My Thoughts On The Election And The Future of American Politics

This election has been a lot to process for myself and for all of us. Here are a collection of different things that I’m currently thinking about.

1) Biden won! And there are some spectacular celebration videos

Per Fox News, the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NY Times, Bloomberg, and LA Times:

JOE BIDEN IS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!

Per George W. Bush: “I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night…The American people can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”

2) Action steps: The battle for the senate isn’t over and you can make an impact

Democrats still have a shot at winning control of the Senate but they need to win both Georgia runoff elections in January.

Do you care about these races and want to influence the outcome? Then please join me by donating $5+ to Fair Fight (Stacy Abrams’ organization that has been credited with registering 800k+ new voters in GA over the last two years).

Even donating $1-5 is meaningful because small actions can create big change if we do them together. πŸ™

Alternative donation suggestions are Vote America, When We All Vote, or directly to the campaigns of Raphael Warnock or Jon Ossoff.

3) I love Biden’s message for unity, de-escalation, and peace

I highly recommend watching Joe Biden’s acceptance speech if you haven’t already. I’ve pasted the full video below as well as some of my favorite quotes.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify. One who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States.”

“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They’re Americans.”

“The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not some mysterious force beyond our control, it’s a decision, a choice we make. If we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate.”

We are a divided nation and Biden might just be the vanilla, pro-compromise person to be able to bridge the divide.

I’m much more pro-unity than I am pro any one party, so it’s great to see a candidate who is presenting himself as the antithesis to Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

4) Before a single vote was cast, Trump said he planned to claim the election was fraudulent…no surprise this is exactly what happened

“The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged” -Donald Trump on August 17th

Before a single vote was cast, Trump said he planned to claim the election was fraudulent and to protest the election. No surprise that’s exactly what’s happening. The only surprise is how many people continue to be fooled by Trump’s obvious lies.

Let’s not forget that in 2016 Trump put together a commission to investigate his accusations that there were millions of illegal votes. Spoiler alert: the investigation turned up nothing and the commission was disbanded.

5) Spreading misinformation to undermine our election process is bad for our democracy

β€œThere’s just no evidence of [widespread voter fraud] at this stage. And I think it’s important for us to recognize that the world is watching…When you say the election was corrupt or stolen or rigged, that’s the language that gets picked up by authoritarians around the world…I think it also discourages confidence in our democratic process here at home.” – Mitt Romney

It isn’t that election fraud doesn’t exist, it’s just extremely rare. Falsely trying to convince Americans that we have widespread fraud is bad for our democracy.

If there’s actual fraud in this election, prove it in the courts. There’s no need to use headlines and sketchy tactics to spread misinformation. And while this strategy won’t win in the courts, it will likely poison the minds of millions of Americans and create unfounded distrust in our election process.

6) The widespread lies and misinformation by credible conservative politicians and media outlets during this election is absurd

I’ve previously written about how facts have become a left-leaning concept in America and this election is a prime example of that. I suspect that claiming voter fraud will be a new mainstream Republican tactic and that this is something we’ll deal with indefinitely. The best evidence for this shift is the laundry list of senators, governors, and state legislators who have been screaming about unsubstantiated voter fraud in recent weeks.

The best specific example of how bad the misinformation has become is the Philadelphia ballot-counting misinformation. In case you haven’t been following this storyline, conservatives have been freaking out about how there weren’t any Republican ballot counting observers in Philadelphia.

You can watch a Fox News reporter get very upset about the Trump campaign’s lies in the clip below.

This narrative has been pushed by Trump, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani, and many Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson.

In Trump’s words: “THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS… BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE.”

Yet, per Fox News, the NY Times, the Associated Press, CBS, and even Trump’s own lawyers in Pennsylvania court who said they had 30 observers in the room, this is completely false.

7) How will our country recover from this era of lies and misinformation?

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A good friend of mine recently shared that he believes the internet has actually made the world collectively dumber and more misinformed. And while the internet has created lots of positive change, it’s undeniable that free access to information has corrupted and poisoned the minds of at least hundreds of millions of people.

Like many of you, my Facebook newsfeed is full of crazy conspiracy theories and all kinds of wild, misinformed viewpoints such as that Biden is a Chinese puppet who is a member of the Chinese Communist Party.

The question is, how in the hell do we recover from this? It’s nearly impossible to help someone who isn’t willing to admit that they have a problem and I admittedly struggle to grapple with how to beat this misinformation enemy.

8) Fox News is at significant risk of losing major market share for the first time ever

Fox News is at greater threat of losing market share right now than at any time since it started. Why? The right is moving further right (as evidenced by the rise of OANN, Breitbart, Newsmax, and DailyWire).

If Trump launches a news network with a further right, anti fact slant than Fox News, then Fox News will bleed viewers and may have to shift back to being center-right and somewhat fact driven (similar to the WSJ).

9) Is Trumpism the new mainstream Republican party view?

The 2024 Republican Presidential primary is going to be a bloodbath as Trump disciples (or Trump himself) battle it out with principled Republicans who seek to restore decency in the party.

The combination of the strength of Trump’s base with the rise of pro-Trump influencers (like Steven Crowder, Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and Charlie Kirk) might mean that future nominees will have to appease this base to succeed in the next decade of Republican Presidential primaries.

The loudest conservative voices on social media still deeply support Donald Trump so I wouldn’t expect that the party will immediately move on unless he goes to prison or goes down in flames.

10) The Democratic party needs to fix its messaging

I read a fascinating article from The Atlantic about why people who don’t like Trump still vote for him. And the short answer is that people worry more about Democrats and biased media than about Trump himself.
The branding right now is that Democrats are anti-economy, high taxes, radical socialists. And the Democrats HAVE to fight this messaging.
AOC believes that the issue isn’t the messaging, it’s the digital campaigning. I think it’s both.

Final Thoughts:

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Stay safe, stay strong, stay optimistic! Much love to all of you.

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Cam Woodsum
I started Need Change to write about important issues regarding society, politics, media, climate change, COVID-19, psychology, and racism. My work has been featured by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the U.S. & U.K. Governments. Keep reading to hear the perspective of someone who grew up in America, has lived in 15+ countries, and is deeply passionate about uniting humanity and improving the world. Feel free to click the chat in the bottom right if you ever want to talk! I'm friendly :).