The race for the White House was still on when dawn broke in the US on Wednesday 4 November. For many people, a Donald Trump win could be disastrous. With that in mind, and away from the main race, here are six bits of good news that will probably wind the current POTUS right up.
More legal weed
First up, and as of 11am GMT, three states had voted to legalise cannabis. As CNN reported, Arizona and New Jersey just made recreational cannabis use legal. Meanwhile, South Dakota legalised it for that and medicinal use, too. The results for votes to make cannabis legal in Montana (recreational) and Mississippi (medical) were not in at the time of publication. Given that, according to Rolling Stone, Trump has “slowed” progress on cannabis reform – he may well not be happy.
But Oregon went one step further. Voters in the state have set a US-first:
Oregon made history tonight by becoming the first state to decriminalize drug possession! Our c4 @DrugPolicyAct led this campaign with @voteYESon110 to make this visionary initiative a reality! This victory is truly transformative. #Election2020 🙂#OREGON pic.twitter.com/3TrrGguh3x
— Drug Policy Alliance (@DrugPolicyOrg) November 4, 2020
In another US-first, the vote also allows psilocybin (magic mushrooms) to be used for therapeutic reasons.
The “Squad” is back
Then, the so-called “Squad” all retained their seats.
Our sisterhood is resilient. pic.twitter.com/IfLtsvLEdx
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 4, 2020
a formerly homeless working class activist… nurse and single mother [who] was an early leader in the Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson.
Trump won’t be happy. As the Guardian reported, he:
has frequently vilified all four congresswomen, and in the lead up to election day lobbed frequent xenophobic attacks at Omar
The president has also often singled out Ocasio-Cortez as a radical, socialist voice in the Democratic party.
Cue the world’s smallest violin. And the right-wing capitalists in the “Sunshine State” will probably need one, too.
Florida is now the eighth state to legally have a $15 an hour minimum wage:
BREAKING: Florida just became the 8th state to pass a $15 minimum wage with a SUPERMAJORITY of Floridians voting YES to Amendment 2.
Hats off to the efforts of the workers & volunteers in the #FLfor15 coalition.
— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) November 4, 2020
The same thing happened in Portland, Maine.
‘Your voices matter’
In Delaware, people in District One elected Sarah McBride as a senator. And her victory is groundbreaking. Because she is the first transgender person to be elected to the US Senate:
— LGBTQ Victory Fund (@VictoryFund) November 4, 2020
She said in her victory speech:
tonight I am thinking about… all of the LGBTQ people who did not live long enough to see a day like today. Because it is my fervent hope, that tonight a young person… anywhere in this country, that they’re able to go to sleep… with a powerful but simple message: that our democracy is big enough for them too; that their voices matter and that change is always possible.
So, there were some glimmers of hope amid what, in layman’s terms, is looking like a bit of a shitshow. And as journalist Richard Medhurst perhaps summed up best:
The country that goes around bombing and killing in the name of democracy can't even count ballots properly or hold fair elections? What a pathetic, wretched display of hypocrisy.
— Richard Medhurst 🇸🇾🇵🇸 (@richimedhurst) November 4, 2020
Whichever candidate wins, the US is set for more of the same. It will just be with a far-right or liberal centrist sheen across it.
Sadly, while there were some positives to be had on election night, the overwhelming feeling is one of fear and dread. Who knows what the next four years will hold. But it’s not going to be pretty either way.
Featured image via Guardian News – YouTube
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