It was 2008 and I was watching the economy collapse, my yoga studio slip through my fingers, and the world I thought was indestructible disappear from view. There was one shining light and that was that it was an election year, and I like many were hopeful. After 8 years of corruption from the last Bush to sit in the White House had ripped the economy to shreds many of us were looking for that lighthouse in the midst of a very dark night. A young senator, Barack Obama was that light. I remember taking my daughter to see him speak, so proud to show her a man of such character, grace, and dignity running for President of the United States. Like every time I have ever voted for President, I cried when casting that ballot on November 2008 and again 4 years later. I was so proud of our country in those moments. Naively I thought this was the end of racism, of division, of corruption, of all that the previous 8 years had been.
Walking down the street on that first day Barack Obama was President I wanted to hug every black person I saw. Like a celebration to the end of racial divide, the end of it. I wanted to go up to every little black kid and say isn’t it amazing to have a black President, someone to look up to and be inspired by who can unite us all at last? I listened to President Obama’s speeches, so eloquent and full of grace, a man of dignity and intelligence. He wasn’t perfect but I believe he did his best. My older brother could marry his partner because of Obama’s good work. I have access to good health care because of Obama’s good work. Not to diminish in any way all the other people who had a hand in the creation of the bill that passed to allow gay marriage to be legalized or the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. He was a President I was proud of.
I do not understand how we went from someone of that caliber to this President. I do not. I like many during that election season thought all of Trumps lies, racism, misogyny, and raging against the machine of politics as we knew it would never make it to the finish line. Never in my worst nightmares. But it did. For the past four years our media has transformed to a sick reality show where all the headlines ever talk about is Trump. We have been suspended on a tight wire of anxiety, fear, and shock for four years. We as a nation have been traumatized. You know he does not care about anyone but himself. You know this. I pity a man who can be so small in character and walk in such big shoes stomping out the very breath of what was the United States of America before January 20, 2017. All that good work, undone. Racial divide like never before. Disrespect, divided, disdain for dignity or decency. How did we get here? Who are we? I cried with fear in the arms of a friend after that election day back in 2017. She and I knew the wrath of the ugliest parts of society had just been green lighted to act out, free reign to be our worst. Our worst is what we have seen rise like a monster from the depths of the ocean and swallow us whole.
It’s Election Day 2020 in the midst of a ravaging pandemic, in a country with no one at the helm of this broken ship to guide us or feel any empathy for the suffering. How can anyone run a business or a country or a family or a life without EMPATHY? I wanted Kamala Harris on the ticket as soon as I heard her speak. She is smart, tough, and ready to do the hardest job for the betterment of the people of this great nation. I am glad to see her at the very least as the Vice Presidential hopeful. I am hopeful still. Joe Biden is a man of the people, a veteran politician, a former VP himself. I think he knows this job very well. No one person is perfect, and maybe out of the twenty plus Presidential hopefuls you, like I wanted someone else to have this ticket. Yet, maybe this is what we need after all; calm, clarity, truth, and a captain who can right this ship and point us towards a brighter horizon. I think Joe Biden will bring back dignity, and empathy to the Oval Office and hopefully he will be inspired to do so like Barack Obama, he will do his job with amazing grace.