November 6, 2020
It’s 6:00 p.m. Friday, three days after the last chance to cast ballots for the U.S. presidency, and we still don’t have an acknowledged winner. But as the count continues, the trends increasingly favor Joe Biden to displace Trump from the Oval Office come January 20, 2021.
We know that President Trump has a number of tricks up his sleeve – an avalanche of lying tweets (as always), legally challenging votes in contested states, banking on the Supreme Court to come to his rescue a la Bush-Gore 2000, calling out his heavily armed shock troops to threaten chaos in the streets, etc. But let’s say they all fail and Biden wins, most likely with a substantial electoral college advantage and a whopping majority of popular votes.
Then what? The massive problem facing Biden – along with all his corporate backers and insistently centrist Democratic Party handlers – is that multiple intersecting crises, each with its own multiple dimensions, continue unabated, and indeed are accelerating and deepening.
The health and mental health crisis continues unabated and is accelerating and deepening. Coronavirus ripping along with rising case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths, crippling anxiety and despair gripping tens of millions, escalating seen and unseen violence, proliferation of far too many self-destructive behaviors to enumerate.
The political crisis continues unabated and is accelerating and deepening. Whoever occupies the White House will confront roughly half a country that considers him an illegitimate and reviled leader. Worse, a growing share of citizens, probably already a majority, are deeply, deeply disappointed by the government’s failure to addressing real needs, eroding the legitimacy of the system itself.
The economic crisis continues unabated and is accelerating and deepening. The U.S. is already in an economic depression, with at least 20 million underemployed and probably double that number underemployed. Rates of food and housing insecurity are exploding. The class divide, exacerbated by unprecedented levels of economic disparity, is greater than ever, and widening. A new era of austerity looms.
The social crisis continues unabated and is accelerating and deepening. Police (state) violence remains rampant in our big cities, and loud and ugly white supremacist scapegoating parades in the open. Identity and “culture” politics divides-and-conquers the solidarity and cultivation of social capital – connections and meaningful relationships – that our fractured nation so desperately needs.
The ecological crisis continues unabated and is accelerating and deepening. Climate “change” is actually climate breakdown, the irreversible unraveling of the very ecological systems that underpin planetary life itself, ignored (as it is being ignored, aggressively so) only at our ultimate peril.
Welcome to the White House, Mr. President!