The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board
The election results are in people. And we’re feeling hopeful.
Hopeful because this was the biggest voter turnout in the last century, and that showed us the power of change belongs to us. This happened because of us.
People have been celebrating in the streets (stay safe from COVID-19, you guys), letting out giant signs of relief, posting emotional testimonials on social media about their joy and feeling validated in more ways than one.
But, in complicated and unpoetic fashion, our hope and joy comes with strings attached.
We can acknowledge this was a great step in the right direction. But, if we want to continue moving forward in that direction, we need to show up — for, like, the rest of our lives. That’s how democracy thrives.
Yes, we elected these candidates, and got rid of one that many of us were fed up with. But voting margins were razor thin.
If you asked any of your friends if they feel their one vote counts, now more than ever their answer will likely be a resounding yes. But, without tremendous voter turnouts by people of color, the LGBTQ community and other marginalized groups, this could’ve been a very different election cycle.
So accountability is going to be just as important going forward as it has been leading up to this point. Tough conversations need to continue to happen, we need to continue condemning hate and we need to educate ourselves by staying informed on issues that will be points in upcoming elections, not just the presidential one.
And it can’t just happen within our small circles, either. 2020 was a year filled with the people putting pressure on the government. With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in office, we need to make sure they follow through on the promises they’ve made.
After everything we’ve been through together, it’s time we have a president who does what the people say, rather than tell the people what to do as they push their own agenda.
If we’re going to do this, we need to get back to understanding that word — people.
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Biden has talked a lot about unity and people from both sides coming together to tackle problems that impact all of us. The rhetoric of Trump supporters being uneducated and inconsiderate that liberals love to push has got to stop. The numbers of white college graduates who voted for Trump or Biden were nearly even.
The more we push a narrative that doesn’t reflect that, the less power we have to come together. Those people will continue to feel misrepresented, which is what largely led to Trump getting elected in the first place.
And just because he’s out of office doesn’t mean that his most overzealous supporters will surrender their beliefs and join us. Biden has made it clear he doesn’t want to see the division that has existed among the American people for years, because progress requires a unified front. We should be on the same page, not reading completely different books.
Pat yourselves on the back, America — we did something amazing here. Do we still have a long way to go? Without a doubt.
But, whether we like it or not, we’re going into the future as one. So, let’s do everything we can to help each other get there … it’s going to be a long ride.