We had an election. The chips fell, as they say. One guy didn’t win. That’s how elections go. There’s a person who wins and a person who doesn’t.
In this particular election, a guy named Donald Trump is the one who didn’t win.
Countless state and federal courts presided over by judges that he personally installed, including the newly minted Amy Coney Barrett and other relative newbie Brett Kavanaugh, dismissed his claims that the election was fraudulent. Countless state voting officials and attorneys from the Republican party also dismissed his claims. His own people, who stand to gain the most by a victory in his favor, denied his claims. There just wasn’t any proof.
He just lost. It happens.
So protest. Be angry and disappointed if the election leaves you afraid that the country is not going to go in the direction you want. Democracy doesn’t always go “our way.” It certainly didn’t go my way in 2016. When my vote felt like it didn’t count, I knitted a pink hat and marched peacefully. Then I worked in my local community, without a gun, without vandalizing federal property, without endangering the public or public safety officers. I did what engaged citizens of a democracy do… and then I voted again in November.
If you are clinging to the idea that the election was stolen, I wonder how you interpret the number of people “on Trump’s side” who said that the election was legitimate? Who said, “I wish this wasn’t true, but it really just looks like democracy worked; and this time it didn’t work in our favor.”
If you’re angry that Joe Biden will become America’s president later this month, tell me that you’re angry because Black and Brown people are going to be in positions of power in the new administration and you don’t want that. Tell me that you don’t like trans people and gay people and women being in positions of influence. Tell me you miss the good old days when men cast the only ballot in their respective households and women did what they were told. Tell me that you want a white America with unfettered access to guns and unlimited (but not Socialist) health care to treat the chronic conditions with which you and your loved ones live but that you want to be sure that this health care is not available to lazy and entitled Black and Brown people. Tell me that you think the government is better suited to tell women how to manage their bodies than the women who own those bodies. Tell me that you’re sick of voting because real democracy is too hard. Tell me that the greatness of America lies in its expert, systemic ability to marginalize people who aren’t white and male and straight. I want you to say that the Great America that you miss is a place that makes itself unwelcoming to people from other nations and cultures. Tell me that you believe that these are the things that make this nation great; the things that you will die to preserve. That’s your right in this free country and that would an honest statement. And none of us can really move forward as long as we keep lying about the meat of this.
Just do us all a favor and stop pretending that this is about election systems and voting machines and lost ballots or fraudulent electors. Your guy lost. You’re angry and sad. I think every single one of us can get behind that feeling.
It sucks when your guy loses.
And it happens.
Cry in your beer and then get to work. That’s democracy.