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November 7, 2020

Democrats, Now Ain’t The Time For Gloating.

*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.

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My fellow lefties.

Yes, you. And you, and you. All of us “libtards” far and wide.

We gotta stop it, guys. Stop the posting of dismissive “revenge memes” mocking Trump supporters‘ sorrow right now.

Yes, we can celebrate—but not with “Suck it, Trumpers!” comments, gloating a Biden victory over Trump loyalists with the intent to demean.

It ain’t helping us.

And by “us,” I mean “America.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m pretty glad Biden has won this thing, too. (Maybe even more so for Kamala as VP!) And we’re allowed to celebrate. But, let’s do it with class.

And yes, Trump supporters rubbed it in our faces pretty hard when our hopes were dashed four years ago. But doing the same now isn’t going to help us tackle the much more important goal ahead: getting America united again.

Because we’re pretty far apart right now. And that’s pretty sad for a country seen as the beacon of freedom around the world. If we’re really the “when they go low, we go high” party, then we need to prove that now more than ever. 

And I get that democrats feel like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption, having just escaped prison right now. (Millennials: it’s a great movie about triumph over unjust imprisonment. Check it out!)

I, too, have been horrified at the 22,000-plus lies Trump has told during his days in office.

I’m disheartened by how he’s emboldened white nationalists, racists, and “militia” members (who are really just white male terrorists) to attack Blacks and Mexicans, spit on Asians, plot to kidnap the female governor of Michigan, and surround Biden’s bus and nearly run it off the road.

I’m alarmed at how he’s eroded our country’s efforts to be more environmentally responsible, and even installed the CEO of an oil company as the head of the EPA.

I’m shocked at his efforts to install biased and morally-compromised judges in our supreme courts in order to roll back Roe v. Wade and other rulings we hold sacred in this country.

To say nothing of his bribing porn stars with hush money, his impeachment for his dealings with Russia, the fact that eight of his top aids have been convicted or are in prison, and the 283 days he’s spent on the golf course, costing Americans an estimated $143 million

He’s been a national embarrassment even back when he was just a failed building developer who went bankrupt four to six times, was sued 3,500 times, and could only get a job on a fake reality TV show.

But the thing is, he’s at least tapped an outrage and a feeling of disenfranchisement in this country that we all need to listen to.

Because, even if we don’t like that their frustrations led them to elect Trump, we still need to listen to the fact that they feel frustrated and unheard in this country.

Sure, some might just be privileged white males who were born on third base and are infuriated they weren’t awarded a home run. But many are just honest, hardworking folks for whom “playing by the rules” and paying their taxes and going along with the status quo hasn’t worked out so well for them.

Whether it’s just not being able to get ahead, not being able to afford quality healthcare, not being able to afford college education for their kids, or not even being able to get a job or career that gives them a sense of meaning, we need to hear one thing loud and clear:

“America” hasn’t been working out so well for a lot of people.

Maybe, some of that’s republicans’ fault, but probably a fair bit of it is democrats’ fault, too.

Any mature democrat can admit that Obama’s presidency wasn’t perfect, and neither was Clinton’s. (We have to remember he was impeached as well, guys. And fought it like crazy.)

So, before we go dancing on the grave of Trump’s presidency (and Trump’s yet to concede, so remember when we also thought Cavanaugh wouldn’t get confirmed?), let’s all just have some empathy for a second.

Tons who voted for Trump just wanted a better life for themselves, same as us. And they thought Trump might deliver it. Even if mistaken, they thought he would actually fight for the little guy.

Unfortunately, it turned out Trump wasn’t actually a billionaire, only ran for president because he just wanted attention, and ultimately, just gave a tax break to corporations and the 1 percent, lost 237,000 jobs to overseas, got impeached, and saw all of his top aids go to prison. (And the list goes on.)

But kicking dirt in his supporters’ faces will only make them angrier—if they had little hope before, they’ve got even less now.

They’ve been told everything we say is lies, that we’re all just fake news. Cruelty from us won’t help. Seventy million voted for him because they felt “heard.” And we simply can’t ignore 70 million Americans.

If we can show them that we really believe in dialogue—and not just lobbing dismissive taunts—maybe we can all get on the same team again.

With a little work, maybe we can even convince them that Biden is listening to them, too.

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