Updated: Nov 8
America has repudiated the hateful, hurtful presidency of Donald John Trump and in that act has given our nation the hope that reconciliation, empathy and compassion can help to bring us together and make us a better country.
It took a while, and there were some scary moments, but roughly 75 million Americans said no to Trump and everything he stands for.
It was appropriate that even before the race was finally called, Trump headed to the golf course, apparently his place of solace when times are tough. Pity whoever drew the short straw to play with him and the poor fellow assigned to be his caddy. And, before he returned, it was over, and the celebrations began.
While that occurred, my wife, Jackie, and I participated in a celebration of life via Zoom for a dear friend, a Black woman who we both cherished, and who I am certain is smiling down from above, happy that this despicable man has been repudiated. And clearly, people of color can be credited with helping to make it happen.
Trump Hangs On
Pitifully, Trump refused to concede and his campaign managers told workers to stand by, saying the race was not over, and they should be prepared to mobilize at a moment's notice.
"He is in this fight. He is in this fight...These are razor thin margins. We are not giving up the fight in these places. We are not giving up the fight," said Bill Stepien in a call with campaign officials.
And Trump tweeted:
(Note the disclaimer from Twitter.)
However, all of that is irrelevant. Whatever he and his crime family does no longer matters. They no longer matter, and eventually could even find themselves in handcuffs, in a perp walk on their way to prison. Trump can pardon himself from federal crimes, but he can't do that on state crimes, and in New York the criminal case against him is in the works.
The fact is that on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States and Sen. Kamala Harris, a woman of color, will be sworn in as Vice President of the United States. In fact, when Biden makes his first State of the Union Address, seated behind him will be two women -- Vice President Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. That, alone, will be a moment of history.
So, it was no wonder that the streets in Washington, DC, New York City, Wilmington, DE, Philadelphia, PA and other cities around the country were filled today with celebration. In Washington, on the very street where protestors of the police shooting of George Floyd were tear gassed by federal agents, today there was dancing and jubilation.
There is hope that instead of hate and division, the focus of our new president and vice president will be on kindness, healing and unity.
But aside from those hopeful words, we know that finally responsible action will be taken to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control and thus save thousands of lives that otherwise would most certainly be lost. Biden already has acted to form a special task force of experts to help chart his course.
We know that the fight against systemic racism will be waged at the highest level of our government, instead of having its very existence denied. No longer will we have a president who defends hateful racial actions of White supremacists and their efforts to intimidate and incite as they seek to preserve their hateful prejudices of the past.
We know that we are done with policies that have placed at risk our environment in the midst of our climate change crisis, and that health care for all Americans will be protected.
We know that the fight for equality for all people will now have strong allies at the highest level of our government. And, we know that his priorities will include immigration reform, and eliminating the Trump tax cuts of 2017, which largely benefitted the wealthy, with that money to be used to improve health care coverage.
We know these things because they are among the priorities that Biden and Harris discussed in their campaign, and we believe what they said.
We know, too, that with Vice President Harris, a Black woman will be second in command and first in line for the presidency, should that day come. And so, there is justifiable jubilation from women and African Americans who rightly recognize the importance of their support in sending the Biden-Harris team to the White House.
But we also know that control of the Senate is still in Republican hands, depending on the outcome of two runoff elections in Georgia, and that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may well be calling the shots in the upper chamber.
Remember when McConnell vowed to do everything possible to sabotage the presidency of Barack Obama? There is no reason to expect that he will not do the same thing with President Biden, hoping to make him an ineffective, one-term president -- regardless of the harm that does to the nation.
We also know that Trump will not go quietly into the night. While no-one actually expects the Secret Service to have to evict him from the White House, there is every reason to expect he will continue his irrational fight to somehow subvert the results of the election and retain power.
In the end, though, the American people have spoken. They have given their verdict. They have voted for an end to division and hate and have embraced hope for a better America. They have voted to heal the soul of our nation.