Just before noon on Saturday, the Associated Press called the 2020 presidential election for the Democratic ticket featuring former Vice President Joe Biden and now Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The announcement came as the Biden-Harris ticket’s path to the presidency became inevitable after Election Day. CNN was the first television network to call the race for Biden and Harris after projecting an insurmountable Biden lead in the race for Pennsylvania’s 20’s electoral college votes. As of Saturday afternoon, Biden and Harris own nearly 74.5 million votes across the U.S., more votes than any ticket in American history. With results in Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina still too close to call, the Electoral College votes stand at 279-214 in favor of Biden and Harris.
With the win, Harris, a mixed-race daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father becomes the first woman to become Vice President. As the New York Times points out, she has now risen “higher in the country’s leadership than any woman ever before her.” (As NPR has pointed out, Charles Curtis, Herbert Hoover’s vice president, was member of Kaw Nation, making him the first person of color to hold that office.)
Trump, poetically, was headed to a golf course when he heard the news. He ended up spending the weekend there while Biden and Harris formed their transition team and started working on combating the coronavirus.
There are still so many questions left to answer—especially in Florida where Democrats took sweeping losses—and while not every one of the 70.3 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump fall under the QAnon, believe-anything-45-says category, there are many who’ve bought into Trump’s lies about a rigged election and every conspiracy theory he tosses out. That’s scary as hell.
We promise to write a bit more in our new print issue, but we wanted to share this cover arriving on newsstands near you on Thursday, Nov. 12. The art is by Tampa-based designer and artist David Cabassa, aka Mega Supremo.
Cabassa told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that a quote from self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” Audre Lorde quote had been at the forefront of his mind this week.
“For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.”
After experiencing a gut-wrenching Trump victory in 2016, Cabassa was determined to avoid foolhardy predictions this time, so for the last few weeks he’s tempered his optimism with a healthy dose of caution.He took down the walls and breached his defenses when CL asked him to create a cover in the event Joe Biden won.
“I was forced to imagine a day where Trump was on his way out of the White House. Despite my best intentions I couldn’t (and can’t) envision a rosy or hopeful image of that day,” Cabassa wrote. “So this cover is a petulant Trump scream and an emphatic YOU’RE FIRED delivered via the millions of USPS delivered mail ballots that decided this year’s election. Felt right. ”
In Cabassa’s eyes, a thick haze of anger and despair blankets a country running out of options. While it was no contest when it came to “the lesser of two evils,” American democracy left voters with the choice of Biden or Trump.
“I don’t mean to suggest equivalency here. Trump and his policies are several orders of magnitude worse for Americans, but with climate change, social inequality and a global pandemic enveloping the country we are in dire need of someone that will fundamentally reshape what our future can look like,” Cabassa wrote. “That candidate was not on our ballots this year.”
“What was on the ballot this year was time,” he added. “We’ve bought ourselves precious time and space and conditions more hospitable to enact real change at a grassroots level. The work Stacy Abrams, Lauren Groh-Wargo and countless others have done in Georgia offers us a streak of hope and a peek into what’s possible when we focus and organize every day after Election Day. Our tool last week was a vote, but it cannot be our only tool going forward. We’ve only temporarily won their game.”
He’s right: There’s so much work to do, Tampa Bay. And we’re going to do it together. But for now, pop a fucking bottle and let yourself revel in the relief. And don’t forget to hug your local postal worker along the way.
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