It’s the day after the 2020 election as I write this. It looks as though Joe Biden will win enough states to win 270+ Electoral College votes. Let’s assume, for a moment, that legal shenanigans ensue but end with no change beyond more anger. What then?
The good news will remain in front of us:
Joe Biden is boring, and decent. I look forward to a presidential term in which we don’t wake up to screaming ALL CAPS! tweets from a temper tantrum. I look forward to a presidential term in which not absolutely everything has to be defined as us-versus-them.
We’ll all be disappointed. Biden is not as left-wing or progressive as some desire and others fear. Nor is he as cravenly beholden to Wall Street as the others fear and some desire. Further right than a typical European social democrat, further left than the autocrats that Trump admires. Somewhere near Biden is the middle of the road. That is boring, it’s disappointing.
Another peaceful transition. Some cities boarded up windows in city centers for the post-election riots. So far, at least, that seems like a waste of decent plywood.
Biden’s not perfect but … at least we won’t be dealing with dog-whistles to hate groups. We won’t be watching him offering a wink-and-a-nod to white supremacists, nor kowtowing to foreign autocrats.
Donald Trump will start fading into painful history. He may want another bite at the cherry in 2024. But, as soon as he’s out of the White House, he’s just an ex-president, one facing a world of pain via legal and financial challenges. The power struggles within the Republican party to set a new course will begin, along with finger-pointing and back-stabbing. I’m not so naïve as to believe that the Republican party will rapidly, magically transform into a policy-driven, conservative outfit. But it won’t be automatically genuflecting in front of a fading, aging would-be-autocrat. It’ll want to run a new face in 2024.