As I sit here recalling the consistent oscillation of emotions experienced between 5 pm on November 3rd through 9:26 am on November 7th, from heightened nerves to inflated confidence, from heavy anxiety to deep sadness, and a healthy amount of tears, I finally feel overwhelmed with relief, gratitude, and sincere hope for our future.
That said, I can’t help but draw similarities to some of my favorite movies… the movies where you find yourself holding your breath, hoping good will defeat evil.
When Voldemort stormed Hogwarts with his army to end Harry Potter once and for all…
When Thanos worked to destroy The Avengers and half of humanity…
And of course, we can’t forget the all-time performance from Heath Ledger as The Joker…
When the Associated Press finally announced Nevada… oh wait, no, Nevada will be counting until 2021… when they announced Biden had taken Pennsylvania, putting him above 270 electoral votes, becoming the next President of the United States, I finally felt I could take a breath… the good guy won, and happy tears were flowing.
*Celebrate good times, come on*
Before this election cycle, I’d never taken politics seriously or bothered to learn about what the candidates represented or what plans they had for the country – I think that sentiment rings true for a lot of Americans, seeing as we had both the highest number of votes in US history, as well as the highest percentage of eligible voters show up for who they believe in.
America WOKE UP.
I remember talking to a friend a few months back… she said “my favorite people right now are the Republicans for Biden,” and I simply nodded and moved on, as I was unable to pull anyone I knew from that bucket, until election day, when I spoke to a former client that is quite, quite wealthy. Knowing he’s a Republican, I trod lightly when the conversation shifted political, but to my surprise, he was quick to vocalize his disdain for our former President. “I don’t care how much more I have to pay in taxes!” he shouted, “get him out… we need someone who knows what they’re doing… we need someone who can turn the ship around and actually run this country!” his words rung beautifully in my ears and if I were a judge on The Voice, I would’ve turned my chair around immediately.
But, I’m not the judge for any singing show (despite my deep desire to have vocal talent) so I decided, rather, that I would write something about what this win means to me. Something I’ll have as a keepsake, marking one of the most momentous moments of my life.
To start, I’m going to use Van Jones’s words and say his win reaffirms that character and truth matters – that being a good person matters. It means as a woman, I am inspired, knowing my gender doesn’t have to prohibit me from chasing and achieving my dreams. I trust that with Joe and Kamala in charge, we will believe science again, and work tirelessly for a way out of this sweeping pandemic.
The victory means our healthcare system will be reformed, including coverage for pre-existing conditions, which couldn’t come at a more opportune time.
The Biden / Harris win means money will be funneled in towards updated police education and training because BLACK LIVES MATTER.
It means we will eliminate mandatory prison sentences and focus on rehabilitation, rather than throwing someone in a cell for years, only to get out and be faced with the harsh reality that their employment opportunities are minuscule.
The Presidency means we will take climate change seriously as a country, rejoining the Paris-climate accord and working with young activists to combat this existential crisis.
It means we will stop building that dumb fucking wall and embrace refugees in our country.
And perhaps most importantly, to me, this win supports a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body, because… well, do I need to explain more than that?
I could go on, but instead, I decided to bring in my friends to talk about what this historic win means to them. So, without further ado, turn on an instrumental patriotic playlist and join in on the deep, deep love shared here.
President-Elect Joe Biden. It feels so damn good to write that. The United States has elected the first female Vice President. It feels even better to write that. I have found a sense of relief now that this process is winding down. My shoulders have relaxed, my jaw has unclenched. However, I am simultaneously, very unsettled. The response to this election is something I anticipated, but it’s troublesome, nonetheless. Miles from where I sit tonight watching election coverage, Trump supporters sit armed outside of the Maricopa County Election Department. Demonstrating, not on the basis of facts or data, but on personal dissatisfaction with the results of a fair election. This is the very essence of fascism, forcible suppression of opposition. Nobody deserves a leader who lies to them. I believe this just as deeply for myself as I do for the most die-hard Trump supporters. The deep-seated divisions that have been sown into this country by a man who was sworn in to lead us, will take years to heal. I do believe in my heart that a Biden/Harris presidency is the first step toward that healing.
I am looking forward to getting back to a version of America where everyone is told the facts about science and democracy. I am in no way under the impression that everything will be perfect come January 20, 2021. We are still deep in the trenches of a pandemic. We have a lot to hold our leaders accountable for. At both the National and local levels. As a nation, we have a lot of work to do; I believe that white women of privilege (such as myself) have a lot of work to do. I believe this win gives us the opportunity to get back to some semblance of equity for our most basic functions. To rebuild what has been destroyed in the last four years. Once we have done that, I believe we can continue to build and create even more equity across the board.
One thing I know for sure is that Trumpism isn’t going anywhere (neither is Trump, for that matter). Removing him from office will not erase the infrastructure of the party that embraced him. The math is clear – 70 million people CHOSE to give him another term. 70 million people thought his behavior during his first term was acceptable, commendable…presidential. When their pens filled in that Trump/Pence bubble, they said that racism, sexism, xenophobia, and fascism weren’t dealbreakers. My privilege allows me to be shocked by these results. There are millions of black and brown people across this country who don’t find those 70 million votes shocking in the least. We owe these results to black and brown organizers energizing their communities. My eyes are wide open to the fact that I will directly benefit from the work that people of color did to deliver this win. I am forever grateful; here’s to the next chapter…onward and upward.
A Joe Biden victory fills me with hope and trust in our fragile democracy and in my fellow Americans; that there are enough of us who chose peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth and compassion, over anger, envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, superiority, lies and ego. The vote count reveals we have a lot of work ahead of us to heal and unite our nation, but I’m grateful President Biden will be leading us to meet the challenge.
A Biden win, to me, means that those who only care about themselves are outnumbered by those who care about the lives of others. A Biden win means that those who have chosen to keep their love for just themselves are overcome by those who’s love extends farther than their own home and has reached out to cover their friends, family and strangers no matter the differences. A Biden win means that those who have chosen to keep things the same for their own comfort are outmatched by those who want this world to be safe for future generations.
Lacey White – She/Her
Everything depends on how you look at it, and I think this ends up being quite bittersweet. Sure, it’s encouraging that 75+ million people (at the time this was written) were able to use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, but on the other side, I have to admit, it’s discouraging that over 70 million others were either somehow able to ignore or not recognize authoritarian tendencies, with the caging of children, loss of healthcare coverage for millions, white supremacy, climate change, the handling of a global pandemic which lead to over 200,000 deaths and counting… the list goes on. With a war still raging, there is so much work to be done, to ensure the country walks away with all its limbs. That said, I know in my heart of hearts, that the path forward isn’t through misinformation, blame, or judgement, it’s through leading by example, without any attachment for future elections or what’s in store for us down the road; we must exhibit love, compassion, and fearlessness.
It feels so overwhelmingly hopeful that the majority of Americans chose to reject Trump’s white supremacist, patriarchal ideology, in favor of something respectful, inclusive of, and empowering to women, Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, the LGBTQIA community, refugees, and asylum-seekers, and historical accuracy in general. We understand neither Biden nor Harris can wave a wand to cure us of our woes, but we’ve collectively decided we want to do better and be better for the marginalized and oppressed. The next thing that comes to mind, which is something extremely personal and powerful to me, is that my children will grow up in a culture where Black and Brown women in positions of power is a cultural norm. Yes, of course, I want my daughters to see Kamala Harris as VP, but even more so, I want my son to see it. And I want it to be so damn normal that he never has a reason to consider otherwise. I am overcome with hope and emotion in the best of ways.
I can count the number of times I’ve cried happy tears in my life on one hand. Last night, I added one more to that count.
I knew I was stressed and anxious and disappointed on a daily basis for the last four years, but I did not realize how heavy those emotions weighed on me until I felt them lifted when Harris and Biden spoke about human decency again. Because that is what their win means to me: human decency matters again.
I disagree with both of them on so many policy and political points, but I voted for people – not policies. And even though this does not change the fact that so many Americans are still full of hate and willful ignorance, at least the people leading us are decent again.
A Biden win to me means I will have a President that stands up for what is right and work to create a world where every person’s voice is not only heard but valued. It means I’ll have a leader that puts my well-being above his own. I am an American, a woman, and a mother and I respect the hard work that went into granting me the right to vote – an honor I hold close to my heart. I voted for Biden because I wanted to vote for every dreamer and every wary traveler regardless of age, color, race, gender, or religious beliefs, that makes their way to the US for a better life.
The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is a restoration of hope that American can and will be better than the last four years. While I am excited and hopeful, I know there is damage to be repaired and a lot of work to be done. Empathy won, but not by the margin it should have. I will take the time to celebrate this big win for democracy and then continue the fight for progress by holding elected officials, family, friends, and most importantly, myself, accountable.
The truth is that if we want to heal this country, we must look inward. I couldn’t agree with Bishop Curry more in his petition that “we take someone that we disagree with to lunch.” We are the UNITED states. We can find common ground in unity. Let’s support or President and Vice President Elect and move forward without division.
As a woman, this victory means I can have control over my body. This is a victory for my gay and lesbian friends who deserve to have their unions legally recognized. This is a victory for my best friends’ husband who is here under DACA and hasn’t been able to go back to Mexico and see his family in over 10 years. This is a victory for my closest friends, family, and coworkers that don’t have the same skin color I do; they should be able to live freely, like I do, without discrimination.
To me, a Biden wins means having a leader who will reunite this divided country and give us back a sense of respect and unity. It means having a leader who will protect our rights so our children can grow into a society with equality and choices. It means having a country that is strong, ensuring everyone that comes after us feels empowered.
A Biden victory means that maybe, just maybe, this country is on the way to mending the deep wounds and painful bruises from the past four years of abuse. It also means that, in combination with a GOP Senate, we still have so much work to do. We must continue to address historical injustices, improve our relationship with the natural environment, and learn to give a shit about our neighbors, no matter where they came from or what they look like. Biden may have won, but this is just the beginning.
To me, a Biden victory is more than just Democrat versus Republican. I consider myself an Independent because my beliefs evolve and grow, and expansion of the mind and soul is important, and it all goes hand and hand. A Biden victory to me means a step in a forward-moving direction of this very divided country. Conscious awareness of who we are and where we want to go. The future is NOW, and change does not need to be intimidating. Change is evolution. I truly believe our country needs to be restored with hope, excitement, and kindness. If we could come together and stop being so divided, then the sky is literally the limit for all of us.
I’ve learned that no matter what the betting odds are, I shouldn’t tell people the election is over.
A historic day for women, and an amazing moment for little girls around the world. It’s a powerful reminder that the future is female. It also gives me hope that we will have an equal, kind, and humane future.
I never fully appreciated the importance of democracy until Trump; he sobered me to the reality that it could be taken away. Biden’s presidency is an opportunity to repair the broken systems that got us here and prevent another Trump from happening in the future. But his win is a victory not just for democracy over fascism, but also for truth, justice, and compassion.
My grandparents on both sides came here to live in a country based on rule of law, where everyone regardless of skin color or religion or ethnicity had a fair chance. My parents and their siblings prospered and succeeded in this country, as did my cousins who are second generation Americans. The US was not perfect, but it was 81way better than what they had known in Czarist Russia and Eastern Europe. 37 years ago, my husband, who was born in the USSR, illegally crossed a border to find freedom in the US, country that was good to him and allowed him to succeed without worry. He experienced “telephone” law in Russia, which is when a member of the government calls a judge and orders a court decision that is not based on law. I’ve lived in third world countries, and as a journalist, reported from third world countries where life has minimal value. I watched as Trump tried to turn the US into this way of living, trying to dismantle our rule of law and trample the Constitution. I fervently hope that President Biden and Vice-President Harris will find the strength, vision, and wisdom to reunite this country.
It’s been raining here for the last couple of days and the sun is finally peeking through the clouds. It feels symbolic. For four years, it rained lies and cruelty in America. Now, truth and decency are peeking through. The sky is united and the clouds are ready to part.
Hopefully the country can start having meaningful, intelligent debates with stance on social, economic, educational, and environmental policy. We’ve been distracted and inundated with rage tweets, conspiracy theories, inflammatory sound bites, and seemingly total incomprehension of the “other” regardless of what side we’re on. Maybe Trump caused it, maybe it not… Maybe Trump was a political spasm, the violent last dying gasp of the Tea Party… or, maybe Trump doesn’t go away at all and becomes a Kingmaker for future GOP leaders. Either way, this win is far from being a game changer. Joe Biden needs to spend the next four years calming our nation, inspiring us to speak intelligently again, and holding our leaders to do the same. The war on terror has fizzled out in the American psyche, and without a common enemy that we can all unite against, we failed the first test and have turned on each other, which affords us the opportunity to evolve as one.
As someone who was raised to love and respect the Republican party, going against my party (and extremely political family) was one of the hardest realities I’ve ever had to face. I can say one thing with conviction, though: I will never choose party over people. I am so proud of America in this moment – our voices matter, and this is a monumental decision. I am proud to say I voted Biden / Harris and I’d do it all again, over and over. We are nothing without our people. We are Americans, and it is our responsibility to demand better of this country, our people, and our President, regardless of party or beliefs. Our voice fucking matters, and I will not stop using mine because my candidate won. Today we celebrate – tomorrow we work.
A Joe Biden win for me means a return to stability in the white house. The election was closer than many people had hoped so I don’t think his win signals any great change or awakening in our country, but it provides a sense of calmness and puts an end to the volatility of Donald Trump. Something I noticed personally that I did not expect was a feeling of relief both physically and mentally when I knew Biden had won. I never realized how much tension and discomfort I truly felt during Trump’s presidency until it was gone. The feelings of frustration and anger I had with people that supported Trump also melted away and I started to feel compassion. Over time, I hope people on both sides will feel the same way and we can all start getting along again.
Deep breath in. Deep breath out. We did it.
The last 4 years have truly tested our democracy. Today, it’s official—the majority of Americans have voted to reject Trump and embrace a Biden/Harris administration.
In this election, we voted for future generations who will be impacted by climate change, for immigrant families who’ve been ripped apart and for DACA recipients who deserve a pathway to citizenship. We voted against Trump’s racist policies that have given rise to more violence against BIPOC and created fear in our communities. The list goes on.
My hope is that this new administration will work tirelessly to move our country forward, putting progress, science, and human decency at the forefront of policy decisions. Their actions will have an impact on the entire world for generations to come. It’s up to us to make sure they represent our values and call them out when they don’t. Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but this is a step in the right direction.
The work obviously continues, but today, we celebrate (and we celebrate hard) because the Trump administration is finally coming to an end.