A family affair

To say, as some on the left do, that organizations of the left nearly singlehandedly dragged Joe Biden and Kamala Harris victoriously across the finish line in the major metropolitan areas of WS, MI, PA. and GA. strikes me as hyperbole. Are we to believe that the public sector unions and Black churches did nothing or next to nothing to inform and activate voters? Are we to believe that the Democratic Party and surrogates like President Obama had no hand in mobilizing voters? Are we to believe that African Americans stood on the sidelines in the run up to his election? Are we to believe that the candidates and their campaign committees, not to mention their paid political advertising on a range of platforms, had no impact on voter mobilization? Finally, are we to believe that the organization and encouragement of early voting by the Democratic Party were of minor significance to Biden’s (and other Democratic) victories in the battleground states?

Unlike four years ago, a number of progressive/left social justice organizations stepped had a considerable hand in organizing voters in this election. That is an important achievement and will position them well going forward. Moreover, to acknowledge and take pride in it completely understandable. But it should be done in such a way that the other organizations, institutions, and people who also had a major hand in the election’s outcome in the battleground states aren’t rendered invisible. It take a village to win an election and it will take the same and more to meet the new challenges in the post-election period.

Or, as Amilcar Cabral, the great African revolutionary,
famously said, “Tell no lies, Claim no easy victories.”

Less useful

The strategic concept (or political guide) of uniting the left and center is one that I’ve found helpful over the years. But in present circumstances, it can be more trouble than its worth if it takes out of field of vision the progressive-liberal-democratic bloc that inhabits space between the two or collapses this bloc into the center. Think about the massive coalition that defeated Trump and elected Biden. A broad swath of it doesn’t fit comfortably into either category – left or center. What is more, if there is a dominant bloc in the Democratic Party, it is this bloc.


A sigh of relief is palpable across the world.

Uplifting and substantive

Tucked in the celebrative and cartharic tones and images of last night were two speeches, one by Joe Biden, the president elect, and the other by Kamala Harris, the vice president elect. Both speeches were uplifting and substantive. If they suggested a return to normal, it was a new normal, structured by deadly pandemic, racial inequality, economic distress, climate disruption, and, not least, democratic possibility. Neither speech even hinted at a resumption of the pre-Trump “Glory Days.” No plan of action was offered for sure, but this wasn’t the occasion for it. That lies in the future and will be the handiwork of the new administration, the new Congress, and all of us. One job done, another one ahead of us.


I know of one very happy former president!

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