The hours after election day were the longest of my life. I know so many democrats out there this season felt the same way.
As a human being, I didn’t feel like I had it in me to watch the news unfold, to watch the ballots come in, mostly because the past four years has been such a shitshow that I had become used to surviving in this world day by day and hour by hour. Sure, I was hopeful. But I was also mentally and emotionally drained from four years of Trump.
However, the Political Scientist in me couldn’t ignore the importance of it all, both politically and historically. So, like so many of you, I tuned into multiple sources (including HuffPost, MSNBC, CNN, and yes, even Fox News) to watch the returns with an equal measure of dread and hope. (BTW a special shoutout to the makers of Zoloft) After an extended count, mostly due to the number of mail-in-ballots because of COVID-19, the wait was over; Joe Biden becomes elected.
Someone on the internet described Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ speeches last night as “…someone opening the outhouse door for the first time in four years, allowing us a breath of fresh air.”
I agree, and that breeze was sweet. It was nice to hear hope again, hear complete sentences and thoughts again, and hear that American’s best days were in front of her, once more, and not a figment of our imagination.
Joe Biden called for unity. In that, I agree with a caveat. Just as that breath of fresh air was sweet with the fragrance of liberty, it reminded me, even more so barely forty-eight hours later, of the putrid stink of authoritarianism and fascism that we all had to endure for the better part of four years.
We must hold accountable the Trump leadership and their cohorts for the insufferable, blatant, arrogant crimes not only against immigrants and their children but against our nation and our nation’s people. I am thinking today of the brutal assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, I am thinking of Russian bounties on U.S. Soldiers, the Mueller Report, the Steele Dossier, the Impeachment of the President for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, namely his willingness to act against American Sovereignty by accepting Russian “help” in the 2016 election against then-candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the forced sterilization of immigrant women in detention facilities in our country which are crimes against humanity.
Then you have the demonization of American Journalists, the support of “Proud Boys” and other white nationalist organizations; you have the failure to condemn white supremacy, calling these people ‘good people’ after Charlottesville that claimed a protestor’s life, the Chinese Bank account, the refusal to release his tax returns, the massive amounts of debt Deutsche Bank is getting ready to call on, and calling our troops suckers and losers.
This is not a call for pettiness. This is not ‘prosecuting a political opponent’; this goes into the heart and soul of a nation governed by the rule of law. The Trump Presidency has strained the institutions of our country almost to the breaking point. Had it not been our founders’ brilliance in creating a ‘broken’ system of Checks and Balances, Trump would have succeeded in turning this country into an authoritarian state.
It has been the practice of the American Government in time’s past to insulate the American people from the big, black, book of “How fucked up things really are.” I do not think that ought to be the case in this regard. I know it isn’t good. I cannot imagine the chaos that must be in our government’s internal machinations after four years of mothballing by this administration. What foreign agency was able to gather American intelligence? Who else was involved? America deserves to know.
Again, not for pettiness, not for rubbing Republican’s face in it, but to, with sunlight, disinfect and cauterize the wounds created by Trump and to send a clear message to future attempts at overthrowing the United States Government by wannabe fascists, that the Wheels of Justice may turn slowly, but they turn. The weight of it is more than you can bear.
Let the American people see what they almost traded their rights as citizens for. Then we start to rebuild relationships across the aisle and dinner tables and state boundaries in this country.
Sure, we beat Fascism and the ghosts of the Confederacy without firing a single shot. America celebrated. The world joined in, but after every hard-fought war, there comes a time to hold people accountable. Justice, not simply American Justice, but Justice’s Justice demands this. And so, do I.