The excruciating suspense is finally over. Major media outlets just called the race in Pennsylvania and, as a consequence, the whole election for Joe Biden. Crossing over the magical threshold of 270 electoral votes, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next President and Vice President of the United States.
To be honest, I can’t put into words how I felt right now. In 2016, I came to the US, hoping that I could build a better life for myself. It took a massive beating on November 8th, 2016 when Donald Trump won the election because he had been campaigning on the hard-line anti-immigration policies. The past four years was nothing but easy. On multiple occasions, the administration put forward proposal after proposal to make it harder for immigrants like me to find a job and to be on our path towards citizenship. Imagine that you worked hard for years towards a goal and only had it yanked away because somebody woke up one day with a new idea. There is no price tag to put on the uncertainty and worry that immigrants like me have had to endure during Trump’s administration so far.
Then I watched the Election Day on Tuesday. I knew it would be a tight race, but I didn’t expect it to go the way it did. Trump outperformed the expectation. I watched in horror what was unfolding on my laptop. I almost cried. I was in disbelief on how so many could vote for Trump after all he has done and in complete shock as to what to do if Trump actually won. I couldn’t work effectively the rest of the week as I was following closely every update from the states. I don’t think any of my friends could either. The mood was better on Wednesday when Biden’s chance became clearer and it was pretty much obvious that Biden would win the election, barring official confirmations. After a few days of brutal suspense, finally the moment was here. The best I can say is a huge relief mixed with hope.
Whatever happens in the next four years remains to be seen, but one thing almost certain is that Biden will restore decency, certainty in policies, reputation among our allies, humanity and respect to the American institutions; all of which have been severely torched and evaporated by Trump and his enablers in the last few years. To be clear, it won’t be easy. The country is more divided than ever before. The pandemic is rampant with a new daily case tally every day north of 100,000. The people need help. And the Republicans in Congress, particularly the Senate, already signaled that they would not let Biden appoint who he likes. The road won’t be smooth and easy, but at least now that there is light at the end of the tunnel. At least now America has a chance at redemption.
There is something I want to call out here. This week, the whole world has been consumed with the US election. You don’t see this phenomenon with elections from UK, Canada, China, Russia or Germany. Even the people that don’t have anything directly at stakes paid attention to this election and followed every update. That’s the power of America. That’s how the world views America. Even though some may say that only America proclaims itself as “beacon of hope”, there is some truth to that. There is a reason why millions yearn to come to America every year. I recently read this about comedian John Oliver voting in America for the first time
“Standing in line, I thought maybe this will be it and I didn’t feel it,” he continued. “Giving them my name and getting the ballot, I didn’t feel it. Scanning it into the machine and the machine saying, ‘Your vote has been counted,’ I nearly burst into tears. That is the truth. My eyes got misty. I thought, ‘I don’t know if I can cry in a voting station.'”Source: People.com
I completely feel him. I am not a citizen yet, but I almost cried after the news broke. I have stopped writing this a few times, to check the news if this is all true. Despite all its faults, America is loved by many. I love this country even when I criticized it before. That’s why it has hurt so much the past four years under this administration. And I don’t think I am even close to being alone in this
The nightmare is about to end. We can start rebuilding this country. On top of that, we’ll have the first ever female Vice President and the first African & Asian American Female Vice President at that. It’s hard to believe that almost 250 years after its foundation, this is the first time it happened in America, but I’ll take it.
Time for celebration. At least there is finally some great news in 2020. Have a nice weekend everyone!