After four years of writing opinion pieces, signing petitions, participating in marches and protest, we finally got the chance to have our say. In the largest election participation in history, we’ve returned the presidency to Democratic control.
Four years ago, I was traveling by train with my daughter to say, “See you in the morning,” to one of my younger sisters, who had transitioned. Because of the poor internet service on the train, it was not until the next morning that I learned that Donald Trump had won the presidential election. Even then, I knew we would be in for some challenging days, but I doubt that any of us knew how really awful Donald Trump would be as president.
As it drew closer to election day 2020, my emotions went from hopeful to trepidation. The most obtuse person should have been able to admit how truly awful Donald Trump’s administration has been; it seemed the crazier he talked, the more his base bought into it.
The return to the campaign trail of former President Barack Obama was pure delight. His charm, humor, intellect, and surgical take down of the Trump presidency was masterful. And no one can get under Trump’s skin like Barack Obama.
According to David Axelrod, Obama’s return to the campaign trail was not as a personal grudge match, but because he viewed it as an existential matter for the country and for democracy.
The failure of Trump’s presidency could not have been made any clearer, then when Obama said, “I get that this president wants full credit for the economy that he inherited and zero blame for the pandemic he ignored.” He continued on to say, “The job doesn’t work that way; tweeting at the television doesn’t fix things. Making stuff up doesn’t make lives better. You’ve got to have a plan.”
Donald Trump came into the office of president with one plan, to dismantle any and every policy attributed to the Obama Administration. We all have been adversely affected by his vindictive moves. The fact that Trump dismantled the National Security Council Pandemic Preparedness Unit established in 2015 by the Obama administration is why nearly 240,000 Americans have died from the Coronavirus.
A Stanford University study has linked Trump campaign rallies between June 20th to September 30th with causing 30,000 people to become infected with Covid-19 and with 700 subsequent deaths. Since October 30th, the United States added over 100,000 new Covid19 cases every day. Yet the president continued to lie daily on the campaign trail, that we had turned the corner on the virus, and that a vaccine was ready and would be announced within weeks.
Doing this election cycle, we learned that Donald Trump paid a total of $750 in federal income tax in the years 2016 and 2017. In the prior ten years, he paid no federal income tax. We also discovered that Trump has a secret bank account in China.
There are 540 immigrant children separated from their parents, who the Trump administration has no idea how to reunite with their families. The parents were deported without their children.
On November 10th, in the middle of the worse pandemic in 100-years, the Trump administration will be arguing in front of the Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. If the ACA law is repealed, it will cause 20-million Americans to lose their health insurance coverage.
We have witnessed that whenever Donald Trump felt insulted or slighted, it affected how the government responded to issues. Whether it was in foreign policy matters or when Puerto Rico went for months without adequate support after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. States with Democratic governors have received less Covid-19 support than their Republican counterparts.
The Trump administration’s refusal to believe in science or trust in the guidance of doctors has increased the damaging effects of climate change. Racial tension is at an all-time high with the emboldening of domestic terrorist. A global pandemic has been politicized by this administration, and a weak economy is on the verge of becoming a recession.
Although over 70 million Americans voted to retain Donald Trump as president, I am hopeful! Because over 74 million voted to choose hope over hate. In 74-days, the Biden administration will be installed. Biden promises a federal plan to combat the global pandemic and to provide adequate support to the states and all of its citizens.
As president, Joe Biden will do the work necessary to help the American people. Soon we all will be able to exhale. However, as we work to heal as a nation, we cannot return to the status quo.
We are better than what we’ve been these last 4-years. This land of immigrants must again open our doors to those seeking a better way of life. We must again be intentional about reversing climate change. We must return to our place of leadership as part of the global community, leading by example and not intimidation. We must seriously work on criminal justice reform, reimagining how policing should be done in all our communities. And we must work to make sure that the color of our skin or the zip codes we live in doesn’t prohibit us from reaching our fullest potential.
As the saying goes, when we know better, we must do better!