I don’t know if it’s just me, or if the designation of Senator Kamala Harris as running mate for the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has generated a collective enthusiasm among a group of us, which is more than evident in the social networks. So much so that if this continues to the polls this coming November 3, it would put an end to the re-election aspirations of Donald Trump.
This goes beyond being an historic choice because she is a woman of color and the daughter of immigrants. That, of course, is the engine of the enthusiasm for the message it sends, particularly to young girls and the new generations of women of color: that despite the attacks, including from our very own president, it is possible to make history.
But another significant point is that for a large swath of the population and voters, we have been consumed by a sort of depression, also collective, since Trump assumed the presidency and began to spew venom through nefarious public policies in various fronts, doing so emboldened with a message of hate, division, and xenophobia.
To complete the picture, then came the pandemic that Trump and his administration minimized, ignored, and politicized, so much so that the virus has already claimed 166,000 U.S. lives and the number continues to grow. This situation has placed the United States in the sad first place in the tally of cases and deaths across the world.
The daily bombardment of bad news about COVID-19, unemployment, and deaths from the deadly virus, as well as the constant, tedious, and damaging actions, decisions, and declarations from Trump, his facilitators, and his followers have made a dent in our collective psyche, our resistance, our optimism about the future.
That is why seeing and hearing Biden and Harris in their first public appearance as the Democratic ticket was like a sort of salve. I must admit that I have always approached politics with distrust and cynicism, no matter which party. I take their promises with a grain of salt because the actions of those who are elected are worth more than 1,000 words. But I allowed myself to get excited. I allowed myself to dream of change.
In this historic moment that we are facing, when we are literally losing our lives in part due to the incompetence of a prejudiced president, who is mean and incapable of demonstrating a modicum of empathy toward the people he leads so poorly, it’s refreshing to hear speeches that delineate what is wrong with Trump’s administration, without resorting, as the president does, to gutter political discourse. It’s refreshing to hear concrete proposals in complete sentences. And it is refreshing and therapeutic to forget, even for a moment, that a promoter of conspiracy theories and a person who lies every time he breathes is presiding over us.
In her debut speech as Biden’s running mate, where she elegantly dismantled Trump with facts, Harris declared that “América is crying out for leadership.” And many of us are also welcoming a ray of hope.
Maribel Hastings is a Senior Advisor to América’s Voice.
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