2021: A New, Unspoiled Year for Six Days

Even though I’m consumed with politics in the everyday, I’m actually rarely interested in writing about anything in particular. It becomes a slippery slope if I dwell too much on all of that over which I have very, very little control.

But, like many, I’ve been looking forward to the end of the Trump era. I did not vote for Trump either time, I’ve never voted for a Republican although there have been many Republicans throughout history that I consider worthy leaders, and mostly I’ve grown weary about the age of Trumpism which, we should be clear, is Fascism with a spray tan. The rise of COVID-19 last year and the Trump “administration’s” complete lack of understanding and lack of ability to create and implement a federal response I thought was the last straw…until no less than four more last straws of odium happened in 2020. I got tired, plain and simple. Frazzled, worn out, weary…which I’ve said three times now but there’s no better word.

So in planning for the turn of the New Year, even though we’re still up to our ears in COVID quaratines, socially distant holidays, and Zoom Christmas, I put on my sweater of hope and believed we were headed for better days…just 21 days from Jan. 1. And like a swimmer in the lead on their last lap, I took a deep breath and resolved to hold it until this whole thing was over.

And then January 6th rolled around.

Now, I don’t want to malign January or the 6th day of it. It’s not the day’s fault that what should’ve been a regular, procedural day in Congress turned into a deathly, seditious attempt at an overthrow of the U.S. government. It’s not Wednesday’s fault that a man who people elected to be our president and defended four years of his hateful, bigoted, misogynistic, authoritarian rhetoric and actions, called on his crazy, armed, basket of deplorables to “march up Pennsylvania Avenue and fight” and they took him literally. 2021 is not the cause of a U.S. President and his supporters lying about a U.S. election because he’s a bad loser to the point that people died.

But all of that did happen on January 6, 2021.

Somewhere in my naive conscious, I believed that if we could hurl ourselves over the line of January 20, 2021, when Joe Biden takes that God-forsaken presidential oath, that we could get on with our lives and sleep at night, the sleep of the four years of accumulated collective anger, dismay, and fear, and emerge fresher and ready to tackle big problems come January 22. With eight days to go and threats of violent insurrections at all 50 of the state capitols, including the one at which our new president and vice-president, historically, will be inaugurated, we’ve got a lot more collective anger, dismay and fear to come.

I am hopeful, above all, that Fascist Donald Trump’s supporters will take a moment of authentic, personal reflection and do the right thing to make sure we never, ever see our government so severely threatened, by our own citizens, armed, and calling themselves patriots, of all things, again. I have my equal doubts about that. I’ve always chosen to live in the hard reality of this country, not denying that the Cold War ever really ended, that slavery is alive and well today for racial minorities, that women are still treated as second-class citizens. If we start from that hard base, we can acknowledge that some progress has been made over time…and it’s important to honor those who have suffered and died for those causes. Things are better than the absolute reality of any of those.

I did not, however, think we needed to go back as far as the years right after the Civil War ended to understand where we stand today. I never thought “sedition” is a word I’d use in daily conversation or that we would need to know Andrew Johnson’s infamy to understand that what we face today is worse.

It’s always darkest before the dawn, so they say. Let’s hope that’s true. I can’t see how we could get any darker.

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