Although signs have looked good for Biden for a few days, today is the day that enough votes were counted to show that Joe Biden will be the next president. That's cause for celebration. "J" and I did indeed celebrate, though it was hardly in proportion to our relief at the results.
I haven't seen Biden's acceptance speech, but my understanding is that it was quite a good show, and an admirable (if not Obama-grade) speech. I include a full-text copy of a transcript below, behind a cut.
The one policy point he made was that he's starting work on the pandemic right away. It's worth quoting in-line:
On Monday I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisors to help take the Biden–Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that will start on January the 20, 2021. That plan will be built on bedrock science.
It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern. I will spare no effort, none, or any commitment to turn around this pandemic.
That's a complete turn-around from the current policy of lies, magical thinking, and quackery. It's a first step toward restoring normal life to the country.
The other theme of the speech is about reconciliation and forgiveness. I think that's good speech-making, and to an extent necessary. But he knows from his experience as vice president that he can't count on any cooperation from Senate Republicans if they see advantage in blocking progress. Making deals with adversaries is a necessary part of legislation, but where they refuse to deal the only choice is to maneuver around them, which will be difficult unless Democrats gain control of the Senate, winning two of four undecided seats: two tough run-off elections in Georgia, an unlikely vote-count turnaround in North Carolina, and a longshot win in Alaska.
As for the general matter of reconciliation and forgiveness, I personally can forgive the low-information voters four years ago who bought the lies about bringing manufacturing jobs back from China. Sure, they were idiots for not understanding that when manufacturing jobs come back from China it's because manufacturing companies are buying robots, not rehiring people who reminisce about their union assembly line jobs.
But the people who voted for the Racist in Chief this time around have no excuse. They've seen four years of creeping fascism, and voted for more fascism, thinking they'll be the ones whipping the slaves.
Over 70 million people voted for more fascism. That's worse than the almost 63 million who voted for whatever they thought they were voting for in 2016.
It's fantastic that 75 million people voted against fascism. But it's horrifying that 70 million voted for fascism.
Those who voted for fascism deserve no forgiveness. They deserve no reconciliation.
I didn't watch Harris's speech either, but I also read a transcript. I love the civil rights theme. I like it that she mentions that democracy is not guaranteed; after four years of attacks on democracy, that's an important message. I like her praise of the volunteers who worked for the Biden–Harris campaign. I love the line, "You chose hope, unity, decency, science, and, yes, truth." I like the priorities she mentioned: defeating the pandemic, addressing systemic racism, dealing with climate change, and the obligatory unity healing.
A number of friends wrote that their votes for Biden were more about voting against fascism – but that they were definitely voting for Harris. Reading her speech, I'm pleased to say that I voted for her too.
It looks like she spoke before Biden, so I'll copy her speech first, also behind a cut.
Harris speech transcript
( Collapse )
— by way of "Read Kamala Harris's cictory speech in full", Esquire, today.
Biden speech transcript
( Collapse )
Quarantine report: home all day.