I was having a long-overdue haircut in a barbershop in Rotterdam the other day. People there, barbers and customers, were all obviously excited as news announced Joe Biden gradually gaining the lead with mail-in ballots in the election.
I almost heard the world cheering when the media called the race, recognizing Biden as the next US president. The live broadcast looked like this:
Well, I thought Biden supporters would take the pandemic seriously. What did we just learn about mass gathering, social distancing, and about wearing masks?
Clearly, I was not the only person thinking about this. Some reasonably-bitter opponent supporters soon replied under the YouTube stream, and the comment section became a battleground. Both sides made great points:
- Partying on streets but had to mail in your votes?
- At least people are wearing masks.
- Have you seen how these guys were wearing masks? It wouldn’t work.
- It’s only who we vote for that matters, not how we vote. Vote in person or by mail, people’s voice gotta get heard.
Had Donald Trump won the election, there would’ve been a gathering as such, if not more crowded, with fewer masks involved. Would Trump supporters care as much about healthcare precautions, like in this case? Would blue-leaning people see that as the people’s voice? At least they didn’t four years ago.
Pandemic, economy, immigrants, it all doesn’t matter anymore. People take sides, and ignore anything else falling out of their ideology. Look at the campaigns, it’s no longer a question of whom to vote for, but rather a matter of whether the target group show up to vote.
For blue supporters, I know the last four years has been a long bumpy ride. You have every right to celebrate today and worry about the world tomorrow.
If you feel like supporting a right-wing party at this time, I will also understand the feeling. Just save your sorrow for the endless conspiracy theories later on.
And for the vast majority, non-US people, who are we fooling, most of us don’t care much about Biden. Give me anybody but Trump. We just need a less-chaotic world. Cheers for that.
But if you have a moment, I would recommend calming down from the emotions and think about any above-mentioned problems we have. They exist. They didn’t solve themselves the moment Biden got elected. A polarizing world wouldn’t contribute, and any ideology wouldn’t contribute to the resolution.
In conclusion, I join you feeling a little more hope, but don’t expect any relief if we put that joy on top of our problems. We still have a pandemic. Don’t gather around. Masks on.