Congratulations, You Voted

This article is courtesy of Marlon Calliste:

We should be very frustrated about the results of this year’s election. We were gifted a once in a lifetime opportunity to beat back fascism, an opportunity to clean the planet up, a chance to save lives, and we’re just going to squeak over the line while promising no fundamental changes to the system that got us here. 

The Issues

It should have never been this close. Biden was hand picked to win over (white) moderates of all kinds, and those mythical moderates ended up voting for Trump to the tune of 70 million votes. Let that sink in — Trump, despite spending three-fourths of this year shooting himself in the foot and “mishandling” any and every crisis — has 70 million votes. That should never have happened. Why did Democrats run a man and a platform that promised absolutely nothing but a return to “normalcy”? How did they expect that to win over people? What even is “normalcy” these days? I feel bad for the folks who earnestly bought into this mission. 

I feel bad for the people experiencing homelessness in the nation’s capital living under the care of a mayor who cares more about vanity projects aimed at throwing shade at the President than actually improving lives in her city. 

I feel bad for the West Virginian suffering through the opioid crisis and a horrific recession but being so turned off by Biden that they vote for the guy who has done nothing but strip away their healthcare and outsource their jobs. 

I feel bad for the Mississippi grandmothers dying from sweltering heat waves yet seeing an administration who refuses to adequately fight climate change. Instead, claiming they won’t support a Green New Deal and will continue to frack all over the United States. 

I feel bad for the Californian gig workers who voted so overwhelmingly Democrat that it wasn’t even a question which column California was even going into, yet watched as their labors rights were further restricted with the passage of Proposition 22 — a proposition that classified Uber and Lyft drivers are contract workers, not employees, thus denying them access to basic rights such as employer covered benefits and overtime pay. How can such a basic violation of labor rights happen in one of the most liberal states?

Changes Coming?

We did it, we stopped the freefall into fascism. We voted out an absolutely disgusting human being, a man more concerned with his own image than anything else. But at no point did we inspire hope, confidence, or dreams. At no point did we describe a better future. At no point did we say to children “You will grow up on a planet that isn’t falling apart at the seams. That isn’t melting down around you”. Millions of people risked their health knocking on doors, spent their last dollars donating to campaigns across the country, organized their communities in a desperate attempt to stop this backslide. And their reward for this hardwork is a candidate who once promised his large donors “nothing will fundamentally change”.

We spent the whole summer with cities on fire as black and brown people died in the streets. We spent the whole spring watching cities turn to ghost towns as the wealthy fled and the poor died. And Biden is who we put up? The poor, the downtrodden, the wretched of the earth endured a year of absolute torture and still rallied their communities to do the “right” thing, and what do they get for that? A man who will not commit to decreasing funding or overhauling the police. A man who will continue expand the apartheid healthcare system by prioritizing the health of those who have over the health of those who have not.

Biden will better handle the pandemic, sure. But the planet will continue to burn as Biden continues to frack and thousands will continue to die as he continues to serve the healthcare industry. This simply cannot continue. We simply cannot continue to have elected officials who are more concerned with their donors and campaign contributors that they ignore the plight of the common person until the very last second. The planet is dying. WE are dying. And because of that we deserve so much more. 

Allow me to be dramatic for a minute. This election was a referendum on the democratic party, on democracy, on capitalism, on America: can we continue to live in such a society, where the gap between the rich and poor INCREASED during a pandemic? Can we continue to live in a society where black people are killed in the street for sport? Can we continue to live in a society where millions of young folks are carrying around debt, debt so crushing it’s impossible for them to imagine a future without it? Can we continue to live in a society that so clearly does not care about supporting anyone, but instead just pits us all against each other, fighting over scraps of resources while the rich laugh and gorge themselves?

And instead of passing this test with flying colors, we are going to get a 75, with 10 points coming from the bonus questions. Pathetic.

Black mothers will continue to watch their children be murdered on national news, step outside and die at alarming rates from this pandemic, and then whoever is still alive will be tasked with organizing their communities to turnout and win the presidency for a milquetoast man who will pay with lip service. They deserve so much more. We all deserve so much more.

We should all be asking for an earnest attempt to fundamentally improve SOME piece of Americans’ lives, not tread water. People are dying in the streets, the planet is literally on fire. There is neither policy too bold nor position too radical to be adopted right now. We may have stopped the freefall into fascism, but everything is still all on the line. In 4 years time, Dan Crenshaw or Tom Cotton or someone increasingly vile but with more decorum than Trump is going to run for the presidency and then we’ll be right back where we started: shocked that this could happen to us, not realizing that this is how the system was meant to operate, has always operated, and will continue to operate.  

So we should all be disappointed, all be furious, all be cynical. This is our lives and futures, and we have to feel this way if we want to make it out of this alive. 

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