Saturday, November 7, 2020

From “Us vs. Them” to “We, Together”

America has spoken. Starting next year, Trump will no longer be our president. Joe Biden beat him by over five million votes. Five million votes.  That’s a monumental statement our country has proclaimed for the world to hear. And history has been made: Biden won more votes than any presidential candidate prior. We’ve voted in the first Black female vice president. And more people voted than ever before. All of that is monumental.  The people have spoken and spoken loudly.

Trump can cry “fraud” all he wants; false narratives and finger-pointing have been two of his more fascistic tactics all along. But it’s pure irony: he’s been the fraud since Day One and enough of America has, thankfully, gotten wise to the fact. Most of the civilized world is sighing with relief that we’ve managed to kick him out of office. So is most of America, as evidenced by Biden not only winning both the popular vote and the electoral college, but by earning more votes than anyone in the history of our country. 

There’s no denying Trump has been the most divisive, dismissive, disrespectful, bullying, belittling, bragging, obstreperous, recalcitrant president of our lifetimes. History will rightfully brand him as one of the great stains on the legacy of American presidents: casually lying, scoffing at science, failing at diplomacy and—literally and figuratively—recklessly endangering the nation from the COVID 19 virus to willfully emboldening bigots to murderous action. Even in the final hours of the election, he once again proved his true nature: falsely claiming victories that weren’t true; spreading lies about wide-spread election fraud with little to no supporting evidence, knee-jerk suing multiple states he feared he’d lost and prematurely demanding either recounts or ends to counting, and so on; the desperate acts of a drowning despot.

Those of you voted him out: I thank you for putting decency over all the unacceptable behaviors listed above. You have restored my faith in the goodness of America. You have shown that the majority of Americans agree that Trump’s egregious words and actions are unacceptable for anyone—especially a president; that bad behavior must never be rewarded; that bigotry in all forms—from racism to sexism to homophobia and more—must be called out without hesitation and eradicated without yielding. I celebrate you. I honor you. I am with you.

To those of you who supported Trump: I love you no less (love is unconditional), I care for you no less (caring is the mark of a civilized society), but I do respect you just a little less because your support of Trump means you approve and enable all his ugly words and actions and all the ugly words and actions he’s incited in our streets. That is something I simply cannot honor. However, I’m confident most of you can and will earn that respect again. The opportunities are bountiful and I look forward to the day when we can work together, side by side, to make this country the best it can be: one that shuns harmful behavior and beliefs; that honors transparency, inclusivity and diversity; that values kindness, decency…and liberty and justice for all.  I hope it's any day, now.

So, here's to a brighter future. It’s in our grasp. There is still much to do, but we can certainly do it faster and better, together.