If Biden wins, it is not going to feel like you want it to feel. That’s what I wrote in the piece that went up yesterday on MSNBC, about the two sets of plans that people were having to hold in their heads: one for the scenario that we’re living through right now, with a potentially contested election, and another for what to do if Biden won, and some sort of change felt possible. I don’t know what’s going to happen, or how it’s going to unroll, even if signs do seem to eventually point to a Biden victory. What I do know is that this, right now, feels nothing like relief, or catharsis, or joy.
I've been trying to find a way to describe how I feel today watching Trump blow past his 2016 vote numbers by multiple millions, as people choose to double down on his brand of moral turpitude rather than attempt to put some space between themselves and it, and I keep coming back to "profound sense of loss".
Biden can win and it will be important, but I don't think it'll be enough to overcome the feeling that we have all collectively lost something that is never coming back.
My friend forwarded me this post, so this is my first encounter with your thinking. Thank you. It's very helpful to hear other voices than the ones that constantly echo doom.
I would like to point out that when Biden wins, and is up against an obstructionist Senate that will make new legislation very difficult, that the Administration will change. No more Miller or Kushner. No more political appointees who are inherently hostile to the ideas of governance. Administrations are where much of the daily work of government actually happens. They write rules and regulations. They establish policies. We can reenter the Paris Accord, for example, or proceed with disarmament talks - all without the "approval" of Congress. The corrosive narratives about "law and order" and civil disobedience can change. And on and on.
It's really too soon to look at the future and despair (and no, I won't quote homilies about justice.) We have made enormous progress in my lifetime. There is still much to be done. That's the way life is.
I don’t know what else to add to all of this. Yes, yes, and yes. There is so much work to do on so many fronts. (Also the Montana results are devastating.)
When I read this on Wednesday, I absolutely agreed. I was holding my breath waiting for the exhausted sigh. I texted my sister, "How is she [Anne Helen] so good at capturing feelings?"
Then, today happened.
And friends, IT FELT SO MUCH BETTER THAN I WANTED IT TO FEEL. Floods of relief. The cheering in the street. The joyful honks of cars as we biked to the White House. Texting with my new friends from a day together at the polls. (I'm making new friends! In a pandemic!) Walking past international press, turning around to look past their shoulder, beaming at the camera (not that anyone could tell hidden behind sunglasses and masks).
The work continues. The exhaustion will return. Today's celebration was life-giving and I'm soaking it in.
I needed this today. Thank you.
Thank you for your as-ever-articulate commentary. You are a beacon in this dark muddle and I appreciate you and your words.
thank you. I just cannot stop crying inside and out. At least your words gave me the strength to use a tissue. my problem is I see this divide all over humanity like a spiritual pandemic. it hurts when all of my heart is loving and caring and fair and just. I just don't get racism, inequality, class status, dick-tators, liars and cheats. I did not pursue a career in politics because I got to see the truth behind the chamber doors at a young age and I did not like it. And, here we are 30-years later and its worse. What little light there is left in us I will embrace and forgive those without the light. thank you again. good work.
I appreciated your comments very much today. Thank you.
This really speaks to how I’m feeling. I was aware of the collectivist theory (downfall of the Lions Club=downfall of society), but I don’t think it accounts entirely for the us vs. them mentality we’re dealing with. Looking forward to seeing how you continue to distill the outcome of this election and beyond.
I didn't think many things were going to top the sense of *unmooring* that I had in 2004 (my first Presidential election, voted for Kerry, age 19). But whatever this feeling, is or turns into in the next few days, it's weirder and stranger. Age and experience, wrapped around the kernel of hope that gets you every time and that you want to keep. (I'm glad I 'reread'/listened to Terry Pratchett's "Night Watch' a few weeks back on audiobook. Useful bits to get your hands on a moment like this: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1712283-night-watch )