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2020 Presidential Election Commentary

The photo at the top of this page shows a yard sign that simply states “Decency 2020” borrowing a stylized red “E” used by the Biden campaign. I took the photo on election day and thought it conveyed the main theme of this year’s presidential election.

With the news of Joe Biden winning the election, today is a day of relief for millions of Americans. The response of some was to cry tears of joy mixed with tears of exhaustion.

This election has had little to do with politics and a lot to do with common decency and civility. Words of congratulations and well wishes for Biden and Harris from many Republicans today is further evidence of this. [View]

The following short video clip of Van Jones summarizes the sentiments and emotion of many.

An Accident in Slow Motion

For some people, the past four years have been like being the back seat of a car with a drunk driver at the wheel, hitting people and causing accidents and damage along the way. The tears of exhaustion come as you realize the car has finally come to a stop, and you are assessing the damages – happy that the car has stopped, happy to still be alive, but troubled and shaken from the experience. You look around and see the carnage of more than 200,000 Americans dead from mostly avoidable illnesses and millions without jobs living in poverty. It’s a time of mixed emotions for many people.

Waiting for the outcome of this year’s election has been like waiting for a doctor’s report to come back that will determine your fate. It’s either going to be really good news, or really bad news.

For some people, having the influence of Trump in daily life has been similar to being in an involuntary relationship with an abusive and exploitative sadistic narcissist. That hurtful and scary relationship is finally coming to an end.

A Word to Trump Supporters

There’s no doubt that millions of Americans love Trump. They don’t just ‘support him’ but they are followers and fans of his. For those people, it’s sad to see his days in office drawing to a close.

Trump has been able to ‘trigger’ and upset liberals more than any other leader in recent history. For those who like to see other people tormented, depressed, and suffering, in their eyes Trump is a hero and its unlikely anyone else will come along with his skill of upsetting others.

Trump also criticized the Washington D.C. establishment and status quo. He promised to shake things up. But just like shaking a Magic 8-Ball, one has never been sure of what the outcome will be. The chaos for some has been an adrenaline rush. In this way, Trump has been a source of excitement and entertainment.

Obviously not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist or extremist militia member. In 2016, Trump’s victory wasn’t so much about what Trump did right, but what Democrats did wrong. This is well summarized by the Jonathan Pie commentary after the 2016 election. [View] Some people who supported Trump in 2016 and again in 2020, were not expressing their approval of Trump but their disapproval of what the Democratic Party was offering. That doesn’t make someone a ‘Deplorable.’

Much has been said about the need of Democratic Party leaders to listen to blue collar workers and those who live in the rust belt. Hopefully those same people who voted for Trump will feel they have a place at the table with whatever Democratic leadership forms in the Biden-Harris Administration.

For people who simply wanted to bring jobs back to America, and put the breaks on too much influence from the coast and not enough representation from the heartland, hopefully the Biden-Harris administration will not be a disappointment.

The Rise of Moderates and Centrists

This year we witnessed heavily armed extremist militia groups on the right, including an attempt to overthrow the state government of Michigan by plotting to kidnap the Governor. [Source] Such extremism on the right was hard for moderate Republicans to accept.

We also witnessed cities set on fire by extremists on the left, and indiscriminate ambush attacks on police regardless of their race. Black owned businesses were set on fire and destroyed by riots protesting racism. These things were hard for moderate Democrats to embrace.

Moderates in both parties seemed to reject the extremist and violent elements of both sides which resulted in center-left and center-right voters gravitating toward Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Initiatives like The Lincoln Project were formed, and influential Republicans agreed to work with Democrats in supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Here’s what John Kasich had to say today in response to the election outcome.

Denouncing Violence

Regardless of party or politics, most people want civility. Nobody wants a bully leading their party. The video below of Marco Rubio expresses sentiments shared by many Republicans regarding the fostering of violence by Trump.

Victory for Republicans

Today is a day of victory for Republicans who don’t want Donald Trump as their spokesperson. They view him as “off-brand” for their Party. While today is perceived primarily as a victory for members of the Democratic Party, the election outcome might not have happened without the support of millions of Republicans and independent swing-voters.

Addressing Claims of Election Fraud

Some are claiming that ballot tampering and election fraud are what led to Joe Biden having over 4 million more popular votes than Trump. However, there’s currently no evidence to support that claim.

If a person launched 4 million lawsuits, one lawsuit for each instance of fraud, and produced conclusive evidence of fraud, and then won all those lawsuits. We could prove that Biden and Trump were tied. There’s no question that Biden won the popular vote.

The facts don’t support the claim that Democrats engaged in ballot tampering and election fraud. In many states, Trump won by a margin of 20% or more. In West Virginia, the outcome was 68% Trump and 29% Biden. If there was wide-spread fraud, how do we explain that?

How is it that the Democrats were purportedly able to engage in fraud in some states, but not in others? Take a look at these outcomes: Alaska (T 62% / B 33%), Idaho (T 63% / B 33%), North Dakota (T 65% / B 31%), South Dakota (T 61% / B 35%), Oklahoma (T 65% / B 32%), Arkansas (T 62% / B 34%), Tennessee (T 60% / B 37%), Alabama (T 62% / B 36%), West Virginia (T 68% / B 29%), and Kentucky (T 62% / B 36%). Those don’t look like outcomes resulting from Democratic Party election tampering.

The Road Ahead

The forces that elected Trump to office in 2016, attempted to do so again in 2020 — and came very close to a victory. Millions of Americans supported Trump in this election after 4 years of seeing his leadership. There are many states where Trump or someone like him will be widely supported. That didn’t change today.

In 2016, Trump won many counties that had a majority of support for Obama in 2008 and 2012. So, Trumpism is not a partisan phenomenon. What this means is that ‘bullyism’ and the troubling aspects of Trump’s leadership could very easily rise up again in another politician in either party. We don’t like to imagine it happening, but another leader with worse character flaws could easily rise up in either party, because the people who support that kind of leadership will move from one party to another in supporting it.

For democracy to produce positive outcomes, we need educated people and a free press. We also need a society where values are valued. There will forever be people who identify as left-center or right-center in their politics and social views. What we need is to promote civility and decency among all groups. We need leaders in all parties who are ethical, competent, hard working, and decent.

What We Can Do

Here are some things we can do to support ongoing positive outcomes.

  • Support Education
  • Support Libraries
  • Support Public Television
  • Support Public Radio
  • Support programs that promote neighborhood and community unity.
  • Support initiatives to promote non-partisan collaboration.
  • Support institutions that teach and promote good values.
  • Support initiatives that promote understanding and respect between and among people of different religions, races, nationalities, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, and other characteristics that can sometimes create distance between peoples.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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