Dancing in the streets

History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme. 
Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)
Irish poet, playwright and translator
1995 Nobel Prize in Literature

This is a favorite Joe Biden poem, which I heard recited moments after he was announced President-Elect, on Saturday, November 7.

When I heard the news, at 8:25 that morning, I cried. I couldn’t stop crying. The feelings of relief, thankfulness, exhilaration, joy, were overwhelming. I had been waiting to exhale for months. Now, at last, we as a nation could do just that.

The street and neighborhood celebrations throughout the country showed me how many of us felt as I did and do. At the same time, I realize that, while 77 million Americans feel as I do, 72 million do not, are not celebrating, are frustrated in the way I’ve been for the last four years. 

I believe in the two-party system. I think it’s a good and necessary balance between political, social, and personal beliefs. Since Donald Trump’s election, the Republican party has become, in many ways, unrecognizable. Hopefully, it is still, in its essence, viable.

Throughout this election process, I’ve been cautiously optimistic. I hope we are able to get past whatever lies in store for us between now and January 20, when Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America.

The last four years were an aberration. I look forward to returning to an era in which qualified candidates engage in a fair fight for political ascendancy.

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