Letter From the Election Issue Editor
Hope, hangovers, and some profanity.
I spent Saturday morning hungover and failing at getting work done. I involuntarily woke up at seven and couldn’t get back to sleep after a late night of festivities with my roommates. We took shots, danced, and talked—all in hopes of dulling the anxieties we all felt about the soon–to–be–announced outcome of the election.
Slumped over on our couch after the headache became too much, my phone buzzed as I attempted to take a short nap. It was my dad FaceTiming me, his camera pointed at the TV as CNN announced that they were projecting Joe Biden as the president–elect. It sounds fake, but almost immediately the hangover was gone. I knew Biden was going to win before that morning, with Trump’s pathways to the presidency narrowing as Biden’s widened thanks to vote drops from key swing states.
But I just needed the official confirmation to finally breathe. That’s the only way I can describe it, I could breathe again after four years. A collective weight was suddenly lifted off of so many Americans’ shoulders. I spent the rest of the day buzzed off of more alcohol and pure joy, jumping and driving through the streets of Philadelphia to YG and Nipsey Hussle’s "FDT."
While so many Americans like myself felt a weight lifted off of their shoulders, former Senator Rick Santorum stressed that there are millions of Americans who are equally as upset as I am happy.
And to that I say, fuck you.
Sure, there are tons of Americans who know no other way of life than the conservatism that is deeply ingrained in them. But I’m not spewing profanities at the people who have no other sources of education or perspectives. I’m spewing it at the racists who’ve called my dad a k*ke. I’m spewing it at the police officer who asked my Indian mom if she was a housekeeper in the home that she owned. I’m spewing it at every single person who voted for Donald Trump knowing that his rhetoric would continue to normalize their racism, xenophobia, homophobia, ableism, sexism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, or classism even further, as well as the people who don’t see themselves as embodying any of these hatreds, but still excused it to vote for him for another reason.
Sometimes people think I’m being dramatic when I say that this election took up as much time in therapy as that one unrequited love I had in high school. But the reality is that I had a lot banking on this election, and a lot of other people had way more banking on it too. So much was and still is at stake as we work to rebuild a country broken by a man who worships himself, dictators, and money.
For the first time in a long time, I am hopeful and excited. I know that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can’t solve all of our problems. But I’m so excited to be able to breathe again. And I know others are too.
I hope this issue communicates the excitement, fear, apprehension, and passion so many have felt and continue to feel. I hope you can sense how hard members of our community have worked to fight for what is right. But most importantly, I hope our work motivates you to continue that fight.
If there is one thing you take from this issue, now is not the time to become complacent, now is the time to get to work.
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