We finally saw the race called by cable news just before noon on the Saturday after the election. We don’t normally watch cable news but made an exception for this occasion. We had just been talking about how it was obvious Biden would win and every Trump press/lie conference the networks let go by without a call was dangerous.
We knew Biden was the winner already, but we still celebrated. MSNBC and CNN announce Biden is the projected winner. The AP, ABC, Washington Post, and even Fox followed shortly. Finally, the anti-climatic climax we had been waiting to hear the past four days was here. We had a quick shot of rum to celebrate; I thought that was going to be it. but then started hearing cars honking outside. So outside we went.
Walking through the capital to Black Lives Matter Plaza, the closest we were able to get to the White House since the coward put up 3 extra layers of fencing in July, was uplifting. For once, we weren’t going out there to protest some new atrocity. For once, we were there to celebrate. Behind COVID masks we could see the smiles in the eyes of the people of the city, hear the cars honking and the voices hollering, and bounce along to the music coming out of cars and bluetooth speakers; Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbyeby Steam (1969); All I Do is Win (2012) by DJ Khaled ft. T-Pain, Ludacris, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg; and of course FDT (2016) by YG ft. Nipsey Hustle. We made our way to the giant inflatable trump caricature and stood cheering, whooping, and just absorbing the moment for a long time.
Washington is a liberal city, as are most cities. It’s no Portland, of course, you would never see an anarcho-collective here, but we span the spectrum from abolish police to defund police to reform police and are no strangers to protests where people on the same side may not agree on the best path forward.
But all of that was something we could argue about on Monday. Today we celebrated together. We, as a country, took the exit ramp from the road to fascism. Most countries don’t get to do this. Personally, I didn’t think we would make it. We still may not. But today was important. We accomplished something, and the world cheered with us.
Uri Lerner has a Master Degree in Political Science from American University in Washington and is a graduate of UC San Diego with a bachelor's in political science. He is a Senior Research Associate at Hanover Research Council in Washington, D.C.