November 9, 2020
Congratulations to President-Elect Joseph Robinette Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Devi Harris! Yes, yes, yes!
What a year. What a battle. What a win.
CNN called Joe Biden the winner at 11:24 on Saturday, November 7, 2020. Thank God. After days of waiting with little sleep, anxiety, adrenaline, and fear, waves of emotion washed over me as images, numbers, and percentages flashed across the TV screen. We’d won. Yet fear and the painful memory of 2016 plagued me—was it real? Had we really won? I couldn’t bear another defeat, not by this president. Not by one who’d done so much damage, and caused so much fear, death, and division during a global pandemic. I sat motionless for a few minutes.
It was real. I opened the front door of my home in a very red state and yelled, “We did it!”. I wondered when my neighbors would take down their trump flag. I watched more election returns and wept tears of joy, relief, and hope as the celebrations erupted in NYC and in Washington, DC.
My cell phone started ringing and pinging with text alerts. My friend and fellow Boricua, Norma Burgos, Facetime’d me from Puerto Rico with several of her good friends. We whooped and hollered and blew kisses to each other. My son and his girlfriend called from Bangkok. We could hardly hear each other as we shared our joy and relief with each other. My daughter, a mental health therapist, had back-to-back sessions on Saturday, so we didn’t share until later in the day, but I knew she and her boyfriend were ecstatic and relieved.
An hour later, I couldn’t shake the sadness. Sadness because the race was so damn close. Too damn close. But I pushed those feelings aside. A celebration was in order.
Victory! Former Vice President Joe Biden became President-Elect Joe Biden. Americans spoke with their votes and hard work. We proudly share in the victory, which wouldn’t have been possible without women of color. Period. Joe Biden, a decent, empathic, compassionate man, was the only man who could have defeated trump. It was his time, his destiny to win, and to lead this country during and God help us, after the global novel coronavirus pandemic. To be sure, it’s an overwhelming and heavy responsibility—Joe and Kamala are more than ready and equipped for the challenge.
Senator Kamala Devi Harris became the first black person, first woman, first Asian American woman elected to the office of Vice President of the United States. Holy shit, it finally happened—Harris shattered the glass ceiling. She achieved what I’d prayed Hillary Clinton could do in 2016. Bravo! Harris was a formidable running mate. She is an exceptional woman. I cheered for her, for all women, young women and little girls. This was a long, long, long overdue victory.
Of course, I thought of Hillary Clinton and the millions of women who’d fought so hard for her. But I couldn’t go there. The last four years have been stressful as hell. Traumatic and stressful. Trump and the Senate GOP attacked American citizens. Our institutions. They attacked our democracy. Americans died and millions of Americans have lost their jobs, their homes, and their hope. Migrant children are still in jails across this country. I won’t forget.
The last four years often felt like a battle between good and evil. Between sane actions and behavior and inhumane treatment of human beings. Dramatic, but true.
If anyone had/has any doubt over the deep divisions in our country, the numbers speak loud and clear. We are a divided nation. We distrust each other. We don’t understand each other.
Van Jones, an analyst on CNN, said it best, “It’s easier to be a parent this morning. It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids character matters. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters … For a lot of people it’s a good day.”
What about healing this country? Coming together as Americans, as a country? Get out of here with that healing stuff. It’s too soon. I don’t have a clue how we will heal and what that will look like.
Has trump called to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris? Has trump conceded and promised a fair and smooth transfer of power? No, he hasn’t. Is he still pouring gasoline on the flames? YES, he is. A few minutes ago, trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Why?
Healing our differences. I can’t go there today. Maybe after January 20, 2121. Today, I rejoice and rest, donate and support Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia for the two seats we need to win the Senate.
No, we didn’t get the blue wave we’d hoped for, but I don’t care. Quit pointing fingers. We won. They lost.
Stay safe. Wear your mask. 71 days to go. Here we go.
Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the multi-award-winning author of the best-selling novel, A DECENT WOMAN, a novel set in 1900 Puerto Rico, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor is writing her second novel, THE LAMENTS, set in 1926 Puerto Rico and continues to work on her poetry collection. She lives with a sweet Chihuahua named Sophie and dreams of returning to the island of her birth as soon as humanly possible.