Politics in the U.S. is bimodal.

Bimodal means alternating between two modes. For example, owls are bimodal: they sleep during the day and are active at night. Subway Restaurants are bimodal: When they are busy, the employees form an assembly line. When they are slow, you give your order to one person who walks to each station and even rings you up.

The U.S. Government is bimodal based on whether the White House is held by a Democrat or Republican.

Democrats focus on running government well. They’re focused on getting shit done to help make the country better. Republicans focus on shutting things down, or making lives more difficult for minorities and women. (They’d explain it as: “People should help themselves.")

Here’s some examples:

A friend worked at the HR department at the EPA for most of his life. He said that under Bush Sr he was paid to be idle because “this president won’t let the EPA do anything, but doesn’t want the PR firestorm that would come from undoing things. So we’re just idle”. When Clinton arrived, the EPA was busier than a one legged man in an asskicking contest. They were taking on new projects, trying to keep our drinking water clean, our air breathable, and so on.

Friends that work at an AIDS services organization tell me that under Republican presidents they spend all their time fighting to get enough funding to serve people with AIDS at all. Under Democratic presidents they shift to the mode of “omg… the government is here to help us save people’s lives!”

As you may have noticed…

Within minutes of Biden being in office we started to see the mode shift.

The @Whitehouse website contact form now asks for your pronouns.

I’m not saying that adopting modern ideas about gender is going to save the world, but it’s a good sign.

That said…

This doesn’t mean that there’s no need for activism in the next four years. Quite the opposite! An administration can only do things when there is public grassroots pressure. Today was not the goal; Today is the start.