Now that Trump has lost the Presidency an enormous tap that poured out horror day in, day out, has been squeezed shut. If this doesn’t give you some sense of relief then you are made of stone.
However, everyone reading this will be aware that the movements that brought him to the Presidency, the deeply embedded racism that proudly displays itself on American streets and indeed the bilious windbag himself have not magically disappeared. Like Covid they will all be with us for some time to come and that’s not to mention that capitalism itself has been left untouched by this result.
A Trump win would not only have left him with his claws on the levers of power it would also have been a massive morale boost to every bigot, fascist and fuckwit across the world. They’re going to have to suck it up that their boy lost and that will go down as well as a plate of cold sick. Let’s not miss the opportunity to grind their faces in it.
This is a moment we can use to our advantage because, on the other side of the equation, millions of Americans would have voted for a plank of wood if they thought it might unseat Trump, and indeed they did.
If, for instance, Black Lives Matters organisers are celebrating it’s not because they’re stupid, or have illusions in Biden and Harris but because the pin-up of every Confederacy loving shit bag has been flushed down the crapper. Their joy is our joy. They don’t need lengthy explanations of why Biden isn’t that hot, and nor do we, because most of us already know. It isn’t the problem that needs work, but the solutions.
The next steps we make can be taken together, whatever differences in principles, strategy or tactics we may find along the way. For all of us fighting climate change, injustice, or the crushing structures of capital our priorities stay fixed on winning those existential fights. Our job is still to build movements from below in our communities and our workplaces. Movements that can win struggles and defeat those that oppress or exploit.
We cannot fixate on the individuals that hold specific positions of political power because it’s far too easy to sucked into the gravitational pull of official politics. Trump didn’t invent capitalism and nor did Biden. At best they are staff members in the HQ but more realistically they are place holders, incidental characters in a play that is very much not about them.
If you spend the next four years complaining about Biden on twitter then what you’ve got is a hobby. Worse, you’re choosing to see the world through their eyes, a world where they loom larger than the systems they uphold or the people they torment.
We should take institutions and their personnel seriously, but we should also take the working class seriously, the voiceless seriously, our campaigns and organisations seriously and all too often our so-called leaders crowd out the world, they seem to become everything that matters when, in reality, they are just one piece of the puzzle.
It’s not that they never make decisions that effect people, of course they do, all the time. It does make a difference whether Trump gets to pursue his murderous agenda, but it’s more that if we want movements that can win real advances then we have to centre them, by actively creating and recreating them.
To push people like Biden and Bezos and Boris around then we need communities of resistance because make no mistake, if we’re not pushing them, they will certainly be pushing us. And if we want a world without Presidents then we can start by not treating them as if they are the centre of the world.