Let’s Celebrate Then Get Back to Work

By Susannah Abbey

Congratulations to everyone of you who voted this year. You were an essential contributor to New Mexico’s historic record turnout: 923,612 out of 1,351,811, or 68% of registered voters. You voted with hope, with determination, and even with joy.

Sixty-eight percent!

Nearly all of the Democratic State Senate and House candidates from Bernalillo County won their races. Although Xochitl Torres-Small was defeated by her Republican opponent, this year New Mexico has the honor of sending to Congress a delegation consisting of three women of color—a first for any state (Hawaii previously sent two).

And if that weren’t enough, Donald Trump will be sent packing on January 20, 2021.

We know now, without a doubt, that we have numbers on our side: there are at least 4 million more of us than of them, despite attempted interference from Russia and efforts to suppress the vote. Why? Because the Democrats are the party of regular American people. They choose the Democratic party because they know that they will be welcomed and their voices heard.

Despite these obstacles, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the reins next year, and two New Mexicans have been singled out to play important roles: Michelle Lujan Grisham and her Chief of Staff, John Bingaman, are working on Joe Biden’s transition team. Not only that, Michelle Lujan Grisham’s name is being floated as a possible nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary.

That said, it’s not yet time sit back and rest: we still have work to do. Both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia are still embroiled in their Senate races, and there are things we can do to support them to keep the U.S. Senate in balance. The head of the General Services Administration, which typically identifies a winner within a few days of the election and releases funds for transition team planning, has refused to grant Biden’s transition team any money to begin planning for January 20th, when it will need to hit the ground running to reverse Trump’s damaging Executive Orders. This is an egregious slap in the face to our democratic process, one of many perpetrated by Trump, his appointees and lackeys. It’s another example of mere political theater, orchestrated to keep Trump’s base riled up (along with Republicans’ refusal to congratulate Biden and Harris on their clear win). It seems that the Trump is going to leave kicking and screaming and stamping his feet, but leave he will. Nearly all the major world leaders have acknowledged that Biden is President-elect except Vladimir Putin. But I suppose we can proceed without his approval.

Keep your eyes on the prize!