2020 has not been a great year. No one can claim that. There have been good things that have happened to some people, there’s no doubt about that. But as a whole? 2020 has been a dirty truck stop toilet of a year.
However, one major thing that happened this year that is definitely a net gain for our country, and the world, was the election. We elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be our next President and Vice President, and man, does that feel amazing after this year, let alone the last four.
Four years ago I wrote about Trump’s win. How it was a kick in the face, how it would be a disaster for all the progress we made under Obama’s presidency.
It wasn’t a disaster. It was worse.
In 2017, a few friends, my wife, and I drove to Austin to participate in one of the many Woman’s Marches that sprouted up across the country for those that couldn’t attend the big one in Washington, DC.
I wrote about that day, and at the end I said:
Yesterday I marched. I marched for my amazing, strong, and beautiful wife. I marched for my mother, sisters, aunts, and cousins. I marched for my friends. I marched for my niece.
Yesterday I marched for my country. For progress. To keep pushing this country and its people to be better. Equality. Healthcare. Being a good citizen in the world.
When I vote, I vote with those same people in mind. I think about my amazing two nieces and my six nephews and what kind of world I want to see for them.
There was a new show this year called Ted Lasso. It’s on Apple TV and I can’t recommend it enough. It was co-created by the creator of my all-time favorite show, Scrubs, and it has a lot of similarities. It’s incredibly funny and equally sincere and touching. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.
There’s one scene in particular that I want to share, and it’s of Coach Lasso giving a pep talk to his team.
That “Believe” sign played a pretty big part in this season of show, and probably why people were drawn to it and told all of their friends to watch it. It was a beacon in a very dark time for us.
As the election got closer, I saw a lot more people using the show and this scene in particular in memes and trying to build up support for Biden and Harris. A lot of them, myself included, were possibly also trying to convince ourselves to hope again. That it was okay to hope.
I’m both characters in the above image. I can go from hopeless to hopeful so fast you’ll get whiplash. But man, this show really resonated with me. It was exactly what I needed this year at exactly the right time. It was what gave me permission to have hope.
I was hopeful going into election day but also guarded. I was very confident in 2016 and we all know how that went.
I volunteered on the Biden/Harris campaign as a texter. In the past two months, I must have texted thousands of people across the country. I could feel the excitement build from those who I was texting, and who I was texting with. It gave me more hope. Inspired me to sit down after a long day of work and volunteer more.
I wanted to see Trump get destroyed on Election Night – a quick and full repudiation of each and every word and action of his over the last four years.
We didn’t get that.
Instead, we got an anxiety-filled week where anything could have happened. But thankfully, on the morning of Saturday the 7th, most if not all major news outlets called the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I immediately jumped off the couch, texted all my friends, woke Ali up, and started to spread the good news.
I think I spent most of the day on Twitter or texting with friends. It almost feels like we won a war. It definitely felt like we’d been through one some days.
The Slack groups for volunteers were like a party Saturday morning.
We didn’t get the blowout that we all wanted. But we won. We got hope. We got a chance for a better future for everyone. And I feel pretty damn good about that.
This year we corrected a very major mistake – one we will be feeling for generations to come. But we’re not done yet – we still have a long way to go and a lot of things to do. But like a chant from Obama’s first campaign for president, I’m fired up and ready to go.