This week has been a proper rollercoaster of emotions. I had so much hope for a Biden win, but I didn’t dare hope. Hate is often stronger than love. I remember being so devastated when Hilary lost 4 years ago. I had to stop watching the news at the time as it was so anxiety-provoking.
This week I have been glued to the news. I woke up on 4th November and was so very sad to see so many people had voted for Trump. In my head, I thought this would happen, but my heart was breaking as I hoped it wouldn’t. This week I have been constantly checking Twitter - like it was a baby monitor and I was checking on America. Joe Biden kept saying keep the faith, and I wanted it to be true.
I had read Mary Trump’s book in the summer, where she talked about how her family created the world’s most dangerous man. This is such an interesting perspective, herself a Clinical Psychologist and witness to her family. Granted, her brother, her mum and Mary have been wronged, so there is likely to be some bitterness there, however it was such a balanced account of her experience.
I consider myself a highly empathetic person, and I get why he has turned out the way he has. Not enough love or care and the wrong behaviours being rewarded as a child has meant that he has no empathy or compassion for anyone but himself. He will never admit he is wrong, he will never apologise and he will never concede. The only world he knows is full of people for him, and people against him, “winners” and “losers”. Nobody has ever been as good as him. Nobody’s ego has ever been as fragile.
When I was growing up, America led the world. We looked to them for leadership. I was desperate to live there for a bit, so aged 21 I was delighted to go and live and work in San Diego for 4 months. I always thought I would go back and live there for a bit, but it became less appealing. The individualistic nature of its citizens always worried me, the fact they have yet to solve mass shootings in schools.
I was watching CNN yesterday when three thousand votes came in. I screamed that this took Biden .5% ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania and CNN called the election for Joe and Kamala. And I then burst into tears. I didn’t realise how much relief I had. How much despair I had carried around with me for 4 years.
When Van Jones broke down in tears on CNN, I felt his pain in every word. “It’s easier to be a parent this morning. It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids character matters, telling the truth matters, being a good person matters. And it’s easier for a whole lot of people,” he said. A win for decency and fairness.
As a parent, it has been a difficult 4 years. Explaining to my son that Trump’s behaviour is not right. It is not acceptable. The bullying and harassment, the blame, divisive language, racism, sexism, misogyny, the cruelty, the lies. The complete and utter lack of compassion and decency. This is not a man I would want to be a role model for my child. It’s never acceptable to brag about grabbing women by the pussy.
America’s leadership casts a massive shadow over the world. Watching the speeches made by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this weekend was akin to the speech made by the president at the end of Independence Day when they had rid the world of aliens. I don’t envy the mess they have to clean up, the country they have to unite.
I’ve repeated to myself throughout this week, Michelle Obama’s words “they go low, you go high”. Joe and Kamala clearly live by these words. At last, some real role models to look up to.
Let’s hope for a peaceful transfer of power. Now is a time to heal America. And hopefully us in the UK too. At least our government now thinks feeding children is important… so that’s a start.