Something is Missing
I thought I’d be enjoying this. But I am not.
Fox News has essentially collapsed unto itself, running chyrons like:
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S LEGAL TEAM PREPARING LAWSUITS IN SWING STATES OVER CLAIMS OF VOTER FRAUD
SEN CRUZ (R-TX): PRESIDENT TRUMP STILL HAS A PATH TO VICTORY, COUNT EVERY LEGAL VOTE CAST
TRUMP TO REVIVE CAMPAIGN-STYLE RALLIES OVER ELECTION FRAUD ALLEGATIONS
Sean Hannity has called for a do-over in Pennsylvania. The Trump children are launching virtual hissy fits on Twitter. Since election day, most of the president’s social media postings have been labeled as misinformation by Twitter and Facebook.
So much of the Republican brand is “owning the libs,” as they call it. Democrats are happy when they are victorious because it means progress on climate change, reduction in inequality, and protections for minorities.
Republicans like winning because it means Democrats are losing. It’s less about an actionable agenda and more about making the other half of the country incensed, then deriding them as “snowflakes.” If this past week is any indication, “snowflakery” seems to have no partisan component to it, as Republicans are urging the media to “give Trump time to accept defeat” because “this is a very emotional time.”
I guess the White House moonlights as a safe space.
When it was our turn, I thought I would enjoy it. Watching their anguish as Trump squirms. For the president to be labeled a loser, even for him to fail (and not fail upwards, which is normally how it works with him).
Trump made fun of Biden relentlessly. He mocked his son for fighting addiction. He belittled Biden’s other son who fought in Iraq and died of cancer. He called for Biden’s incarceration, and once labeled him the weakest candidate in political history. “Imagine losing to him?” Trump once asked at one of his coronavirus giveaways.
Well, imagine no further.
Trump was thoroughly repudiated at the ballot box. Even better, Republican in-fighting has only increased since election night. But instead of jubilation, ecstasy, dancing, or singing, there is a growing general unease within me. Not a fear that Trump will steal this election (although he did try). But a fear that our democracy has been reduced to this — unsubstantiated claims of mass voter fraud, menacing calls to election workers, and bomb threats to counting centers.
And while I may not be as happy as I thought I’d be, Republicans aren’t content either. Their standard-bearer was thumped at the polls. There were some modest gains in the House, but not enough to take the gavel from Pelosi’s hands. And the Senate may not be in their control come January, either.
Related to this, there is an element of GOP psychology I have never quite understood. To Republicans, elections are either won or stolen. Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight elections, and yet, the red team is shocked at even the possibility of occasional electoral loss. In a majority non-Republican country, sometimes a non-Republican can win.
I am not discouraged or even ambivalent. After all, Biden did the damn thing. There is a quiet joy within me, a stillness that is hard to verbalize. One day soon, Trump will be gone. Not wiped off the face of the planet, but removed from the Oval Office. He will no longer represent our country. Soon, he will be diminished to just another Twitter troll.
Of which there are plenty.