My friends, we now have a President. I began watching the ceremonies with some degree of trepidation, fearing another terrorist attack similar to the one two weeks ago, but as the program progressed, there was no sign of trouble or even mild dissent, and I began to relax a bit. I realize that this is only the formal first step, and that Joe & Kamala have much work to do, but it feels as if fresh air has returned, as if I can breathe again. My tears today were tears of relief, of peace.
It is time, now, to move forward, not to keep looking back at the past four horrifying years. That’s not to say there won’t be times that it is necessary to look back, for much damage has been done and repairing it will also mean assessing it, but for the most part, I think we need to focus on President Biden’s actions. Moving forward doesn’t mean we forget the past, but rather that we learn from it, we catalog the mistakes, assess their origins in order to ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes ever again.
For four years, this nation has been steadily losing the respect of the rest of the world, and it will take time and effort to repair our alliances, to once again be respected in the eyes of the world. For the past year, we have fought a deadly pandemic, with deaths in the U.S. alone totaling over 400,000 … fully 20% of the total deaths worldwide, though we have only 4% of the world’s population. The overt racism and police brutality toward Black people is out of control. Unemployment and poverty are at an all-time high, in part due to the pandemic. And perhaps the most critical issue is that for four years we have completely disregarded the environment, have added more plastic and CO2 to the atmosphere than ever before. All of these and more are things that President Biden will need to deal with rapidly, and I believe he will.
Solutions will not happen overnight, and our patience is likely to be sorely tested, but finally we have a President who understands the problems, will listen to the experts and the scientists, and will do his best to repair the damage, to protect not only the people of this nation, but of the world. My hope is that rather than engage in partisanship and obstructionism, Congress will work with President Biden to help solve some of our many problems. Members of Congress who fail to do so will earn themselves a place in my ‘snarky snippets’ hall of fame!
And so, we enter a new day in our ongoing history … a day filled with hope for the future, something we haven’t felt for a very long time. When I awoke this morning, the sky was cloudy and grey, but sometime in the early afternoon, the sun came out and outside my window the birdies are eating the squirrel’s peanuts and the squirrels are eating the bird seed – and thus, life goes on!