I was asleep on a lounge chair when the call finally came. My 14-year-old son, who’d been watching CNN almost non-stop since Tuesday night, pounded on the glass to alert me. I bolted up and ran inside, and there on the TV screen, at long last, was the graphic we all wanted to see: Joe Biden with the yellow check-mark next to his name, and the two magic words, PROJECTED WINNER. My son was giddy. My wife was giddy. My 16-year-old son, not much given to giddiness, was even giddy.
We hugged, we danced, we wept, we ran outside and danced more and screamed for joy, and our screams were echoed by our neighbors. Cars beeped and waved and cheered as they drove by our corner house. When I went to buy Champagne later that afternoon, the woman at the wine store giddily informed me that there had been a run on the stuff, that she’d already replenished the refrigerator four times.
As agonizing and unsettling as the long wait had been, it was worth it to have this day, this singular moment when we could all simultaneously let loose: a Saturday, 70 degrees and sunny all along the East Coast, the better for spontaneous celebrations in the streets of New York, Philadelphia, Washington, everywhere, sea to shining sea, and all around the world. The day was topped off by rousing speeches that evening by Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and President-Elect Joe Biden. What catharsis! What joy!
As the word came, Donald John Trump was on the golf course, as far from the hue and cry as they could take him. (This is the way his presidency ends: not with a bang but a bogey.) His allies, meanwhile, led by the buffoonish Rudy Giuliani, held an event at a place called Four Seasons Total Landscaping, conveniently, and appropriately, located between a mortuary and a sex shop. Note: I am not even kidding.
Trump continues to rail against the voting process, to insist that he won the election. Traitors in his camp parrot these claims. Lawsuits have been threatened, and all of them will be tossed into the trash. The press will make hay of him refusing to concede, but he never will, and it doesn’t make a wit of difference. He’s done. Power will suck out of him like air from a blown-out tire. “Donald Trump won’t go down without a fight,” talking heads insist, despite 74 years of evidence to the contrary. When the going gets tough, Trump always quits. That is the way of the loser.
There will be plenty more to say about Trump in the weeks ahead. For today, I want to acknowledge you, Dear Reader, for your efforts to rid our nation of this scourge. Thank you. We did it!
I’m not so good with photography, but my friend Duke Haney—whose sublime novel Banned for Life was featured on “Sunday Pages” previously—took his camera to the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles yesterday and captured some amazing images of celebration, which I share with you below.
The Republic stands! The banner yet waves! We have prevailed!
All photos by Duke Haney.