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A saner and calmer future is on the horizon

Biden will have a difficult time finding common ground. But the departure of Donald Trump from the White House will usher in an era when we are no longer governed by tweets and when division and rancor will no longer be the tone.

Richard Davis , a retired registered nurse and tireless advocate for access to health care, serves as Guilford’s health officer. A former Brattleboro Reformer columnist, he continues posting writing weekly on his Facebook profile (bit.ly/575_davis).

Guilford

It would have been comforting to have Donald Trump out of our minds in the last few months of his reign of chaos, but egomaniacs such as he do not move on graciously. We will continue to be enveloped with the shroud of madness until Jan. 20, and that is a disgrace for the United States of America.

It eases the pain of the last four years for many of us that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected by a five-million-vote margin.

We can look forward to Jan. 21, 2021, when this country will no longer be governed by tweets and when division and rancor will no longer be the tone from the White House.

But we also have to recognize the fact that more than 72 million people voted for Trump.

That means that this country remains deeply divided, and it means that Biden will not be able to easily heal the wounds of the past four years simply by trying to be a nice guy who says he wants to be the president for all Americans.

* * *

The white supremacists and the militant groups that have thrived during the Trump administration will not dissolve and fade into history. They will continue, but they will lose the support they had from the highest levels of government. They will be marginalized during a Biden administration, and they will no longer have rallies to attend where they receive attention from the national media.

It is still possible that these hate groups could resort to violence as we get closer to the inauguration, and it is clear that Trump will do nothing to stop them.

The firing of Trump’s defense secretary is a sign to some that the president himself may be planning some sort of military action against American protestors he does not agree with.

The man has become so unhinged that he might even consider using the military to protect himself so that he does not have to leave the White House as he proclaims victory, despite the overwhelming evidence of electoral loss.

I want to move on and be done with this maniac who has run roughshod over our psyches and our government for four years, but until he is actually out of the picture he can continue to do a lot of damage.

We have to be on our guard while we hope for a saner and calmer future.

* * *

Trump has his loyal enablers, and they are not going away. The biggest impediment to our ability to move on and create a more-equal country is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He acts like a purely evil person who cares only about power and his ability to push agendas that only a minority of Americans support.

The balance of the Senate will be decided in January when there is a runoff election for two seats in Georgia. Most political observers think the Senate will remain in Republican hands, but it is not a done deal, and polls and pundits have proven to be off the mark quite often.

A 50–50 Senate tally would be a loss for McConnell, because the Democrats would be considered in charge, since Kamala Harris as vice president — president of the Senate — would cast tie-breaking votes. We can only hope.

McConnell could remain the biggest impediment to political gridlock. He needs a permanent vacation.

* * *

Yet, renewal and hope are in the air.

Biden has recognized the fact that his team must concentrate on the pandemic in order to minimize the threats posed to our health and to our economy. He has a pandemic team in place, and its members are working on plans to create a national framework for vaccination and testing.

But the incoming administration will not be able to put their plans in place until late January, and a lot of people will continue to die as Trump continues to focus only on himself — as he has done for the past four years.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #588 (Wednesday, November 18, 2020). This story appeared on page C3.

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