Stats nerds and wonks keep telling you what ‘should’ happen. That ignores the existence of complete bastards…

Trump should not say he’s won, judges should not fix the election for him, police should protect people and not murder them…

As the 2020 US Presidential election stumbles onwards, resolutely refusing to provide a clear winner, you’ll hear a lot from pundits, pollsters, and other assorted pillocks telling you what should happen. The problem is that in the past 10 years, we’ve increasingly seen things that should happen fail to arrive.

Hilary Clinton should’ve won in 2016 according to almost every pollster. Remain should’ve won the Brexit referendum in the same way. Brexit should’ve been stopped somehow by parliamentary shenanigans and Boris Johnson should not have been able to screw around with Britain’s unwritten constitution in various previously unthinkable ways.

Donald Trump should have become more mature once he understood the gravity of the office of President. Donald Trump should not have been able to push his nominees onto the Supreme Court. And the biggest should of 2020 is that Trump should not have done as well as he appears to have done in yesterday’s presidential election.

Joe Biden should have beaten Trump easily according to the commentariat class on both sides of the Atlantic. The Should People expect a neoliberal status quo they decided was settled in the 1990s to snap back into place.

In the UK, the Should People have become obsessed with the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony as if it is a symbol of an age when no one in Britain was hungry, depressed, or disenchanted. They entirely ignore that the things that fed into Leave’s Brexit win had been mouldering for decades by that point.

In the United States, the Should People crave a time when Presidents hid their corruption and calumny behind a sheen of politeness. That is why the Should People are so desperate for a Biden presidency. It is not to lift the poorest and most neglected people out of the shit but to make their lives convenient again, to allow them to brunch and bitch and burble on without feeling the news affects them very much.

That’s how they think it should be but in this age of collapsing orthodoxies and climate crisis, they should be so lucky.

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