There was a global sigh of relief yesterday as the news broke that Joe Biden would be the 46th president and Kamala Harris would be the first bi-racial woman as his vice-president.
But as we pick up the champagne bottles from the park, let’s not forgot how we got here in the first place. While Biden-Harris received the most votes anyone has ever received, there still were almost 71 million souls who voted for another Trump term.
Looking at a post from the day after Trump’s election in 2016, there’s a somber message on how we ended up with Trump in the first place that we must never forget. We have a social and economic system that doesn’t work for many people in the United States. The pandemic has only exasperated things and brought the divide between the upper and lower classes into even starker relief.
As Michael Moore said last night, “Now we must defeat that which gave us Trump.”
Folks, we stand at an inflection point. We have the opportunity to beat despair, to build prosperity and purpose. We can do it. I long talked about the battle for the soul of America. We must restore the soul of America. Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses. It’s time for our better angels to prevail.
While we wait for the votes to get counted and the final results to come in, let us all remember that we are all still Americans that need each other to make this country work. Your neighbor will still be your neighbor four years from now.
To keep us focused on what brings us together, here’s some stories about people with differences getting along.
“Once the election’s over, whether you win or lose,” she said, “you still have your neighbors.” – Trib Live
“In the end,” Williams said, “we need love for each other. We go to work with each other, to church with each other … it’s just not worth it.” – Abilene Reporter News
“We’re both mothers,” said Hancock. “This is to demonstrate to our kids that you can have different opinions, you can look different and still respect and love one another.” – KVUE, Austin, TX
Meet 2 Pittsburgh families who stay friends despite different political beliefs – Today
Harmony: Opposing Trump and Biden groups make music together – ABC News
The venerable and respected New England Journal of Medicine broke with tradition and published a political editorial lambasting the current administration’s response to Covid-19. While they did not call out Trump & Pence by name, they basically called them a threat to the health and society of all Americans and encouraged their readers to vote them out of office.
Covid-19 has created a crisis throughout the world. This crisis has produced a test of leadership. With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.
The magnitude of this failure is astonishing.
After a couple of data points showing how poorly the US squandered its opportunity to respond and how corrosive the administration was to basic science they continue,
An outbreak that has disproportionately affected communities of color has exacerbated the tensions associated with inequality. Many of our children are missing school at critical times in their social and intellectual development. The hard work of health care professionals, who have put their lives on the line, has not been used wisely.
Then finally, the zinger.
Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to render judgment. Reasonable people will certainly disagree about the many political positions taken by candidates. But truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.
The last time around I took screenshots of all the presidential candidate 404 error pages. The candidate probably never saw these but they gave a unique glimpse into the character of the people the candidate hired – or at least the person who ran the website.