Yesterday, we watched It: Chapter 2. In the final climactic battle against the titular monster, the protagonists, having suffered incredible injury and loss, realize that they can diminish the creature simply by standing up to it and calling him out as nothing more than a clown and a bully. As they encircle him and call him names, Pennywise shrinks and withers until he is nothing but a shriveled husk. Finally, the heroes reach into his chest, pull out his heart, and collectively destroy it, ending his cycle of terror.
These scenes seem to parallel the likely outcome of the recent US elections. All the major networks and outlets project a Biden win, and a crushing loss for Donald Trump. It would seem that Americans, tired of the bully in the White House, came out in droves to voice their displeasure. Like the heroes in the movie, Americans used their democratic freedoms to face down the president, diminish his strength and take the heart out of the Republican Party.
Well, that’s how it looks to me, anyway. It’s past 2 am on a Sunday as I write this and yet I’m riveted to the news and social media streams. It’s not that I’ve ever really been interested in US politics beyond a few key issues, but perhaps in a year where everything has seemed to go wrong, having a new President of the United States may go some way in making things right for its citizens.
And perhaps, even more so, I can’t tune away because the jubilation on the streets and the media render me more than a little envious. In May 2018, after 60 years of uncontested rule, Malaysians got together and told the BN regime that we had had enough. I still remember how surreal it felt to come to work that following week, and while we knew that the replacement PH government was far from perfect, it was a new beginning for all of us. It felt like change was finally possible for this country, and we had that for almost two years, until it was stolen from us.
So yes, while I’m aware of how problematic Biden also is as a candidate and a president-elect, I also understand how big a step this is for America. The post-covid USA could do with a little less divisiveness and hate, and I wish it all the best.