I didn’t allow myself to think about the election too much until almost right before it happened – because the thought of a Trump victory, along with the lockdown and all the other crap going on in the world right now, would have been too much to bear. Four years of unleashed hatred, divisiveness, cruelty, cronyism, nepotism, racism, partisanship were bad enough. Four more felt like our world would move in a direction it would be impossible to return from. Despite the polls and predictions for Biden, we’d learned that with this president anything was possible. Those of us who disagreed with him and his crass shoddy world view had learnt to tamp down our hopes and dreams, to expect the worst rather than the best from our fellow humans, and to forego our dreams for a better world, because they seemed impossible at best, naïve at worst.
So, like so many of you, I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief at the result – almost as if we were collectively holding our breath over the last few days – because what happens in America inevitably trickles down to the rest of the world and because really nothing more than the future of our collective morality was at stake. Basic decency, kindness, compassion, fairness, grace – these should never seem like old school values, least of all in our political systems. Whatever you think of Biden, he was exactly the candidate that America – and the world – needed over the last three days. His measured calls for patience and unity eased a terrible, volatile situation, even as Trump did his absolute best to incite civil war.
I know there’s a lot to be done and there are divisions now that will take a very long time to heal – if ever – and that too many people were still prepared to give the man the benefit of the doubt. Trump may have unleashed forces that will have a lasting impact on the fabric of our society for years to come. But for now, I’m savouring the moment and hoping the last four years will soon feel like the aberration they were – a collective nightmare that fewer and fewer of us will want to return to, because we know we can do better and be better, and we know our children deserve better too.
Adios Donnie. The world’s a better place without you.