In case you haven’t heard, something good happened yesterday.
Though I’m sure the celebratory car horns and general jubilee may have tipped you off.
It is a rare thing to witness a special moment and so when it comes around it is important to take a second and appreciate it for what it is.
On Saturday evening November 7th 2020 Joe Biden assumed the mantle of President-Elect and accepted the job bestowed upon him by the American people.
Earlier that day after nearly a week of counting, the AP and other news organizations called the Pennsylvania election giving then Vice President Biden 20 more electoral votes and sending him past the 270 threshold needed to be the next president.
With that announcement, there was a palpable sense of joy and a collective sigh of relief.
Cities erupted into mass celebrations.
Not just here.
Church bells rang in Paris.
They celebrated in Ireland.
Congratulations came from leaders around the world.
And in this, America would not be outdone as cities around the country shared in a collective moment of jocularity.
New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia and many others sang and danced in the streets. Washington D.C. erupted into an appropriate chorus of “Hey, Hey, Goodbye” just outside the White House.
The same White House that will now stand for hope, change, and common decency rather than division and hate.
The festivities around the country and around the world signaling what so many felt yesterday.
Something good is happening here.
As much as it a sign of looking forward it was a rebuke of the past four years. Yesterday was a culmination of a movement to be better. Yes the old ship that is the American Experiment creaked and groaned and weathered a few storms, but it did not sink and now 74 million people came together to make their voices heard. They righted the ship and charted a new course.
Most importantly it gave us a chance.
To codify the values we hold so dear and etch further into stone the message we wish to convey and that is that good will win out in the end. That we may have strayed from the path but we didn’t lose our way.
Last night President-Elect Joe Biden put an exclamation point on a glorious day.
This is not to forget that there was another reason to celebrate the moment, as Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris took her place in history as the first woman to be elected to the Vice Presidency, as well as being the first woman of color and the first child immigrants to hold so high an office.
She highlighted that democracy is not a static thing but something that must be constantly maintained,
“Congressman John Lewis before his passing wrote ‘Democracy is not a state, it is an act.’ And what he meant was that America’s democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it,” Harris said. “And when our very democracy was on the ballot in this election — with the very soul of America at stake and the world watching — you ushered in a new day for America.”
Not to be outdone, Joe Biden took the stage and embraced his role as a unifying force, someone seeking to bring people together instead of pulling them apart.
A nation in the midst of a pandemic saw someone vowing to take charge of slowing the virus down and easing its grip on the country. Instead of sowing discord and vitriol and raging against people taking steps to keep the country safe, President-Elect Biden assured the people that he would be appointing scientists and experts to combat the plague.
We now have a calm hand on the tiller. There’s an adult in charge.
I saw my grandmother cry because she finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel after being cloistered in her home for months. She got to see someone taking charge of the situation and that one day she would get to hug her children and grandchildren once again.
My little brother is a teacher. I saw a man vow to protect educators and to make their lives better. To help them as they try to teach our youth instead of stripping them of the tools they need. I will sleep sounder knowing the future President has his back.
I got to see my little sister witness a woman get one step closer to becoming President. The glass ceiling may not yet be broken but it grows thinner and more brittle every day.
The sun shown a little brighter.
November gave a little break from the cold. I saw smiles and hugs. Laughter and joy.
A nation coming back together.
It was a good day yesterday.
And I’m sure they are more to come.