When Joe Biden beat Donald Trump to win the US presidency, I was one of tens of millions who rejoiced. Here in Brooklyn, as in many places all over America and the whole world, spontaneous parties erupted in the streets, a testament to how hated Donald was, and remains. (As the meme went: “Try to do your job in such a way that people don’t dance in the streets when you get fired.”)
But glad as I was, from the beginning I was also among those who worried that we were only entering a lull before the vile hate machine that is the modern Republican Party came roaring back on the counter.
It was not hard to predict. But it is now impossible to deny that that is precisely what is underway.
I wrote at the time that there could be no return to normalcy, but even that warning has proven a vast underestimation of the threat.
Biden has been in office just under a year. Just under a year from now, with the midterms, and the probable Republican re-taking of the House of Representatives, we may be at the end of the phase in which he has appreciable control of the governance of the United States. Matters are likely to get dramatically worse from there heading into January 2025, which may well see the reinstallation of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. That event, not coincidentally, would likely mark the effective end of representative democracy as we know it in the United States.
Alarmism, you say? I don’t think so. All around us we can see the forces of white nationalist authoritarianism engaged in a second, far more methodical, far better coordinated, and already more successful attempt to do what they failed to do on January 6, 2021. If matters continue on this path, the Biden administration will prove only a brief respite before those forces snuff out the grand American experiment and secure a permanent, countermajoritarian chokehold on the erstwhile republic. That outcome is especially likely when we observe how tepid the response of our elected Democratic leaders has been thus far as regards this threat.
I am not trying to be some Eeyore-cum-Schleprock-cum-Debbie Downer and kill everybody’s buzz. The die is not cast, but it’s damn sure being shaken and blown on, Nathan Detroit style. We should not stop fighting (NB: metaphor) against…