Turning the Page

The past week has felt like a year, but we’re finally at a point where we can start talking about the future. Trump has been voted out of office, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be leading the charge.

Biden’s speech last night was workmanlike. He hit all of the right notes about being a president for all Americans, fighting Covid head on so we can get back to normal life, and turning the page on the division of the past 4 years.

I’m hopeful, but I also realize we have a ton of work to do in keeping our elected officials accountable to work together on things most Americans want – action on climate change, investment in infrastructure, common-sense reforms to healthcare access, and finding ways to create and keep great middle-class jobs amongst other things. One person isn’t going to solve every issue the country faces, especially when both parties have different priorities. However, it’s in Biden’s DNA to try to broker deals and help make the Senate work together. While the runoff in January here in Georgia for 2 open Senate seats is extremely important, it’s just as key to push our representatives across the country to do their job and govern. Find things to work on together and make our lives better.

I’m not interested in dunking on anyone who voted for Trump but I am equal parts disappointed and curious to understand where the middle ground is now. On some level, I can understand someone that wanted to try something new 4 years ago and take a chance on Trump. Hard for me to wrap my head around, but I kinda get it. However, after witnessing the last 4 years and especially the last 9 months, for someone to take stock of all of that and still pull the lever for Trump tells me that this country is more broken than I imagined. It really makes me sad that many people put party affiliation above country and competence.

Trump is directly responsible for so many deaths (as of this writing, we’re above 240k), and a lot of his voters appear to be more concerned with culture war issues rather than things our elected officials should be working on. But you know what? The bottom line is that the country rejected Trump, and made him a one term president. He’s the first one-term president in 28 years. Biden got more votes than any other candidate, ever. However, roughly 70 million people still voted for Trump, despite everything that’s happened in the past 4 years. I think Biden is right to say he wants to be president for all Americans, and to try to find the places we do agree and get to work there. I hope Republicans give him a chance to prove that out.

I really do worry about the division in our country over the past 10-15 years, though. It’s not a left vs right debate, it’s a debate of people who consume various news sources vs those who live in a Fox News / Facebook bubble. Social media and cable news are helping tear us apart. Trump isn’t the cause, but instead a symptom. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see the sources of information a lot of my family and friends consume. I also worry about the cracks in our system that have been laid bare recently. We need to continue to push for democratic reforms that allow states to still have power but don’t ensure minority rule continues.

I feel infinitely better than I did 4 years ago, when Trump was elected and I felt truly scared about the future of so many things that make this nation great. A lot of damage was done, and it’s going to take a lot of work – sustained, consistent involvement – to take us where we want to go. But today, we begin to turn the page on the Trump presidency.

Ok, now what?

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