In November 2016, Dana Milbank‘s twelve-year-old daughter was worried about what might “lay ahead” in a Trump administration. Milbank wrote her a letter telling her “we must try to help Trump succeed.” But if Trump’s presidency took a “darker turn,” Milbank promised his daughter that he and others would “fight him with everything we have.”
Now, four years later, Milbank has written another letter to his daughter. Here is a taste:
We did not get the results we wanted Tuesday night. But, when all is said and done, we will get the result we needed. President Trump will be defeated. (And if I’m wrong, I’ll be following this with a very different kind of letter.) He has lost Wisconsin and Michigan and is on the cusp of losing Arizona, Pennsylvania and possibly even North Carolina and Georgia — and losing only a couple of those should send him packing.
It’s not the broad repudiation of Trump I had hoped for. And it means 2016 was not a fluke: Trump may be gone, but Trumpism is here to stay, and our country has a lot of work to do to restore the virtues of civility, compassion, compromise and cooperation.
But let’s keep things in perspective. This is shaping up to be a historic victory for Biden, the first time an incumbent president has been defeated in 28 years. Biden has already broken Barack Obama’s record for votes received by a presidential candidate (69.5 million) with many ballots yet to be counted — in the highest-turnout election in 120 years. Biden overcame some of the dirtiest tricks ever used: laws and lawsuits to block Democratic voters from voting or their ballots getting counted, dark-web disinformation, mysterious robocalls, sabotage of the Postal Service and using the Justice Department as an arm of a presidential campaign.
Still, one outcome from the election fills me with hope. The youngest voters, the group you will join in the next election, showed up in impressive numbers. Voters aged 18 to 29 formed 17 percent of the electorate, exit polling finds, about the same as in 2016. But because overall turnout was so much higher, so was turnout of young voters. And these young voters, your peers, backed Biden over Trump by 27 points — a much bigger margin than when young voters backed Hillary Clinton over Trump by 19 points. Your generation is huge, multicultural and progressive. It will, in time, save our country from its dalliance with racist nationalism.
Read the rest here.