However, since my candidate won, I and others who wished for this outcome have responsibilities.
After all, losing is easy. We who deplored Trump know what that feels like. We complained at will and had a ready foil for anything that went wrong.
It’s winning that’s difficult. Especially when the despicable actions of Trump and Republican legislators make it hard to hope for improvement. In spite of all this, we’ve got to follow through and get the job done. Joe Biden is, and he has to face the myriad problems bearing down on our nation. I wouldn’t want to be him.
The problems we have to resolve are much closer to home. We need to attempt whatever we can at our level to heal the country.
First and foremost, we should make an effort to repair relationships that have been strained or severed by partisan politics.
Probably at no time since the Civil War have family estrangements so frequently occurred because of a difference in political views. Siblings have ceased speaking. Children have disowned parents and vice versa. Spouses have separated, literally or figuratively. It will be difficult. There will be pride involved, as well as any strains that existed before politics came into play, plus the additional stress of the pandemic.
I know several will be hesitant to initiate a healing process, fearful of a rejection that might well occur. However, the question that always must be faced is how we would feel if the estranged family member were to die unexpectedly. When it would be too late to do anything about the relationship. It might be unlikely, but it’s possible. Isn’t that enough to convince us to make the attempt? And we might be surprised at the reciprocating desire to mend fences. In any event, we will have been the adult.
Similar worthy efforts should be made toward those who were meaningful friends before Trump appeared with his divisive message.
There are other suggestions of lesser importance. Many relate to the fact that no one likes a smug winner.
Sure, be glad we won. Take some time to enjoy the moment. But then recognize half the country didn’t win and they’re feeling like we did four years ago.
So if we’re speaking to someone who supported Trump, we should not crow (how did that bird sneak in again?). I think it would be better to say something like, “I understand the outcome of the election is disappointing to you. But now it’s over. I hope we can work together for the good of all of us.” If it doesn’t work, well, we tried. If it does, though, it can be a tremendously rewarding experience.
Here’s a simple thing. Take down all political signs. Their continuing presence could be interpreted that we feel the election outcome still is in doubt, a feeling we should not encourage. But even worse is the signs are a “rubbing it in your face” reminder to neighbors on the opposing side. In general, neighbors should be embraced, not antagonized.
In any way we can, and this is going to be hard, we must try to eliminate hatred from our hearts and do whatever is possible to promote healing and compromise, no matter how difficult it is. Because the needed unity has to start somewhere. I’m going to have trouble with this one.
I’ll talk next week about what I think Biden and we should do to deal with the divide. I’m sure he’s waiting on pins and needles for my input.
Meanwhile, I’m walking as the crow flies to the dining room table for my fowl meal!