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Reflections Before a Morning Run

Max Stearns

About to head out for a needed run. There is still counting to do, but it's clear. Our country is about to turn the tide: Trump will not have a second term. That's a huge step, but only a step. Donald Trump emerges a small man. That's not a trivial matter. He appears small because he is small. He's not a great man, and even his closest allies have to recognize this. He will be forced to leave with a whimper, not a bang. He has no claim, and everyone knows it.

But more to the point, he will live the rest of his life, wherever that might be, as an embarrassing relic. He has sewn hatred in the soul of our nation, or has tapped into a latent hatred just hoping to find a voice. I'm persuaded this movement will forced back under the rock from which it emerged. Trumpism requires a fascistic leader to thrive, and Trump won't have the interest in continuing to stoke that over the next four years. There is no one else to fill that void. Not today. Trump will be distracted with his personal, and serious, legal and financial problems. It is always only about him. He will die a small man as he deserves to. Thats' a first step in allowing this nation to heal.

Biden is unlikely to emerge a great president, although he might surprise us. More likely he will be the Democratic party's Gerald Ford, marking a healing time, and that's okay. It's what we need. If the Biden administration does one thing--work toward replacing the electoral college with something else--that would be a wonderful legacy. It just might be the thing that would let our nation continue as a nation.

Perhaps the hardest thing for Biden, and for all of us on the center left, like me, or the progressive, hard left, will be recognizing the need to find a place for genuine, non-Trumpian, conservatives, those who struggled over the past four years to claim a home. Genuine conservatism isn't Trumpism. We need to recognize and respect this. And this is no small matter. It matters deeply if we are truly are to heal.

As for me, I plan to spend the next several years, thinking about larger structural solutions to our nation's problems, a macro rather than micro look at what plagues our nation. I think the tools I use, drawing from social choice and game theory, might offer the basis for insights, and it's what I do.

Thank you to everyone who helped bring this about. From the bottom of my heart. Now for that run.

Comments welcome.

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