A Letter to the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect
A demand, a plea, a desperate call to action
It’s undeniable that the last four years have been some of the most stressful and frightening for many people in the United States. Even groups that were already routinely targeted and vulnerable to higher rates of violence saw more violence done to them under the Trump administration. For others (almost exclusively white conservatives) it has been a freeing experience in which they felt emboldened to shed the facade of progressive ideology and anti-bigotry.
It’s also undeniable that this fear was a major driving force in the election of Joe Biden. While I don’t mean to downplay the political career of the president-elect and vice president-elect, many of us (myself included) voted for them simply to remove the current president from office. I have very little faith in our next administration to make any meaningful changes to our currently destructive system.
I don’t know if I believe Biden or his running mate, Kamala Harris, will take any significant action to protect their Black and Indigenous constituents from police violence. I’m not sure they’re willing to go against their millionaire and billionaire constituents in order to put an end to predatory economic practices that benefit those who already hold the most wealth, or take the environmental stances needed to halt or even reverse the damage caused by climate change.
Even with the menace of Trump no longer hanging over our heads, we still have a lot in this world to worry about. We shouldn’t be naive enough to think the Biden/Harris ticket is going to save us from the problems that the US was suffering from long before Trump took office, or the problems that will inevitably arise after his administration is over. “Not Trump” or even “Better than Trump” are low bars, and we deserve better.
So I’m asking, and I know millions of others are as well: Do better. Be better. Not just better than Trump, but better than the American administration has ever been. Make sure that our sick, our poor, and our marginalized are taken care of. Be the first US administration to uphold the treaty laws with Indigenous nations, and not only that but aid and empower them without taking.
Make sure all Americans can get the healthcare and medicine they need, including mental health care. Ensure Black and Indigenous people are safe from the people who are supposed to keep us safe, even if it means dismantling the systems in question. Value the rights of our laborers, and make a point to incentivize wealth distribution and penalize the hoarding of wealth. Do not just abolish ICE and their concentration camps, but make sure they can never happen again.
Are we asking you to put a lot on your shoulders? Absolutely. We don’t just want your support, we want you to fight tooth and nail for the needs of the typical American. Every Black person, every LGBTQ+ person, every Indigenous person, every immigrant, every Muslim, every homeless person, every marginalized person, when you take oath of office in January you are agreeing to take responsibility for them and the actions done to them by the US government and people.
We’re tired. We’re angry. We’re scared. And we’re cynical as hell. So, please, don’t just be good politicians. Be good people. Stand up for the rights and lives of the people who need us. Make the choices that aren’t political or economic, but moral. Give us an administration and a country that we can be proud of, that we’re not constantly waiting to see how they’ll take advantage of us or our neighbors next.
And if you can’t do that, then get out of the way and give the seat to someone who can.