Man oh man. That was a very stressful week on top of a stressful year. 2020 is no freaking joke. I felt tension in my chest all week watching the election news slowly trickling in. We just found out this morning that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election and will be our next President and Vice President.
I’ve been ecstatic all morning. Crying, smiling, dancing, screaming, shimmying and shaking. It feels like such a RELIEF to be almost done with the Trump Presidency. And I am a white person. The accounts of people of color I follow were all in tears as they finally get to feel safer in their own skin. They will no longer have a President who garners the support of white supremacists and tells Proud Boys to “stand by.” Transgender people can feel safer without getting banned from participation in being a full citizen. Did you know that more trans folks have been violently murdered this year than any other year on record?? Muslims can take a breath of fresh air knowing they won’t be banned from America again. Immigrants will be able to stop looking over their shoulders wondering if another raid is coming. Victims of domestic violence can get their full protection back under the law. LGTBQ people can stop feeling under attack from the highest seats in office.
America can take a deep breath and step forward.
I found myself wanting to say “Thank God” that Trump has lost. But do you know what? I really don’t think God is all that invested in American politics. The God of the Universe, who has been around since before time began, who has seen thousands of empires rise and fall, rise and fall, isn’t American. God isn’t a republican or a democrat. God sees all of humanity, Americans, Middle Easterners, Africans, Europeans, Asians, Antarcticans? (scientists, haha) all as God’s beloved creation, as God’s children.
This God I believe in cares about all of humanity and wants to see everyone thriving and living lives of safety, joy and peace. I imagine that God is happy when we take steps in that direction. God has, for whatever reason, seemingly limited their power to working through the hands and feet of actual humans living on the planet at any given time. It’s up to us to push the needle forward, to make sure the long arc keeps bending toward justice, to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven here on this earth.
I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic to say the Trump Presidency was a clear step in the opposite direction from that glorious future. His constant bullying, ridiculing of people with different abilities, pettiness, xenophobia, closed arms and tight fists, selfishness, greed, and division revealed a lot of ugliness still present in humanity today, in white Americans in particular. White America is still the overwhelming majority group in this country, and we narrowly voted Trump in in 2016 and narrowly voted him out now. The forces of temptation, that want to hold tight to power, that act as if there isn’t enough prosperity and goodness to go around, as if we are splitting a pie and wanting to hoard the pieces; they are strong. The fear of change, the fear of humbling oneself in order to think of the greater good, the fear of the “other” is very real.
I’ve been fighting hard to maintain decency toward Trump supporters. I do believe that we are all trapped in a bad system, one that is overly binary with only two choices to pick from, and that cunning men have spent lots of years and lots of dollars manipulating voters to think that Christians should all be voting in one particular way. I’m hopeful that the messiness of the last few years will allow us to usher in some creativity and change. America hasn’t given ourselves an update in a while, and we’re overdo. Things were changed in the past (I literally learned that the VP used to be whoever got 2nd most voters from watching Hamilton!), and it seems high tide to adapt again to our current population and situations. Hopefully we can find a better way to vote, a better party system, and a way to better represent all of America’s diversity in Congress, Senate and the Supreme Court.
We’ve got work to do. And I think God is counting on us to do it. It is humanities’ job to be God’s hands and feet and to make this world a better place for ALL who dwell here. Godspeed.