That’s the headline.
Biden will be President.
That’s the REAL headline, the one to focus on.
Yet I find myself less than elated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that America will no longer have a fascist as a President, and I’m clinging desperately to the notion that the hope that triumphed over hate in America (if only just) will continue to flow to other countries around the world.
At the start of the Trump presidency I looked on, bewildered; How could a man so obviously out of his depth have managed to secure such a powerful position. Of course, he’s a white man, so he already had a fairly good shout without having to do anything except turn up, but even then it was astounding to me that this narcissistic loon had pulled it off.
As his odd mannerisms and baffling press conferences started to emerge, so did the take that he was something to be laughed at. Look at the silly orange faced man with the tiny hands, listen to his weird voice, what a moron. Yet I found it hard to laugh because that’s all the liberal media seemed to be aiming for, a simple lampooning of Trump for cheap laughs. Where was the true satire? Where was the notion that this man was horrific, dangerous, and would endanger so many people in so many different ways.
Here was a dangerous and now powerful man, who was President of the United States, and the best we could do was point and giggle? Clearly Trump was a pawn, manipulated and cajoled by many, and while I’m sure he thinks he came up with all his ‘good ideas’, I doubt that Bannon, Putin et al would agree. Try as I might I just could not shake the notion that all of it, the man, the things he stands for, all of it was not something to laugh at and I never really understood why he was being so trivialised, so easily, by so many.
Don’t get me wrong, I read articles highlighting all of these things, but they weren’t the ones being published by mainstream media, the masses either agreed with Trump, or thought him a harmless buffoon. It’s no wonder we have our own ‘harmless buffoon’ in charge of the UK Government.
Sidebar: Neither Trump nor Boris are buffoons, they know what they are doing, they know why they are doing it and they are dangerous, predatory, self-serving, elitists. The only thing stopping Boris being compared to, and acting like, a Nazi is the proximity of Europe.
I realise it’s all well and good saying all of this after the fact, but there you have it.
For the past week I’ve had an unsettling sense of fear; fear of violent retributions from both sides, fear of a descent into exactly the kind of hate filled, goaded, rhetoric that Trump was becoming more and more overt with in his final days. I’m gladly surprised that it doesn’t seem to have gone that way and, oddly, I think the descent into legal battles will stop more bloodshed. For now.
That sense hasn’t really gone. The right-wing in America are emboldened, they are out in the light and they don’t care to hide. Why should they? Go skim read some Trump supporters twitter feeds. Get out of your own bubble and be amazed, then shocked, then genuinely fearful that people like that exist. Well, that’s presuming you are a like-minded person to myself of course.
Whilst Biden had over 75 million popular votes, Trump and everything he stands for managed over 70 million. Many of the latter would have remained Trump supports purely from their Republican base, and many will be from the same pool of disenfranchised voters who are simply fed up of ‘big government’ and thought that Trump was going to sort all that out and still believe that’s what America needs.
Further still a large portion of that, a LARGER portion than before, will remain. Trump may be gone (or at least going) but the ideas he stood for, the approaches he took, the lies and hatred remain, and the groups that have expanded and stand emboldened remain. That’s what scares me the most.
Biden stands for a return to caring about the environment, a focus on racial injustice, a bringing together of a country that only seems to be growing further and further apart.
So I hold onto my hope, hope that if Trump can turn the world on its head in 4 years, that maybe Biden can turn it back. Hope that other fascists, those would be dictators, will be toppled soon. Hope that love and peace will be the defining factors of the world in the coming decade.
I have the hope, I just need to find some optimism.