Biden Did the Damn Thing.
Four years ago, Donald Trump lost by almost three million votes. Today, it appears as if Trump lost by around five million votes.
In between, he was impeached.
Soon-to-be former President Trump will join an exclusive list of one term presidents: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush over the last eighty eight years. Ford never won an election, as he was only appointed, so incumbency may not have benefited him in the traditional manner. The elder Bush faced an uphill battle for reelection, as a successful campaign would have required a fourth consecutive Republican term. Also, Ross Perot.
Really, Trump just joins Carter. (Interestingly, Trump once mocked Carter for being a one term president.)
I was mildly surprised to see Democrats disheartened by the election results. Some wanted a full, clear, and decisive repudiation of Trumpism up and down the ballot. But in a highly polarized, near evenly split country, is such a landslide realistically possible? It is worth noting that, had the election been called the first night, the victory would have tasted sweeter for Democrats. And the only reason it wasn’t called sooner is because of a disproportionately high level of mail-in ballots due to a raging pandemic.
The Democrats kept their majority in the House. They will make gains in the Senate, and it is still possible that if both Georgia runoff races favor the Democrats, Vice President-Elect Harris can cast the deciding vote in the upper chamber.
Most importantly, Biden thumped Trump.
Trump launched well-funded offensives in states he almost won in 2016, like Nevada, Minnesota, and New Hampshire. All were unsuccessful. There was not a single state that Clinton won that Biden didn’t defend. Indeed, the 2016 electoral map seems to represent the high water mark for Trumpism.
Instead, it was Biden who went on offense, meticulously sniping off Trump states with meticulous, electoral precision. The Biden campaign resurrected the “blue wall” of the upper midwest, capturing Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. He flipped Nebraska’s single district, turned Arizona blue, and clawed his way to a victory in historically conservative Georgia.
The Rust Belt. Nebraska. Arizona. Georgia. I mean, c’mon. What else do liberals want?
Besting Trump was no short order — a historically sticky base, the incumbency advantage, a war chest that was compared to “the Death Star,” and a right wing news apparatus that functioned more as state propaganda than independent truth seekers.
And yet, President-Elect Biden did just that. He did the damn thing. In Trump’s dethronement, there are no style points. It was a meat-and-potato, bare knuckle fight. And Biden punched harder.
Liberals get discouraged too easily, and conversely, conservatives love to claim victory where none exists. A once in a generation threat to democracy was removed from office because the American people mobilized. If our elections were normal — counting the votes and seeing who has more — the decision would be even more decisive than it already was.
An old therapist once told me to never lose focus on “the prime directive,” as he called it. Whatever is the primary goal is in one’s life. For four years, the prime directive was to remove Trump. And that’s what happened. Rejoice.
I’ll be focused on examining the voting data going forward. What happened in the House and the Senate, too. Of course, the lame duck period of the Trump presidency is sure to be interesting as well.
But for now, relax. It’s over. Biden did the damn thing.