By Edith Morgan
Most of our lives depend on cooperation: human babies are totally helpless for a longtime. And then throughout our lives we depend on others. And as we get older we learn some very basic lessons: there are some competitive areas where there are winners and losers. That’s competition: teams know that every game involves a winner, and a loser. Usually the losing team congratulates the winners; the audience cheers them on, and the losers vow to improve and do better next time.
It’s a given that this is how fair competition works, and for most of us – we accept this, with just very occasional deviation from such behavior. Enter Donald J. Trump.
The winner/loser rule applies also to political wins and losses: There may be some grousing and gnashing of teeth, and perhaps second-guessing, but usually losers admit defeat, and wish the winner well, sometimes even pledging to help winners get started, for the sake of the nation and the future. And for the past US 43 presidencies, (with very rare deviance), the loser has been gracious, helpful and ready to fade into the background, obeying the will of a majority, even when the will of the people is rather narrowly expressed.
It has always been so, no matter how bitter and competitive our presidential contest has been, or how many really hard things have been said. I have lived through many such transitions since I came to America – from FDR to this time. Republicans and Democrats were both equally gracious and cooperative, and attended the formal inauguration ceremonies. Up until 2020, all were steeped in reality.
This time is the first time that an incumbent president, badly beaten by the voters, badly beaten despite so many shameful attempts to subvert the votes of the putative opposition with every device possible to frighten voters away from polls and mailed ballots, is refusing to accept the results! Donald Trump is making up his own reality and is bent up on destroying everything around him that in any way opposes his demented views.
I do not know for sure what exactly will happen after January 5th, if Georgia sends two Democratic senators to Washington and displaces Mitch McConnell But Trump will not recognize that he has lost the race, though gradually as the news unfold this week, a number of his acolytes have seen the handwriting on the wall and are scurrying to find ways to leave the sinking ship. Trump, of course, is turning on them because they will not drink the Kool Aid for him.
We have two critical dates still before us: January 5th, and then the final one: the Inauguration on January 20th. People around the world are watching this spectacle – so many immigrants who are now Americans have come from countries where they or their families escaped and remember …
But in this season of rejoicing, and much talk of peace, joy and love, maybe enough of it will carry over to the New Year to help our American democracy survive and thrive.
These have truly been “times that try men’s souls,” but I am still full of hope that good will triumph, sanity will prevail and evil will be rooted out!