‘Leaving Four Years of Chaos Behind’ by Sophia Kouidou-Giles

Relief and sunshine came pouring through on the morning of November 7, 2020, in contrast to the anxiety and distress people felt watching the election results delivered by the news networks in the United States. It turned out to be a day of victory for a new administration, a day we regained hope that the country will begin to rebuild and make gains facing its problems.  People celebrated in the streets with cheers, fireworks and church bells rang around the world welcoming Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House. We were leaving behind the four years President Trump turned the United States into a joyless country.

American fortunes have been sinking into chaotic darkness, as an economic crisis and a daunting pandemic were brewing, and greed and opportunism reigned, sapping the usual energy that mobilizes America. Our President has proven ignorant of his role as the nation’s caretaker and skilled at the old colonial divide and reign.  He has been incapable of managing crisis, void of compassion, one who accentuated our sense of exasperation. The dread and frustration the country and the globe felt at the thought of four more years with this man drove more people than ever before to vote. Tracking the count dominated the news after election day, and showed the people’s commitment to the democratic principles.

Trump’s misconstrued preoccupation with law and order showed up only when he felt threatened by protests he framed as acts of treachery instead of the exercise of civil rights. In this sophistry he successfully accelerated hatred and the division. And it only took four years to turn the confidence we have held in the election process for the future on a dime. A sore loser, he has shown no grace, nor dignity and no willingness to follow the usual trajectory, claiming this is a ‘stolen election’, planning on unfounded legal challenges.

The President-elect is an empathetic man who has experienced several challenges in his life and has 47 years of political experience. His message has reflected his desire to heal the heart and soul of the nation, not a simple task. He is looking to unite us rather than divide us. His reasonable approach that invited counting of votes to take as long as needed is a sign of his persistent and law-abiding nature. He will return the country to a place that does not hound immigrants and separate them from their children, that offers health care to more people, that protects the environment and creates a forward-moving green economy. Above all, he makes history by selecting Kamala, the first black woman that is our Vice President-elect, an overdue and monumental message to the populous.  He can turn the tide setting this country back on course toward a more perfect union.

Kamala is a progressive force, daughter of immigrants, a black American woman who represents a multicultural, diverse society, a benchmark representation in the office of vice president. It is a proud moment for the suffragettes, and for women. She is crashing another gender barrier and opening the door to culturally diverse children as they step into the future.  “Yes, sister, sometimes we may be the only one that looks like us walking in that room,” she told a Black audience in Fort Worth, Texas, “but the thing we all know is we never walk in those rooms alone — we are all in that room together.” She is poised to support a liberal agenda and be in leadership positions in future years. She and Jill Biden in the White House will energize and advance the place of women in society.

What lies ahead is a tall order for the new administration. The challenges are not simple nor easy to overcome. But the tone is changing as we feel comforted, trusting in compassionate leadership that will govern in January 2021. There will be a focus on a coordinated plan to manage the pandemic, the economy, and work to restore the social safety network and the environment. Here is to hope for cooperation across the congressional divide toward a reasonable path to improving the country’s fortunes.

About the contributor

Sophia Kouidou-Giles
Sophia Kouidou-Giles, born in Greece, resides in the USA. Her work has appeared in Voices, Persimmon Tree, Assay, The Raven's Perch and The Time Collection. Her poetry chapbook is Transitions and Passages. Her memoir, Sophia's Return, written in Greek and forthcoming in English, is published by She Writes Press.

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