Reflecting on the 2020 US election in This little light of mine

  • Nov. 8, 2020, 7:49 a.m.
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I feel like I’ve barely gotten any sleep since Nov 3. Seeing how deeply divided the nation was spilled a lot of strong emotions for me, more than I realized. I was born and raised in the midwest. I had grown up with middle-class, Christian values. I felt that the deep divide was more proof to add onto trump’s harmful rhetoric reaching and polarizing the masses in ways never before. I had ignored politics for the vast majority of the past 4 years. The news gave people anxiety, and US Americans began turning to therapists and psychiatrists in droves to deal with the everyday that was donald trump testing the boundaries of peace and the constitution. During the election, I couldn’t understand how a cult of personality could take such a strong hold on America that our very democracy should be disrespected in the way it is today. No other president in the history of the US has sought to undermine the election process. None have called on their supporters to “stop the vote”–or called legitimate votes “illegal votes”– without any proof. Trump’s supporters, on his word alone, surrounded areas where votes were being counted; with zero evidence, they attempted to incite doubt on the election process and to question its integrity, and with their rifles they intimidated people who were just doing their jobs. This is against democracy. donald trump incited what could be called a coup. He is a dictator. This is one man fighting to remain in power; a man wanting to ignore votes cast by +3 million living, breathing Americans that told him his time was up.

After the election fervor I felt exhausted. At that point I felt like it was time to move on from the election, and maybe we wouldn’t hear final results until December. Right then a winner was called–Biden had won. The intense relief that flooded over me was both surprising and palpable.
In that moment I realized I’d been carrying a heavy weight ever since trump became president. He was like this heavy, dank, dark cloud looming over my heart and spirit. He fueled anxiety, chaos, dissension, pushed the boundaries in a bad way, and incited fear. People were disheartened about the future.
Knowing he will no longer be president is a huge relief.

Traditionally, rivals in an election call the winner to congratulate them before their victory speech. The former president eventually leaves a letter of goodwill to the next president, full of advice and courage as they hand the reigns off to their successor who was chosen by the people. trump has not done the former, and it doesn’t look like he will attempt the latter.

Still, I loved the genuineness, sincerity and kindness in Biden’s victory speech. I loved the humility and plan of action. He is right that now is a time for healing. I actually compared Biden’s victory speech to trump’s the year prior, who absolutely failed to deliver on many of his promises. I watched Obama’s two victory speeches, JFK and then FDR. It became clear to me in that moment who trump was in US history.

I feel that questioning the results in this election is to question the integrity of democracy. It is also to question the integrity of hundreds of workers across the nation who came in to count the votes despite pressure and intimidation from trump supporters, some of whom have now incited violence on the streets. Meanwhile, peaceful protestors remained peaceful. People who voted for Biden danced on the streets after he’d won and there was no rioting or looting.

Our work is not yet done–we still need Georgians to show up for America and vote two Democrats into the senate.

Last updated November 08, 2020

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