I haven’t posted on here in a while because I’m not sure what I’m doing with this space anymore, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reflect on the historic moment the United States of America made yesterday with the election of Kamala Harris as Vice President-elect!
Four years ago, my world was shattered as I watched Hillary Clinton lose the election. I have followed politics for years, at one point even making it my college major, and I had been excited about elections before, but Hillary is someone I admire and when she announced her candidacy, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve waited for the day to watch a woman shatter through that glass ceiling at the highest level of office and I truly believed that Hillary would be the one to do it. Al Gore’s loss in 2000 hurt, especially because I became eligible to vote the following year and could not vote for one of my favorite politicians, but Hillary’s loss hurt me deeper than I could ever imagine an election could. Everything I stand for Hillary was fighting for and I knew that the changes I wanted to see happen in government would not be happening any time soon.
While that loss stung, we knew that in four years we would have a chance again and when Kamala announced she was running for President, the joy I felt when Hillary ran was back. Here again was a candidate who stands for everything I stand for, who has shown she has no problem fighting for everyone, maybe our time was coming again? And then I watched Kamala drop out of the race and that 2016 pain started to emerge again. I don’t classify myself as a Progressive Democrat even though I support some of their beliefs, I’ve always identified myself as a Liberal Democrat, but if a Progressive was at the top of our ticket, than they would have my support. When it was announced that Joe Biden would be our candidate, to me he seemed like the best compromise for all sides because he is someone who has served four decades in Washington, D.C., can work with both sides and most of all, shows care and compassion. Him picking Kamala made it an even better ticket for me.
I was worried on what the outcome of the election would be. I kept telling people I wanted to be positive when you would hear poll numbers, but after what happened in 2016, I couldn’t be. When my friend texted me yesterday at 11:30 a.m. to ask if I was seeing the same results she was seeing, I started crying. They were happy tears, because after four days, I could breathe again knowing that hope was returning to the White House.
In these past four years, I have watched as the values I stand for every day have been destroyed. I have lived in fear because I’m Jewish and work for a Jewish organization. When a president has Jewish family members, but does nothing to protect my religion, I have a huge problem. When he encourages his supporters to keep spewing their anti-Semitic remarks and does nothing to stop shooting in synagogues and bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers, I don’t see how he is trying to make America better. When evidence points to police clearly acting out of line to unarmed Black men and women and he then encourages his supporters to act out with more violence, that doesn’t seem like a president to me. When he goes out of his way to strip away every right of LGBTQ+, women, and every American who has health insurance or wants it with his Supreme Court picks, that isn’t what the leader of a country should be doing.
Joe and Kamala are coming in to a mess to fix and it is going to take time and who knows how many years, but I believe they are the best people for the job. I can’t even count the amount of times I cried yesterday thinking about the change that is going to happen on January 20, 2021. To witness history as the first Black and Asian woman becomes Vice President of the United States of America is incredible. My niece and nephew are twins and almost two years old and I texted my sister yesterday to say happy I am that my niece is growing up in a world where she can see she can be anything, that she is as much of an equal as her brother. I’m happy to watch Kamala’s husband Doug make history as not only the first second gentleman, but also the first Jew. We finally have a leadership team stepping foot into Washington, D.C. who between them and their families looks like America. It definitely is cause for celebration!