Trump Era Closes with Joy at its ending
Almost exactly four years ago to the day, on November 8th, 2016, Trump shocked America and the world by defeating Hillary Clinton. There was already a sense of foreboding among many, based on having witnessed Trump’s behavior during the campaign and throughout his public life before entering the political arena as a candidate.
The full extent of the danger and menace he would come to embody and represent was something that unfolded, nonstop, during the years he clutched onto power like a rabid dog.
Like traumatic witnesses to a heinous crime, many of us who have wished for the day he would be defeated are experiencing a mixture of relief, elation and post-traumatic-stress on the news that his (first) day of reckoning has finally arrived.
On the announcement that Joe Biden had won Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, and would be the 46th President of the United States, jubilant celebrations broke out across the country.
Starting around noon on Saturday, November 7th, the various news outlets began to confirm that the threshold of 270 electoral votes required for victory had been surpassed by the Biden-Harris ticket.
Unbridled joy almost instantly swept across the land, at least among the nearly 75 million that voted blue, and likely among many of those some 70+ million that did not take the time, or were unable, to mark a ballot.
Unlike other political victory celebrations, this was not a “lesser of two evils” situation for any of those mentioned in the previous paragraph. Some of the internet memes, like the brilliant “America Endgame” video mash-up that mythologizes the election as an Avengers inspired clash between ultimate good and almost unspeakable evil.
The clip, for many, was an emotional and inspirational confirmation of what they had been feeling for fourteen-hundred and fifty-nine days as a dark shadow of racist ignorance and hate cast a shadow across our lives.
Looking ahead: days to reflect, heal and rebuild
Next we must all begin to take the sudden feelings of empowerment and democratic vindication and apply that energy toward reclaiming and rebuilding all that the would-be tyrant had spend 4 years undermining and trying to destroy.
No small task, no easy road, but, nevertheless, a chance to learn from this close encounter with a near-collapse of our system and what it has meant throughout the best moments of our history.
The damage wrought by the 1,459 days of terror-tweets, and more dangerously, the behind-the-scenes dismantling of the skeleton that holds our system upright, can finally begin to be reconstructed and reclaimed.
Symbolically, the ending of our participation in the Paris Climate Accords, which ended, literally, hours before Trump’s loss was announced, marks the end of an era of destruction, and the beginning of one pointing firmly toward a possible future of survival and repair. Biden has pledged to re-join the accords as his first act as President.
And now for the 70 million + souls that, who, out of a susceptibility to propaganda and the spell of a fascist cult of personality, voted for Trump, the avalanche of lies will go silent (other than from the sycophants that remain in positions of power). Next, the country and media can, hopefully, allow real facts and information (remember those?) to flow again and reclaim at least some minds where possible.
Sadly after more than 4 years of hard-line indoctrination, only individuals under a certain age or who were only partially damaged, will be receptive to any kind of a return to a more civil national discourse.
These are all thoughts for a later date, but for now a well deserved moment of relief and celebration, and thank our stars for the 75 million of us that rose up and made it possible for the chance of a better future to emerge.
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