After-Election Thoughts

Thinking about what had happened yesterday… First, it still does not feel like it’s all over. Still can’t put my guards off. Still, I feel like – “is it really over?” 

Make no mistake, I know better than anybody that at large, it is not over. But the first obstacle on the way to normalcy is removed, and I still can’t internalize the feeling that I can let this anxiety go. 

Yesterday, when I listened to Kamala and Joe, I could not stop thinking about Obama’s speech twelve years ago. I remember this speech very well; I saved the recording and listened to it multiple times. In that speech, Obama practically laid down all he was going to do in the years to come, and he told his audience that there would be things they won’t like. I remember how people were getting angry at him at some point in his presidency and how he was often not understood. I am sure the same will happen with Joe, and I am mentally ready for that. 

There are even more chances that people will be unhappy. After all, he is a centrist. Yes, that was a calculated move; any candidate just a little bit further left could hardly win. Even Biden was called a socialist by the Trump supporters. But I can see how the left wing of the party could become unhappy with him pretty soon. Not like this is something new or avoidable. 

I also thought that this happiness was very different from happiness twelve years ago. Back then, it was excitement about great things that would come; it was “we will do so much better!” Now it is more like, “OK, now we can start rebuilding what is ruined, now we can start planning how to clean up this mess.” Happy thoughts, but at the same time, pretty sad thoughts. 

Like most people, I am thinking about how to approach bridging the Big Divide. Too many people whom I know personally voted for Trump. Too many people understand nothing about BLM, and worse – do not even want to try. I am torn between the feeling that I do not want to talk to people on the opposite side of the spectrum and that I need to talk to them because things won’t change otherwise. 

I am hopeful, and I worry, and I am relieved – all at the same time.

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