Americans Are Suffering

I have not spoken much about politics since Joe Biden won the election. I had hoped by now that Republican leaders would have stepped up to congratulate Biden on his win publicly. Yet, few have done so, and America is suffering because of it. They know, Trump knows, we all know that it’s over. Yes, until the Electoral College officially casts their votes and Congress certifies them, there will continue to be a cloud of uneasiness that one of Trump’s schemes will work, and that is only one of the problems at hand. The transition to a Biden administration should be going smoothly; instead, petty bureaucrats are holding up the transition process under some idiotic notion of loyalty to Donald Trump. What Trumpists do not seem to understand is that he cares nothing about them. Trump cares only for himself and no one else, including his family. As Trump fights the election results, the country is in a perilous position. The economy, health, and diplomatic relations of the United States are hanging onto the side of a cliff, trying desperately to hold on until January 20, but will the damage be too great by then? It may be, and that my greatest fear.

No matter what he says in public, Trump obviously knows he’s lost. Why do I say this? It’s because he is punishing the people of the United States for his loss. Trump is seeking vengeance against those he believes have betrayed him, which happens to be the American people. It isn’t just the more than 82.5 million people who voted against him (nearly 80 million of those voted for Joe Biden). I suspect he even blames the 73 million who voted for him because he believes they did not do enough to get him reelected. After the election, Trump claimed that he would push through a new stimulus package, but we all knew that came with the unspoken caveat that it was only if he won. Now that he has lost, there will be no stimulus package before the end of his term. Talks with congressional leaders to arrive at a coronavirus stimulus deal, which were active in the run-up to the election, have gone dormant—with no signs, they will begin again despite the clear need for more money to be pumped into the economy to withstand the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on the country. Trump will also not be extending student loan deferments. I received an email yesterday that said those deferments were coming to an end as of January 1, 2021.

Black Friday and Christmas shopping keeps many businesses in the black each year. How can that be the case this year when people barely have enough to pay for food or rent? As Dolly Parton sang, “Lord, it’s like a hard candy Christmas, I’m barely getting through tomorrow.” Unlike the song, though, we won’t “be just fine and dandy.” Furthermore, not many of us will be able to say, “still, I won’t let sorrow get me way down.” The families of over a quarter-million people will be without loved ones this holiday season. I filled my Amazon cart with the gifts for my family, and UPS will play Santa Claus for me this year because I will let Amazon wrap and ship those gifts to my family. I won’t be going home. I doubt I will even decorate for Christmas here. I rarely do since I am not usually here for Christmas, but even though I will be alone in Vermont this year, I just feel it is a waste of money to decorate just for me. I still think about the millions of Americans wondering how they will buy their children something for Christmas this year. It is difficult for many of them during a good year, but this is not a good year.

If the problems with the economy weren’t bad enough, the pandemic is surging like never before. Over 200,000 diagnosed cases a day. The surging coronavirus is taking an increasingly dire toll across the U.S. just as a vaccine appears close at hand. The nation has recorded more than 1,500 fatalities daily since Tuesday, death tolls not seen since May. On Thursday, the U.S. recorded more than 2,000 deaths. It is the highest level since the devastating spring in and around New York City. And what is the federal government doing about it? Donald Trump is playing golf at his club in Virginia. He continues to tweet in an effort to push any number of disproven or entirely fact-free conspiracy theories about the election. He is trying to push controversial military decisions, including planning to withdraw American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and he has inquired about options to strike at Iran’s nuclear capabilities before he leaves office. He is also firing critical people in the government. He removed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper shortly after the election and has carried out a series of removals of civilian staff at the various government agencies. He is also rumored to be weighing the possibility of firing CIA Director Gina Haspel and has openly speculated about removing FBI Director Christopher Wray. 

Trump continues to exact vengeance on those who oppose him. Over 82.5 million people opposed him. Even the Constitution opposes him at this point, which is why he will proceed over the next sixty days with a policy of destruction aimed at the people and institutions of the United States. Like Sherman’s March to the Sea in the Civil War, Trump will follow a “scorched earth” policy, destroying the United States’ health, infrastructure, and economy. He hopes this policy will break the back of the American people and its democracy that he believes turned its back on him, just as Sherman broke the back of the Confederacy and helped lead to its eventual surrender. If Trump allows things to deteriorate bad enough, he believes it will cause the Biden administration to fail. Republicans will immediately begin blaming Biden for all of the failures in the United States caused by Trump. He thinks this will allow him to remain relevant and rise again to be elected in 2024, which is likely if Republicans continue to humor his every whim. Biden has a new reconstruction of the United States to handle. He will be inaugurated and take over a divided, sick, and economically (and mentally) depressed nation. I hope, and believe, Biden will do better than the Reconstruction government from 1865-1877, and unlike in 1877 when the South enacted Jim Crow and racial segregation and inequality, the nation won’t be again abandoned to the wolves over a political compromise that undermined democracy like the Compromise of 1877 which ended Reconstruction. 

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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