Just one step....at a time!
Published : Saturday, 28 November, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 163
America's nightmares have continued, and by no means are these expected to end soon! The presidential election may be over, and the process for a peaceful transition of power may be underway. But we are far from being freed of the trauma we have been going through as a nation. That's because we still face three pronged national crisis: the Covid-19 pandemic that is sucking in more than 100,000 people a day; an economy broken by that pandemic; and the deep political divide that has shredded our national fabric.
How should President-elect Joe Biden respond to the (almost) insurmountable task of resolving all three? His initial statements of resolve to do just that have been reassuring. "It's time for America to unite. And the time to heal," he said. "With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. There's nothing we can't do, if we do it together."
That IS the bottom line: He cannot do it without us, the American people - without people of goodwill putting aside grudges and anger and embracing one another despite differences of opinion. It's OK for the winning side to celebrate the victory. Winning is so sweet.
And it's OK for the losing side to be depressed while mourning what might have been if they had only produced a few thousand more votes in two key battleground states. Losing is really tough.
That initial euphoria by the winners and gloom by the losers must eventually-and soon-give way to a renewed spirit of good will by both sides.
That spirit should be buoyed by the feeling of relief that our democracy held; that an election with the largest voter turnout in modern history came off with very few flaws and no actual evidence of corruption. President Trump is making claims of voter fraud but has produced no proof of widespread irregularities.
There is something else Biden said that needs to be emphasized - and heeded: Stop treating our opponents as our enemy. "We are not enemies. We are Americans," he said.
That is a good way for us to start. Demonization of people with whom we disagree politically has gone too far. It needs to cease, replaced by the standards of decency that once prevailed.
A good and wise (columnist) friend the other day, offered a suggestion for how to have "a time for peace and civility to break out in our country." He put it in the form of a question: "Do you suppose it is possible to commit to no unkind words coming out of our mouths, even true unkind words?"
Ponder that for a moment. My first thought is: "But they. . ." "But he. . ." "For four years they have. . ."
What if we all laid aside those grudges and simply decided to be kind to one another? Seems radical in today's partisan climate, doesn't it? But wait, haven't those who call themselves Christians heard such admonitions before? Didn't Jesus of Nazareth say something like that when expounding on the Greatest Commandment? ". . . Love thy neighbour as thyself?"
I don't know about you, but I don't often go about calling myself nasty names and reciting litanies of my recent wrongdoings. So if I were to commit to my friend's suggestion, I'd have to refrain from pointing out all the flaws of my political adversaries. This is not to say that I won't confront untruths put out by either side. Fundamental honesty demands respect for the truth....spoken kindly.
But can we keep it civil? Can we all pretend to do so?
As my patient wife just remarked: "It's worth a try. Baby steps. Just one....at a time!"
The writer is a former educator based in Chicago
"That spirit should be buoyed by the feeling of relief that our democracy held; that an election with the largest voter turnout in modern history came off with very few flaws and no actual evidence of corruption. President Trump is making claims of voter fraud but has produced no proof of widespread irregularities."
The writer is a former educator bases in Chicago