It is a sad reflection on the current state of our politics that neither party can accept the election results with traditional graciousness.
The Democrats point fingers at internal divisions—liberal versus moderate—blaming each other for some election losses and for President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees. The left finds fault in the lack of progressives in Biden’s appointments. The moderates accuse the progressives of handing the GOP a whip they use to label all Democrats as “socialists.” Continuing this fight will damage the new administration.
The Republicans are caught in the dilemma of accepting the fact that 7 million more people voted for Biden than for President Donald Trump, and Biden won 306 Electoral College votes and Trump won 232. Most recognize the facts and privately accept the loss of the presidency. They should feel good about the House of Representative seats they have won, many by bright new candidates. However, they fear offending their radicals by dismissing Trump’s claims that the election was fraudulent, which are being used to raise millions, much of it for Trump’s personal use.
Election officials across the country, Democrats and Republicans, have done their usual jobs with all the care and respect for rules that our Greene County officials devote. Just as we do, every community knows and respects the dedicated people who work on elections. Why would some deniers now claim that these neighbors are corrupt? Have they met their local officials and gotten to know them?
The challenge for both parties is to find practical ways to accept, and work with, a moderate president who is willing to develop solutions across party lines and good for all Americans. They must deal with the health challenges of COVID-19, the financial pain suffered by many families, the decline being suffered by our local business, environmental decline and now a massive hack of government data.
This election nonsense, understandably, generates mockery by people around the world, a never-ending stream of humorous videos, and the smiles or sneers of our autocratic adversaries. “America lectures us about elections,” they say, “but then they act like a third world country and don’t accept the vote when they lose.” We must reclaim our respect.
How and when will we return to our better selves? When will we focus on addressing the real problems of the country instead of positioning ourselves for the next election? We should stop blaming President Trump for his many mistakes and get on with being the United States. I hope we do not have to wait until the decline can no longer be stopped.
It is my wish that we all find 2021 to be a much healthier and happier year.