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Count every vote

I believe Joe Biden will be our next President and Kamala Harris our next VP. But we are anything but the *United* States of America. When every vote is counted (a critical piece of the democratic process which, yes, takes time), I think Biden will reach the 270 electoral votes needed to become the 46th leader of this nation and assume the most powerful office in the land — an ousting of the incumbent which is indeed monumental and a necessary step for any progress we wish to see — but this election is the furthest thing from a complete repudiation on Trump, his administration or policies. When tens of millions vote for Trump and therein condone, even stoke the flames of, white supremacy, hatred, violence, oppression, division and dishonesty, humanity and society and democracy and basic decency lose. Blatant racism, outright bigotry, incessant lies, dogwhistles to extremists, 230,000 dead from Covid are somehow not dealbreakers or disqualifiers for the masses — which speaks to the values, makeup and fabric of millions of actual Americans, rather than the unproven projections or postulations of pundits, pollsters, echo chambers or the Twitterverse. Maybe this country isn’t as virtuous or righteous as we like to think or the ingrained often fabricated or sanitized stories we tell ourselves for generations, especially among Americans who benefit from white privilege, like myself.

Still, I have hope for this country I love, this country where I am a proud citizen, this country in whose promise I believe. 2020 turnout was higher than it has ever been, as people fulfilled their civic duty and engaged responsibly in the democratic process — in freer and fairer elections, though still suffering from widespread inexcusable voter suppression nationwide — casting ballots to not only elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (the first black, female, Asian and and and VP in the history of this nation!), but also to increase minimum wage, legalize marijuana and psychedelic therapeutics, restore voting rights for formerly incarcerated people, and elect diverse public officials up and down ticket from progressive prosecutors to state representatives (like Sarah McBride being the first trans person ever!) to Congresspeople (like the proudly gay Afro-Latino rockstar Ritchie Torres!) to Senate (including Captain Mark Kelly flipping an Arizona seat, a race I was particularly focused on, residing in the newly-blue Maricopa County for months this summer and fall!) and much more.

Democracy matters. Organizing matters. Representation matters. Your voice and your vote matter. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, ever. Breathe. Ground yourself. Nourish your body and soul. And count every vote.

© 2021 Erin Schrode. About Erin. Contact.

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