When Biden was announced as the victor I felt a profound sense of relief, as much of the world did. The next day I was again filled with more feelings of anticipation. We had just witnessed celebrations from here and around the world as if we had just won a world war, yet our opponent still received 71 million votes to his favor.
The celebrations were a welcome sight yet many people are forgetting all too soon that this is a political situation which we have never seen before. We have never had such wildly polarized political views since the civil war in 1861 or perhaps the red scare in 1917. Today I can claim to be 100% certain of my views about Trump being a threat to Democracy and civil society, as we all know the vast amounts of red flags he has raised throughout his 4 year term. The most horrifying thing about this however is that those on the conservative side claim to be equally as certain about their views of the Democratic party ushering in a devastating wave of socialism bringing an end to America. These are two separate yet radical perspectives of a nation that will inevitably tear itself apart unless common ground and shared perspectives can be created. These opposing perspectives are so extreme that they cannot possibly co-exist in so many people in such a balanced split without chaos bubbling from the mixture.
How did we get here though? While listening to President-Elect Joe Bidens’ victory speech one night I found it odd that he failed to mention the amount of misinformation affecting our country currently while simultaneously preaching unity and healing. He spoke as if our country simply had a disagreement of opinion while the truth is, I fear, much more extreme. We have a difference of reality in this country.
After 4 years of a Trump administration and their coining of the term “alternative facts” and “fake news” it’s no real wonder why we’re in this moment of extreme perspectives. A failure of the press to be more assertive throughout these past years in defending their reputation has also been coming up short as we draw closer to inauguration day. Conservative news such as “FOX” and “OANN”, and other forums of media are feeding their viewers, namely Trump supporters, a completely different narrative than what you or I may be reading from the Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, AlJazeera, or any other news outlet. This is a difference of perspective that many are aware of but few have demanded action on. We have allowed zero restriction on what may be classified or described as “news” or “journalism” which is finally coming back to kick us in the teeth.
Now we are closing in on the final chapter of the Trump story, and I fear it’s not quite as over as we like to believe. With 71 million Americans believing Biden may be an illegitimate winner, that Democrats are the ones destroying Democracy, Trump has created even more of powder keg than before. Republicans in office are not denouncing his accusations en-masse or in strongly worded rebukes which is passively lending strength to his assertions. These are the same Republicans who are smart enough to realize every voter for Biden will never forget what they allowed Trump to get away with and how much they have damaged this country. We know Trump has absolutely nothing to look forward to once Biden is inaugurated. Their backs are to the wall now.
They may do the unimaginable to maintain their power and energize their base to “defend democracy”…..from democracy.
If it seems like a far fetched idea, with everything that has already happened, I have only one thing to say to you.
It is what it is.