I Am Biden’s America

I woke up yesterday to the sound of honking and shouting, looked at my phone, saw Biden had won, and tried to go back to sleep. God, I did not give a fuck. But this is what I get for deciding to live in a fancy, white, liberal enclave: I get to be bothered by white, liberal bullshit.

Is this what we did when Obama was elected? If anything, I think I was more thrilled by Obama’s election than by Trump’s defeat. I don’t remember people honking and crying and dancing in the streets. Maybe that’s because I didn’t have the same level of Internet access in 2008 as I do in 2020. But I do remember talking to my black friend the night of Obama’s election. He wasn’t celebrating, and when I asked why, he responded, “Do you think that this changes anything?” God, I felt incredibly naive because he was right – eight years later, a white supremacist would take the White House. Which is how I feel today: to celebrate a Biden victory is incredibly naive. It doesn’t change anything for the people who need change the most. It only changes things for those of us who are privileged enough to be bothered by presidential politics but still relatively unaffected in our day to day quality of life.

If I’m entirely honest, I can’t think of a single Trump policy that has had a negative impact on my life. Sure, the culture of Trump’s America was a fucking bummer. I didn’t like the kids in cages, I didn’t like the hysterectomies at ICE facilities, I didn’t like the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, I didn’t like the new tax structure, I didn’t like pulling out of the Paris Accord or WHO, I didn’t like Betsy Devos’s take on Title IX, I didn’t like the trade wars, I didn’t like the stimulus package, I didn’t like the coronavirus response. Yes, these things might impact my life for years to come, but the fact of the matter is I am too privileged to understand the extent of what the Trump Presidency did to this country. Which also means I probably won’t be able to understand the impact of the future Biden Presidency.

Yes, I think it’s cool that a mixed race black and Asian woman from Oakland is the new vice president. I believe that she will be a competent leader and that she will pave the way for other women like me to rise in power in America. However, as a feminist I have learned that just because I support women rising into positions of power doesn’t mean that I have to like them or agree with them. From an intersectional feminist perspective, this is great! From a political perspective, it’s more of the same but in a package that is trying to convince me that I should forget about my political convictions and stand by my feminist beliefs.

There are some things I’m going to miss about Trump’s America. It felt real for everybody. The stakes were high for everybody. We all had to fight. And we fought together. We were side by side in the trenches because even though some of us are too privileged to really understand the full scope of the fight, we knew we had to fight. We knew that without unity and resistance, it would be a quick backslide into fascism. We refused to let that happen, and in that refusal we rediscovered what we wanted America to mean and what we wanted America to stand for. We all saw the ugly underbelly of America. We watched in horror together as the real racism of America reared its ugly head, unfettered and unashamed to be called by its own name. For some people, it was their first time seeing it. For others, it was the same beast it had always been, just pumped up on the steroids of electoral victory. But we fought it together. We didn’t win, but for a moment in time we fought together.

A Biden victory means a return to complacency. For too many people, the war is over. But it’s sham. The war isn’t over. The enemy hasn’t been defeated. The enemy has been unseated, but electoral victory doesn’t change the fundamental system that allowed all of this to happen in the first place. It doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again. Not exactly like this, but it in some newer, more clever fashion. Perhaps it has already happened, and we just don’t know it yet. Which is why I’m not dancing in the streets. I dance in the streets whenever the fuck I feel like it, but for presidential politics? I think not. I’m just going to curl up in a ball and hide inside of my radical ideals and antifascist fantasies. I would dance in the street for his head on a spike, but anything less than that warrants another lazy Sunday, in bed watching TV, drinking tea, and being the apathetic American I always have been and always will be.

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