I have to start by saying that I am very pleased with the election results. I think America chose the best candidate; one who shows compassion, empathy, decency and most of all, respect. Having witnessed the countless number of embarrassing incidents where the current president showed none of the aforementioned qualities and used the position of the presidency for personal benefit and elevation and control, rather than service, I feel hopeful that we no longer have to suffer through this type of leadership anymore.
A type of leadership that has been toxic, abusive of power, and even traumatic for many. A type of leadership that has incited and even exacerbated racism, classism, misogyny, xenophobia, and plain hatred. Though Americans are no strangers to these aforementioned isms, the crest at which these things rose during the Trump Administration bordered being dangerous and life-threatening. Trump supporters often took their "trains" and "caravans" out accompanied by threats, insults and intimidation. In the first week of November, in my hometown of Richmond, VA, people of color, alternative lifestyles and different cultures were encouraged to stay out of certain suburbs for fear of violence and other terroristic acts. This kind of intimidation has occurred in too many instances throughout the country spanning the duration of 45's term; evidenced by the most recent incident where a busload of Biden staffers were run off of the highway in Texas.
While there are many who are disappointed with the election projections, I doubt that even they would find it difficult to deny that in the last four years we witnessed a decline in our country's progress. Other countries looked at us with either furrowed brows or with rightful mocking considering that so much of what America stands for was contradicted. I can imagine other countries asking, "how can you have liberty and justice for all when your leader is caging Mexican children, gassing peaceful protesters for his own photo opportunity in front of a church, poking fun at journalists with disabilities, degrading of African-American athletes, telling police officers to 'not be too nice' to suspects when arresting them, and bragging about grabbing women in their private parts without their permission?"
One of my favorite scenes from "Remember the Titans" is when there is a confrontation about the team's bad attitude and lack of unity being a result of poor leadership with such a bad attitude, it amounts to practically no leadership at all.
I wonder where this country would be if the leadership exemplified respect, empathy, and compassion rather than what it actually did the past four years. We don't know how far along we would be as a country, but we would not have regressed to this point, I am almost certain.
On Tuesday, November 3, 2020 the people of the United States spoke and elected Joe Biden as the 46th President. I don't think voted this way because he is some super political candidate, or because he chose Kamala Harris as a running mate, or even that he served with Barack Obama. America voted for Biden because he stands for decency and respect. I am not sure if that is a good thing or an indictment on American politics today. The fact that we cheer for a candidate that presents simple humanistic traits over his rival candidate is both pleasing (for this election, that we actually chose him) and disturbing as it shows the lows to which we have regressed.
Days after the election projections have been posted, I found myself entertaining conversations about people questioning why so many are so excited. "You all just voted for the lesser of the two evils," they say. "It's just a matter of time before we find out they lied to everybody" they say. "It doesn't matter who the elected President is. There is no need to celebrate." I echo the sentiments of Van Jones. Persons who have felt oppressed and marginalized and targeted and unprotected for the past four years prayed for the end of the misery. There is a reason to celebrate. There is a reason to be hopeful.