I've been trying to find the word that best sums up how I feel today. It's been challenging.
Happy isn't right. We still have so many challenges and I'm not really happy. 400k+ Americans dead, the recent insurrection still on our minds, the continued separation from loved ones and blocking of things that I love to do. Happy isn't right.
Excited? No...not really. I mean, Democrats now control both the Executive and Legislative branches. Despite popular belief, I am not a Democrat. I am not at all excited about one party rule. I suspect a lot of annoyance over the supposed mandate pushing through policies I don't like.
Pride? Maybe, but no. While I am glad that voters chose America over Trump, 74 million still voted for Trump regardless of the shit of the last 4 years. 74 million Americans still selfishly picked a divider that agreed with them over a genuinely good man because he wants everyone to have health care and believes in racial justice.
Relief...that's what it is. It's relief.
I am working really hard to NOT keep complaining about you-know-who. He's no longer President. No more obsessed tweeting. No more worry about which dictators have the leader of the free world on a leash. No more wondering who else will die or be orphaned because of one man's power trip.
I tried to look ahead in 2016 when Trump was elected. I said it is what it is and now it's time to be Americans and do what we do. A couple weeks later, he tried to ban Muslims from entering the country.
So, that's all the reflecting on him I want to do. Now it's time to look forward.
I am not naïve. I know that half of the country voted for someone else and does not want a Biden presidency. I've said it before, any other year, I would not have voted for Biden. I voted for Biden for one reason. He is not Trump. I've been asked if that means I would have voted for Bernie. I am not 100% sure, but probably. I voted for an end to this division and an end to the permission that has been granted to people to be assholes and to think only about themselves. Out of many, one. Not, Out of many, mine.
But, I would like to think that the majority of that half of the country still recognizes what America is. America is a place where all are welcomed, regardless of background, regardless of race or religion or heritage. It's a place where disagreement is acceptable and peaceful. It's all the things President Biden said in his speech this morning. We can disagree without violence. Without hatred.
Here's the thing, though. Disagreement is fine. Debate is fine. What is NOT fine is bullshit. You can disagree with tax policy or immigration reform. You can't continue to claim this election was rigged. You can't continue to promote false evidence, exaggerated or often made up "evidence." Because these are lies. And these lies will destroy our Republic. There has been NO factual evidence that supports the claim that there was widespread fraud in the election. So, if this is your bag, then we have nothing to talk about. Because you are wrong, the evidence proves that you are wrong, and experts have proven you are wrong, the courts have declared that you are wrong and our new President has been sworn in. So, either accept it or shut up. We're going to have another election in 2 years. Another Presidential election in 4 years. And, the country is tired of angry white mobs trying to spread the lie that our Republic is broken because your Dear Leader didn't win.
And, let's just acknowledge Vice President Harris. After 240 years, we finally have a woman VP. And, let's be real...chances are EXCELLENT that she will be President. Politics aside, this makes me happy. I was really frustrated when Hillary Clinton was running. Because I did NOT want her to be the one to break that glass ceiling. America has been ready for a woman to be President for a while now. But, please not her. Alas, it wasn't her. Kamala Harris, on the other hand...very happy for her. Republicans still have time to get their own woman on the ticket in 4 years. But, dang...you all have a LOT of reconciliation to do before people like me trust you again.
I'll wrap up with this paragraph from our new President. It sums up my feelings pretty perfectly. I thought the speech was pretty perfect, honestly. Unity. That was the theme.
The answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don't look like look like you or worship the way you do, or don't get their news from the same sources you do. We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we're willing to stand in the other person's shoes, as my mom would say, just for a moment, stand in their shoes. Because here's the thing about life. There's no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days, when you need a hand. There are other days when we're called to lend a hand. That's how it has to be. That's what we do for one another. And if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future.
Let's get back on track!