The Struggle

Nicco Mele
5 min readNov 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving. It may sound trite, but I am thankful for you — writing this newsletter has been a great gift for me, and would I write if no one was reading? Well, I know my mother and father will always be reading. Thank you, Mom and Dad. I’m thankful for you, even if I don’t know when I’ll see you again since we live on separate coasts and COVID separates us.

I haven’t written you since the day before the election — I needed a break, a chance to cleanse my palette — and on this cold, dark Thanksgiving morning, clarity has descended despite the fog outside.

Many of the messages of this newsletter over the last six months are evident in the election outcome and its aftermath:

But the post that keeps coming back to me is when I wrote about Joe Biden, “empathizer in chief” in the wake of the Democratic Convention. More on that shortly.

I have no doubt that Biden will be the 46th President of the United States of American come January 21st, 2021. But the interregnum will continue to be brutal and Rule 1 (It will get crazier!) still holds. Rule 1 is going to define the next four years. Is Biden playing the same game as the unholy alliance of Trump and McConnell? I think not, ergo Rule 1.

Regardless of the outcome of the twin Georgia run-offs, the Republicans in the Senate are in a strong position. Everyone across the political spectrum expected a massive Democratic landslide. Even Mitch McConnell historically rushed the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice because he expected his majority to be crushed. And yet not only did GOP candidates in the Senate and the House manage to win in the face of the firehouse of hundreds of millions of dollars directed at their defeat, but Trump somehow managed to outperform his 2016 turnout numbers.

Trump’s election in 2016 was not a fluke. The country is divided. Trump will remain the driving political force of the Republican Party, and with Mitch McConnell (the most power-clever political leader since LBJ) at the helm of the Senate, there will be no respite for Biden, no mandate for…



Nicco Mele

formerly of @LATimes & @Kennedy_School - author of The End of Big - lots more at — Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer.