Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now. . . . For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. This is the time to heal in America. . . .
Americans have called upon us to marshal the forces of decency, the forces of fairness, to marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.
Mr. Biden’s victory — and Mr. Trump’s defeat — is a testament to the resilience of American democracy. In other countries, at other times, bullies like Mr. Trump have succeeded in becoming strongmen by promising security from dangerous outsiders, demonizing cultural elites and sowing enough confusion and apathy that people failed to resist the slide into illiberalism. Mr. Trump tried all of these tactics. But Americans resisted. They did so in an overwhelming yet orderly fashion, at the ballot box, when it was their turn to have another say, despite the fact that Mr. Trump and his allies adopted a strategy of disenfranchisement when they realized they could not win fairly. They answered his four years of divisiveness by electing a woman — a woman of color — to be vice-president for the first time in the nation’s history. Citizens in unprecedented numbers stood in line for hours to vote, starting weeks before Election Day. State officials adhered to their responsibilities to ensure that people could cast ballots. Withstanding Mr. Trump’s spiteful and mendacious attacks on their integrity, they ensured that those votes would be counted.
(A question: with Trump on the way out, will the Post change their "Democracy Dies in Darkness" banner?)
Our long national nightmare is over. Donald Trump has lost the presidency. Americans have sent packing the man who made the lives of so many a hell for the past four years with constant chaos, unbridled vitriol and attacks on the foundations of democracy. There may be difficulty in the days ahead because of (gratuitous) court challenges and (baseless) claims of fraud. The rage he has induced in supporters and opponents alike will take time to dissipate. But for a moment, let us rejoice: Our democracy has survived.
A woman in Philadelphia, to CNN:
I’m so happy. I don’t know what to do.
Dartagnan, at Daily Kos:
For those who put us through this hell, nothing will be forgiven, or forgotten.
As the results of the election come gradually into sharper focus, both parties have good reason to be frustrated. Both have been rebuked in some important respects by the electorate. And both rebukes are justified. If the parties are willing to learn from them, the result might be good for our politics.
In a sense, the election epitomizes our era of negative partisanship. Each party ran primarily by highlighting the danger of the other, and the public took both warnings to heart. The Democrats ran against Donald Trump, and look to have persuaded the electorate to dismiss him. The Republicans ran against the increasingly radical Democratic activist base, and look to have persuaded the electorate to reject them. Neither party has gained a mandate, and both are left wondering how they can build a majority coalition in the coming years. That could end up being a constructive question.
Nevada judge Andrew P. Gordon, to a Republican lawyer complaining about access to the ballot counting:
At what point does this get to be ridiculous?
Barack Obama — his policies and his posture — just won a third term.
Joe Biden will be president because of his close association with Barack Obama, because he espoused many of the same centrist policies and positioning and because of public nostalgia for the normalcy and decency the Obama years provided.
Ross Douthat on Trumpism after Trump:
Trump was at his most unpopular when he behaved grotesquely and ceded policymaking to the Republican old guard, so his would-be successors need to act less like tinpot tyrants, eschew the ranting and the insults, and also make good on some of the policy promises Trump left by the wayside. A populism 2.0 that doesn’t alienate as many people with its rhetoric, that promises more support for families and domestic industry, that accepts universal health care and attacks monopolies and keeps low-skilled immigration low, all while confronting China and avoiding Middle East entanglements and fighting elite progressivism tooth and nail — there’s your new Republican majority.
Almost 20% of voters said the protests over racial justice and police violence were the most important factor in deciding how they voted:
The protests that broke out after the police killing of George Floyd in May were some of the biggest racial justice marches organized in decades. In the early weeks, polling showed broad and deep support for them across the country.But Anne Marie Kelly, a white medical worker who lives a couple of hours away in Stroudsburg, Pa., said she was horrified by the vandalism and looting that followed protests in some cities. It made her feel that “this is not the America I want to live in anymore,” and reinforced her resolve to vote for Mr. Trump.
But as the summer wore on and with it, sporadic looting and acts of vandalism, Americans became much more divided in how they saw the protests.
Just how divided became clear on Election Day.
Alfonse Bowman of Philadelphia said that as he cast his ballot for Joseph R. Biden Jr., he was thinking of how just a week before, the police in his hometown had fatally shot a young Black man. Mr. Bowman, who is Black, said he thought to himself of President Trump: “We have to get this man out of office.”
Ex-Democratic Congressman Conor Lamb, asked why Democrats lost house seats:
I’m giving you an honest account of what I’m hearing from my own constituents, which is that they are extremely frustrated by the message of defunding the police and banning fracking. And I, as a Democrat, am just as frustrated. Because those things aren’t just unpopular, they’re completely unrealistic, and they aren’t going to happen. And they amount to false promises by the people that call for them.
If someone in your family makes their living in some way connected to natural gas, whether on the pipeline itself, or you know, even in a restaurant that serves natural gas workers, this isn’t something to joke around about or be casual about in your language.
That’s what we’re trying to say: that the rhetoric and the policies and all that stuff — it has gone way too far. It needs to be dialed back. It needs to be rooted in common sense, in reality, and yes, politics. Because we need districts like mine to stay in the majority and get something done for the people that we care about the most.
Dave Chappelle, on anger:
I know how that feels. I promise you, I know how that feels, Everyone knows how that feels. But here’s the difference between me and you: You guys hate each other for that, and I don’t hate anybody. I just hate that feeling. That’s what I fight through. That’s what I suggest you fight through. You’ve got a find a way to live your life. You’ve got to find a way to forgive each other. You’ve got to find a way to find joy in your existence in spite of that feeling.