The election is over. Finally! Looks like Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States on January 20. More than half of the record number of voters chose him and he won the electoral votes of nearly half the states.
Many of Donald Trump’s supporters, and he himself, have said the Democrats “rigged” and “stole” the election and committed fraud in the voting and counting. Nonsense!
Don’t you think that if Democrats had the power and means to do that they would have elected a lot more U.S. senators, members of the House and state legislatures all over the country? Remember, reapportionment is coming up after the 2020 census. Democrats would have loved to be able to control more legislatures to redraw the district lines to their advantage. It just didn’t happen.
The claims of fraud have no basis in fact and even no basis in logic or common sense. If there are recounts in some states, so be it. The ultimate results are unlikely to change.
So, what now?
We have evolved into two Americas. No longer North and South but urban and suburban vs. rural and smaller communities. I’m not convinced either of these different Americas can survive and prosper on their own. If we can’t appreciate each other and learn to live together better, or at least tolerate each other, there will be no UNITED States of America.
Where would we be without the food production, manufacturing, resources and beauty of our rural America? Where would we be without the commerce, science and diversity of our urban America? We wouldn’t be “America” that’s for sure.
We can start by relying less on what others forward to us on social media and not using language like “enemies,” “goons,” “socialists,” “white supremacists,” etc. We each have our own point of view formed by years of values, education, experiences, surroundings, traditions, families, ethnic background, friends, professions, likes, dislikes, religious views, etc.
None of these makes one wrong or right. It makes us different. Can’t we all at least try to “walk in the other person’s shoes” for a while and begin to understand why the other person sees things so differently than we do? Obviously, a person who lives and works on a farm or in a small town in Michigan will see things far differently than someone who lives in a row house and works in urban Philadelphia. Each will try to influence others, including politicians, in their own best interest.
That’s OK! We should fight for what we believe in. But we may have to modify our position occasionally by understanding what the other person needs and why. That’s precisely what democracy means.
I worked in the U.S. Senate and I can assure you that’s how Senator Biden saw democracy. He cares about and listens to all people and always, always seeks common ground and compromise. I promise you he is not a socialist or other ideologue.
We have seen over the last decade or so how, when both sides stick to their “our way or no way” attitudes, nothing gets accomplished. Each party seems to be paranoid that any compromise at all means a “victory” for the other party and therefore must be avoided if they are to win the next election.
That affects every one of us in our work, living conditions, health, and myriad other ways.
Joe Biden knows Sen. Mitch McConnell and other members of Congress well. I know he will work the phones, go to the Capitol or have Republicans and Democrats both, from the left and the right, to the White House to seek common ground. That’s how he operates.
But politicians will only respond if we, the people, work with them and communicate with them. Politicians act in their own self interest, too. So, if we tell them to at least try to work together, that compromise is not a dirty word and that we expect them to try to understand each other’s circumstances, wants and needs, they will respond.
I’m skeptical that we will change but I know we can do this without giving up our rights, personal identity or ideals. What we need regarding our national motto “E Pluribus Unum’ (Out of many, one) is a little less “Pluribus” and a little more “Unum.”
So I hope all of us will give the new President and new Congress a chance. Do you think we really could be “One nation, under God, indivisible…” like we’ve always pledged?
Contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.