Our Collective ExhaleRead Now
Did you feel that lurch? That was the earth shifting on its axis Monday night when GSA Administrator Emily Murphy finally acceded to a peaceful transfer of power. I can’t say that she officially recognized Joe Biden as the president-elect, because she didn’t. She never mentioned his name or his new role in her letter of ascertainment. But that doesn’t matter.
Those pleasurable frissons that followed on Tuesday? Those were the aftershocks we experienced as President-elect Biden’s new security team introduced itself to the country. Oh “the coherence, the humanity, and the sincere humility,” as my cousin Charley said. “So adult. So refreshing. So encouraging,” said cousin Sandy. Charley again: “I had to stop and sit down and listen to what normalcy and rationality and world leadership actually sounds like.” Ever reflective, cousin Vince added: “What a restorative influence he will impart to our allies… My spirit was buoyed by the quality and experience of the new team as a whole.” In short, as cousin Barbara said, “The adults have returned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” Cousin Myra summed up our feelings: “WE ARE FINALLY BACK TO THE GOOD OLE USA !!!!”
I realize you may not fully share my family’s enthusiasm for this week’s turn of events. You may be fearful of the policies this team will support. You may feel it’s reactionary to celebrate a return to a state of decorum that emphasizes civility and diplomacy and compassion. You may agree with Sen. Marco Rubio that these individuals, if the Senate confirms them, “will be polite & orderly caretakers of America’s decline." You may have been uncomfortable seeing that diverse group of vastly experienced leaders on the stage with President-elect Biden. It may feel to you that the earth shifted in a more dastardly direction.
But I hope, on this Thanksgiving eve, we can all exhale and count our blessings. Our democracy is intact. Record numbers of Americans were able to vote in the middle of a pandemic in a variety of sometimes novel ways, despite widespread and creative efforts at voter suppression. Amid fears of malign intrusion, the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council said the election was “the most secure in American history.”
For 20 days after the election we held our collective breath, wondering if we could indeed come to a peaceful settling of the score. It appears the proverbial guard rails, though strained, have held.
Nonetheless, nearly half the nation stands to be unhappy with this outcome. Although President-elect Biden received over six million more votes that President Trump, the election revealed a deep and lasting bifurcation in our philosophies of how government should work and how leaders should behave. It will take remarkable effort on the part of our elected officials and every American citizen to pull together and address the harrowing list of challenges we face, starting with an out-of-control global pandemic and an economy that has abandoned a wide swath of the electorate.
So let’s all take that deep breath. Let’s see if we can reset our expectations, our hopes, and our vision of what this country can be. Let’s look to our right and our left and see who most needs our help. And then let’s get back to work.
11/25/2020 05:00:40 pm
Watched Joe Biden's soothing and unifying Thanksgiving speech. Then heard a bit of Trump's lying tirade about stolen votes in P.A. I'm happy that Biden is more forgiving and more mature than I am (not a high bar). He will do his best to do what your blog urges: bring us together. I hope people meet him a fourth of the way---halfway is too much to ask. We always have a couple Republicans at our Thanksgiving---sane Republicans. None this year. Nobody this year. But I am thankful we are moving back towards sanity. And to those missing Republican: God bless.
11/28/2020 04:34:41 pm
I was also happy to see Biden win with a margin that kept widening as the count continued.The courts have uniformly rejected Trump's claims. Would not be surprise if the Sup. Ct. decline ed to hear his appeal. We can be thankful that this is, in all probability, Sen. McConnell's last round, and we have at least 4 more Thanksgivings of an administration run by rational individuals.
11/29/2020 02:42:58 pm
Well said, Sallie. I wish there were something I could do to make all this better - can't think of what it might be. So many people seem to be the opposite of me - feels weird. I guess I just forge ahead and hope for the best, and for Trump to do something so astonishing that Republicans everywhere disavow him.
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