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Democrats won the battle against Donald Trump. But the war against Trumpism rages on

November 8, 2020 in Blogs

By Salon

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won the 2020 presidential election. Biden will receive at least 290 votes in the Electoral College, with the final outcome in Georgia and North Carolina still unclear. Despite the howls of protest from Donald Trump’s supporters, his quest for re-election is effectively over. On Saturday afternoon, the American people exploded in celebration after several days of suspense as millions of mail-in votes were slowly counted in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona. (At this writing, it appears that Biden will win six of those seven states, and fall just short in North Carolina.)

More than 75 million votes were cast for Biden, with millions more remaining to be counted. That’s by far the most for any presidential candidate in American history.

But while the Biden-Harris ticket and the Democratic Party may have defeated Donald Trump the man, Trumpism — as a movement and a force in American society — has clearly not been vanquished.

Donald Trump has received nearly 71 million votes so far. If Biden has won the most votes in America’s electoral history, Trump has won the second most — at least 8 million more than he received while “winning” the 2016 election. Trumpism — understood as a neofascist, authoritarian and white supremacist force of destruction — will likely remain a fixture in American social and political life for years or decades to come. As a symbolic leader, Donald Trump will personally remain a guiding star for American neofascism, and the global right wing more generally.

Trump’s presidency, including the fact that he came so close to winning re-election, should make clear all over again that there is an immense public hunger for right-wing racial authoritarianism in America. In many ways, Trump is a proof of concept, or prototype, for the future of the Republican Party. How can it possibly remain a potent electoral force and hold power at the highest levels of government, given America’s rapidly changing demographics? The answer is clear: by fully and unapologetically embracing American fascism.

This weekend’s celebration is understandable. But Biden’s victory comes with defeat attached.

Contrary to predictions, the Democratic Party did not gain seats in the House of Representatives. In fact, they have lost four seats already, and will probably end up losing seven …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Defeated Donald Trump is already tearing our government apart

November 8, 2020 in Blogs

By David Cay Johnston

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America is entering a very dangerous time. For his next 11 weeks in office, Donald Trump will be in a position to exact revenge, a word that by his own account is his entire life philosophy. We should all hope that he goes into one of his down emotional periods for an extended time so that lethargy, not blind rage, dominates his behavior until Jan. 20.

Through phony charges of ballot-box stuffing, firing officials, issuing pardons to friends and family and other acts Trump can do great damage between now and Inauguration Day, when his shield against criminal prosecution vanishes. He can also hobble the transition to a Biden administration.

Trump’s first act of post-election political vandalism came in the wee hours Wednesday morning. He claimed the election was being stolen (video at 8:00) through “a major fraud on our nation.” He has yet to show a scintilla of evidence to support that lie.

One of the most destabilizing things Trump could do is refuse to release, or severely limit, funds to pay for the transition to a Biden administration.

That’s the kind of immoral rhetoric that damages faith in democracy and furthers the goals of Vladimir Putin who aims to undermine every major democracy because he considers self-governance a joke.

Three Firings

On Friday, while the election outcome was still uncertain, Trump abruptly removed three high-level officials, two women, and a man of color.

In a reckless move, Trump forced the resignation of Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, who since 2018 had run the National Nuclear Security Administration, the agency whose duties include keeping high-grade radioactive elements, known as fissile material, out of the hands of terrorists and rogue states. Trump’s Energy Secretary, Dan Brouillette, wanted to cut the budget for this work while Gordon-Hagerty sought increased funding.

Senator James Inhofe, a far-right Republican from Oklahoma, criticized the Trump administration for going soft on keeping nuclear materials from rogue states and terrorist groups. “People who should be doing all they can to support the critical work of the NNSA are instead trying to undermine it,” Inhofe said in …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Alex Trebek dies at 80 after battle with pancreatic cancer

November 8, 2020 in Blogs

By David Edwards

Longtime game show host Alex Trebek passed away over the weekend, according to a statement from “Jeopardy!”

“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” the game show said in a statement on Twitter.

Trebek battled pancreatic cancer for over a year and revealed that he had “massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on.”

Trebek was 80 years old.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Experts break down what a Biden win means for race relations, US foreign policy and the Supreme Court

November 8, 2020 in Blogs

By The Conversation

Brian J Purnell, Bowdoin College; Morgan Marietta, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Neta C. Crawford, Boston University

The American public has had its say and for the first time in a generation denied a sitting president a second term.

President Donald Trump’s tenure lasted just four years, but in that time he dragged policy on an array of key issues in a dramatic new direction.

Joe Biden’s victory, confirmed by the Associated Press late morning on Nov. 7, presents an opportunity to reset the White House agenda and put it on a different course.

Three scholars discuss what a Biden presidency may have in store in three key areas: race, the Supreme Court and foreign policy.

Racism, policing and Black Lives Matter protests

Brian Purnell, Bowdoin College

The next four years under a Biden administration will likely see improvements in racial justice. But to many, it will be a low bar to clear: President Donald Trump downplayed racist violence, egged on right-wing extremists and described Black Lives Matter as a “symbol of hate” during his four-year tenure.

Indeed, according to polls, most Americans agree that race relations have deteriorated under Trump.

Still, Biden is in some ways an unlikely president to advance a progressive racial agenda. In the 1970s, he opposed busing plans and stymied school desegregation efforts in Delaware, his home state. And in the mid-1990s he championed a federal crime bill that made incarceration rates for Black people worse. He bungled the hearings that brought Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court by allowing Republican senators to dismiss Anita Hill’s damning testimony of Thomas’ sexual harassment and by failing to allow other Black women to testify.

But that was then.

During the 2020 campaign, President-elect Biden consistently spoke about problems stemming from systemic racism. Many voters will be hoping that his actions over the next four years must match his campaign words.

One area that the Biden administration will surely address is policing and racial justice. The Justice Department can bring accountability to police reform by returning to practices the Obama administration put in place to monitor and reform police departments, such as the use of consent degrees. More difficult reforms require redressing how mass incarceration caused widespread voter disenfranchisement in Black American and Latino communities.

“My administration will incentivize states to automatically restore voting rights for individuals convicted of …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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‘The time has come’: Report says Melania Trump told husband to accept defeat

November 8, 2020 in Blogs

By David Edwards

First Lady Melania Trump is the latest person in President Donald Trump’s orbit to encourage him to accept the reality of defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

A source close to the first lady confirmed that she has advised Trump to give up the fight, according to CNN correspondent Shimon Prokupecz.

“First Lady Melania Trump has joined the growing chorus of President Trump’s inner circle advising him the time has come for him to accept the loss, a source familiar with the conversations tells CNN,” Prokupecz revealed on Twitter.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET