The election results are in and Mr. Biden has finally been declared a winner. Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept defeat and concede the Presidency to Mr. Biden reminds me of Dylan Thomas’ famous poem that begins with:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Mr. Trump appears to see his presidential defeat as tantamount to losing the power that has kept him alive, perhaps causing him to experience an emotional death. Because losing can often build character, it is a shame that he puts so much stock in winning. The former Vice-President, and now President Elect, certainly can understand what it means to lose, but to his credit, he has persevered.
This election year will be a time that few of us will forget. I would maintain that if President Trump had managed the COVID in both a more professional and realistic manner, he very well might have won the election. If the test of a leader is how she/he deals with a crisis, I cannot give the President a passing grade.
Rather than shirking from their responsibility, the important issues of the day, in conjunction with the different platforms of each candidate, brought the greatest voter turnout of the American people, percentage wise, since 1900. Prior to the day of the election, the polls had opened allowing people to cast their votes early. And despite the coronavirus, cast their votes, indeed, they did. Like him or hate him, Mr. Trump affected the American people in such a way that they were going to be sure to vote. Neither waiting on line, often for more than an hour, nor the COVID, would deter them from voting. The television programs continually showed Americans of all colors, socially distanced, waiting to cast their ballot. In the past, the only time I would see such long lines would be for people waiting to receive social security checks or waiting for an appointment, here in California, with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
I view this as an extremely important step forward. If nothing else, Mr. Trump’s boisterous presence catapulted his admirers and detractors to the ballot box. Those people that used to say, “it doesn’t matter who wins because they are all the same,” this time exercised their right to vote. For quite a while, I have seen in America an erosion of its social and political institutions. My hope is that the inspiration for people of all races and income levels to both get out and participate in the vote this election year will have a ripple effect stimulating newcomers to be more involved in the political process that constitutes our democracy. It is today’s youth that will someday be the country’s leaders. The high turnout of the younger generation, I believe, may in fact support this wish for both a more active and knowledgeable electorate.