To President Donald Trump and all those who refuse to acknowledge Joe Biden as the winner of the recent election: Please remove the American flag pins from your lapels. Every day you continue to wear them you further desecrate it and the American system of democracy for which it stands. Shame on you.
Republicans could save themselves, and possibly our entire democracy, by enacting the 25th Amendment and placing Vice President Mike Pence in charge until Jan. 20. President Donald Trump was an existential threat before the election. He is now a hand grenade with the pin pulled. Clearly he’s unfit to continue. It’s time for Republican leadership to grow a spine and do the right thing.
Failed state? No, U.S.
A nation rampant with disease, torn by racial strife; an authoritarian leader refusing to leave office claiming voter fraud with no evidence, trying to manipulate the military against civilians. It must be a failed state in some developing country. Oh wait, it’s the United States.
We must revert to what has sustained us for nearly 250 years, a belief in the voting process and a peaceful transfer of power. It’s what’s good for all Americans now and for generations to come.
Breathe and listen
A few days ago, I almost unfollowed someone on social media I really admire. I know I am not alone with these thoughts. That’s why I’m writing. To suggest that we all breathe deeply and listen to each other.
It happened when I discovered, through social media, that this person is a Republican (gasp). We never talked about politics. She performs a nonprofit for the community where I previously lived. I figured we are on the same page — politics-wise. So when I saw her post revealing her political leanings, I recoiled. My impulse was to unfollow her. Almost immediately, I felt shame. And then I felt like a hypocrite.
Just a week before this happened, a dear friend of mine asked me to help her work through similarly negative feelings about people in her community. I suggested she think of them as more than just their political views. That she should consider how and where they grew up, their life experiences and psychological makeup. In my opinion, these are the things that inform who we are and how we think.
So I ask my friends and neighbors to breathe deeply and listen to each other. And while you’re at it, ask yourself how it helps to hate someone who thinks differently from you? For if we can’t do this here in our neighborhoods, how can we ask our representatives to work with one another on critical issues?
Common wisdom holds that Republicans are nearly extinct in Santa Fe, but 22 percent of Santa Fe County voted for President Donald Trump and 24 percent voted for Mark Ronchetti for U.S. Senate, according to election results on the secretary of state’s website. So even in the People’s Republic of Santa Fe, Republicans are alive and kicking. Maybe now our august local newspaper will publish conservative views, rather than the virtue-signaling woke-think that dominates its pages. For intelligent conservative thought, may I suggest visiting sites such as Quillete.com, Spiked-Online.com and WashingtonExaminer.com.
The Trump administration’s efforts to ignore the results of the election reminded me of a story told by a friend many years ago. During the Soviet era, my friend worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo., and was selected to work on a joint U.S.-Soviet scientific mission at sea aboard a Soviet research vessel. Onboard was a Soviet Party officer. Toward the end of the weekslong mission, a contest was held for a T-shirt design to commemorate the cooperative endeavor between the two countries. All proposed designs were posted on the wall in the ship’s mess, and everyone voted for their favorite.
The mission leaders of both countries tallied the votes and were disappointed that the design they all thought the best actually placed second. “That’s too bad,” lamented the chief American scientist. Pointing to the second-place design, the Soviet Party officer said, “I agree. This one wins.”
Toying with democracy
President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat may seem like a petulant child’s tantrum to hold onto his POTUS toys. More perilously, it’s the game of an unabashed cheater harming the nation by trying to prevent an orderly presidential transition. As a result, President-elect Joe Biden has lacked full access to important security information. Government personnel who ordinarily would provide briefings to incoming staff are being pressured not to cooperate (though some are doing so anyway). By attacking the election, misusing his executive powers and refusing to concede, Trump is determined to break all the furniture in his White House nursery.
In doing so, he is tearing at the foundation of our democracy. That’s something that cannot be rebuilt as easily as a toy-land fortress. By contrast, President-elect Biden is exhibiting dignity, maturity and patience — grown-up behavior befitting a president. He is the winner in more ways than one.
Make him irrelevant
Now that President “Me and Only Me” will be forced to face a crushing defeat, he is bound and determined to keep the 77 million people who voted to oust him from enjoying a moment’s peace. True to form, it’s clearly Donald Trump’s tactic to create chaos and to grab every headline to keep himself in the spotlight. He is having this tantrum because, for him, negative attention is as good as positive attention as long as he remains the topic of every conversation. His enablers on his staff and in Congress are feeding his ego for their own spineless reasons that are hard to fathom. Starting on Jan. 21, my fondest hope is that we never see this buffoon on the front page again. He will become irrelevant.