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OPINION | Biden win promises a mood swing

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IMAGINE what will happen if Joe Biden wins the election.

Put aside the weirdly hopeful fantasies of a constitutional crisis — media- stoked fears of a recalcitrant President Trump refusing to concede defeat or vacate the Oval Office. What will happen if Mr. Biden is elected? The same thing that happens every time a Democrat wins the presidency.

 

The moment the media declare Mr. Biden the winner, on election night or later, a wave of political relief will sweep the land. It will begin in the commanding heights of the culture: Hollywood, the mainstream media, the professoriate, social-media tastemakers. All will join their voices in a chorus of unrestrained joy. There will be a party in Times Square to rival V-E Day. Don’t put it past Mayor Bill de Blasio to order a ticker-tape parade.

 

Front pages will feature 96-point headlines declaring the end of our long national nightmare. “Saturday Night Live” will open its show with whatever is the opposite of Kate McKinnon caterwauling “Hallelujah” in 2016 at a piano in the dark.

 

Big business will ride the wave. Around Thanksgiving, happy commercials will flood onto television touting the glorious dawning of a new era. Over shots of cops playing basketball with inner-city youths, the narrator will intone: “Americans always come together when it counts. Our diversity is our strength.”

 

The countdown that begins on New Year’s Eve won’t stop until Inauguration Day, and the size of the crowd on the National Mall as the new president recites the oath of office will be reported with the precision of an atomic clock.

 

Here’s what’ll be new and noteworthy: Anxieties about imminent fascism will vanish overnight. Gone will be concerns about democracy dying in darkness, replaced

 

A wave of relief will sweep the land. Anxieties about imminent fascism will vanish overnight.

 

by the media’s self-congratulation: Guys, we did it. We saved the country.

 

A Biden victory will be said to demonstrate the resiliency of America’s political system. You’ll stop hearing about foreign meddling in our elections. Protest cities like Seattle and Portland, Ore., will return to their regular programming.

 

The coronavirus won’t go away, but the federal government will cease to be the enemy and instead become the vehicle of our salvation. Questions about the safety and efficacy of therapies and vaccines will no longer be debated by smart progressives in the context of administration malfeasance. Hydrochloroquine will get a second look.

 

The sense of relief won’t be limited to Democrats. Certain Republican politicians and even Trump supporters may find themselves breathing easier at the realization that they no longer need to explain or defend the things he does. Mr. Trump himself may secretly thrill to the thought of getting back to real estate.

 

Before all that happens, can we be honest about the dishonesty of the past four years? If the republic is in mortal peril only until the next fellow moves into the White House, it isn’t in mortal peril. And those who insisted it was are themselves guilty of the charges they’ve leveled at Mr. Trump: subverting faith in the constitutional system. You won’t have to listen that closely to hear them change their tune.

 

 

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