A couple of nights ago, I Zoomed onto my bi-monthly Men’s Group Meeting expecting five uninterrupted minutes of shouted euphoria and folks pouring champagne over their computers. I was surprised to find that while all were unequivocally glad about the election’s results, so many were on the somber side looking at all that empty space in the half-full glass. I understood each point— the complete bewilderment that 70 million people thought “Yeah! I want four more years of that!,” the prospect of the Senate still singing along with Mitch, the shameless Supreme Court that reminded us that more women in positions of power is not a guarantee of more justice.
True as it all is, I found myself wanting to convince them to be happier. And then came out with five reasons why. Hope you find them useful.
1) Imagine if the Don had won. Without having to worry about re-election in 2024 and thinking the country just gave him further permission to do as he likes, imagine what havoc he would have wreaked. Hard to picture him more unleashed than he has been, but I think it would have been a rampage beyond our imagination. So simply stopping that disaster is reason enough for jubilation.
2) Yes, I'm as baffled and outraged and disgusted by the 70 million as anyone, but imagine all of THEM unleashed! Now they'll have to pull back a bit as the national mood shifts and I do believe that once weaned from sucking on his hateful tit, some will make better choices and feed some better parts of themselves. But whether or not, the difference between their hate and ignorance endorsed by the leader or refused by the leader is a massive difference. Like it or not—and now I like it a lot— the leader has enormous power to set the tone. It's a game changer.
3) Regardless of what happens in the Senate (still hope there!) or the Supreme Court (nice bi-partisan work with the ACA and yes, let's pack the sucker!), here's something none of us talked about. The removal of incompetents at every level of Cabinet appointments is an ENORMOUS victory!!!!! Fuck off, Betsy DeVos, Andrew Wheeler, Ben Carson and so many others. That's a HUGE game-changer.
4) The restoration of our place in the world community. The congratulations I received from people I know in Iran, the Ukraine, New Zealand, Germany, Iceland, Ghana, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Canada— just a sampling, there were more—was so uplifting and in the glass half full way, made me proud of the 75 million who refused to give up on our country. Means a lot to me to hold my head up a bit higher in my international community. And having turned back from autocratic rule, perhaps Brazil, Hungary, Poland and beyond may follow our lead.
5) The switch from defense to offense, from constantly re-acting to constantly pro-acting, shifts the entire mood of the nation. I think it will take a while to fully fathom how we took into our bodies that shoulders-up hands-out defensive posture, steeled ourselves most every day for the next outrage, felt our hope and faith in humanity get hacked away at relentlessly without pause. When he's gone—and hopefully in jail—I think many who fed on that energy will also start to feel some strange kind of relief, like when that weird uncle leaves the dinner party and everyone can start to enjoy themselves again. He just took up so much of the breathable air, with the support of the shameless news who just needed to get people to watch or read (and he was good for that). Whether it's jail or not (Oh God, I hope so!), just seeing his name on page 15 of the news instead of the headlines will change everything.
And one bonus point to consider. We know so much more than we did when Obama was elected. We know that the Republican Party has no interest in uniting and so I hope the ruling Democrats have no naïve intention to invite them unless they sincerely make an offer. We know that they’ll be working furiously to keep gerrymandering to skew future votes, double their Fox News efforts to lie and spread fear and discredit the Democrats. We know that we, the people, cannot relax and leave it up to Biden and Harris, that we all need to commit to keep riding the political blue wave all the way to the shore of liberty and justice for all. We’ve learned a lot.
Add them all up and I think there is indeed just cause for jubilation.