The street celebrations when Donald Trump was finally declared the loser will not dispel the democratic obscurity of the 2020 election results. Even in victory, the Democrats again failed to form a ruling coalition. Joe Biden scored the highest overall vote of any presidential candidate in history with over 75 million votes, but Donald Trump scored the second largest total at over 71 million, despite having a record 230,000 deaths from the pandemic. a collapsed economy and unprecedented mendacity and incompetence. The Democrats’ high hopes of taking over the Senate were reduced to the result of two runoff elections in Georgia in early January. Instead of expanding their majority, the House Democrats lost their seats. And worst of all, Democrats did not gain ground in state legislaturesAccording to the new census, Republicans are responsible for designing five times as many congressional districts as Democrats. With the exception of Biden’s razor-thin victory, Donald Trump’s Republican Party consolidated its minority power.
The allegations began when Trump continued to deny defeat. First-time representative Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA analyst, blamed the left for losses in controversial suburbs for speaking about “socialism” and “defusing the police”. James Clyburn, the third-tier member of the House, even warned against coming across the increasingly popular “Medicare for all” or “socialized medicine” proposal. Conor Lamb, who survived a tough race in a district northwest of Pittsburgh, lamented the attacks on fracking, arguing that the left needed news discipline.
Say what? Democrats chose Joe Biden, not Bernie Sanders, to run the ticket. Biden essentially ran a sequel to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 race plus the pandemic. Once again, the focus was on Trump’s character and incompetence, as opposed to Biden’s empathy and experience. Trump’s deadly botching of the pandemic was positive evidence. While Biden embraced what Sanders called the most advanced platform of any candidate, it received little attention. He specifically and repeatedly declined support for Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, advocated fracking and mocked Trump’s insane allegations of socialism, and reminded voters that he was not a Bernie. It is poisonously insincere to blame the left for reversals in an election campaign that explicitly rejected its message and strategy. If democratic candidates in contested districts have actually lost votes on hyperbolic allegations of socialism, it is their own fault.
Indeed as The nationKatrina vanden Heuvel noted in The Washington Post, Many left platform planks are more popular than the Democratic candidates. Florida voters overwhelmingly exceeded the $ 15 minimum wage despite voting for Donald Trump. Medicare for All is supported by a majority of Americans, if not Democratic officials. Despite Trump’s vitriolic, racial attacks on “mobs” burning down cities, most voters continued to support the Black Lives Matter movement. ONE Monmouth University survey This summer showed that even most Republicans have translated “defusing the police” into a call for reform, not elimination.
More importantly, the country’s cumulative crises cannot be addressed without bold structural reforms. The economic calamity that Biden inherits requires not only immediate relief, but a massive public employment program. Dealing with the impending climate catastrophe requires a rapid transition to renewable energies and energy efficiency. The pandemic has highlighted the need to restructure our healthcare system – and the steep price hikes that insurance companies will impose will increase the urgency. The rebuilding of the middle class will not come about without empowering workers, ensuring basic economic rights, and reshaping our trade and investment policies. Criminal justice reform and voting rights reform are only the first steps towards eliminating racial injustice.
Politically, the 2020 election results also reinforce the need for the left agenda. In a way, every campaign has achieved its goals. Biden made the pandemic his centerpiece. Polls on the exit – with all the caveats associated with their reliability – reported that the 17 percent of voters who said the pandemic was their main subject voted more than four to one for Biden. Trump advocated “jobs, not mobs,” likening the failure of corrupt Washington elites to his claims of building the best economy ever and beginning the greatest recovery ever. It won – practically by default – an astonishing 83 percent of voters (35 percent of all voters) who identified the economy as their main problem. Demonstrating the power of his racist economic populist message to produce white working class voters, Trump came damn close to winning again while shattering democratic hopes.
Now Biden will inherit the ruins. The job recovery that began when the economy opened up will stall as the pandemic rises again. Layoffs are becoming permanent as more companies close their doors. Entire industries such as airlines are facing restructuring. Even if a vaccine works, families will continue to struggle with job losses, foreclosures, and transfers. And of course, even a “recovery” in the old economy, if possible, would not redress the decline of the working population.
The lines are already drawn. A happy talk about a new era of bipartisan collaboration is belied by the brazen refusal of McConnell and virtually all Republican senators to recognize Biden’s victory. Before the election, when over 20 million workers were still unemployed, 20 Republican senators rejected any new bailout. The Republican Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell has despised any help to financially troubled cities and states that bleed jobs and cut services. If Republicans retain the Senate majority, McConnell – Trump will urge him – will likely block any major Biden initiative to blame the new administration for the resulting human misery and likely economic recession.
Against this obstacle, Biden and the House Democrats must make it clear to the Americans who is in the way. That requires bold, compelling reforms proposed and passed, support for them gathered, and McConnell and Senate Republicans urged to torpedo them. Here, too, the agenda of the left – a minimum wage of USD 15.00, a comprehensive plan to rebuild the green infrastructure, universal day care and day care, bold health reforms and more – should lead the way. And aggressive use of executive orders – even in the face of tyrannical Republicans – must begin from day one.
Joe Biden recognizes the depth of the challenges the country is facing compared his situation to that of Franklin Roosevelt when he faced the Depression. But Biden’s instinct, his story and his stated intentions compromises and common ground are to be sought. He will undoubtedly form a cabinet and regularly fall back on advisors, most of whom are from the Obama years – experienced, competent and careful. The big money what has been poured into his campaign fund will make his interests clear. In order for the government to have the ability to respond to the needs of the country while consolidating a growing majority coalition capable of governing, the progressive insurgents in Congress and the movements on the streets must force change.