A rambling on Joe and Kamela's dominant win

Joe Biden Named President-Elect, Kamala Harris named Vice President-Elect |  CafeMom.com

The 2016 Presidential election was the first political cycle I took part in. Most of that was due to finally being of age, the rest of it was due to being an adult, paying bills, and soon becoming a father. How I engaged in that political cycle was such a whirlwind of emotion, pondering, and reading. It was excitement, letdown, and drive. It made me think HARD about how to be apart of the political sphere as a white Christian male in the south.

There were plenty of lessons I learned about engagement and activism. But what I mainly remember about it was the pit I had in my stomach as the night of November 3, 2016 went on. 

Hillary Clinton was the first political candidate I was invested in. She was the first political candidate that I was passionate about because of the things that I believed in that she also believed in, but more so for the things I believed in that she rejected. It was complicated and I liked that. 

In the aftermath of the election, a friend and I wrote "Fighting for What’s Right Is Worth It", a discussion about Clinton's run as the first female presidential candidate. In some ways, it was a reflection on her complicated run as a presidential candidate, but in other ways, it was a lethargic reflection on the first political cycle to sucker punch me.

Fast forward to 2018 with Stacey Abrams' devastating loss to Brian Kemp, and there was more political heartbreak. 

Life moves fast and the impact of events seems to linger longer and move fast, as much sense as that can make. The 2020 Presidential election flew into the forefront of life suddenly. With the COVID-19 pandemic devastating the world and the economy, it was tough to focus on the election at first.

Then all of a sudden, it was closing in.

Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris: Faculty share insights on selection of first  Black and Asian American woman for VP candidate | UCLA

One of the many things in 2020 that was key to our lives for many people was George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the mass protests over the systematic racism in the United States. Part of the reaction to that as a suburban white guy was listening and protesting, but it was also volunteering. Voting rights isn't necessarily a problem that persists where I live, but it was still something I wanted to influence. Voting for candidates who support voting and criminal justice reform is a key part of that, but I also wanted to be a poll worker and do anything I could to help long lines in elections. Again, where I live that isn't a problem, but you can't volunteer outside of your country, so we do what we can to contribute. 

Joe Biden wasn't my first or second choice to be on the ticket and run against Donald Trump. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were the two candidates I preferred and Warren was who I primaried for.

Nevertheless, Joe Biden was the man and Kamela Harris was the woman that I knew would give us the best chance to defeat Donald Trump and limp Mike Pence. 

Joe and Kamela's platform has plenty of problems with it. I don't think they've set a progressive enough agenda on climate change and criminal justice reform. I don't think the healthcare initiatives they've set forward are enough to tackle the income inequality issues that preside in healthcare and impact our most vulnerable in their most vulnerable moments. I don't think their immigration reform is severe enough. I don't think their criticism of our lack of representation in the courts is enough.

However, like with Hillary Clinton, I believe in their vision for the country and the sheer decency that each of them display in first opposition to the incompetent policy platform or lack thereof,  of Donald Trump. 

Fast forward yet again to the fourth day of the election, that Friday morning, when it finally felt like we could celebrate. Texting friends and dancing as Joe Biden took the lead in Georgia was one of the more special moments of this turbulent year. I always used to say, jokingly at the time, that my vote didn't matter because of the electoral college and living in Georgia. That was finally wrong.

I can't believe it took this long for a woman to be in the White House. I can't believe it took this long for a woman of color to be in the White House. Like Hannah and I wrote in 2016, Hillary paved the way for the future, and Kamela continues that for my daughter and people of color. 

Kamela's mother won't be here to watch her walk into the White House as the first woman and woman of color to do so. But wow I can't imagine how proud she would be. Her story is inspiring. Joe's story is inspiring. This is a night to celebrate Joe and Kamela winning. This is a night to celebrate making Donald Trump the first president to lose the popular vote twice, be impeached, and a one-term president all at once. The Venn diagram of incompetence and historical ineptitude.

After tonight, it's time to keep working to make American politics match the American electorate and provide for the most vulnerable people of this country need. But for a moment, politics feel tangible and worth it.