but that doesn’t elect a House supermajority or flip the Senate beyond a 50-50 split needing our new VP to deliver a majority. The race is so close in Georgia that should either republican incumbent get less than 50% of the vote, they go to a runoff on January 5, 2021. Just two weeks before the inauguration.
Otherwise, it is a recently reelected Senate majority leader who will stymy each and every legislative measure to improve our daily lives, most especially as it relates to staying alive. I prefer to believe in the poetic justice of the senior pastor from Ebenezer Baptist Church, Raphael Warnock, being elected to US Senate alongside a 33-year-old Congressional staffer Jon Ossoff. A bare majority is enough right now.
A more perfect union? It’s coming. That much is clear. Time is the ultimately arbiter of influence now. The only way out is through and the way ahead is fraught with peril, both mundane and existential.