Sunday, 22 November 2020

Winners & Losers 2020 Elections

Who are the winners and losers of the 2020 political campaigns?


Donald Trump is perhaps both. Love him or hate him he has changed the political landscape in four dizzying years.


His Republican Party has so far managed to hold on to Senate power and clipped Speaker Pelosi’s wings in the House, but Mr. Trump has been unceremoniously shown the door.


Yet watching him barnstorm the battleground states in the final week of the campaign I could only marvel at the man. He singlehandedly battled the entire Democratic Party to a standstill, and had the campaign lasted an extra week he would likely still be president.


God alone knows how much illness, and even death, he caused at his super-spreader events, but he still made Mr. Biden and his masked Democrats seem anemic and often self-righteous.


What a force for good he could have been if he wasn’t poisoned by his own toxic narcissism.


And so he conspires and tweets away his remaining days in the White House, unable to face any reality except his own.


And what of Joe Biden? Talk about a comeback! The Scranton Kid will become president on this his third attempt, hopefully restoring decency and competency to an office once universally admired.


For better or worse, the new American order will be comprised of Biden, McConnell and Pelosi – three pragmatists who worked their way to the top by sheer grit and resolution. 


An exhausted nation turns its eyes to them in hope that commonsense will reign again in Washington DC. 


And not a moment too soon, for the COVID-19 pandemic is surging across the country and will not be stopped until there is a unified Federal response.


Forget about Mr. Trump, with his head full of vengeful fantasies, and so much cable television to critique, he doesn’t even have time to support a badly needed economic stimulus. 


Meanwhile millions sink further into poverty, with one in eight households having less than enough to eat.


When we do finally come through this crisis there’ll be two inevitable consequences – Mr. McConnell’s new Republican party will have once again become fiscally hawkish, and financial inequality in the US will be even more pronounced. 


The former occurs every time a Democrat becomes president, the latter is just a fact of American life.


Apart from President-Elect Biden, who was the biggest winner in the recent election? 


Stacey Abrams, without a doubt. When she lost the gubernatorial contest in Georgia two years ago she set about organizing and registering voters. Last week she turned Georgia blue.


I wouldn’t use the term loser on Staten Island Congressman Max Rose. He was a rare bridge between blue and red, and like Ms. Abrams he will turn this defeat into victory and go on to bigger things in DC or NYC.


The big loser was the Democratic Party. It neglected the Latino vote and magnanimously ceded the white working class to a reactionary Republican party.


True, Democrats won Arizona and the presidency, but they suffered what may turn out to be debilitating losses in both the Senate and the House. They have yet to learn that raising money is no substitute for boots on the ground in a political campaign.


However, on January 5th they have a chance for redemption in Georgia’s two run-off Senate races where Stacey Abrams and her activists will once more go to bat for them.


Meanwhile Mr. Trump raves on, refusing to admit defeat until every obtuse legal option has been exhausted. With 9 weeks to go before he unwillingly vacates the White House, anxiety is rising that he may have some surprise up his sleeve for us.


And what of the next four years?  Will he play golf and write his memoirs, or become another Mussolini searching for his balcony?


Time will tell, but the real winners in the election were the American people. Despite a raging pandemic many stood on line for hours to exercise their democratic right to vote.


Here’s to the new triumvirate – Biden, McConnell, and Pelosi. We can only pray that they’ll overcome old rivalries and speedily enact a new stimulus bill that will both rid us of this pandemic, and begin to address the inequality that has dimmed the lights of this shining city on a hill.


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