There is a popular meme from the 2019 film Marriage Story which depicts Adam Driver’s character angrily shouting at his former partner (Scarlet Johansson), then thumping the wall with his fist, before finally collapsing to the ground, sobbing at the feet of his partner. The key piece of dialogue in this scene, and the title of the meme, is “every day I wake up”. The meme has been used in every conceivable manner across the internet, as is the way with popular memes, but it’s true purpose, I believe, is to depict the current political landscape, one where every day is election day.
I am writing this article on Saturday November 7th. I live in the UK, so I am several hours ahead of America. I wake up, check what happened last, see that the numbers edge closer to a Biden victory but that there is no true end in sight. I think to myself ‘perhaps today will be the day that these swing states get called for Biden, and we can move onto the next act of this play’, but instead the only thing that changes is the ballot count numbers. These numbers move forever upwards, like counting the miles on an old car, but this election seems to have no destination, instead it is only one long journey. In this metaphor, the car radio is tuned to the news, with talk of blue and red counties filling the air. All the other stations are the same; talk of ballot counting is your only companion, unless you’re brave enough to tune into the conspiracy nuts who spout their unfounded claims of voter fraud and a stolen election.
2020 has given us practice in living through the same day more than once. It is perhaps fitting then that the 2020 Election Day has lasted the best part of a week and has no immediate end in sight. Even after the states finally finish their ballot counting – including a recount in Georgia – we are not sure of what comes next. President Trump will not concede, of that we can be sure. But then, he doesn’t need to. Joe Biden can be proclaimed the victor without the concession of the sitting president. But that has never happened before. Trump will push for legal action, for recounts, for anything that will help him delay any loss, and we will just have to wait and see what happens.
So tomorrow I will wake up and hope that Biden has been declared the President-elect, with victories in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada under his belt. Perhaps some of those states will be declared for Biden, perhaps some of them will still be counting ballots, their numbers forever marching onwards. But even if it’s not tomorrow, one day the counting will stop and someone, most likely Joe Biden, will be declared the winner. Then another tomorrow will come, and I’ll wake up to see what desperate, dirty tactics Donald Trump and those on the right will use to stay in the White House and undermine the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. The same will happen the next day and the day after that. One day, Donald Trump will leave the White House, I just don’t know which tomorrow that will be.
Written by Simon (SirHeppe)