I watched the presidential inauguration this Wednesday with my wife, who cried halfway through the ceremony. Hers wasn’t the only emotional response that day; the last four years have been tumultuous, to say the least.
Four years ago I wrote a great deal about the presidential election in the United States. Disgusted by the outcome and embarrassed at my naive analysis, I decided there were better topics for my blogging efforts.
Finally having The Fraud out of office isn’t going to inspire any political writing from me, but I do feel a need to bring this subject to a proper close. So here goes…
Civil unrest this spring kicked my butt off the recliner, and I spent an evening each week in the fall fighting racist policy. I resumed that work in December for the Georgia Senate run-off elections, and since I posted my stats for my earlier work, here are the results for my later work:
Total calls: 100
Left voicemail: 37
Not home: 25
Already voted: 12 (I wonder how many gave that answer to end the call)
Number disconnected: 8
Hung up or refused to talk: 7
Moved (i.e., wrong number): 4
Will vote: 2
Asked to be called back: 1
The political outcome in both November and January was what I’d worked and hoped for. While I can’t claim credit for a single vote, I do feel I contributed to record-setting voter turnout. I didn’t do much; all I did was make a few phone calls. But I acted in response to my values, which is where it starts.
Four years with The Fraud in the White House. He wasn’t as disastrous as I’d feared, mostly because he turned out to be as incompetent as he was daft. (The accomplishment of which he boasts, economic growth, was enabled by cranking up deficit spending. That’s not innovation; presidents have done this since FDR.)
The man who’s replacing him doesn’t inspire me. The next four years will see incremental improvements at best. The President’s 78, the Speaker of the House 80, the Senate Majority Leader 70… substantive change won’t happen until we get fresher minds in charge.
But knowing we’re finally rid of a lunatic who admires dictators, and clearly aspired to join that dark brethren, outweighs any ambivalence about the coming mediocrity.
The United States has survived an existential threat, and it won’t be the last. Our next would-be tyrant will likely be more competent and politically savvy. Those who value democracy can’t afford to relax. But at least for a moment, we can feel a little relieved.