A New Day
This piece was originally published on Medium in November, 2020.
Yesterday, it was finally announced that Joe Biden would be the next President of the United States. He and his running mate, Kamala Harris will take the helm on January 20th. And like so many of us who waited for an election that seemed so far off, so does that date, which is roughly 2.5 months away.
Like many Americans, I cried tears of relief when the results were announced. After clenching my jaw and my shoulders for years, I felt like I could finally do the last part of relaxing my body: I could exhale. I know this transition is not going to be easy. I know many people are disappointed. I am highly aware that almost 50% of the American people think Donald Drumpf was a good president. This confounds me like nothing else I have ever experienced. I am going to attempt to break down one of the major arguments against Biden and for Drumpf, based on a screenshot of a text message I received last night. To my friend who sent it, I am sorry for disappearing from the thread. By that point in the night, I was toast. But it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up. I have hidden names, but the text itself is unaltered. I haven’t done this so much to protect anyone, as I have to allow you, dear reader, to fill in a name on your own, because some version of this is flying around the country in texts, on social media, in living rooms and at kitchen tables across the country. But first, let’s celebrate, shall we:
Why did I choose that video? Because Ms. Harris is my hero, that’s why. She’s a Black, Indian woman born of immigrants who made it. She’s smart. She’s driven. She’s focused. She’s joyful. She’s invested in her family. She embodies potential realized. She’s stylish. And she’s only just begun.
Now, onto the offending text:
Listen, I get that we all get our news from different sources and that what we choose to view or listen to is going to be skewed to our own biases. The key part is recognizing that we have biases. These people don’t like the Bidens (this is an assumption on my part), which likely makes them Drumpf voters, as is their right, but I have been watching them (or hearing about them) for months and months. I know who they are, they make no secret of it and this text, or some version of it can probably be repeated by many, as I mentioned above. (I like saying/writing Drumpf because it allows me to disassociate from the idiocy a bit. I recognize that the family name was changed many years ago. I don’t care. It’s fun for me.) But let’s get into the nitty gritty, first of news sources and then of the story itself being told/implied in the text message.
The chart above is linked to the source for your convenience. In the interest of transparency, will disclose my chosen news sources: The New York Times, Reuters, NPR, MSNBC, The Economist, The Atlantic, The Hill and The Wall Street Journal (when I can get in). Most lean left, I know this. But unlike sources on the right that are more likely to report that Drumpf played golf on any given day, rather than paid a porn star hush money, I know where the important stories will be reported. And that he paid off a porn star and talked about grabbing women by the pussy is real, it is true and it is news. Both are also crimes, so you wanna talk about crime? Let’s get real.
From Oct. 1, 2016, through the end of the year, Fox News mentioned “Access Hollywood” in 0.07 percent of its daily 15-second segments. CNN and MSNBC each mentioned it more than twice as often.
The Access Hollywood story should have been the end of it for Drumpf, but somehow, this type of behavior embodied the “values” of enough Americans that he was voted into the presidency anyway. Are these the core values of which you speak? Wow. Go to work and say that to a coworker and then get back to me on how that worked out for ya. The era of false bravado, pussy grabbing and machismo is over. Integrity is back in vogue. There are links to more juicy crime stuff below. Honesty and integrity? Um, sure.
Is Joe Biden perfect? Of course not. NO ONE thinks that, except for maybe his dogs. He has made political missteps (which he admits to). He has been accused of inappropriate behavior, but as far as I know, no one has accused him of pussy grabbing, of cheating on his wife while she was pregnant and there is no evidence of this ridiculous Biden Crime Family thing that’s been going around. But here is some fabulous evidence about Drumpf Crime Family. Here’s more from his rap sheet. If you can show me information with sources that prove these things aren’t true, please do. That does not mean an opinion piece in the Post or on Fox News. It also doesn’t mean opinion pieces from the NY Times. As much as I enjoy those, I do not count them as news sources, though this was a beautiful thing.
What Biden does represent for so many of us is a return to normalcy in some ways — someone dedicated to public service, someone whose commitment to family is clear and free of scandal. I love how this article acknowledges Drumpf’s tendency towards projection in the byline:
Trump and his allies are accusing Joe and Hunter Biden of corruption. It’s a mix of innuendo, fabrication, and projection
If there’s anything Drumpf is good at, it’s projection. Here’s the definition. I know how trying it can be to look things up. 😉
What about policy, you ask? What about the economy? Here’s some info on policy and how a Biden presidency can help restore our standing in the world. The fact that the pandemic is first on this list is critical. Because it, you know, will keep people alive. And second is the economy. Several news outlets and articles have forecast that a Biden economy will outperform a Drumpf economy. And analysis from Moody’s backs this up. So, this leaves us with things like actual human rights, and access to healthcare, lower taxes for MOST Americans and and the possibilities for more jobs is better (there are growing pains associated with this, especially when it comes to energy, but investing in the future of our planet is crucial if we wanna, like, continue to live here. Especially since Space Force is probably headed to the trash bin of history along with its creator).
Look, I know this is not going to be easy. But the arc of history swings like a pendulum. One of my favorite books, The Better Angels of our Nature, describes this so well. As time goes on, we get more and more accepting, less and less violent. The Drumpf era, given it’s short-lived 4 years was a blip on thousands of years of history. I get that for many it was a positive blip, but for those of us who hold things like decency and compassion in high regard, it was horrifically painful. And not because we are snowflakes — this is actually a lovely example of projection at work by Trumpists. Well done, even if you have literally no idea what I mean. Take a minute, read the section about projection above again. Phone a friend. A sane one.
The phrase “The Better Angels of our Nature” is attributed to President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s two inaugural addresses as much as any other action of any President show how a great leader leads. In his first address, Lincoln’s appeal to the “better angels of our nature” urged all to recall and preserve what made the Union great and worth preserving.
Back in August, I wrote this piece about the nomination of Ms. Harris, which made me so happy, I was up at 4am writing. Today, I made it to 5am. Back in August, I also committed to sending postcards to voters in swing states reminding them to vote. I am convinced it’s actions like this that help move the pendulum. And I am about to say probably the dorkiest thing ever: VOTING IS SO COOL! Even if your candidate doesn’t win, watching the process unfold is incredible.
Democracy in action is amazing. I’ll be signing up to do more postcards for the Georgia runoff elections in January, and you should, too! Bookmark this link. The ways in which we get to have our voices heard in America is one of the pillars of democracy, and edging towards having that taken away from us is no longer at risk. I’m currently considering going back to school for public policy to try to find more ways to use my voice. But first, we transition. We breathe. We (hopefully) learn to trust each other again. We watch the Supreme Court closely and ensure people’s rights aren’t taken away.
Right now, I am hopeful and gloating probably more than I should. But Liberty and Justice for All is literally part of our Pledge of Allegiance to a nation, not a leader.