I’ve been struggling with a migraine all last week. I woke up Saturday morning (afternoon, really, but why quibble?) and it was 90% better. I went about my morning routine then checked the news. I caught my breath and tears filled my eyes as I read that Biden was projected to win the election. No jubilation. No excitement. Just a deep and abiding relief.
Four years ago, I believed the pundits and watched the incoming results of the election with a sense of dread, despair, and surrealness. I was thrown into a deep depression in part because I was not prepared for it. This time, I wanted to believe and trust the pundits, but I just couldn’t. The memory of 2016 was still too vivid. Also, I went numb on Election Day night because I couldn’t handle it, but under the numbness was…a deep fear. I couldn’t live with another four years of this president. I didn’t think our country could survive. He’s already did so much damage and if he were in a lame-duck situation, imagine how much worse he would have gotten.
I joked on the social mediums that my migraine went away because I was psychic, but it’s partly true. Stress is a big trigger of migraines and this whole week has been stressful. I don’t think I was psychic because I truly was not suspecting that the election would be called Saturday. I talked to my BFF, Kat, later that day and she said the same thing. We both thought it would be at least Monday.
The one thruway I’ve seen/heard is relief. Everyone I talked to about it said that was their initial response. Most of that was followed by the clarification that everything was not roses and champagne, but at least the country wasn’t going to spontaneously implode.
That’s the thing. All the jubilation and elation really didn’t have anything to do with Biden. Personally, I don’t like him. I was not enthused about him. He’s too centrist, too handsy (and possibly more than just handsy), and too ‘aw, shucks, I’m Uncle Joe’ for me. Although that probably was to his advantage because he could appeal to some of the same demos as did the current president. Harris was my candidate and let’s talk about her for a minute.
We cannot understate the fact that we now have Vice President-Elect who is a woman, South Asian American, and African American. I would have preferred if she was the president, but that may still happen in the next four years. Joe’s old is what I’m saying. Anyway, she’s warm, caring, intelligent, and she means so much to me. I don’t agree with everything she’s done (she was a prosecutor in the past), but she’s head and shoulders better than–I don’t even need to go down that road. She’s quality is what I’m saying.
The celebration in the streets isn’t anything to do with Biden. It has to do with the end of a nightmare that seemed like it would never stop. From Tuesday until Saturday, I was numb. But that fear, it was percolating inside. Covid has been soaring in Minnesota at the same time and everything just seemed so grim. I couldn’t fathom how me and mine would survive four more years of terror, hopelessness, and fear.
So, yes, I cried when I read the news. I heaved the hugest sigh of relief, too. I felt like a weight was lifted from me and I took to social media to rejoice. I had been avoiding Twitter for the past year or so because I couldn’t stomach the politics or the election. On Saturday, I was tweeted for the first time how I felt about the election. A few hours after the relief passed, I started feeling giddy.
We did it. We fucking did it. We kicked that orange asshole out of the White House and in two months, we would be able to start the hard work of pulling us out of the shit-hole he buried us in.
Look. I’m not a fool. I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us. I don’t think it’s like waving a magic wand and making everything better. For one thing, nearly half of people who voted checked that asshole’s name. Looking at my own state, the Twin Cities and a few other cities were blue whereas the rest of the state was red. Yet, we appear blue overall.
By the way, shoutout to Minnesota for consistently having the highest voter turnout in the country. We make it easy to vote and it shows.
Anyway, our country is deeply divided. It will continue to be deeply divided.
Also, white people. We need to have a serious talk. Oh, wait. Not in the mood right now.
I’m tired about the talk of mandates and what Democrats need to do to meet Republicans in the middle. When Obama was elected for the first time, the Democrats won all three branches. The media still talked about how that didn’t mean the Democrats had a mandate to push through a Democratic agenda. I remember thinking at the time if that didn’t mean we had a mandate, what did? Oh, I know why it’s always up to the Democrats to reach across the aisle. One, the Democrats are the more rational ones. Republicans won’t budge. Period. It’s like in any abusive situation where the reasonable one is badgered to placate the abusive person. Two, most companies in media are owned by conservatives. That’s it.
This talk about healing is bullshit. When Obama was elected, the word ‘healing’ was thrown around because of how W. drove the country into the ground with the help of Cheney and his cronies. We were hurting and the way to heal was to forget the Republicans did many, many criminal things to get us to where we were at that point. Obama was pressured to let all that go in the name of healing the nation. I understand why he gave into that pressure, but it set a terrible precedent for what was to come after he left the White House.
Now, the word is being thrown at Biden with a similar underlying motive–letting the Republicans off the hook. I’m not talking vengeance here, but accountability. The longer we allow Republicans to get away with this shit, the more brazen they will get. One of the things that frustrates me the most about Democrats is how unwilling to stand up for, well, much of anything we are. We’re not willing to play hardball and usually roll over at the last moment.
The count wasn’t even dry when the calls for unity were being trumpeted like a clarion call. Fuck. That. Shit.
By the way, it’ll be interesting to see if this president ever concedes the election. I doubt it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to be forcibly removed–which will be really shameful. But not any more shameful than the last four years, really.
I have much more to say about this, but not right now. Suffice to say that for the first time in four years, I can breathe thinking that we actually have a shot now to stop the hemorrhaging.