It’s been four long, harrowing years. From the depths of the morning of November 9th, 2016, to the final, glorious triumph of January 20th, 2020, was a chasm of despair, dismay and disbelief so shocking that none of us could have predicted it.
And yet in spite of every impulse to give up, become cynical and abandon all hope, you, brothers and sisters, persevered. You continued to believe in America, and America did not let you down.
When voting seemed pointless, you voted, when caring seemed a waste of time you cared, when the wall of ignorance seemed insurmountable, you continued to dismantle it brick by brick. America won yesterday, not because of flags or slogans or tired cliches. America won because Americans refused to surrender, Americans just like you.
We sneered and laughed and mocked and shuddered at the buffoon who sold us out, trying to keep ourselves warm by the fire of indignation as that Thing in the White House tried to dismantle every sacred institution and belief we ever knew. We survived the relentless onslaught of “alternative facts,” “very fine people,” “Covfefe,” “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.”
We were sure he’d be gone by the end of each and every succeeding, unending, horrible year. Yet evil seemed to triumph everywhere he tread. For us it became one step forward and two steps back for so long that we very nearly stopped believing in progress let alone justice. We didn’t think we could last until that fabled, impossibly remote and mythical day of January 20, 2021. Yet that day came and went and we carried it in triumph.
At one point we had as many as 28 different Democratic candidates for president of the United States. It seemed the height of folly to think that we could come together over such a broad field of bickering, hairsplitting ideologies, particularly against the great white monolith of red-hatted unity.
In the end it was our diversity that brought us together. We won not in spite of our differences but because of them. We won because separately we were weak, but we came together like the individual strands of one mighty rope, and we were on the side of truth and we knew it. They called us snowflakes so we gave them an avalanche.
So here’s to you, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, you of every color and belief, gender and orientation, here’s to you. This is your triumph because you brought it about with your own sweat and blood and toil and tears.
Men and women of America, loyal readers of Palmer Report, we have our work cut out for us. It won’t be easy, but together we have proven that it is possible. The destroyers left us nowhere to move but up, and up we shall go. And as for me, my friends, it has been a privilege serving with you. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.