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I recorded this video last night, so it is already a little out of date. For example, Joe Biden is almost certain to be the next president of the United States.

I'm sorry if this video is a bit more somber and less hopeful than I should properly be, Montana's elections did not go well, so I'm feeling that. But a Biden / Harris presidency is was hard fought and it's going to make the world a VERY different place than it otherwise would have been. I am so grateful to every person who participated to make this change happen. I am in their debt, and so is the whole damn world.

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Good morning John.

A few weeks after my second book came out, I started working on a new thing. And then I stopped working on it.

I thought to myself, “I don’t think I can really write this until after the election because the world is just going to be so different depending on how that goes.” So here’s the thing, as of the recording of this video we don’t even know who was elected. But regardless, I have realized that it is not going to be different in the way that I imagine. I thought we were going to have one of two things happen: either we were going to like roundly denounce this thing that is Trumpism.

Or, we as a country would decide that we accept that this is the right way to be doing things. And those two worlds were very different from the world I was living in, and very different from each other. So I thought I couldn’t write anything until knowing which of those worlds it was going to take place in.

But I always tell myself, I say this all the time, all dichotomies are false dichotomies even that one because there are some true dichotomies. And it turns out that we may have found a middle path. Now I’m not saying that this election doesn’t matter.

It matters tremendously in a lot of ways for a lot of people. If this goes the way I think it will, it’s a bit of a lifeboat. We can’t collectively agree that that was the right thing to do.

If Biden is ultimately elected I think that will be seen by a lot of people as a failure of Trumpism, but it’s close enough that. Donald Trump can of course falsely claim that the election was stolen from him and a lot of his followers, his supporters will completely lose faith in the American system. This rift has been crafted for decades, and I think a lot of the people who crafted it didn’t think or hope that it would get this deep but it has.

And it was not going to get filled in in one election. I had that hope, and that was a faulty hope. The evening of November 3rd 2020 as Florida began to turn red, was the first time in my life that it has made sense that Donald Trump is the president of the United States.

I spent 4 years just like thinking it was surreal. Like, that guy? The reality TV guy?

With the hair? That guy is the president. And the way that he talked, the way that he behaved, it didn’t make it any less bizarre because of course it didn’t tightly align with how I imagined a president to behave.

But as Florida turned red, it began to make sense to me. We have a right wing populist president right now, because there are a lot of people in this country who believe that there are people who are not real Americans who are making their lives worse. What makes them not real Americans might be a cultural thing, that they’re a coastal elite, they’re a fancy journalist, they’re not a real man.

Whatever that is. It might be a racial thing,  that you’re not a real  American if you’re not white, or you’re not born here, or your parents  weren’t born here. It’s  almost always a politicized or over simplified thing, like you’re not a real American if you don’t support the police.

And sometimes it’s just an authoritarian thing. You’re not a real American if you don't support Donald Trump, which is a thing that I think some people really do believe. We are, as individuals and as a nation, constantly creating and expressing our values.

Elections highlight that in ways that are sometimes hopeful and sometimes really distressing. I’ve been finding it impossible to have any take on this election that I believe for more than 30 minutes before changing my mind, except this one. It was never going away.

If Texas had flipped, it would not have gone away. But at least I’m glad to have the mirror held up so we can understand, a little bit better, what things look like. And the work of course goes on regardless.

John, I’ll see on Tuesday. Seriously thanks so much to everybody who is a part of the political process this time. It doesn’t always feel great, but it is vital.