Sunday, November 8, 2020

There's work ahead, but for now: The good guy won

 
The Goodman family celebrates, Northbrook, Nov. 7, 2020
 
    Whew.
     Joe Biden won. He is the president-elect. He will be sworn in on Jan. 20, 2021.
     While I’m not so naive as to think this is the and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after moment, the bottom line is that Donald Trump is defeated and will do less damage from the sidelines than he has from the Oval Office.
     Never underestimate him: He’s got two months-plus to vandalize our country. But the clock ticks, and soon we’ll have a leader who, if nothing else, recognizes the existence of COVID-19 and the urgent need to fight it. Instead of a fey goofball who said, repeatedly, that COVID is a Democratic hoax that will magically disappear Nov. 4. (Keep that in mind every time Trump insists, based on nothing, that he won. The lying liar lies. Why is anyone still giving his claims any weight at all?)
     I’ll confess. Though not given to optimism, I thought this would be easier. That Trump’s manifest unfitness would do him in. I don’t like to think poorly of my fellow Americans, even Republicans. I figured between Trump’s attempted blackmail of Ukraine, his utter failure to cope with the pandemic or get the millions of unemployed workers and shuttered businesses the support they desperately need, people would sour on him.
     Instead, he nearly won again. It was scary, as the votes were tabulated — first those cast on Election Day by careless Republicans, then the ballots mailed in weeks earlier by cautious Democrats. Trump surged then fell back. We knew that would happen. But the knowledge didn’t help as events unfolded. Seeing that transpire was still hard, the way that knowing that hitting your thumb with a hammer will hurt, and actually hitting your thumb with a hammer, are two very different experiences.

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