The Big Distraction | Sajan Suganth


Joe Biden has probably won the presidency. As things stand, he looks to have won the popular vote by around 4 million. In addition, Democrats will probably retain control of the House. Pending the outcome of litigation, Biden is home and dry. The Democratic Party should be overjoyed, but they are not. Why?

The American Left promised us that this election was about Trump: the man. This was not a campaign for mild-mannered “Scranton Joe” as much of a campaign against Trump’s intolerable character. Indeed, Biden largely functioned as a canvas onto which multitudinous anti-Trump sentiments may be projected. Our learned friends in the media warned of Trump’s unique threat to American democracy, whilst spawning feverish animadversions against the legitimacy of the 45th president (and his alleged Russian collaborators.) Now that America has woken up from a four-year nightmare, we should expect nothing short of triumphant celebration.

And yet the mood is one of confusion, anger and disappointment. Democrats won, but they expected to win bigger. Progressives convinced themselves that Trump would lose in a landslide. An aggressive blue wave would displace Republican senators and propel Democrats to total control of the legislature. Hence, the Biden campaign refused to answer questions on court-packing, condemned the filibuster to damnation and vowed to eradicate fracking. In their hubris, Democratic politicians (hoping to win the Senate) repeatedly blocked COVID-19 relief packages.

Instead, Mitch McConnel retained his grasp on the Senate, and Republicans made respectable gains in the House. The margin of Biden’s victory is significantly narrower than many had predicted. Concerningly for Democrats, Trump made unprecedented gains with minority voters. Leftists believed that this election would be the nail in the coffin for the Republican party and American conservatism; despite Trump’s loss, the Republican party is more viable than ever.  

We now know that the average American is not a radical. He may disfavour Trump’s behaviour and appreciate Biden’s insentient calmness but on the issues of Americanism, race, and the environment, he stands athwart the predations of modern progressivism. In essence, he stands between the Democratic party and utopia.

Contending with the average voter (and 4 million additional Trump voters) has raised many doubts in the anti-Trump coalition. Should these voters be ignored to accommodate a sweeping expansion of government? Provided it was possible, would such a move condemn the Democratic party to electoral ruin? Should the party pick utopia or moderation? (Is it acceptable to put Trump supporters on a list with punitive intent?)

Leftists took their proposals to the American people and prepared for incontrovertible affirmation. They are disappointed because they have failed.

After all, their purpose in this election was not to remove Trump; it was to remove dissent.


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