Today at about 11:30 am, the media called the 2020 US presidential election. The winners are the Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and his running mate-- the first woman elected to the vice presidency-- California Senator Kamala Harris.
It is a new day in America.
The last four years have been a struggle for the survival of American democracy. That struggle has been no less fundamental than the Civil War or World War II, for all that our people died not from foreign artillery but in hospitals and under the knees of police officers.
A majority of Americans spoke up this week to reclaim our fundamental values: equality before the law and equality of opportunity. This was a huge win. The Republicans did all they could to disfranchise Democratic voters, yet as of tonight, Biden and Harris are ahead by more than 5 million votes, with more votes still to be counted.
This victory, the defense of a government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” belongs to everyone who refused to let right-wing talking points go unchallenged any longer, who called their congressional representatives, who wrote letters to their local newspapers, who filled out a ballot, who ran for office. It belongs to everyone who stood up for America as a land of freedom and possibility, rather than a land of carnage.
It belongs to you.
If there is anything the last four years have taught us, it’s that we are our own saviors.
The struggle to protect our democracy is not over, not by a long shot. Already Trump’s supporters are insisting that the vote was rigged and the election stolen, and they are vowing to fight. Popular right-wing media hosts are egging them on. Meanwhile, Trump’s term does not end until January 20, 2021, and he will almost certainly use that time to take revenge on those he blames for his loss, that is: us. The next two months are going to be rocky.
While this election saved democracy for now, the forces that gave rise to Donald Trump’s presidency have not been vanquished. America is still under siege by oligarchs who are trying to take control of the country. They win supporters by spinning a false narrative that feeds fear and fury to drive ordinary Americans apart. And, as we now know, 70 million voters are open to their narrative, even if it means children torn from their parents, half of the country demonized as anti-American, a lawless administration, a deep recession, and more than 230,000 Americans dead.
For my part, I believe that the way to defang this cabal is by rejecting its lies and returning fact-based argument to the center of our national conversations. Going forward, I will continue to do my part to make that happen.
But whatever the future brings, there is no doubt that today is ours. After four years in which we have indulged the worst of our nation, we have voted to reclaim the best.
Thank you all for this day.
[photo by Buddy Poland]
I cannot sing, or dance, or celebrate. Obviously I’m not doing well with sleeping either.
I worry. That’s me - a worrier. I’ve been worried since 2016. Every time something happens, something that should be out of the realm of a normal person’s thought process (destroying the post office? Who saw that coming?) I am just bolstered in my feeling that we are all doomed. I feel like Eeyore.
Don’t get me wrong. I AM relieved. I just don’t feel safe yet. January 5 will help - or not. January 20 with nothing major happening (Defined as nothing Biden can’t undo the first day) is the goal right now.
All the kumbaya for peace and love for the other side has me on edge. I’ve seen this movie. I’ve seen Lucy and the football. I am screaming “don’t go down into the basement!” And “don’t go into the water!” While the Jaws music just increases in volume.
I’m not ready to let my guard down. I’m not ready to forgive and forget (and why is that Dems are always the ones offering the olive branch?)
In 2016, there was always the possibility that 60M people were fooled, that they took it as a joke, that they thought he was an outsider, and would be good to shake things up. That he was a good businessman.
It is painful and horrifying that in 2020 71M people did it deliberately. They knew what he was and did it deliberately. And now, with their objections, I see that they can’t stand to live in a world that does not encourage their racism, their violence, their willingness to pull babies from the breast and put them in a cage. That they are fine with a world run by and for the wealthy, as long as they can hope for a crumb. And they always have the Dems, the libtards, and the black and brown and “other people” to blame for their failings. That we will have this fight every four years, and the years in between.
Sorry, no kumbaya here. No forgive and forget. The damage is too great. The PTSD is too strong. We don’t have to compromise with the other half of the population, but it helps to know they are really out there.
I just wish I could stop grinding my teeth.
For me it’s now the morning after, and it’s slowly sinking in that “we really did it.” Months ago, someone posted online that during WW2, it took the might of the Allied forces to overthrow fascism in Europe....but who would come to save the US from descending into hell? Could we save ourselves? Would enough people see the actual danger? We finally got our answer yesterday. “Yes, we can.”
Through it all, you, Dr Richardson helped us immensely, by reminding us of other times when we nearly failed. You took up your (electronic) pen and inspired us to collectively do the two things we all have in our power—talk to each other, and vote.
I hope you take a well-deserved break now, though I look forward to reading and learning more from you as the US struggles to “build back better.”