VELASCO: It's Time To Rally Around Joe Biden.
I've seen multiple posts across social media about how our neighbor's political views and how we should treat them. Many read, "If you're my friend and you support Trump, I don't care"; or, "This isn't meant to hurt you, but if you support Trump, I don't want anything to do with you". One meaningless blanket statement after another seems somewhat relevant, knowing that many people disassociate themselves with others because of their political views. But how did we get here?
Days after Election Day, a winner in the presidential election has finally been declared (or at least the vast majority of Americans think so). Third time's the charm for then-Vice President and now President-elect Joe Biden after two failed presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008, respectively. After then-senator Biden admitted to plagiarizing British politician Neil Kinnock and not making it past the caucuses in 2008, the Democratic nominee has been named the victor in the battle for the White House after a grueling match-up against incumbent Donald Trump. As multiple networks simultaneously called Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes for Biden, the clash has come to an end.
But what does that mean for America? Rather, what should it mean for America?
Surrounded by dazed political allies and a bisected Republican party, President Trump is fighting fire with fire in a last-ditch effort to save his already desecrated reputation, but continues to push away the legitimacy of his party's ability to prioritize the country's needs over its wants. So much so that if Trump loses (which is already the case), he plans on creating his own media network named "Trump TV", according to multiple reports. Not as a personal post-political career endeavor, but for the sole purpose to directly compete with Fox News and utterly destroy the legacy of Rupert Murdoch. After all, Trump did say he was "not going to feel so good" if he lost against "the worst candidate in the history of politics".
What's the almighty plan? Take the network's prominent conservative commentators, such as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Most notably, Carlson's primetime show recently averaged more than 5.3 million nightly viewers, breaking viewership records heading into Election Day.
Rather than guide his party for a political comeback as soon as 2022, his egotistical desire to constantly one-up himself paints a disquieting, yet unsurprising picture. President Trump has embraced a buoyant figure that his staunch base have seemingly adapted and even pushed for. His campaign strategy filled with ad-hominems towards opponents, fighting partisanship against a quasi-moderate, and an 'anti-establishment' platform against himself, being the present-establishment, has now denied him a second term into the Oval Office. From a Trumpian perspective, losers are undeserving of admiration and respect if they do not become self-obsessed with themselves.
Trump will (or maybe not) leave the White House as the most polarizing President in the history of the United States, something a self-absorbed person would absolutely be proud of. Was he ever serious about it; about being an aggressive, meaningful politician who holds office in a purposeful fashion? To mirror this dismissive attitude, Trump was golfing as networks called the election in Biden's favor.
However, all of this is not to say that the Trump administration has not accomplished a multitude of successful policy initiatives. A retrospective view of a current conservative and former Trump supporter would accost the President for not escaping his self-emboldened personality for the better of the nation. Take former President George H.W Bush for example. After losing to Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, Bush held his feelings of despair to himself and was instead graceful about pursuing a peaceful transition of power for the incoming administration. In fact, it was his act of befriending his successor that so many Americans admired Bush for that.
Trump has never shown respect for such civilized losers.
Instead, his self-indulgence has never made it past the infamous Trump Tower in New York City; or worse, ever. But then again, he has never shown an inclination towards an inch of any concession that results in him losing capacity, ability, or power.
So, referring back to the question I asked at the beginning: what should this mean for America; that a sitting President, heavily relying on faulty election litigation that mostly grasps at weightless straws and will not accept to ensure a peaceful changing of the guard? Conservatives, such as myself, are struck at a confusing crossroads. As real as it is, living in political limbo to see what absurdity the President tweets next should not be the next thing we, as in Americans wholesale, do. Four years of incessant bickering and endless kowtowing to the respective party's players has caused a blistering wound in the center of the U.S.
Americans have prided themselves to be patriotic and accepting of all, touting that our nation is the greatest republic in the world. This wound, causing hyper-partisanship to skyrocket and enabling mainstream media coverage to focus on divides rather than support has been an absolute devastation in terms of wanting and needing to circle back as one whole population.
America needs to heal. There's a reason why a second 'Civil War' was unusually advertised leading up to the days of the election. Yet, there is evidently one option:
We need to rally around President-elect Joe Biden.
There is no doubt that Biden's policies are going to reverse the trend of a recovering bridge and inevitably damage America's attempt to grab back its once roaring economy. Nevertheless, trade offs like these are imperative if the greatest republic built from the ground up wants to remain in tact.
President Trump has altered all institutional norms since entering office, for better or for worse. Moreover, his politically savvy means to achieve certain policies and goals are admittedly admirable; Trump has a true skill for having a so-called 'politician's touch'. But more so is his true skill to gaslight any political argument, which led to the failure of his badly shaped campaign strategy that alienated crucial blocs of the electorate.
A megalomaniacal rejectionist who faces his harsh reality is subject to not only fierce backlash, but a vulnerability like none other. In times of dire need, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans look towards the President for widespread support, since he is meant to be the crisis manager for the country; it is not a political issue nor a partisan platform. Yet, the politicization of the virus, as he deemed, the "China Virus", President Trump continuously questioned the necessity of face masks, social distancing, and a temporary pause from all social standards.
One way or another, I believe that, however incapable he is of being an incumbent the, he can bring some sort of binding support to all Americans. All of this, of course, will be put to the test on January 20.
Trump's method of personalizing virtually everything in his path will leave a negative benchmark in America's past.
As adversity and disappointment settles for fellow conservative Republicans, this is a time to be advantageous and overcome disparity with results. The GOP looks to, and very well should, seek the moral high ground as a Biden administration is soon to take place. To be virtuous was often not in President Trump's vocabulary. But the Republican party of Reagan and Bush Sr. need to turn the cheek and establish a new era of conservatism that is not handed to an extreme ideologue, like the current incumbent, but to a confident and real candidate.
It's up to the political elites to stop the endless partisan power-grabs and cool down the temperature as the 46th President walks to the White House. The country needs to surround itself with President-elect Joe Biden and move on from this election.
Jorge Velasco is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The National Times.