Biden Won, But the Fight’s Not Over
Holding him accountable is crucial, now more than ever.
( @kamalaharris / Instagram)
Joe Biden has been elected as the 46th President of The United States. Relief is an understatement.
There’s really no graceful way to recap these last four years, so let me say this: What a shit show. Trump’s presidency was riddled with white supremacy, misogyny and fascism. It changed me, and it's hard to say whether it was for the better or for the worse. It was an emotionally exhausting hellscape and I’m ready for a nap.
Here’s some good news: That tyrant fucker is out of office., Kamala Harris is our first female vice president and our first South Asian and Black vice president. Oregon’s decriminalizing hard drugs, and New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota legalized recreational marijuana.
Sarah McBride is our first transgender state senator and Stacey Abrams is a queen.
Am I celebrating with a glass of pinot? Absolutely. However, we can’t afford to be clouded by these victories. None of this changes the fact that this was a close election. Too close.
Trump’s presidency fueled a culture of rampant hatred that won’t be easily rectified. The skeletons in America’s closet have been unleashed and they live among us. Their ears are fine tuned to his dog whistles and we know Trump won’t tolerate a peaceful transition of power. How do we heal systems that clutch so tightly to extreme nationalism, class division and a colonizer mindset? We hold our elected officials accountable.
Voting was the first step in recovering from Trump’s deep damage to the American psyche. Now, we must keep fighting the good fight.
I’m talking about keeping the same energy we had for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The same energy we had when the USPS was at risk. The same energy we had when we lost RBG and John Lewis. The same energy we had when we needed the votes to win this damn election in the first place. Because that energy is powerful! It was an inspiring period of time, full of a desire to learn, and more importantly, to share.
Biden made a lot of promises. Promises he had to make in order to get elected. But he wasn’t my first choice and probably wasn’t yours. (I miss you, Bernie.) Whether it’s the 1994 crime bill or his sexual assault allegations, the dissapoinments down the line are undeniable. However, he has somewhat progressive intentions.
Now is not the time to back off just because he’s got a seat in the oval office with his name on it. This is the perfect time to remind ourselves of what’s at stake.
Today and everyday I’m thinking about BIPOC, immigrants, LGBTQ rights, bodily autonomy, the working class, our Mother Earth and more. These communities and entities that we want to cherish and protect have a chance under this future administration, but we have to relentlessly push for justice with the same energy used to push Trump out of office.
We have to continue to show up to the polls when the stakes aren’t presidential. (Local elections are just as important, if not more important, to invoke change.) We have to speak up against injustices in our communities and hold our democratic leaders to the same standards as our republican.
Days before the election, I had neighbors flying Trump banners from their balcony. It’s something I’ve gotten used to. The violent display of allegiance to a campaign that fed on fear.
But as the week crept on and the ballots rolled in, I saw them sheepishly retreat back inside, MAGA flag in hand. Since Biden’s win, there’s been a silence and tranquility that I haven’t felt in four years. As I take a deep breath and chuckle at this triumph, my faith in people and democracy is slightly restored. (Emphasis on the slightly.)
It’s a long road ahead, but I’m thankful for the change of course. Truthfully, I believe change is possible with Joe Biden, but only if we demand it.
Madeline Murphy is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She’s currently studying Journalism with a minor in Women’s Studies. Madeline can be found making Apple Music playlists, trying Nigella Lawson recipes and binging SATC. She’s fiercely passionate about social justice and the power of words. Her Instagram is @maduhlinemurphy