After the election was called for Biden on Saturday November 7th, I called my people and we cried and screamed and laughed and finally, finally, exhaled.
We did it. It was official. We won.
As did future generations. As did the world. As did science, truth, dignity, and grace.
There are too many reasons to be grateful to list them all here. If you voted for Biden you know why you did, and you brought about this phenomenal win for this country.
Against so very many odds.
Against a machine that was actively and aggressively trying everything it could to silence us. Which is still trying, pathetically, recklessly, dangerously, to pull the nation into chaos in a last ditch effort to uphold some sort of deranged bullshit form of alternate reality.
Lawsuits. Lies. Fear mongering. It’s all petulant nonsense, but they will push and pound and tantrum over it for months.
And to be honest, I spent the last four years feeling an undercurrent of anxiety so strong I felt like paying attention to the news was like a survival mechanism. I thought that as long as I see what is happening and stay vigilant, I would see what was coming before it hit.
Before it could get me. Before it could hurt the people I love. By staying engaged, I thought I would see it coming in time.
But the problem is, that the greatest threat to our future is not what is about to come next. It’s what we have refused to deal with from our past. Our own apathy, cynicism, laziness, ignorance.
It’s thinking none of this is our responsibility. It’s our thinking someone else will care so I don’t have to. It’s our refusal to talk politics. It’s in not protecting those who have the least.
It’s what we took for granted. What we refused to understand, or support, or do, or say.
So when I think about what comes next, I think about the things I considered normal before which I do not want to return to. I think about who I was before and who I want to be on the other side of this thing. Because in a very real way we are on the other side.
We made it through. We must celebrate this phenomenal victory. We must. And we must take a breath, let it sink in, let it fortify us. Think about what comes next.
For me, I’m going to spend time reflecting on what I have learned over the past four years, and there is so very much. I want to make sure I remember how far we have come. The people I would never have met if it weren’t for this radical time. Incredibly powerful, mighty, gorgeous people.
One thing is for sure. Now we see who values human life and who does not. Who truly wants equality and who does not. We know the hideousness of outright cruelty and how dangerously close we came to fascism taking full hold in America.
We know who to align with and who to leave behind.
There are demons in me I had to confront. Ugliness, hatefulness, that I have been forced to reckon with inside of myself.
And that’s ok.
I owe it to the people I have found who believe in a brighter more dignified future to work out my own issues, whatever it is in me that was keeping me quiet when I should have gotten loud. Whatever it is in me that had caused me to shrink instead of expand.
Being forced to fight, it turns out, teaches you how to fight. We learned, we adapted, we organized, we were relentless, we were fierce and bold and true in our compassion.
The thing we fought so hard to uphold, a democratic republic, has been saved because we saved ourselves. And what was at stake will always be what is at stake: our lives.
Photo by Maria Lysenko