I feel like I know all I need to know about the US election now, and US elections in general, after following the coverage very keenly over the last few days.
As it stands, there’s no winner declared, but it looks very likely that Biden will win. Yippee. There were a lot of nervous commentators on Wednesday as early results favoured Trump, but I have to say, I wasn’t nearly as nervous as last time. It could be that that disaster conditioned me, but there seemed a clear difference between last time and this.
Last time there felt a wave of early results that became insurmountable pretty early, never mind that some states weren’t called until days later. The vibe was all Trump.
This time it felt a bit like the last hurrah. A few nervous titters and then back on track knowing – unlike last time – that the great bulk of postal votes would favour Biden. And that’s been the case.
I expect within a few hours the election will be called for the Democrats, not that that’s the end of it.
Not surprisingly, Trump has already spread discord and dissent at the course of the election. He cast doubt on the process the very first night while claiming a false victory. He made accusations of corruption and threatened legal action. His numbnut supporters, der, then followed suit.
There’s almost a comical element to watching these vapid bogans protest at the injustice of the election, alternately demanding that the counting is stopped, or started, according to the state and whatever suits them.
In fact, it’s very ugly. In effect, they’re protesting against democracy, which is what it’s come down to. They rally and cry; they threaten and demand. They lay siege to the counting stations, some of them wearing automatic weapons. These are people who have lost the thread on civilised democracy.
That’s the danger in the weeks and months ahead that they’ll continue to rally and protest and refuse to accept the result, and ultimately, that it might lead to acts of civil disobedience and violence. I think everyone is concerned with that, but that’s the America that Trump has made manifest.
There’s much I find shocking. I don’t know a single Australian who doesn’t think that Trump is a ratbag at the very least, and a menace to the world society. There are Trump supporters in Australia, no doubt, but they’re way at the extremes. And yet, I look at polls and see that most White Americans favour him, and that white males predominantly support him.
If this true, then there’s a significant divide between minstream Australia and America, and maybe that’s the difference between living there and not, but maybe it goes deeper. (I suspect the Australian government, in comparison, is in Trump’s camp).
I think the risk goes beyond the immediate future for America. No matter that Biden looks like becoming president, it’s hardly been the resounding rejection of Trump that many hoped for. I will be a divided society for years to come, and it may take a generation to heal. Part of that is mending the damage done to the very concept of democracy, which will take education and leadership.
But, let’s be positive. The journey back has to start somewhere and is impossible while that corrupt clown is still in office.