BY: Michael Robbins
PEJOURNAL – The majority of Americans, as well as citizens in other countries who have been dealt a bad hand when it came to Trump’s foreign policy, are thrilled today that the reign of the current Administration will come to an end in just two months time, so follow up the election results carefully. PMs and other leaders around the world have congratulated the Biden Harris duo for their victory in this painstaking election.
And as the final votes were counted and the final decisions broadcasted by major press outlets—CNN, BBC, The Guardian, ABC, and many more, people started to rejoice in the streets, from their apartment windows, and in downtown urban areas around the country. The finalization of the election sparked a cathartic moment in America where a rallying around the flag effect occurred.
What’s more, people decided to openly discard remarks being made by the incumbent, Trump, that the election has been fraudulent, in their own display that the parties, the parades, the cars in line honking, and the freedom rallies would become the dominant discourse in America, broadcasted over social media to show people in rural parts of the country, in far away parts of the country, and far away nations, that the vote was legitimate and this is the end result of the week.
The relationship between social media and democratic deepening, for one day, proved to be unifying when it usually isn’t.
In a handful of peaceful rallies and parades on Saturday, people from widely different socioeconomic status gathered and celebrated the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the highest office in America. In Denver, Colorado, wealthy families gathered around working class families, and people of color rejoiced next to their white counterparts.
This is not the basis of change happening instantly, or new affordable housing policies, but rather a new beginning where we can start the conversation over again around such matters of equity and capability. Moreover, the post election celebrations show that economic globalization will need to address the reality of Biden fans in Range Rovers versus Biden fans on bikes.
Division and Markets after election results
For now, while hope has been restored and the nation soars in patriotism, the country must still remember what divided us in the first place. Americans rallied around the flag when former President Bush decided to invade Iraq, of which many Americans supported regardless of party, but we lost sight in the years after that invasion that the real issues on the ground—inequality, too much spending on credit, and blowing money on foreign wars resulting in the American public education system incredibly underfunded and too many civilian casualties abroad.
So the issues that should matter today for the Biden Harris supporters and for Biden and Harris themselves, is not just the reunification of America on a purely emotional level, but actually getting things right like how to deal with gig economy jobs and how working in an Amazon warehouse serve no broader social meaning, while knowledge workers enjoy the benefits of health insurance and a work-life flow that alienates too many people who don’t have it. Preventative policies that foresee the impact of the private sector on public happenings and daily occurrences must be taken into account.
In such a light, an establishment democratic figure like Biden might be able to correct some wrongs made by the domination of the private sector and firms like Amazon for their predatory practices by hitting executives like Jeff Bezos with higher taxes, but private firms themselves must also transform if America wants to prosper.
For example, Apple might be a shining beacon for the information economy and for allowing impoverished citizens the capability to Google anything they want and help people manage their lives better and have a map in their hands at all times, but the organization must still be accountable for the fact that they set up a subsidiary in the state of Nevada to avoid paying taxes in California, where such revenues are desperately needed for public investment.
Thus the nature of the Biden Harris administration is one that wants to address inequities, but is systematically unable to adjust the privatization of capital in the global economy and the repercussions of such consolidated power. And any good leader should be wary of such repercussions. Therefore it must be acknowledged by the President-elect and the upcoming administration that while private sector giants and the bearers of the information economy claim to be egalitarian and intellectual, they also need to be seen as competitors in an arena able to disrupt the status quo.
As such, right now the status quo in America and in other Western countries is configured through such disruptions of elite entrepreneurs which has brought much success, but has also created Twitter, a platform very powerful individuals can use to influence entire markets. One can see the doubled edged sword of today that cause whole changes in how people think and act on a daily basis.
Spotting such mutations in the economy is the hard part, and governance often happens as a reaction to such changes and not as a preventative technique. The coronavirus is a perfect example. The new era of complex global challenges requires a leader that is not democratic or republican or independent, but one that is preventative in nature. The Trump administration in the past four years added a new element to politics in general that had mostly never been seen before—one where even reacting to global events or domestic problems in an economy was “not his problem”. Prevention wasn’t even on the table. Hopefully Biden will be up to that task.