Decency Quietly Rising From the Abyss

Alisa Burris
4 min readNov 24, 2022


Photo by Kássia Melo on

Over the last few angst-ridden years, with stories of hate-driven violence, political hostility, and conspiracy-theory madness, my outrage had slowly numbed to a frustrated acceptance. During this chaotic time, it became quite clear to me that no amount of reason could stop this pervading lunacy from its infectious hold. But in witnessing the recent mid-term elections, which swiftly pushed back on the fascist impulses that have been threatening this country for so long, I feel a sudden, very much welcome infusion of hope. Although all of the election results from across the nation aren’t tabulated yet, light is finally peeking through the horrific darkness we’ve had to endure for what seems like forever. As an encouraging result, I see decency quietly rising, returning from the void that has weighed down this necessary virtue with an unjust viciousness.

In essence, the virulent landscape we’ve withstood, which continues to impact this country, amounts to an intense battle between good and evil. That description might sound overly dramatic. However, by considering the values each political party represents in this era, I think such a characterization actually reflects today’s polarized reality. One party strives to help the middle class, steadfastly providing a vision that centralizes workers’ opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families. In contrast, the other party offers no such policy initiatives beyond exorbitant tax cuts for the wealthy while repeatedly attacking opponents with hateful distortions to grasp power at any cost. This troubled environment translates to a culture in perpetual upheaval, divided to the point where entrenched hostility can never be overcome and, as a dire consequence, no cooperation will ever be achieved.

Throughout the mid-term election season, I felt a continious dread due to these factors that did not dissipate on this uncertain journey, constantly generating worries I had no power to resolve. After watching on live television as insurrectionists invaded the Capitol in an aggressive rush of deliberately manipulated rage, learning heinous details about the deep, immensely dangerous involvement of our own president in this violent affair, and absorbing how the Big Lie influenced terrible voter suppression laws and attempts to embolden fascism across the country, my anxiety over the mid-terms only intensified.

So now it is an enormous relief to find that those with immoral objectives, who tried to seize unquestioned authority through the fanatical advancement of a proven, quite damaging lie, were largely defeated in these elections. I feel a warm connection to the millions of voters who wisely saw through this deceptive campaign to confiscaste our rights and inflict extensive devastation on our country in the process.

The most inspiring aspect of this experience, in my view, is the unity of voters, whose collective assertion unmistakably rejected the arrogant, entitled abuse that this fascist faction hoped to impose on us without mercy, with total inconsideration of our needs. For months, we were forced to listen to the extremists’ proud plans, all designed to hurt the very voters these out-of-touch legislators rely on to secure their dominance. Complacently, they announced their schemes to “sunset” popular programs that help retired Americans support themselves after decades in the workforce, to prioritize pharmaceutical companies’ profits over affordable medical care, to make abortion federally inaccessible across the country, to offer needless tax breaks to the wealthiest at the expense of middle class families, among other savage initiatives that do not offer a single benefit to the majority of Americans.

I take great delight in noting that this party’s malicious venture gained little support from voters across the nation. It seems to me that these far-right politicians vastly underestimated the electorate, somehow believing they could impose authoritarian policies on us without any objections.

But they were wrong.

While we, the general public, do not possess anywhere near the capacity to speak our minds the way that representatives in Congress enjoy, with the media always ready to broadcast their every notion, we can still perceive the truth and form thoughtful opinions on the landscape before us. Quietly, sometimes even wordlessly, we see through these politicians’ bold lies and understand the poison they can spread, strengthening the heinous toxicity that already exists, if given a chance.

Our only voice is how we vote and the message couldn’t be clearer to those epitomizing destructive intentions. In the face of a frightening number of far-right characters, who do not deserve to be granted such profound influence over our lives, we soundly rejected their power-hungry vision of America. Decency eclipsed this malignant attempt to demolish democracy in favor of a system reflecting pure hatefulness, designed to embody unapologetic greed, massive corruption, and cultural exclusion.

Although the threat posed by this morally vacant group of extremists still looms, the dominant control that they might have achieved in the mid-term elections never materialized. Instead, millions of voters from all regions of the nation demanded that a focus on the economic security of middle-class families and the protection of essential human rights are safeguarded by our representatives, not stolen by autocratic politicians in order to enrich the affluent even more.

Decency did win, prevailing in spite of all the brash, overly confident noise that endeavored to cause this country harm, to ruin democracy for the purposes of unquestioned power. Even though some political figures who routinely dismiss voters’ best interests will still have seats in Congress, their corrosive impact won’t reach the devastating level that so many, including myself, once feared. This time, goodness surpassed the evil that had taunted us for far too long. I’m proud to be among those who quietly helped our country move in this moral direction, striving for inclusive progress and a collective empathy, to abandon the extremists’ unscrupulous path for good.

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