A handful of scattershot thoughts about what the next few days, weeks and months might bring.

To begin with I boldly make the prediction that Joe Biden will win the electoral college. I hope it’s by a landslide, but I’m not quite so sure of that. If he pulls 60, 70, 80 electoral college votes clear of Trump, then it’s all over. Sadly, if 2016 taught us anything it’s that you should never underestimate Trump. And while I think the current state of the polls makes it nigh-impossible for him to achieve a victory in the normal way of things, a narrow margin opens up the possibility of all sorts of further shenanigans involving contingent elections in the House of Representatives and other ways in which a sore loser might attempt to exploit constitutional loopholes.

I further make the prediction that – come what may – we will not hear a concession speech from Donald Trump. Clinton’s speech in 2016 came very late in the day, but come it did. I’m not certain if a defeated Trump will sink into a fug of depression and just sort of fade away or whether he will spend his last few weeks in office in a crazed fury, lashing out at all around him. All things are possible with this most monstrous and unpredictable of, I suppose it’s technically correct to say “humans”.

So, let’s grant ourselves the luxury of imagining a rosy future for 2021 in which American Democrats win not just the presidency but the House and the Senate too. Joe Biden in his much-vaunted first 100 days (before the crushing wheel of electoral cycles begins to stifle his potential) has much to do. He inherits a country needlessly ravaged by disease, entering a recession and more divided than ever.

What, first of all, of the Supreme Court? Adding extra justices is tempting, and may be correct. I certainly think it would not be unpopular – but it would also be controversial. And it probably needs to come with a raft of other reforms, otherwise the next few decades will see a cycle of tit-for-tat court packing with each party attempting to out-pack the other whenever it’s their turn at the wheel. Various other reforms are possible and needed, and there is reason to be hopeful that Biden will zealously implement all he can.

But as well as a nation which is fundamentally broken in so many ways – a gargantuan iniquitous plutocracy, a crazed and monstrous caricature of capitalism run amuck, unfettered by regulation, controls or common sense, and riven with racism, distrust and religious bigotry – Biden also presides over a political system which has forgotten why it exists and who it is for. Obama entered the White House in 2009 with an overt agenda to build coalitions, seek bipartisan support for bills and work with Republicans to improve the lives of the American people. He ran headlong into Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who in his turn had the overt agenda of wishing to prevent Obama from accomplishing anything at all, no matter what it was.

Indeed, it seems likely the McConnell has sacrificed Trump himself in his zeal to leave America with a Supreme Court which skews conservative. In 2016, the empty court seat which McConnell ensured Obama did not get to fill may have weighed on the minds of moderate Republicans who didn’t care for Trump, but didn’t want Clinton to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice. A Republican Majority Leader who wanted four more years of Trump (as well as one who cared a damn for not being painted a spineless hypocrite who invents imaginary rules to suit his own agenda) might well have kept the seat open for the same reason. Instead, McConnell, sensing that Trump may lose anyway, has rammed through the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett and now presumably will retire once the Senate and the Presidency goes Democratic, having achieved his life’s work.

Now, Democrats are being urged to get in the mud and play the same kind of dirty pool – but where will that leave us. If McConnell does retire, is it possible that some of those moderate Republicans we keep hearing about might be willing to work with instead of against President Biden?

But how does Biden square the circle of needing a bipartisan, collegiate approach to legislation in order to heal America’s ravaged political system, with the urgent need to pass radical bills of the type that would cause many Republicans to engorge with fury?

Sometimes, winning is the easy part.

Check back here in a few days’ time to see if that last sentence still holds good.

Homemade Pizza