THANKSGIVING IS HERE
Thanksgiving is here.
History will record the defeat of Donald Trump, the would-be dictator and corrupter of American democracy, as a turning point in this country. My neighbors, and all those people who were really afraid that this country was done for, are expressing palpable relief.
We all know that we were at a critical juncture. We had a president who seemed to worship at the feet of Vladimir Putin and other dictators. We had a man who said that he wanted not only a second but a third term and that, of course, is prohibited by the United States Constitution.
The man is a breaker of norms, a guy to whom precedents and inconvenient laws meant little. It all came down to an election in which Americans were asked to decide whether this was the man who should lead us.
Maybe he could have had a second presidential term, but he decided that by playing exclusively to his base and not expanding his political audience, he would emerge a winner. The idea was to get all those people to turn out and vote, swamping those who would vote against him. Make no mistake about it, history will record this election as a referendum on Trump.
We know that because an awful lot of people voted against Trump but for other down ballot Republicans. Frankly, I couldn’t get it. I thought the margins would be far greater. I couldn’t imagine that the country wouldn’t see how corrupt and frankly demented Trump was. The Trump voters mainly stuck with him for a lot of reasons but the purples, the folks in the middle, knew right from wrong.
I voted by mail early in my blue state of Massachusetts and millions of others all around the country did, too. Trump’s strategy was to have his loyal voters cast their ballots on Election Day. I suspect that he saw it all coming. He declared himself the winner on that day and said, incredibly, that we should stop counting the ballots. He launched frivolous lawsuits and claimed that he would go to the Supreme Court, his Supreme Court. Surely, the people he put on that court would be loyal to him and save his hash.
The problem was that he had no evidence to back up his claims of voter corruption. Trump has nothing to give to his toadies on the Court so he’s toast. For his part, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts will not allow the Supreme Court to be seen as a partisan institution lest the incoming Congress change the rules and membership of the Court and the American public lose all faith in the judicial branch.
All America should be celebrating Pennsylvania and Georgia. Now Georgia will be the scene of the next major battle in which two United States Senate positions will be contested. If the two Democrats running for those spots win, it will put tremendous pressure on Joe Biden to show his moderation and respect for the other party. Obviously, there will be great pressure on Biden to move left and morph from a moderate Democrat to a more left wing progressive. I’ll bet he doesn’t do that.
Joe Biden has always been the kind of guy who can deal with his opponents like Mitch McConnell. He says that he wants to be president of all citizens and I think he means what he says. We have a lot of healing to do. Kamala Harris, who has Black and Asian ancestry and is married to a Jewish man, has all the cards. If she plays them right, she will end up as the first female president. One more thing — there are those who think that the Democrats should heal things by not going after Trump after he leaves office. Nope, he threatened the Republic and if he has committed crimes, he needs to be held accountable.
Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and president and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected]