America’s Wake-Up Call — Our Final Thoughts …

The election is just four days away and this will be the last pre-election post that Jeff and I will likely be doing.  We were pondering what our final words to you should be, what one last thought we wanted to leave you with before this momentous election.  The one thing that weighs heavily on all of our minds is what our country will look like four years from now, for we are at a turning point in many areas and how we respond going forward to such things as the pandemic, climate change, income disparity, healthcare and more will have a dramatic effect on whether this nation thrives or fails in the coming years.

With that in mind, we want to leave you with our thoughts on what the U.S. will be in four years under each of the candidates for the presidency.  We will not engage in hyperbole or wild fantasies but will try to imagine in our own minds what each of these candidates will realistically be able to accomplish … or destroy.

2024 Under Donald Trump

It’s 2024 and Donald Trump has now been president for seven years and a few months.  At the beginning of his second term, back in 2021, the pandemic ravaged the nation.  With more than one million dead by the end of 2021, there was not a single family that hadn’t suffered the loss of a loved one.  Worse yet, the job market tanked as most every state, with the exception of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas imposed strict lockdown measures in order to try to save lives.  Chaos reigned, especially in the cities where bands of gun-toting marauders roamed the streets, making it unsafe for people to go about their business.  Fortunately, by the summer of 2022, a reliable, safe vaccine had been widely distributed and the pandemic was downgraded, with fewer and fewer people becoming ill.  Although the vaccine was created and manufactured at Oxford University in England, Donald Trump took full credit and told us we should get on our knees and thank him.

So many things have gone seriously wrong in these past four years that I don’t know where to begin.  It’s almost impossible to remember when the EU, UK, Canada, Australia and many other countries were our allies, and there was mutual respect between us.  Today, it’s safe to say that no nation on the planet respects the U.S.  Trump’s foreign policy is non-existent and changes on a day-by-day basis.  The only constants are that he is on the friendliest terms with Russia’s Putin, Brazil’s Bolsonaro, North Korea’s Kim Jong un, and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman … all of whom are autocratic, despicable leaders.  Our former allies watch us closely with suspicious eyes and there has been talk of a wide-scale full trade embargo if we do not take drastic steps to reduce our carbon emissions, as well as plastic waste.  Trump, meanwhile, scoffs and like a schoolboy, taunts the European leaders.  There will be a price to pay … one that we will all pay — are already paying.

As a result of Trump’s trade deals and ridiculous tariffs, our cost of living has increased significantly … a trip to the grocery store is now approximately 40% higher than it was four short years ago … and yet wages have barely risen in most industries.  Time and time again, Trump has refused to sign into law a $15 an hour federal minimum wage law, and today the federal minimum wage remains stagnant at $7.25 an hour, as it has been since July 24, 2009 – some fifteen years!  In 2020, nearly 46 million people in this country lived below the poverty level.  Today, that number has nearly doubled to 89 million people, with women who are single parents being hit the hardest.

Perhaps the most heart-breaking thing over the past four years is the way in which Trump has openly promoted racism and other forms of bigotry.  While he still has managed to build only a few miles of the abominable wall he promised 8 years ago, immigrants have largely stopped trying to come to this country, for in 2021 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) shot and killed hundreds of asylum seekers attempting to cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico.  This they did with Trump’s approval, and though lawsuits were filed, while some courts found ICE guilty, the Supreme Court, now with a 7-2 conservative bench since the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer, ruled that ICE was only doing their job.  Police departments across the nation are aware that there will be no repercussions for harassing people of colour and immigrants. Last year in Portland, Oregon, a gang of white supremacist thugs murdered eight Black men on their way home from a bachelor’s party and last week, every one of the white supremacist murderers were awarded a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

The suicide rate last year doubled from just a decade ago, and such things as drug use and alcoholism are, according to the experts, at an all-time high, not surprisingly.  People are tired, they are hungry, they are struggling just to put food on the table, while the wealthy corporate executives now pay almost no taxes, and Trump has undermined such social programs as housing assistance, medical assistance and food stamps such that many see no alternative but death. Today, Social Security … the government-mandated pension plan we all paid into for our entire lives, is on the Supreme Court chopping block, leaving seniors wondering how they can survive.

The day that Trump was re-elected in 2020 was the darkest day in this nation’s history, and the darkness has not yet lifted … won’t lift until he … and his family … are out of office.

2024 Under Joe Biden

Well, here we are … another election year.  Joe Biden has been president for just over three years now, and overall, I believe the nation is better today than it was four years ago.  The first two years of his administration were rocky, mainly because it was a time of trying to reverse course from the Trump years, and so many who had given Trump their support tried to throw every possible obstacle up in front of Biden’s attempts to repair the damage.

I well remember the winter of 2021 when Biden ordered the shutting of non-essential businesses for a period of 60 days in order to try to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.  There were riots in the street, people claiming their ‘rights’ had been violated, and every day Trump was on Fox News, further stirring the masses.  But, Biden’s plan ultimately worked, and by the end of March, new cases were less than 100 per day, and deaths were down to 20-30 per day.  The masses began to see that there was method to the madness.

And then the great fossil fuel debate, after Biden almost immediately re-joined the Paris Climate Accords, setting off the oil, gas, and coal companies.  But, by early last year, there were far more jobs available in the renewable energy fields than there had been in 2019 in the fossil fuel industry, and even the most devoted climate deniers had to admit that this was a win-win.  Not, of course, before windmills and a couple of solar energy facilities were blown up by said activists, but even that didn’t stop us from moving forward.

We still haven’t quite managed a Universal Health Care plan, but we’re a step or two closer than we were four, or even eight years ago.  Joe Biden did as he had promised, built on the Affordable Care Act that had been established under President Obama, made sure that nobody could be denied health insurance at an affordable rate, and that nobody would be left out due to a pre-existing condition such as heart problems, diabetes, chronic lung problems or any other condition.  Prescription drugs are still more expensive than in most other countries, but the costs are coming down, slowly but surely.  I believe that in the next four years, if Biden is given a second term, we will achieve something very close to Universal Health Care, but I am not holding my breath.

As we feared four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court did, in fact, overturn Roe v Wade and women’s rights took a hit.  However, 42 of the 50 states have passed laws allowing a woman to have an abortion up to 22 weeks into her pregnancy in most cases, which has taken the teeth out of the Supreme Court reversal.  On a brighter note, though they tried, the Court was unable to overturn Obergefell v Hodges, and same-sex marriages are still legal under federal law.  Unfortunately, the evangelical churches continue to stir antagonism against the LGBT community.

In addition to re-joining the Paris Climate Accords, President Biden has invested a great deal of time in becoming more involved in the United Nations and NATO, has re-joined the World Health Organization (WHO), and has brought the U.S. back into the Iran nuclear agreement, although by this time, Iran had already increased its supply of plutonium and was well into the testing stages of their nuclear program.  Most importantly, though, President Biden has reassured our allies that we consider them to be highly valued friends, and he has taken steps to ensure that Russia and other countries will not have access to programs that would enable them to interfere with this year’s election.  Although, since Vladimir Putin’s assassination last year, Russia has been less concerned with our affairs.

Mind you, everything hasn’t been a bed of roses.  The first two years were rocky, to say the least, and it wasn’t easy for President Biden to earn the trust of the people of this nation, particularly those who still felt cheated and left out by our government, those who had blindly supported Donald Trump and his loss felt as if the rug had been pulled out from underneath their feet.  But Biden didn’t give up, he kept his promises, he truly represented ALL of the people, not just democrats or republicans, but all of us.  By his third year, people were getting used to his sometimes-hesitant speech, to his infamous opening line, “Now here’s the thing …” People were starting to see that with the new federal minimum wage of $15 per hour they had more money left over at the end of the pay cycle, were even able to save some for a rainy day.  They were grateful to be able to take their child to the doctor without worrying about how to pay.  And, they were grateful, whether they admitted it or not, for the peace, the lack of chaos.  There has been very little turnover in this administration, agencies like the EPA and Health & Human Services have been brought back to do the job they were initially intended to do.  Domestic terror events have decreased, though groups like the Proud Boys and other white supremacist groups are still around, but just not as prevalent since this administration has taken domestic terrorism threats very seriously.

Racism is still with us, and perhaps it always will be.  The number of racist incidents by police has been reduced since the Biden administration’s renewed efforts to screen and train police officers around the country, however just last month a black teen was shot and killed by police in Dallas, Texas, as he was walking home from a high school sporting event after dark.  The officer was immediately terminated and now awaits trial.

Four years ago, when Joe Biden was elected, I think we had hopes that the rifts, the things that divide us … democrat vs republican … would heal quickly, but sadly they have not.  They are healing, but ever so slowly.  There are those who would still welcome Trump and his plans to build a wall, and they are among the most vocal of all.  And there are those among the democratic ranks who haven’t forgotten Trump and all the damage he inflicted on this nation … in fact, I think it’s safe to say that this nation is still very much divided by Trump and his radical views almost as much today as we were four years ago.

I’d like to say that this has returned to being a nation I could look at with pride, but it has not.  I wonder if it ever will?  Yes, things are better today, at least in the view of the majority of us, but I feel that there is always a threat out there, that disaster is always just a day away.  I’m not sure this nation can ever heal completely.

This concludes mine and Jeff’s project.  We hope that what we’ve done over the past 10 months has helped clarify some of the issues, the candidates’ positions, and the importance of this election.  Just four more days, though the results may not be known for another week, possibly even two.  Thanks for bearing with us, for joining in our conversation, and I hope that we all get our wish next week.

America’s Wake-Up Call — Table of Contents

Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents

30 thoughts on “America’s Wake-Up Call — Our Final Thoughts …

  1. Thanks for sharing!.. I believe it will be the American people who will decide which direction this country will go, be it working together or as it is now… either Trump or Biden will have to decide whether to be a leader of a nation for the people and by the people or a closed minded ideology… 🙂

    As far as my parting thoughts, I have done my research, I have voted, that part is done… now, it is time to move on and do what I can to help myself and others follow our dreams… “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last chapter.” (Author Unknown )… 🙂

    Until we meet again..

    May your troubles be less
    Your blessings be more
    And nothing but happiness
    Come through your door
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like to think we will decide, but it seems there is much going on behind the scenes to silence some of our voices. Trump has already shown us what sort of ‘leader’ he will be, and some seem to like that ‘style’. Sigh.

      You have a good attitude toward it all … you’ve done your part, now move on and make the best of whatever happens. I’m not sure there is a ‘next chapter’ for me, if Trump wins and what I anticipate happens, but … we will see. Keep safe and well, my friend!


      • when you say you’re not sure if there’s a next chapter if trump wins, what does that mean for you?

        I know that the political response to covid, the disease itself, civil unrest and the looming election have contributed significantly to people’s anxiety so I’m hoping when you say no next chapter, that it’s not something that would require mental health intervention or wellness checks. No politician is worth that outcome, ever.

        Liked by 1 person

        • In truth, my friend, I’m not yet sure exactly what I mean, but I know I’m not going to stay in the nation that this will become if Trump stays for another 4 years.

          No, no politician is worth taking one’s life, but … we’re not talking just about a corrupt politician here. We are talking about a nation going from a respected, pretty decent nation where people matter to an autocracy where we are all here only to do the bidding of the ‘leader’ and increase his power & wealth. No, I don’t want to … will NOT … live in such a nation. I used to be grateful to have been born in this nation … no longer, though. When I think of Germany in the 1930s, I know that to me, if I can change it I will, if I can’t, then yes, death would be preferable. I shall return as a wolf, free to roam.


      • There will be a next chapter for you no matter the outcome for your voice will help steer the course for this nation…. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ( Mother Teresa) … 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • As long as I think I can make one of those ripples … but when the day comes that my voice is silenced, that I am not able to cast another stone, then I will be of little or no use to any, even myself.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Your voice will be silenced only when YOU wish for it to be… 🙂

            “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do…” Pope John XXIII

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Jill, while I am not the expert by any means on the details of these political and state of the country details, I do know that Louisiana has had a stall in their numbers due to mandated mask wearing with fines attached to non compliance for the last month of more. I can attest first hand to the horrid state of affairs in Florida and Alabama’s obvious lack of concern for protocols actually stopped me from relocating there to be closer to my ailing father in Louisiana. My son is in Georgia and while they were one of the last ones of the deep Southern to come out of quarantine, many restaurants refused to reopen to the public for quite some time even after the mandates were lifted. I can’t speak for any of the others. Of course, Florida isn’t really filled with actual Floridians. Day by day it is filling up with Trumpsters, all brazenly going maskless and daring anyone to object while glaring down those who do. I’m sick to death of it. I could handle the virus. It’s the stupid people I am over. 😒

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good to know that Louisiana is taking precautions and that it’s making a difference. If only other states, like Florida, would do the same. Yes, I think most of us are sick of it … we could have done such a better job managing this pandemic, if we had concerned leadership and if people weren’t so damned stubborn! Sigh.


  3. Hi Jill, a quick greeting from over the Atlantic! Even though we are very busy with our own problems here (Corona….), we are all watching you guys! So, here is to hope, peace and democracy! Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jeannie! Yes, I’ve been hearing about the lockdowns and increasing number of cases on your side of the pond. Our own cases have set three new records in the past week, and yesterday we exceeded 100,000 new cases in one day! And yet, our illustrious “president” says it’s nothing to worry about. Sigh. Keep safe, my dear friend. Hugs!


  4. Jill, for the first time ever, historian and Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham has publicly endorsed a presidential candidate – Joe Biden. This author of biographies on Andrew Jackson (Pulitzer winner), Thomas Jefferson, and George HW Bush and “Soul of America” and other works is that voice of reason. He said our democracy is at stake, which is why he supports Biden. Now, why would this learned man say that? I agree. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I saw that Meacham had endorsed Biden, but at the time I didn’t realize it was the first time he had ever endorsed a presidential candidate. My best guess is that the people who have read Meacham’s excellent books are already planning to vote, or have voted, for Biden. He’s quite right … our democracy, such as it is, is on its deathbed and Trump will put the final nail in the coffin, given the opportunity.


  5. this post is nothing but ridiculous hyperboly and being the realist among you guys, neither one of these scenarios will be this way in 2024. Good try at prognostication but the crystal ball is clouded by a very dark film of partisan hatred for the president. The upside to a biden win is that there will be no more snark about trump, at least starting in 2021 proper but I also don’t believe biden’s missteps will be written about either because fair mindedness is sorely lacking in this community.
    am i a trump fan? no, no, a thousand times no as I have said at least as many times.
    but prescription drug prices are already coming down in general, though I don’t know anyones specific situation obviously, There is the right to try legislation for experimental drugs, the FDA is approving treatments more rapidly than before, there is peace in the middle east among some nations that didn’t have it before and the supreme court is not going to overturn rowe versus wade, it’s just not going to happen, that I am sure of.
    Is trump eloquent? hell no, he sounds like an idiot when he speaks but eloquence does not a good policy maker create and though he hasn’t done a damn thing to reduce the debt, something that will effect future generations horribly i am at least fair minded enough to applaud his successes while still calling out his failures. The right does too much of the former and the left thrives on the latter.

    Trump doesn’t give a damn if two people of the same sex are married, if anyone’s bound to care more about that, it’s the vice president and I believe he would be a more clear and present danger to the country.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scott, Trump’s successes exist, but several are made larger than they are by the braggadocio of the president. Also, some of his failures are not heightened enough and are overshadowed by his corrupt, bullying, and deceitful words and actions. The economy continued to perform on his watch for thirty six months, but he inherited an economy that was the third longest in US history at 91 consecutive months, a more than doubled stock market under his predecessor, 5% unemployment and six consecutive years of 2 million plus job growth. The tax bill borrowed from out future to make a pretty good economy a little better for a little while, then it fell back to the level of growth before the election. Truth be told, presidents get too much credit and blame for the economy, but if we are to lay wreaths at Trump’s feet, we must also lay them at Obama’s.

      The debt troubles me greatly as does the environmental degradation. Plus, with his pulling out of the TPP (which went on without us), the Iran Nuclear deal (which continues without us), the Cuba deal, the ill-advised tariffs, and the belittling of allies, our global standing has precipitously declined. Sure he is in is right to say the NATO countries should pay their fair share, but Trump tends to focus on transactions and not relationships. That worries me.

      But, the fact he does not even try to unite us (per General James Mattis), he quietly is sending asylum seekers packing using court date subterfuge (John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight has a depressing episode on this), he is sowing racial unrest and is calling into question the voting process, it reveals a person who is very unqualified to lead America as (per David Brooks) he “lacks empathy and a sense of decency.”

      Trump is far more than rough at the edges, he is the most corrupt and deceitful president in my lifetime, including Richard Nixon. That is what I think. Can he win – yes. Should he win – absolutely not. Keith

      Liked by 2 people

    • I wish I had your faith in the Supreme Court with Rowe v Wade Scott, I hope you will prove me wrong. Out of all the predictions on here that’s the one I was sure would happen as soon as they strike the ACA.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on On The Fence Voters and commented:
    It’s finally upon us. In four short days America gets to decide which direction she wants to go. At the beginning of the year, Jill and I decided to collaborate on a project that, we hoped, would shed light on why we could not afford another presidential term of Donald J. Trump.
    Today is the final installment before the most important election in our lifetimes. Jill provides us with a stark reality check of what things might look like if Trump were to somehow win this election and serve another four years. And, of course, she also shows us the flip-side to that scenario: What if Joe Biden wins? In each case, her thoughts and prognostications are fair and realistic.
    Thank you Jill for this wonderful post, and thank you so much for allowing me to be your partner for this worthwhile endeavor.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. wow – that was powerful. I was surprised to see that you believe Trump will still be an active voice if Biden wins. I am just hoping he fades into the night, or perhaps is facing trial for something…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jim! I don’t think he will “go quietly into that good night” … it is his nature to demand attention, and I can see him either being a regular presence on Fox, or perhaps starting his own television network as he tried to do once before. But no, I don’t think we will have heard the last of him … or his hideous family … until he takes his last breath.

      Liked by 1 person

        • He will, I suspect, never acknowledge that he actually ‘lost’. He will, until his final breath, claim it was ‘rigged’, that he actually won, that the democrats ‘cheated’, and any number of other denials and excuses. Remember when, after our nation exceeded all others in coronavirus cases and deaths, and he was asked if he accepted responsibility for the lack or a cohesive response to the virus, and he said, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.” It’s his modus operandi … deny, deny, deny.

          Liked by 2 people

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