A change in government administration is a reset for any country. The hopes of some people are fulfilled and the hopes of others are dashed. Anyone who has been watching our country for the last four years — or even the last few months — cannot help but be aware of the division in America. Our two-party system no longer suits our citizens. While President Joe Biden did, in fact, legitimately win this election, 74 million people voted for Trump. That’s a lot of people who wanted something other than what they got. They’re not happy about it; no one ever is when they don’t get something they really wanted. In 2016, 65 million Americans didn’t get what they wanted. I was one of them.
I marched in the Women’s March. I tweeted my objections to trump and his policies and “alternative facts”. I did not claim the election was rigged. I did not accuse conservatives of being baby-eaters or lizard people. I did not storm the Capitol at the behest of Hillary Clinton. I watched his dramas play themselves out, as dramas always do.
I feel for the people who are now feeling abandoned by someone they had sworn absolute allegiance to. I’m sure they feel betrayed. But as many times as trump recited the poem “The Snake”, I wish that those people could have seen that he was talking about himself. That when someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them. When people feel unseen and hopeless and diminished, they will cling to any words that might offer a lifeline. It’s shameful that he let them down. And more shameful that someone decided to pose as a mysterious conspiracy figurehead as some kind of game. Those people were played.
One thing I know for sure. I remembering listening to 45’s inauguration speech and being stunned. His words were full of gloom and doom, anger and disunity. The speech that 46 made today was much more in keeping with the tone of the country that I love. I appreciated that.
I teared up when Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first female Vice President. As she stepped up to place her hand on the Bible that the Second Gentleman held, I could see on her face that she could hardly believe this was happening. It was just a flash of a look, but I saw it. I can draw a sad parallel between that look and the look I saw on the woman who died in the Capitol invasion – incredulity, but with vastly different outcomes in vastly different situations.
I have been watching the President like a hawk the last four years. Before 2016, I had a passing interest and familiarity with politics. I have since learned that it’s my civic duty to watch our elected officials and hold them accountable. Even though – or perhaps, especially – since Joe Biden is a representative of my party, I will continue to watch just as closely, to hold this new administration just as accountable for keeping their promises, and to call it out on lies. Once awakened, a watchdog cannot go back to sleep.
Joe Biden is no savior, just as his predecessor wasn’t, no matter what people wanted to believe. This President speaks of healing, of unity, of trying to repair a nation divided. All great goals, but very questionably realistic, given where we are today. I am hoping he will strive to make our planet better, disempower the ultra-rich, gain some measure of trust from those who feel disenfranchised, truly fight for racial equality, and live up to his words. I am hoping for honesty, fairness, and true transparency. I am hoping.