Sobering times in America

Posted January 10, 2021. Reposted February 19, 2021

Last year, 2020, was a year many would like to forget.  Covid-19, hurricanes hitting home, and a presidential election that was forgettable at best.  The wish was that 2021 could not come soon enough.  Well, 2021 came; and, if the beginning of this year is any indication of what the rest of the year is going to look like, our country is in trouble.

On January 6 as Congress met to officially count the electoral college vote, President Trump held a rally in Washington, D.C.  There he fanned the flames of a stolen election and urged his followers to not give up and to march on the Capitol.  Well, they did march, and havoc and mayhem followed.  The U.S. Capitol was under attack. Well-orchestrated rioters stormed the Capitol forcing members of Congress to seek safety while an understaffed Capitol police force attempted to hold back the mob.  People were injured, shot, and killed.  What a way to start the new year and to show the world how well democratic elections work.

President Trump stoked the crowd at his rally.  But it did not take much to incite those intent on causing mayhem.  He encouraged the march to the Capitol, and those who were there to cause trouble had all the encouragement they needed from the leader that they have so admired and adored.  Those who stormed the Capitol Building were intent on doing so from the very beginning.  The attack was too well organized.  News reports of these thugs wanting to do harm to some of our elected leaders have permeated the airways.  President Trump’ actions were despicable, and the riot should be laid at his feet.  With the throngs of followers marching down the street, encouraged by their president to protest the outcome of the election, the right-wing extremists felt empowered to attack the Halls of Congress.

Democrats were quick to blame President Trump for what happened and rightfully so, but democrats were incredibly silent over the summer when rioters broke with peaceful demonstrators to burn store fronts and occupy city blocks.  Most republicans in Congress have not stepped up to denounce the president’s actions last week but did criticize the demonstrations and riots during the past summer.  Republicans should have denounced President Trump’s use of social media calling Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and others, unflattering names.  Republicans should have spoken out and denounced Trump’s misstatements of facts that were false.   Each side, however, protects its own; and our nation is the loser.

Our country is deeply divided.  Democrats and republicans alike are to blame.  Power for the sake of power at all costs is dangerous.  But that is what our national leaders have done to us and is what Washington D.C. is all about.  Doing good for our nation is only an accident if any good gets done at all.  

Now democrats in Congress are urging the imposition of the 25th Amendment removing President Trump from his duties as president.  If that does not happen, democrats and a handful of republicans are talking presidential impeachment, but the timeline to do so may run past January 20 when Joe Biden is sworn in as president.  

For the sake of our nation and our democracy, Donald Trump should step aside, but we all know that will not happen.  So once again it is the politics of the day in the closing hours of the Trump presidency – a seemingly unstable president who thinks the world owes him something and political leaders focused on more political squabbles to strengthen their hold on power.

I hope it is not too much to ask that President-elect Joe Biden works first and foremost to bring our nation together to get good things done for our people.  Compromise is not a bad thing.  Extremism from the left or the right is not good.  Run from the left.  Run from right.  It does not matter.  Govern from the middle and get things done.  We can only hope.