At last. Well, almost “at last.” This week is America’s most universally celebrated holiday, “Thanksgiving.” It normally begins after work last Friday and continues through Sunday evening. The absence from work isn’t universal, but there’s no other holiday week as little worked as this.
And boy, does it ever come at the right time this year!
A little bit more than half the country fell into such deep relief this week as the end of the Trump era appeared certain. It almost felt like depression.
Some of this has to do with the virus but when one of the two Republicans who could have stymied Biden’s election in Michigan broke ranks and voted to certify that state’s votes on Monday, Biden’s presidency grew very certain.
America’s “democracy” is not one-man, one-vote. It never has been. There are a dozen more hurdles until Joe Biden becomes President on January 20, but a very real one was overcome on Monday.
One young dapper Republican spurned his colleague and announced that for the “good of the country” he was doing the only thing he could do under law: certify that the 83 counties had, in fact, properly delivered to him and three others who constitute the state election certification board the actual election results.
Two Republicans and two Democrats. Their only role under law is to sign off that all the state’s counties had given them the results, as they were determined at the county level. Under law the certification board has no discretion to challenge the results.
So why do they exist, then?
That’s like asking a hundred other questions about America’s democracy. It’s not one-man, one-vote. It’s become a puzzle, navigated by biased lawyers, adjudicated by political judges, bought and sold by billionaires.
America has drifted as far away from democracy as the last iceberg from the North Pole.
Before the vote, Trump called each of the two Republicans on the certification board. His court cases had failed. It was his last chance to negate the 150,000 vote deficit by which he lost Michigan.
The one, young dapper Republican’s colleague on the state certification board abstained. If the one young dapper Republican had also abstained, it would have gone to the courts. As it turned out the “vote” was 3 to certify, 1 to abstain. Enough to give us relief. Or did I say depression?
And, of course, then there’s Trump. He holds power until noon, January 20. Who knows what he might do.
But the relief of the outcome of the election is real, now, almost in place of a real Thanksgiving stolen from us by the virus.
Trump and his followers, almost half of America, don’t disappear on January 20. We have four years to convert enough of them who’ve grown into their beliefs and conjured their conspiracies over a life time.
Four years to a lifetime. Can a Biden administration do it?
The odds are against it. But we’ll take the gamble. We’ll try. Argument is pointless; this is a tribal thing. Reasoning has to be replaced by demonstration, and demonstration of anything from a giant government in only four years is hard to do.
Fate has thrown us a little bone. Let’s see if we can turn it into destiny.