It’s been a few weeks since my last post. Some of the reasons for this are because work has been busier than usual, and because I’ve been mulling over novel #2. My editor has been encouraging me to start, and I have been slowly putting an outline together, but the time spent on that takes away from this. At some point in time I will have decide to move forward or not bother, but that will be a different story for a different day.
The truth is that I haven’t felt like posting anything because I have been in such a down mood. The campaign and the mean-spiritedness behind it put me in a place that resulted in recent entries I thought were maudlin and depressing, and I didn’t feel like spreading anymore of that around. And this is from someone who HATES politics and has traditionally avoided talking about it.
But now that the election is over, I’m glad to have a respite from the barrage of lies and negativity. I’m also glad that there will be a new occupant in the White House that will hopefully be able to change the narrative, bring civility to the political process and ultimately begin to heal the divisions that are so deeply imbedded.
Having said that, I am curious about how the 72 days between now and the inauguration unfold.
I’m not surprised that Trump’s initial reaction is that of a spoiled child who threatens to hold his breath until he gets his way. It is distressing however to see the reality of how this election unfolded being replaced by his insistence that he won the election, only to have it stolen from him. It is shocking how many actually believe that, which makes me wonder if those same people would start believing in Santa Claus if their leader insisted he was real.
This kind of behavior and misinformation is indicative of the man, and while sad it isn’t a surprise. Unless there is proof of election malfeasance however, he should shut up and go away quietly, because that kind of fantasy makes only deepens the divisions, but what are the odds of that actually happening? One can’t help but believe he is more interested in seeding doubt so he can appear like a martyr to his faithful, then following tradition and doing the right thing by bowing out gracefully. It is this selfishness and self-centeredness that is one of the many reasons I am glad he lost.
I don’t care what anyone says, the anger in this country, fostered by the kill or be killed attitude where people with different points of view that are belittled and demonized, are the byproduct of his conduct and rhetoric. It’s one thing to disagree, but it is another to do so in such a way that spawns hate, division and resentment. That is not who we are. Hopefully most people will come around to see it that way.
One of the most ironic things about yesterday is that as I was watching some of the news broadcasts later that evening, and scenes were being shown of the spontaneous celebrations in our city streets, one of the commentators mentioned that these were the kinds of scenes you normally witness when a dictator is overthrown. I had never thought of it in those terms, but I have to admit it does feel that way. At least for me.
Still, there is a lot to be wary about. Most news reports have indicated that the next 12 to 18 weeks are going among the worst we have experienced as far as the virus is concerned, and most of that time frame is on Trump’s watch. Who knows what the landscape will look like, or how many more will die, between now January 20th?
I think it is safe to say we will see more of the same given how the administration has handled the virus so far. I suspect that most of that time will be spent, other than chasing legal windmills, on settling political scores, whether it be firing Fauci, pardoning Manafort, Lynch, or any of the loyalists who were sent to jail, than trying to help the population navigate what can be a potentially lethal time.
For me, I’m going to try to focus on the positive and ignore whatever the Trump camp is (or isn’t) doing. Everybody is eventually going to have to lick their wounds, and try to come together and listen to one another so we can heal, grow and move on. And job one is the pandemic because nothing, including the economy, changes until we get more control over the spread. We need to break the cycle of tribalism that has come to define our politics, and the only way to do that is to stop treating opponents as enemies, but don’t expect any of that to start until after the inauguration.
These next seventy two days can unfold a number of different ways. The best case scenario is that the White House accepts the results without destroying faith in the process so that we can begin to heal. The worst case is that the Trump camp remains entrenched, burns our traditions of civility and an orderly transition of power to the ground, and some of his most enthusiastic supporters decide to take to the streets and incite violence in an attempt to take back what they believe is theirs.
The reality, as always, will probably be somewhere in between. I’m hoping for the best but understand that’s expecting too much. It’s going to be grim winter, but at least there is hope for a better day.
That hope is all the respite I need despite what may unfold. I don’t expect miracles, and it is naïve to think that the president-elect has a magic wand that he can wave to make this all go away. Our legislative leaders need to find ways to find common ground and act for the betterment of us all. Otherwise we will eventually find ourselves in the same place we have been the last four years. I’d like to think we are smarter than that.