Local Commentary

Who Knew Just A Year Ago?

Happy holidays, everybody! Who knew a year ago at this time what we’d be going through with the Covid-19 pandemic and the continued devolution of Trump and the GOP? Who knew that a most extraordinary surge of motivation would lift the American rank and file to overcome every obstacle to suppress the vote and light a path to a brighter future? Seventy four million votes should have been enough to re-elect Trump, but 81 million voters wouldn’t hear it and thumped the madman by a remarkable seven million vote margin.

Notwithstanding that Trump is reverting to his most brazen lies and con man methods to somehow cancel those 81 million votes, exposing his putrid innards more than ever before, on balance the results of a catastrophic 2020, with still a couple weeks to go, has to be appreciated as downright stunning.

When ever has such an overwhelming majority of Americans repudiated so soundly the crimes of a sitting president? The nation was on track to re-elect Trump simply because he didn’t destroy the economy and gave blinding tax cuts to the already rich, something that for inexplicable reasons in this country seems to please the poor.

When ever has a deadly airborne virus been unleashed on the world that, as has happened in the past, veritably wiped out whole civilizations and taken years to tame? Although the peaking of this contagion hasn’t even happened yet, still in record time vaccines have been developed and are now being mass-deployed that will bring it to a screeching halt, even if not for some months from now.

Yes, thanks to Trump and his GOP henchmen, horrible things have happened in this country in 2020, including the avoidable loss of hundreds of thousands of lives to the pandemic and the economic and social chaos that’s resulted from uneven efforts to stem the virus as localities have been left to their own devices to implement measures, given a wholesale lack of a top-down leadership.

But a cascading descent into a new Dark Age, for which all the ingredients existed in 2020, is not going to happen. At least it shouldn’t, given the remarkable rescues by good people in our midst to date.

This warrants two responses: celebration and redoubled vigilance. On the first one, it has been said a lot lately that people should celebrate what they have, not what they want. If this new spirit breaks the back of the immoral obsession with consumerism and “things” for their own sake, then that is a huge plus.

On the other hand, it was the profound mobilizations and calls to action by good people that threw out Trump. Democratic institutions didn’t do it by themselves, nor checks and balances. Good people did, those committed to our nation’s most cherished values, who insisted on the truth over expediency. So, now we must remain committed to a national restoration even more beneficial than before all this.