Yeah. Actually. We Won

My darlings, we did it. We ousted a sitting president.

I know it may not feel much like victory. The Senate may remain in Republican hands. Republicans gained seats in the House. We barely squeaked out a win in Pennsylvania, and several states that we thought might turn blue didn’t. We didn’t get the full-throated roar in the electoral college that would have definitively destroyed Trumpism. We aren’t yet seeing the Republican party in ruins, as they so richly deserve.

Nevertheless, this was a victory.

I’m even calling it a resounding one, despite feeling quite otherwise in the early aftermath.

Frankly, 45 had everything going for him.

  • He was the incumbent in a country that has an awful habit of sticking with the devil it knows.
  • It’s far easier to retain power than to attain it.
  • The economy had been robust despite all his efforts to tank it, only faltering due to a pandemic.
  • He is a reality television star to his core in a nation that eats that nonsense with a spoon and begs for more.
  • His base has turned him into a myth more than a man, projecting all of their desires onto him and seeing only what they want to see.
  • A good majority of the religious right think he’s God’s chosen one.
  • He has no qualms about whipping his base into a racist frenzy.
  • He has no qualms about using his office for political gain, and did so early and often.
  • Republicans stood resolutely by him, save for a lonely few.
  • His base didn’t care a bit that a pandemic was on, while our side was sensible enough to not want to crowd together at the polls.
  • Since they didn’t care about the pandemic, they mounted a strong ground game and held massive in-person rallies, whereas Democrats didn’t.
  • He and the Republicans had done all they could to hamstring the Post Office and hamper mail-in voting.
  • The Voting Rights Act has been gutted.
  • Republicans have gerrymandered this country to their advantage everywhere they possibly could.
  • Many Americans still don’t pay enough attention to politics to understand what a threat to democracy he is.
  • Too many who do don’t care if he’s a dictatorial crook, just so long as he makes libs cry.
  • He spent ages telling everyone that it he lost, it would only be due to fraud.
  • He and his enablers did everything they could to prevent Democratic votes from being counted.
  • In hard, scary times, Americans have a bad habit of clinging to the leader they already have, no matter how inept.
  • They also have a terrible habit of falling for lying, narcissistic con jobs just so long as they’re told shiny, patriotic lies about how great Real America™ is.

And yet, despite all that, we still won.

Freaking Arizona turned blue. I’m from there. I spent the majority of my life there. And let me tell you: it’s a big dang deal.

Georgia may turn mostly blue!

The work we’ve done, the work so many good people have done for so long, it’s paying off.

Nearly 80 million people held up two middle fingers to 45 and voted for Biden. Nearly. 80. Million.

Sign showing a person throwing a stylized Trump head in a trash can

Credit: Dana Hunter (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Yeah, we’ve got another white male President, but we’ve also got the first Black and Asian woman Vice President in American history, and I see hundreds of thousands of women and girls, many of them BIPOC, gazing at the hole punched in that glass ceiling and thinking yes, we can.

So yeah, we have a tremendous amount of work to do. Agent Orange is throwing a grown toddler tantrum and destroying everything he can still reach. It will take literal generations to undo the damage he and his party have done. We still have nearly 70 million people in this country who will enthusiastically vote for a fascist because he makes them feel they’re mighty whities. Racism, poverty, bigotry, and hate are endemic, driving those 70 million to keep voting red. And it is so, so much harder to build up than to tear down.

We’re going to keep on doing the work no matter who’s in office, because it is the right and necessary thing to do, and because the alternative is unconscionable.

But right now, in this moment, take a breath and appreciate this fact:

We won.

Against all odds, we won.

And while we will undoubtedly suffer losses in the future, we are going to keep winning, because there’s no way in hell we will ever stop fighting.

So get your fighting trousers freshly laundered, and toast your victory today.

Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Yeah. Actually. We Won