Almost exactly four years ago, I wrote about my expectations for then President-elect Trump. While I didn’t vote for him in 2016 and actually had very low expectations of what he could do and what he would do, I wanted to be the better person and see him strive for something better. I wanted to be optimistic and think that maybe the highest office in our land would lend him some humility, would teach him to be a man of the people, would help him grow in ways that up until that time, he had not. Of course, that’s not what the presidency is for, but thinking that way helped me come to grips with the wholly unqualified man who would be taking up space in the White House.
Four years later, the man hasn’t risen to my challenge, to say the least. Instead of making America great again, he spearheaded an assault on the land and it’s people. I don’t need to remind those of you on my side (and I won’t convince those of you where aren’t), but in the first 100 days of his presidency, he managed to do incredible damage to the country I call home and the people who live here. Sadly, it just got worse from there.
So here I find myself, seven days after the election, gobsmacked by the sheer number of people who still support a man like him. To these folks, it doesn’t matter that he mocked disabled persons, mobilized white supremacist groups, pulled back on climate regulations, jeopardized the free press, placed children in cages, bungled the coronavirus response, or lied every single day of his presidency. People everywhere are placing party before common human decency, and I, for one, am appalled.
And I’m not alone. Seventy-five million other people in the United States agree with me, one of them being the author John Scalzi, who so eloquently put into words what I could not. He begins his essay:
This election should have been a landslide. Faced with a choice between a decent, if uninspiring, former Vice President with a long and solid track record of competent governance, and literally the worst president since the Civil War era — a president under whom the economy cratered, corruption reigned, human rights were stripped and mocked, social inequality reached new heights and a pandemic was allowed to blaze unchecked, killing a quarter of a million American souls — the decent man should have walked away from this election with 400 electoral votes at least.
Yes, yes he should have.
What I like about Scalzi’s take are his honesty and recognition that “there is something wrong with whiteness.” He goes on to say:
We don’t have to wait for history to say it, we can say it now: it was black women voters and black men voters who pulled the United States back from the brink. It was Latino and Hispanic voters. It was Asian American and Native American voters. It wasn’t just them — LGBTQ+ voters and new voters (many of whom overlap those aforementioned categories) broke toward Biden as well. They held better faith in the United States than white voters did.
Yes, yes they did.
I’m not going to pretend that the election of Joseph R. Biden will be the cure. He and his team have a long, rough road ahead of them and uniting a divided country like ours isn’t going to happen in four years. But I, for one, would like to be a more active player than I have in the past. I’d like to step up and help make changes in our society so that someday, when we see someone even worse than Trump—and we all know it could happen—the country comes together for the good of each and every person, not just a select few. I won’t pretend those rainbows and roses are going to arrive anytime soon, but I hold out the hope that they will arrive.
Image of rainbow by Pexels at Pixabay.com.