“Biden flips Michigan and Wisconsin” reads the top headline on the New York Times homepage as I write. If the projections become reality, which it seems they will, Joe Biden will win the 59th presidential U.S. election. With a record-breaking 70 million votes for the Democratic candidate, there are no two ways about it: Biden is the indisputable choice of the American people to replace Donald Trump.
Let’s congratulate Americans on this achievement. In the face of Trumpism and an unprecedented health crisis, they have voted defiantly. It’s moving to witness such massive citizens’ participation, in the face of voter suppression. Joe Biden has reportedly received more votes than any presidential candidate in U.S. history.
Four years ago, despair fell on the U.S. and the world when Trump won office. Today, with their bravery and affirmation, Americans have had a say in history — and, in doing so, rekindled a ray of light and given some hope back to many of us.
This is not the time for virtue signalling and adding qualifications to Biden’s victory. The former vice president is not Bernie Sanders, but leftists can bake their cake some other time. Tonight we mark the end of Trump’s catastrophic presidency and mark the start of a better one. This, alone, is so consequential that any talk right this moment of Biden not being progressive enough is, frankly, embarrassing. Even if the Republicans keep some power through the legislature by winning the Senate, Biden still has won the White House and the U.S. is all the better for it. Let’s now hope that he is able to take office and that Trump does not get in his way. We have already seen remarkable mobilizations in places like Philadelphia to defend the ongoing vote counting.
Let’s also hope that the end of Trump presidency also marks the end of intellectuals who made it fashionable to dismiss the Democrats for being the “same” as the Republicans. Engaging with their arguments would be giving them too much credit. The only thing to be said is that it’s a marker of extreme privilege to be indifferent to someone like Trump in the office. Such neurotic disconnection with reality is a cousin of Trumpism and should not have a place on the Left. It’s best to leave it on Twitter.
Those who operate in the real world, such as Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have consistently called for their supporters to vote for Biden, for they know that defeating Trump is imperative to putting America back on any sort of course correction. Let’s listen to them, and the millions who have voted for Biden, instead of certain analysts who would have us believe they have some special knowledge of these issues that nobody else does. Common sense has won; sophistry can be set aside.
In the short term, the forthcoming Biden administration will no doubt at a minimum put an end to the most egregious of Trump’s actions, such as the Muslim ban, continuous attacks on the press, racist dogwhistling, disregard for governance and voter suppression. If the Senate also goes to the Democrats, a successful attempt to tackle the coronavirus more seriously can be expected, as well as an economic plan to restart the economy with a greater focus on the environment. A return to the Paris Climate Agreement will also happen, as well as cooling of tensions with Iran, hopefully, on the nuclear issue. These are just a few low-hanging fruits.
Going forward, let’s also hope that the remarkable mobilization of Americans to defeat Trump will long resonate in U.S. politics. The Democratic Socialists of America saw 26 of their endorsed candidates win their races, including of course Ocasio-Cortez in the Congress. An AOC bid for the presidency, most likely to be in 2028, is the long-term outcome we should hope for starting tonight.