Common Dreams - November 8, 2020

"That means passing a Green New Deal to lift our economy out of recession, create millions of jobs and address the climate crisis head-on. It means passing Medicare-for-all to prevent thousands of Americans from dying (or going bankrupt) due to covid-19 and other illnesses. It means making the wealthy pay their share of taxes and reversing the massive tax giveaway that was Trump’s crowning legislative achievement. And it means electoral reform to ensure our government actually reflects the will of the majority."

As the dust settles, pundits, political operatives and party insiders are already swarming to tell the story of what really happened in 2020. They’ll zero in on the smallest margins, the most unlikely Trump-to-Biden swing voters, the affluent white suburbanites. But that’s not the story of this election.

The exit polls are still being finalized, but as of now they show that working people — Black, brown and White families making under $100,000, along with the vast majority of young people — delivered Biden his victory. Not only did they vote for him in overwhelming numbers, they also knocked on doors, made calls and carried out the hard work of democracy during a pandemic. These voters are the heart and the future of a massive progressive movement inside and outside of the Democratic Party, and it is to them that Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris must answer. 

Trump has been a disaster for poor and working people, so they used voting as a tool to fight back. Hammered by a government by, of and for the one percent, brutalized by covid-19 inaction and economic disaster, pummeled with racist rhetoric and white supremacist violence, the people have delivered a rebuke to President Trump. But the result was also a warning for Biden: In the midst of overlapping national crises, his administration has a critical window to deliver for the working people and young people who got him elected. If he fails to meet the moment — if he seeks instead to return us to a “normalcy” marked by corporate handouts and extreme inequality — then the next Trump might be far more dangerous than the one we just defeated. We can see hints of this already in the way voters of color — perennially taken for granted by the Democratic Party — shifted marginally toward Trump in 2020. Though they still carried Biden to victory by a 46-point margin, the lesson is clear: The Democratic Party ignores its base at its own peril. ...
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