Let’s Talk About the Election

I was sitting at my kitchen table on Saturday, November 7th at 11:30 a.m., eating some lunch, when I received a text message from a close friend of mine in all caps: JOE BIDEN WON. My first reaction was to check the electoral map that had been plastered across my phone screen since election night for verification. With clammy hands, and a heart slamming up against my chest like it had somewhere to go, my friend’s words had been confirmed with Joe Biden in the 270 threshold to win the election.

 

My initial response to the confirmation was to cry. I hadn’t slept for more than two hours a night that week, my nerves keeping me up until unspeakable hours in the morning checking every update that dropped down in my notifications from Twitter, and all the news apps on my phone. Before Saturday morning, I’d seen the odds tipping in favor of Joe Biden, but I made sure to remain vigilant and skeptical, because my naive hope in 2016 had warranted one of the worst nightmares of my life: Donald Trump had won the presidency.

 

With Biden’s win, a sense of relief washed over me. Like most minorities in the United States, I couldn’t afford another four years of Donald Trump. Regardless of how you spin it, Trump was and is a danger to all Black and Brown people across the country, whether directly, or indirectly through his supporters.

 

After my cry of relief, I decided to go into my mom and dad’s room to watch the coverage of what was happening across the U.S. I saw blaring horns of celebration in New York, shouts of glee pouring out from the mouths of relieved Americans in Los Angeles and Chicago, and dancing Biden supporters in front of the White House.

 

On the other side of the aisle though, Trump supporters were distraught and struck incredulous by news of Biden’s projected wins in states that Trump had flipped from Democrat to Republican back in 2016. There was anger and denial written across the faces that just days before had been pulled back into beast-like snarls to challenge the very fiber of American democracy. Those who had felt immortal just days before had reality shoved into their faces, and they were forced to confront the truth: Joe Biden was and still is the president-elect. 

 

But Trump supporters weren’t wrong to stare at the results with disbelief. After all, their president had promised them a victory. In fact on Tuesday night he went on live TV and claimed that he had already won, even as major states continued counting the ballots. After that, as Biden began closing in on Trump’s lead throughout the week, Trump continued his declarations of victory on Twitter even though Biden was ahead in just about every state that Trump needed in order to secure a second term.

 

After watching the celebrations across the U.S., and hopping on a celebratory call with a few of my friends, I crawled back into bed at about 1 p.m. and made up for the hours of sleep I had missed throughout the week. When I woke, the vice president, a Black woman, was staring at me through my TV screen, declaring rightful and factual victory over Donald Trump.

 

I had felt the same sense of pride and excitement I had felt when I was just seven years old, watching Barack Obama give his victory speech in 2008.

 

But lurking beneath my pride, the wounds of the Trump era were clear. Where I should have only felt pride and only felt childlike glee, I was afraid. As Kamala Harris’ words came through my TV screen, my nerves were through the roof. I was afraid that some Trump extremist would attempt the worst in order to validate their candidate. That same fear was amplified as Joe Biden came out to speak.

 

As the fireworks concluded and Biden and Harris left the stage, I breathed another sigh of relief. As the week progressed from Saturday, my sleeping schedule had returned to normal, and I could once again enjoy Twitter for what it was: a place of enjoyment instead of my quick news hub.

 

Then the lawsuits started. I had heard whispers of them Saturday morning. Trump’s team was about to “Unleash the Kraken” and bring hellfire and brimstone on Joe Biden’s projected win. The news called it the great “Election fall out”, but let’s call it how it is: there is no “Election fall out”, there’s just one candidate falling out and flailing helplessly as his loyalist base of supporters look for their savior to tell them that there was some reason why he didn’t win even after he promised them he would.

 

As of November 21st, Donald Trump has won only one of the 28 lawsuits he filed in major battleground states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. He’s still refused to concede and as his days in office continue to dwindle his legal challenges continue to fail in the most embarrassing fashions. The simplest thing Trump has to do in order for his lawsuits to be taken seriously is have his lawyers present cold-hard evidence that he was cheated and that there was an Ocean’s 11 level scheme perpetrated by the Democrats to deliver him his loss. What have Trump and his lawyers failed to do? Present any of that cold-hard evidence.

 

I watched Rudy Giulliani on Friday November 20th give his press conference, again claiming that the Trump administrations lawsuits were getting ready to prove that Joe Biden had cheated the American people of their rightful victor, Donald Trump, and that their evidence had mounted. When pressed on the matter, Giulliani quite literally began leaking bs from his ears.

 

I have to admit, in the beginning  the memes coming out about Trump’s loss and his recurring failures in court gave me a good laugh, but as we get closer and closer to Biden’s inauguration and the realization that a peaceful transition of power is looking more and more unlikely, it has become less funny,  more embarrassing, and even more infuriating with each passing day.

 

I have to admit, I still get a good laugh as Trump’s lawsuits continue to fail, but the reality that he is trying to demonize the democratic system  which delivered his win in 2016 is absolutely disgusting. We have to call it how it is, Donald Trump is a danger to American democracy and his constant attempt to challenge a system which didn’t benefit him this time is disgusting and embarrassing. Here he is, a 74-year-old man, the president of the United States, crying like a toddler in Wal-Mart because he couldn’t get the shiny new bike he wanted. It’s disgusting and disrespectful to the American people.

 

Even more disgusting? The Republican party is enabling his behavior, a good amount of them refusing to acknowledge the Biden win and refusing to stand up to Trump and tell him it’s his time to go.

 

This, the complacency, and refusal to resign, in a president who has divided America and continues to do so in his final days as president, this is how the Republican party will be remembered.

 

Trump’s refusal to act like an adult, and accept that the American democratic system worked, and worked without the interference of Russian help, is how he will be remembered. 

 

Trump’s supporters’ blatant racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and mobilization to hate and do so loudly, is how they will be remembered.

America is better than what we’ve had to endure that past four years, and when Joe Biden becomes the president on January 20th, at 12 a.m. I have a strong belief that the fight for true equality in this country can start without the constant fear of widespread demonization and violence in which is encouraged by a sitting president.