A bad pun for the end of the world
There is relief, of course, that Trump has gone. After Trump, it’s hard to conceive of any president that would actually be worse in all ways presidential — outwardly at least. On the other hand, it’s very easy to conceive of many presidents that would offer more hope for real change than Joe Biden.
When your best feature is that you’re not your predecessor, it’s a good indication that expectations are low. And Biden’s cabinet picks so far appear to indicate that he’s not about to raise expectations any time soon.
The Democrats, after sabotaging Sanders in successive campaigns, have once again managed to select their Wall Street candidate. Like Labour in the UK, they seem to think that creeping to the right but calling themselves centrists is the way to gather the trust of a generation of working class voters they have sold out to neoliberal unregulated free market capitalism.
It’s not. An unconscionably large number of voters chose Trump. Again, in spite of all the evidence of both his venality and ignorance. That is a warning. It’s not a sign of an epidemic of stupidity. It is a sign of a generation who feels unheard and misunderstood.
If many of those fall under the banner of white supremacy this, also, is the result of the double whammy of seeing living standards fall and the propaganda of the right giving them easy targets to blame. The Democrats have fuelled this by promoting global trade agreements that shipped manufacturing jobs overseas, refusing calls for democratising wealth and health, and by demonising, criminalising, and disenfranchising a generation of black men in the name of the war on drugs.
If Biden follows the Obama playbook, there is every chance that Trump — or a smarter version of what ex-England rugby player Brian Moore calls the Mango Mussolini — will surface and run for president in 2024. With every chance of success. And next time, they won’t wait for an election to come around before any incitement to insurrection. There’s a good chance that the first 100 days of the next Trump will be the last we see of America’s so-called democracy.
Just some cheerful thoughts to end the day of Biden’s inauguration. We can only hope that Biden may channel policies more like those of previous vice-president Henry Wallace than those of the more recent vice-president Joe Biden.