The good, the bad and Biden: 2020’s crazy election

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Photo by Peter Burleigh

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Associated Press called the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election in favor of Democrat nominee Joe Biden after nearly a week of uncertainty and controversy. However, President Donald Trump has yet to concede defeat and continues to pursue lawsuits in key battleground states, keeping the uncertainty and controversy very much alive. 

For an exhausted country, this year’s unprecedented election presented some good, some bad and a whole lot of ugly. 

As Statesman Colin Powell is attributed to have said, “Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.” So, I’ll lead with the ugly, and there’s plenty of it.

This year’s election was a win for confusion, division and mistrust. Gleeful broadcasts from corporate media machines contradict the pending lawsuits and official recounts in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin that would suggest this election is not over. Brazen Silicon Valley censorship continues as President Trump alleges all kinds of voter fraud and irregularities. 

His comments, frustratingly, have continued to come through Twitter, which all but invites potentially biased people on the Twitter fact-checking staff to flag his comments. 

The corporate media has been consistent on exactly one thing this entire election cycle— they are almost always wrong.

Trump outperformed all media expectations of him, as he did in 2016 against Clinton. According to Fortune.com, which used an algorithm that compiled predictions from major news outlets and betting sites, Biden enjoyed a 65% chance of winning at the start of Election Day. By that early Wednesday morning, Trump was the one favored at 62%, only to have it boomerang back to Biden after the Associated Press preemptively called Arizona and Michigan. Arizona, as of Sunday night, is still counting votes, while five states were decided by less than one point. Hardly the landslide victory that Biden was supposed to have. 

A statement from President Trump on Nov. 7 asserted that the election is still “far from over” and that “legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.” He will pursue legal action starting Monday, Nov. 9, but seems to be content with waiting as long as possible before informing the nation. Incredibly, he spent the weekend on the golf course and has made no public appearances since.

Biden and Kamala Harris, in their proclaimed acceptance speech, never once mentioned the allegations about fraudulent votes. No comments have been made from the Democratic campaign about evidence that a “glitch” in vote-counting software Dominion Voting Systems switched thousands of votes from Trump to Biden in just one Georgia county according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. While this software was rejected three times by the Texas election board for noticeable security vulnerabilities, it was used across Georgia, as well as in Michigan—two of the states subject to Republican lawsuits and, in Georgia, a recount.

None of this conclusively means that Biden didn’t win the presidency, but for the country he claims to wholly represent, his silence should be worrying. For a country that was told by the media for months that Trump was going to be crushed, he wasn’t. The very same people that lambasted Trump for four years, calling him “not my president,” now implore the rest of the nation to accept the results of an election that still might not be over. 

However, not everything out of this election was ugly. Businesses who boarded up their windows in anticipation of a Trump victory earned a respite from the recent onslaught of mass protests. More votes were cast in this cycle than any other. Assuming Trump’s slew of lawsuits doesn’t upend the current results, Harris will become the first woman vice president, and Biden just the second self-proclaimed Catholic president.

Pope St. John Paul II preached that “democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.” Regardless of which way the election pendulum swings, our duty as Catholics and democratic citizens is, first and foremost, to hold onto our own values, realized through Christ. From that foundation, faith in his saving power will be sufficient in getting us through whatever the future holds. 

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for this sane and refreshing piece. I especially appreciated you explaining the difference between what is decided for certain and what is still uncertain, as well as the JP II quote about democracy needing a foundation of solid values.

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