Maybe this is a controversial thing to say, but I am glad that Donald Trump will not be President anymore. The Trump era was easily the stupidest time I have ever been alive for, and while I am optimistic for the future, I think that there is something people do not understand: there is no “back to normal” now. The impact Donald Trump has had on this country is irreversible.
The political climate has changed. We all know this deep down. There is nothing that Joe Biden can do that will undo the coronavirus, remove Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, or make Saturday Night Live funny again.
President-Elect Biden ultimately has two options here. He can pretend that everything is normal again or he can begin to pass broad, progressive legislation that millions of Americans benefit from.
Former Ohio Governor John Kasich went on CNN after the race had been called and said “The Democrats have to make it clear to the far-left that they almost cost him this election.” That is just patently not true.
The state of Michigan went for Biden because of the work of progressive Representative Rashida Tlaib. The state of Georgia went blue because of the work of progressive activist and former Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. The state of Pennsylvania went blue because of the work of people like progressive state Representative (and Pittsburgh native) Sara Innamorato.
And the state of Ohio, which for months centrists assured everyone John Kasich would help Biden win: red as a ruby.
The simple fact of the matter is that people want change. A Fox News exit poll for this election showed that 72% of Americans want a government-run healthcare plan. Every single candidate for the House of Representatives that endorsed Medicare for All won their race. Every single candidate that lost their races did not.
Joe Biden has said that he will be president for everyone, not just the Democrats. And that’s a good thing. The partisanship of the Trump administration nearly led to the destruction of this country. But at the same time, Biden should not allow his administration to get walked on by the GOP, and he should reject any and all Republican talking points.
For decades, the Democratic Party has tried to say “let’s meet in the middle,” while Republicans just fundamentally ignore them. Instead of ending up in the middle, they end up on the center right, because Republicans just refuse to work with them. If the Democrats win these two Senate run-off races, they should not bend over backwards for the Republicans. They should focus on passing the broad, progressive legislation that this country wants and needs.
Just because Donald Trump is no longer president does not mean that everything is fine. It does not mean that the coronavirus pandemic is over, it does not mean that systemic racism is over, and it does not mean that you can go back to brunch. I’m sure that President Biden will be a step above President Trump. But that does not mean that he gets a free pass.
If we become complacent, the cycle will repeat itself, and in the future another Donald Trump esque figure will rise to power. And I’m not sure we can beat him a second time.