Sunday, November 8, 2020

It's Not Quite The End of the World - Nor a New Dawn

Trump supporters, never fear. We survived four years of your nightmare. You'll survive four years of Joe Biden.

There's a lot of euphoria on the left right now, now that Joe Biden has won the presidential race. And make no mistake about it, he has won the race. Donald Trump's claims and legal challenges are really meritless -  and even a conservative Supreme Court isn't going to go along with them.

But what does this mean for the future? Are we going to have a socialist paradise within a year or two, or will things pretty much go as they have?  Well, a few things will change, but on the whole, life will continue on as before in the United States. Don't get your hopes up that we're going to have student loan forgiveness, free college, free money, or any other crazy far-left proposals that have been batted around.

There will be a runoff election on January 5th, and once again Georgia will be in the spotlight. There are two Senate seats up for grabs, and one of them is likely to go Democratic, but the other one will be hotly contested. Expect millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars to be poured into the Senate races in the coming month.

My gut reaction is that control of the Senate will remain with Mitch McConnell. However, even if Democrats managed to take both seats and achieve a majority in the Senate, history tells us that not much will get accomplished. During the first two years of the Obama Administration he had majorities in the House and Senate, and not much got done. What ends up happening is Senator Klaghorn holds out for funding for the Senator Klaghorn Memorial Bridge, as a condition for him voting for the President's plans. The other senators and congressmen quickly catch on to this and make their own demands for a little pork barrel.

Plus, Democrats and Republicans don't necessarily vote in a block. There are very conservative Democrats and there are some Liberal Republicans. So ideas like free college or slave reparations or whatever just won't sell well with some Democrats, particularly those who are trying to get reelected in conservative States. The Bernie Sanders or AOC agenda just isn't going to fly.

In 2022, we will have a midterm election, and traditionally the opposing party makes gains in midterm elections. It happened during Trump, and it happened during Obama. As a result, even if the Democrats have a majority in the House and Senate, it'll probably evaporate in 2022. At that point they wouldn't have gotten much done, because of the reasons listed above.  After they lose the majorities, gridlock will ensue.

The far left will start tearing down Biden (AOC has already started!) and people will complain he is "ineffective" when it is the overall government that is to blame - a government elected by "We the People".  We vote for gridlock and then complain when it happens.

So don't despair Trump fans, your world is not about to fly apart at the seams. And don't get too over-joyous, Bernie Sanders fans, your dreams of a socialist society are not likely to come true anytime soon. In fact, life will probably pretty much go on as it was before, except that we don't have to listen to the nauseating voice of Donald Trump.  Hey, at least that's something, right?

And this isn't a bad thing, either. As I noted time and time again in this blog, sometimes the government doing nothing is the best thing a government can do. Government inaction is sometimes better than government action.

And founding fathers envisioned this.  When you think about how difficult it is to pass legislation in this country, you wonder how anything ever gets passed into law. Not only do bills have to pass both the House and Senate, they have to go back in for reconciliation and then another vote pass again. Then, they require the president's signature, and he can veto it and send it back to the House and Senate for a two-thirds majority vote required to override the president's veto.

Clearly, our founding fathers subscribed to a "less is more" philosophy when it comes to governing. They made it even harder to amend the Constitution of the United States. Change was something that should only be enacted when almost everybody agreed on necessary changes, and not on a mere whim or fashion of the day.  They foresaw this over 200 years ago, and it is still true today.

To quote Gerald Ford, "The long national nightmare is finally over."  We can finally return to a sense of normalcy. And probably the best thing the new administration can do is to tone down the rhetoric of today's politics.  Perhaps all this hatefulness will start to disappear.  I notice already that many of my friends have discreetly taken down their Trump yard signs.  I notice also that a lot of people who had an opinion favoring Trump are remaining fairly silent today.  A lot of folks are swayed by popular opinion, and just as extremist politics can become popular, they can lose popularity just as fast.   Joe McCarthy is a prime example.

To Biden supporters, this is not a time to say "in your face!" or "you lost!" and gloat over Trump's demise. Because it was a very close race from an electoral college standpoint (and even popular vote standpoint) and could have gone either way. Recognize also, that about half the country supported Donald Trump - of those who voted.

That is, of course, the ultimate irony. Although a record number of people voted in this election - about a hundred and fifty million, this is out of the nation of over 300 million people.   In other words about half the population the United States didn't think it was worthwhile to bother to vote.