By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
This year was obviously not the first time in my life that I voted nor was it the first time that I’ve had a strong emotional reaction to an election.
At the age of eight, my dad came in to wake me up for school and he told me that Jimmy Carter lost in a landslide. I began wailing. I loved Jimmy Carter, although I’m not sure how that happened in 1979 growing up in a Republican household. I must’ve had a feeling that Regan wasn’t going to be good for Americans. In 1988, as a senior in High School, I was all in for Jesse Jackson, but he didn’t get the nomination with Democrats selecting sacrificial lamb, Mike Dukakis. Dukakis’ 8-point loss to the first George Bush to unnecessarily wage war against Iraq. I was pissed off again in 2000 when Al Gore lost to the second George Bush to unnecessarily wage war against Iraq and then again when Bush beat John Kerry to secure a second term (the only time, by the way, that Democrats have lost the popular vote in the past 20 years (which includes two Dem losses.
Then after eight blissful years of Barack Obama, I, and most of you, were kicked in the political nuts when Donald Trump would win the White House and spend the next four years cementing his legacy as the worst President in U.S. history. He was impeached twice, used his office in an attempt to further his own political and financial future, and launched an unsuccessful attempt to take down the republic. Joe Biden solidly beat Trump but we had to spend three months listening to nonsense about a stolen election.
I have been eagerly waiting for Jan. 20, 2021 since Jan. 20, 2017. I’ve almost felt like I’ve been living in an enemy-occupied territory for four years. And when the moment came that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were finally sworn in, I knew I’d be relieved, but I actually had a physical reaction. I could feel the stress and tension leave my body, the panic in my chest magically disappeared. As I watched Joe Biden and, especially, Kamala Harris being sworn in, I was proud to be an American for the first time in1,460 days.
I wasn’t alone.
I talked to a lot of people yesterday who felt the same thing. And yes, it was because Trump was gone, but it was also because of the history that took place with Harris taking the oath and because of the 17 executive orders he signed, the first steps in undoing some of Trump’s dangerous and divisive policies.