Except it isn’t really. After, I mean.
Even as states slowly release their ballot counts, the uncertainty will continue. Recounts will certainly be done. Unrest will certainly boil up. Already in Detroit, mobs are trying to interrupt ballot counting. This is not protest, this is illegal.
Regardless of outcome, I have a heavy heart knowing more than 60 million people voted for Trump. Who looked at the past four years – even the past one year, one month – and said, “More, please.”
These are my fellow Americans, and yet they represent the part that can and should be better: the racist, misogynistic, violent, white supremacist, xenophobic part.
I don’t know what it means to feel the need to say “perhaps individuals aren’t these things, but they represent those things.” Because I can’t do the mental gymnastics it takes to balance the equation that voting to uphold all those things doesn’t make someone complicit in all those things.
Yesterday, I spent more than 16 hours at a polling place near my neighborhood, greeting people as they came to drop off their ballots, to cast their votes. Parents let their kids drop the envelope into the box and I handed out extra “I Voted” stickers to them. Dogs were posed in front of the outdoor signage. One of our district Supervisors took selfies as he turned in his ballot. A German man and a Japanese woman were also working with me, as was a young student. As I walked around the neighborhood during my short breaks, I saw Biden/Harris signs in windows and people walking their dogs. I know that some of the ballots I saw as we were cleaning up had Trump marked. I couldn’t tell you who walked by me cast that ballot – everyone was cheerful and wearing a mask.
But days prior, a caravan of trucks waving Trump flags drove through the only city in Marin County that isn’t heavily white. That isn’t a coincidence.
So no, I’m not celebrating, but nor am I pessimistic. I’m tired. But so are a lot of people.
I will be meditating on my hope that the long game is one of remembering what it’s like to connect with our neighbors, to trust experts, to unite around a common crisis like climate, to take care of one another even if it means sacrificing a little bit. We don’t have a lot of time for some of this, but they aren’t issues that will change overnight, with one white man after another in charge.
Take care of yourselves, my friends. Here’s a cute dog photo to help.