Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash
He will contest and whine, but for now, the American people are more concerned about their democracy than his tantrums.
This is an encouraging sign.
The country pulled itself back from the brink and gained some time to reflect. It’s what happens next that matters.
People may remember a frustrated President Obama, particularly in his second term of office. A recalcitrant and regressive Republican majority in the senate scuppered most of his key initiatives.
President Biden is familiar with that scenario, viewing from the Veeps chair throughout that painful process. Republican’s majority in the senate has gone, but they have not gone away, nor has their mischief.
A debate must happen within the democratic party.
They united to get rid of Trump, fair enough. But a firm, adult conversation must happen between the old school and the new youngsters who have a very different take.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019, for example, is asking the party to look very closely at how it got itself in the mess that resulted in Trump in the first place.
It is time for an alternative.
The old school must realise that moving to the centre is no longer the answer. At least not the established centre that pampers to donors and the corporate world.
If that happens again, it matters very little really which colour is in power because each offers the private sector the same easy ride.
A centrist policy that bails everybody out using debt which simply funnels itself into a tiny number of people with stock options is not the future; it can’t be.
Now is the time for dramatic rethinking and risk-taking.
The Biden presidency won’t be able to do that. There have been enough old white men in the oval office for us to know how that goes. Admittedly this one has a woman of colour as vice president. But still, too much of the old school lingers.
Back in the election, the progressive left had an old candidate too, considered way too risky at the time. The gamble to dump Saunders and go with the convention only just paid off. And it was a high-risk game to play in the first place.
What must happen now is that the youngsters must come through. Their energy, positivity, and passion must fuel a progressive cause focusing on the well-being of people and the planet. They will usher in a different economic model because the last one is not working.
The problem that faces them is scary. The planet cannot support three cars per household, and by 2030 just sourcing food for 11 billion people will be hard enough.
Recall the late, great Hans Rosling’s explanation of the demographic transition.
He said that the 2 billion poorest aspire to a pair of shoes, another 3 billion to a bicycle, 2 billion more to a car and a billion or so in the rich countries who, pre-COVID, aspired to fly to a remote destination on holidays.
Progression means an economic approach that meets those aspirations, noting that a bicycle is not enough and, perhaps, three cars is not possible.
If you want to ‘reimagine the shape of progress’ as Kate Raworth puts it check out her TEDx talk on Doughnut economics.
Thankfully Trump lost and the Democrats under Biden will calm the waters somewhat.
Relative peace will buy time for the new generation of ideas to thrive. Only then will they have won.
Thanks for reading this blog post. There are plenty more to read and share.