I know. You are expecting some long-winded rant about the fragility of Donald Trump’s ego, his narcissistic genetic incapability of grasping the possibility that he lost this election, his Republican enablers and the Republicans abandoning the right to claim any redeeming values, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Nope. Now I admit that it will not wound me when the White House door hits Trump in the ass on his way out (in straight-jacket or not). But mostly, I am supremely grateful and thankful.
Let me enumerate:
I am grateful, now that I am over the shock of 2016, that the Trump administration (and the Republicans in both Houses of Congress) have given visibility to and enabled those odiferous, slimy, unpleasant things that crawled out from beneath the rocks where they had previously hidden to spew their racist, sexist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, and generally incoherent hatred in public. Now we know who they are, specifically. No more hoods, no more internet aliases (well, perhaps excepting Q, who is likely a banker in New York), no more veiled threats. They have made themselves known. Better blatant that latent. Now we can let employers, churches, Elks, Moose and Rotary Clubs and all the others know just what kind of person they are associating with on a regular basis. For some, perhaps many, it will not change their minds. But I will feel better with these folks outed and known.
I am supremely thankful for all the Trump signs in front of houses and businesses. I took notes. Now I know who not to invite to the events celebrating the Rainbow of Diversity and which businesses to avoid. They have the right of free speech (although technically, only free from government restraint – I can ask you to shut up at any time) and, thankfully, so do I. I will follow the example of Abraham Joshua Heschel and “vote with my feet and my wallet.”
I am thankful that this Presidential election set records for votes cast and voter participation. The more people who vote, the safer our democracy. One of the few truthful things Donald Trump said as President was (and I am paraphrasing), “If everyone votes, we won’t ever elect another Republican.” True dat.
I am incredibly thankful for the ballot counters across this county who demonstrated loyalty to the democratic process rather than to party politics. Whether Pennsylvania, Michigan, or North Carolina, those dedicated people did their jobs regardless of the nonsense occurring outside their buildings.
Regardless of what happens in Georgia in January and/or the 2022 Senate elections, I am thankful for my children and their children that the United States will rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and that we will have an administration that takes climate change seriously. Add to that an administration that will not (pardon the intentional pun) dilute our clean air and water requirements.
I am thankful, despite the opportunity and provocation from both sides, that this country has gone through another election with minimal violence. We might disagree, you might not want me over for dinner and a chat, you may think I am deluded, wrong, and evil, but your rights end where my nose begins and vice versa.
I am thankful that many governors and local officials have ignored the nonsense coming from the White House and done what was right for their people. Let me point specifically to two Republican governors – Mike DeWine of Ohio and Jim Justice of West Virginia. I may argue with them on other issues, but they got this right, demonstrated political courage, and did the right thing.
I am thankful that this divisive, awful, soul-killing election process did not do any major damage to my relationships with family and friends. Tried hard on a few occasions, but thanks to their wisdom, we were able to back away from the edge. In these days of pandemic, with risk everywhere and challenges to our compassion and humanity abounding, all we have left are family and friends.
And, finally, I am incredibly thankful that 2020 is ending. Goodbye 2020 with no regrets. To quote John Oliver, “Fuck you, 2020.”