‘Biden’s victory struck a little glimmer of hope in me’: the view from Ohio
- Kennedy, a student at Ohio University, joined NQ for live coverage of the US election as results were counted
- Now, in a guest post for NQ from Athens, Ohio, she reflects on what the Biden victory means
- 'Celebrating Trump's loss rather than Biden's victory'
I, along with the rest of America, held my breath for four days as the votes were counted.
When it was announced that Joe Biden would be the President-Elect, I was finally able to exhale. That day, a blanket of relief covered my family and I. Celebrations erupted throughout the country and my hometown. However, I wasn’t celebrating a victory, but rather a loss. My first thought upon hearing about Biden’s victory was, “Trump is finally leaving.”
During the primary elections, like many people my age, I had my sights set on Bernie Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist who promised universal healthcare and college debt forgiveness for every American. Unfortunately, I would not get my way. The Democratic party would choose to nominate the safe option: Joe Biden, a seasoned former vice-president who would not turn off older democratic voters with twisted idealisations of socialism.
As Biden approached the podium during the night of his victory speech, his spry jog mimicked that of a fresh and youthful Obama during his 2008 presidential win. Though Biden’s victory is a welcomed change of pace from the last four years, his clear homage to the “Yes We Can” era ignited none of the same feelings of excitement or happiness in me as Obama’s first victory had.
From my television screen, I watched as confetti fell onto the stage and Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars,” blared from the speakers as Biden and Kamala Harris waved the American people goodnight. I went to bed feeling like I had won a consolation prize.
And, that’s ok.
It is ok because Biden is not Donald Trump, and for many Americans, that silver lining is something to cling to.
No, I am not expecting Biden to be a revolutionary. I did not vote for him because I believed he is going to remedy our broken healthcare system, restructure our unfair justice system, or dismantle the oppressive police presence that plagues our country. I am only expecting Biden to publicly condemn white supremacy, and to be competent.
I realise my brief list of demands seems like things that should be a pre-requisite to becoming President. My list is short because the former standards of the Presidential office are nothing but a faded memory in my mind.
Quite frankly, the bar is no longer on the floor, it is in hell.
Regardless of this, I believe that Biden will be the much-needed momentum to push our country in a different direction. I am positive that this movement will be slow, even Sisyphus in nature, at times. I do not expect to see any major differences during his presidency. However, I have to hold fast to the idea that there will be movement in the right direction, regardless of how seemingly insignificant.
I may seem naively optimistic through international lenses. I believe I have reason to be. Biden’s victory struck a little glimmer of hope in me. The win signifies that 77,926,591 Americans (and counting) will not tolerate racism, narcissism, and negligence any longer.
It means 77,926,591 (and counting) Americans still believe in progress.
And for me, that is my silver lining. It is a little something I can cling to.