What will happen now that the elections are over?
November 8, 2020 6:36 PM   Subscribe

First, I'll say this. I'm not from the US, but I've got family over there. Coincidentally, my family lives in Pennsylvania of all places, near Philadelphia. Got other relatives in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Colorado. They all hated Trump and wanted to throw him out of the White House. I'm incredibly ecstatic that they managed to beat him.

Anyway, what happens now? I know Joe Biden won and Trump is leaving in January.
What will happen with the Senate, now that it is likely that the Republican will take it? What is the government going to do about having 70 million people who voted for Trump? I cannot even begin to think how you talk to those people. They voted for him despite everything that happened in the past 4 years and despite everything that happened in 2020. The coronavirus alone should have been enough for any sane person to vote him out.

So what's going to happen now? I want to know, because even though Trump has been defeated, his nonsense is likely to stick around for the future.
posted by Tarsonis10 to Law & Government (8 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Sorry but this is more of a prompt to chat about politics (you can do that on Metafilter proper) than a concrete question that people can answer -- taz

 
In the US we don’t “do something” about the people who voted for the other candidate when we win. We just don’t so I don’t think that reasoning as to why would make for a special case. I would expect a fairly normal presidency in 2021, drafting some quick executive orders, working on landmark legislation, etc., like with most of the other presidencies.
posted by michaelh at 7:05 PM on November 8, 2020


Ok, so the first thing that happens is that in early January there's a run-off for both Senate seats in Georgia, and that determines whether the Republicans or the Democrats control the Senate. I can't even begin to explain what a bizarre and dramatic situation this is. It is very unusual for a state to have both Senate elections in the same year, but Georgia did this year. Georgia also has a very unusual policy that the winner has to get at least 50% of the vote or else there's a run-off between the two top vote getters. In both races, the top candidate didn't get 50%. And finally, the presidential election in Georgia was incredibly close: it looks like Biden is going to win by a couple of thousand votes. That means that either side could win both seats in the Georgia run-off, and it's impossible to overstate how different the next four years will be if both Democrats win.

Unless both Democrats win in Georgia, it is very likely that the Republican Senate will obstruct everything that Biden attempts to do. They will refuse to confirm his cabinet. They will refuse to confirm any judges he appointments. If there's a vacancy on the Supreme Court, it will remain open until the makeup of the Senate changes or there's a Republican president. Biden will be able to get some things done with executive orders, but it will be ugly. He has already indicated that he will issue executive orders doing things like rejoining the WHO, rejoining the Paris climate accords, getting rid of the Muslim ban, reinstating the safeguards on DREAMers (immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children), and a bunch of other things that will probably be broadly popular and may put some pressure on Republicans not to be seen to obstruct too much. But they're still probably going to obstruct like mad.

If there's a miracle and both Democrats win in Georgia, then Biden has a chance to govern. We don't know what that looks like. Biden's instincts are pretty moderate, but there my be pressure on him to be less moderate. There's also a big open question about whether he and the Democratic legislative branch would do some structural things to address the Republicans' huge advantages: possibly expand the Supreme Court and possibly extend statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico. We'll see. There's a lot that has to happen before any of that becomes a possibility.

I don't think that Trump-style populist nationalism is going anywhere, but we'll have to see what it looks like without Trump in office. I also think that things are probably about to get pretty grim with COVID, especially in places where Trump is popular, and I don't know how that changes the calculus. Maybe it discredits Trumpism, but maybe it makes people dig in. It's going to be an interesting time, and I don't mean that in a particularly good way.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:06 PM on November 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


In the US we don’t “do something” about the people who voted for the other candidate when we win. We just don’t so I don’t think that reasoning as to why would make for a special case. I would expect a fairly normal presidency in 2021, drafting some quick executive orders, working on landmark legislation, etc., like with most of the other presidencies.

I understand that you "don't do something" but you have people that overwhelmingly voted for a man who was literally going to send them on a death march. He had no plan for the virus or the economy.

This wasn't just a few people, it was half the country. What I am asking is, how does this get reconciled? How does everyone live with that reality?
posted by Tarsonis10 at 7:07 PM on November 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


Well, we don’t know, and answering most of this question involves speculation of a mega-thread scope.

The Republicans already have control of the Senate, so unless both Georgia seats go Democrat, legislatively it’ll be more of the same UNLESS Biden, a guy who is generally well liked by both sides of the aisle when he’s not running for president, can broker some goodwill. Also a lot of what Trump did was by executive order. Biden can issue his own that overrule Trump’s.

Re the 70 million: the changes that Democrats want will create a better USA for them, too and maybe that will help. I (me, Kim, not speaking for the rest) am going to hope that without a leader who is actively whipping them into unsubstantiated and uneducated frenzies every day via Twitter, some of them wake up from this 4-year fascist fever dream and move toward logic and comparison. Many will be lost forever, and that’s one of the numerous tragedies of this administration.

I am more optimistic than many here, though.
posted by kimberussell at 7:24 PM on November 8, 2020 [7 favorites]


You're assuming that it will be reconciled. It won't, at least not anytime soon. We'll live with it because there's no other choice.

Seriously, I don't think we can give you the answers you're looking for. I don't even know what those answers would look like.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:24 PM on November 8, 2020 [7 favorites]


This wasn't just a few people, it was half the country. What I am asking is, how does this get reconciled? How does everyone live with that reality?

That's something that Americans have been trying to figure out ourselves for the past 200+ years.

EVERY election has had to try to reconcile those differences. They are much more blatant now than they were in the past, but that doesn't mean that those differences didn't EXIST in the past. In fact, this election wasn't even unique in its vitriol.

These are differences which Americans have been having to struggle with, overtly and covertly, since it first began. Every election we have to finally take a deep breath and get back to work - and the act of getting back to work is what helps a lot of ordinary people move past it, to be honest. Yes, it's alarming that people in other states voted the way they did, but I can only worry about it for so long before I have to pause worrying about that and start working on teaching myself MS Projects for a work thing for my boss. Or cleaning the toilet in my bathroom. Or writing a rent check. Or...and one thing or another distracts each of us and we slowly turn back to our run-of-the-mill lives. Every so often we'll hear of some mess or another going on in Congress, and we'll contact our representatives and let them know what we think, but then go back to our own lives.

That's why we HAVE those representatives, in fact - they are our elected mouthpieces, the one person standing in for a bunch of us and sent to go negotiate things with the other representatives representing other people. They're the ones that do the work of navigating the divide in this country while the rest of us get on with doing everything else. Ideally, too, maybe some of them will serve as role models that show us how to work with people who are different from us so that kind of lesson can filter down into our smaller reality.

But...that's kind of it, really. There's no big grand sweeping thing we CAN do. It's always been this way, and it's a problem we continue to struggle with.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 PM on November 8, 2020 [8 favorites]


Comparison was supposed to be compassion. Tired.
posted by kimberussell at 7:34 PM on November 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


It can't be reconciled. The inner nations of Hippieland vs. Bigotstan or blue vs. red or liberal vs. conservative or weirdos vs "I despise weirdos," whatever you want to call it, is an eternal war that will never end until one side obliterates the other. We cannot ever "come together" when one side wants the other dead. We never will. And as was said above, we live with it because we have no choice.

I live in a blue enclave so at least within my area I feel relatively safe (and shudder at the idea of this thread) and a lot of people live near people who believe as they do for that reason. To some degree, that's the best you can do for your daily life.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:02 PM on November 8, 2020


« Older ISO a blueberry muffin recipe and corollary food...   |   Looking for a craft Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.