For a few days short of the last four years my car had a decal on its rear window that read, “Don’t blame me I didn’t vote for him!” Thursday morning I removed it.
Like many Americans I spent a good part of Wednesday watching television. The main events were the inaugurations of Joe Biden as President of the United States and Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States. I don’t think I have missed an inauguration since I watched my first on January 20, 1961, (John F. Kennedy). Much is pomp and circumstance, some of which I could do without. This one was much different in that the crowds were minimal and some of the “peripheral events” were cancelled or truncated beyond recognition. The most important thing is that within our strange Electoral College system the will of the people prevailed and America is under “new management”.
A year or so ago I had entertained thoughts of attending live. My wife and one granddaughter have but I never have been able to. The pandemic killed that this time around. I realized that months before any official decrees.
On January 6th right wing domestic terrorists attacked the Capital Building at the behest of the then president. In prudent reaction the authorities turned Washington DC into a military occupation zone with about 25,000 reservists supplementing a plethora of police. It made for a sad image, deprived a lot of citizens from a special moment and cost merchants tons of money but it was both necessary and got the job done. What happened to both law and order and business friendly?
I put the sticker on the back window of my car within the first few days of the Trump administration. With it less than two weeks old I already knew my worst fears were becoming reality and I wanted to distance myself from any perceived responsibility for its existence. Most old, white guys voted for Trump in 2016; I definitely did not.
I drive very little these days. In fact as I write this my car is still sitting where it was before Inauguration Day. Shortly after breakfast on Thursday I walked out to it, razor blade in hand and in a light rain applied said razor to the surface of the window. I voted for Joe Biden and don’t want to have anyone think I didn’t.
The previous occupant of the White House is gone. The new administration is already working hard to undo much of the harm he did. I eradicated him from my car with a few seconds work; unfortunately it won’t be as easy or swift to do the same with the damage he brought to the nation and the world. For those whose lives were lost there is no coming back. For the many whose lives were seriously derailed the journey back will be long and in some cases never completed.
My hope is that America learned its lesson and emerges from it Dark Ages period and into a Great American Renaissance. Earlier I made reference to my first inauguration the highlight of which was Kennedy’s “Ask not” line. To me the highlight of Biden’s speech was when he said, “…lead not by the example of power, but by the power of our example.” May he and his team be able to pull that off and our allies accept that as our reemergence.
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