1/ We did it, you and me.

We thwarted an authoritarian in the middle of consolidating power. We did it by exercising our rights as American citizens: we voted. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor the installation of hack at the USPS, nor a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic could stop us.
2/ Enough of us had the sense to rebuke disinformation and vote for the good guy and gal.
3/ On Inauguration Eve, we celebrate. Hug a baby, cuddle a puppy, give your significant other a squeeze for their patience as you spent five years, phone in hand, fighting for truth to see sunlight.
4/ Tell your kids how much you love them. Or simply look in the mirror and give yourself a hearty, “Well done, you!”
5/ We did it. We not only evicted Trump from the White House, we evicted Putin. Yes, we must remain vigilant, because we are in for the fight of our lifetime, but we deserve a moment to breathe and reflect.
6/ We were not the silent ones. Or the neutral ones. Or the diffident ones. Nah, we were the loud ones, the people who defended democracy relentlessly, who called out the normalizing and complicit media, who never bought into the Trumpian alternative facts bullsh*t.
7/ ...Who never called him president. Who knew him for the fraud he was, and never wavered from truth despite societal pressures to do so. We are the finest of patriots, and I am very happy to know you.
8/ We are on a precipice of a rebirth in this nation, survivors of a new cold war, where disinformation is free and truth is sequestered behind paywalls.

We almost lost our nation to a rogue state whose leader poisons truth-tellers like it’s the gaddam Middle Ages.
9/ And now that we know how fragile our democracy is, join me in suiting up and showing up on Thursday, when we begin the fight anew. We must never allow the installation of a larcenous puppet into our highest office ever again and believe me, dark forces will try.
10/ As I type these words, I know evil forces are plotting, scheming, desperate in their fear, prisoners of their own corruption.

We must keep our eyes wide open and anticipate their moves. Everything is telegraphed by history, and dictators are very predictable.
11/ I ask you to please stay loud.

As Ruth Bader Ginsburg taught us, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

Allow the good spirits to guide us, as we journey safely onward.
12/ Author Heidi Siegmund Cuda is an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter, who is currently writing for @BylineTimes🤍👊🏼.
You can follow @Heidi_Cuda.
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