So, about that election…
Four years ago, the week after the election, I wrote down a bunch of thoughts, trying to make sense of what had just happened. I decided to do it again this year.
- Of course, I’m relieved. The prospect of another four years under Trump was almost unimaginable.
- Biden and Harris’ victory speeches on Saturday were the first time in a long time that I felt hopeful about our government. I don’t think they’re perfect or any sort of saviors, but my God, what a breath of fresh air to hear a positive, inclusive vision for our country.
- When you watched Biden’s speech, did you have a moment where you went, “Oh shit, did he forget to thank Black people??!” I did. And then he pounded the podium with that special shout out and my eyes got WET, y’all!
- That election week…what an emotional rollercoaster, right? I was glued to the Internet in a completely unhealthy way, scrounging for any news about votes in key states. I looked at far too many maps and read WAY too many “hot takes.”
- They’re still counting votes. We don’t know the final margins in lots of states. (Here in California, 10% of the ballots are yet to be counted.) But…
- Biden won. It wasn’t close. The popular vote margin is going to be large. The electoral college margin will be significant, too.
- So why don’t I feel happier?
- The next few weeks are going to be awful. Trump has always been unfit for the job, but the full measure of his petty cruelty and self-dealing will be unleashed between now and January 20.
- Trump doesn’t really care about the presidency. He doesn’t care about anybody but himself. I don’t think he wanted to win in the first place and I think he hates the job. But he loves the fame, adulation, and money it brings. He’s not going to let that go, quietly.
- He telegraphed his post-election playbook weeks in advance. Make sure mail-in ballots that favored Biden weren’t counted until later so he could cry, “fraud!” He’s doing exactly what he said he would do.
- What Trump is doing right now — and what the GOP is enabling — is incredibly dangerous for the country. They are undermining democracy.
- Just because it won’t work, doesn’t mean he’s not attempting a coup. I mean, he’s doing it in plain sight. Thankfully, Americans have taken his power away.
- Still, his unhinged Thursday night appearance from the White House was unsettling. Stephen Colbert expressed my feelings about it better than I could.
- The results of the election and aftermath show how much Trump’s poison has infected the nation. How do we ever get better when we no longer speak the same language?
- I know it’s been said many times before, but the demise of the Fairness Doctrine in 1978 really did a number on this country. The political polarization has gotten worse since then. But we’ve never had a president in the modern era that weaponized it to the degree Trump has.
- The famous Daniel Patrick Moynihan quote is still true: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” And yet, half of us are all running around with our own “facts.” How can we ever agree on anything and move forward if we can’t even agree on what’s true?
- Of all the terrible things that Trump has done — and, boy, it’s a long list — blurring the line between real news and crazy conspiracy-theories may be the most pernicious. I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to put the genie back in the bottle. That’s terrifying.
- Boy oh boy, does Facebook and social media have a lot to answer for! I enjoy Facebook, but there’s no doubt that it’s pushed us further into our bubbles and eliminated the commonweal. It fills the needle with conspiracy garbage and injects it right into America’s veins. It’s a complicated problem and one, sadly, that won’t be addressed any time soon.
- When I look back about my fears four years ago, it’s scary how subtle a lot of the changes have been. We’re like lobsters that have been slowly boiled in the pot. It’s astonishing to think how many norms have been eroded by Trump. (The writer Amy Siskind has catalogued them and the list exceeds 34,000.)
- “Not my president,” is dumb. I still can’t fathom Donald Trump was our president, but he was. Joe Biden is going to be our president. Denying reality does nothing for anybody. Don’t like it? Work to change it.
- Man, this prick tore a lot of families apart. (Not just the ones he put in cages.)
- I am completely sick of thinking about Donald Trump. I pray that he plays less of a role in all our lives very soon.
- Sweet Jesus, we’re going to flush the D-Team in January, too! No more Barr, Devos, Pompeo, Miller, Ivanka, Jared, Pence, and the host of un-approved “acting leaders” that were never congressionally approved.
- The transition website is up! Exciting to see. I’m fascinated by this process. Will be interesting to see who is selected for the cabinet positions.
- I mean, I guess we’ll never know, but it feels like Biden might have been the only guy that could have beaten Trump. Makes that week where Klobuchar and Buttigieg abandoned their run and threw their support to Biden feel even more important, in hindsight.
- Georgia! Can you believe that we’re going to have another election in early January to determine control of the Senate? That will determine whether or not Biden can get anything done? (Wanna help? One way is to support Fair Fight.)
- Maybe EVERY state could be competitive if you enfranchise more citizens with the vote. 🤔
- Vote-by-mail is good. We should make it easier to vote, not harder. Why is that controversial? (I mean, I know why — the GOP wants to make it harder to vote — but it shouldn’t be.) It’s one of the reasons we had record turnout this year. Maybe it will be the silver-lining legacy of Covid?
- Maybe he was never gonna win in North Carolina, but man, you gotta be furious at Cal Cunningham for his last-minute sex scandal. Fellas, if you can’t keep it in your pants, please don’t run for office.
- The stock market seems fine with a President-elect Biden.
- I was crazy relieved when Biden spent his first day as President-elect launching a science-based coronavirus task force. And encouraging people to take basic common-sense precautions to slow the spread of this disease.
- 240,000 Americans are dead from Covid-19. Most experts think that’s an undercount. The failures of the current administration have made it worse. It’s still getting even worse and the winter projections are bleak. We have to get control of it.
- A silly thing amidst heavy topics, but this week also illustrated the importance of stagecraft and a great advance team. Rudy’s press conference at garden center (?!) vs. the stage for Biden’s victory speech on Saturday and his virtual coronavirus meeting on Monday.
- Kamala Harris’ election as VP is a BIG DEAL.
- My gosh, I’m grateful to so many people who worked so hard on this election. I know many who contributed, made calls, wrote letters, volunteered as poll watchers, and more. I’m even friends with the crew who designed Biden’s campaign logo! LOVE that people found so many ways to DO SOMETHING positive to turn the page. Thank you.
About the Author
John Kovacevich is a writer and creative director based in San Francisco.