If you are the parent of a teenager, you know that they know everything. If you offer help, it will be pushed aside immediately and decisively. Daily, you could offer help, and daily it is denied. Until… When the rubber really hits the road, and the teenager has tried everything else, they’ll come to you for help. It shouldn’t be considered an act of defeat. It is, rather, simply acknowledging that the grownup is the last line of defense. The grownup will help. It’s what grownups do.
Let’s make something clear from the start, this country has a lot of work to do. It had a lot of work four years ago, and four years before that, and before that. In the shadow of last week’s election, it is clear that Americans remain divided. It remains clear that Americans are still pulled apart like the nougaty center of Snickers bar.
President-Elect Biden has certainly set a conciliatory tone in his first remarks following the election. It appears that if anyone can bring the right and the left together, it’s going to be Biden. But the point from which he is going to start from, by any measure, is going to be deep in a hole. COVID. Unemployment. Racial strife. Climate emergency. All of these issues are going to be dropped on his doorstep on day one. Like a sack of manure on the doorstep of the Four Seasons Total Landscape company.
What America did last week wasn’t to send a referendum on left-wing policies. It wasn’t to cancel the other side. It was simply to stop the crap. America will still be incredibly polarized in four years, but we need a grownup to get us through to that point. Dad needs to turn this car around to stop the bickering kids in the backseat.
If we wanted to, we could say, “well, the orange man got us into this.” And then the MAGA folks will say, “well, Obama got us into this.” And then the left would say, “well, the Bush family got us into this.” And on and on and on. And, I assume, that will still happen in order to fill time on the 24 hour news networks. But at some point, you’ve got to just stop it and start walking forward. At some point, the kids need to stop crying about brushing their teeth and just brush their teeth.
There are a lot of screwed up things in this country. Too numerous for dozens of columns. And as I said last week, not everything is getting fixed by the new president. But, at some point, we have to pick something and fix it. COVID. The climate. Student loans. Unemployment. Pick. Something.
This country is tired. I’m tired. You’re tired. By January, the instigator in chief will be gone, and maybe we can get something done even through the polarization. A 51/49 election is probably going to happen again and again. So a new brand of governing is going to need to figure out a way to make a dent regardless, and we, as Americans, need to allow that to happen.
Enough with the conspiracies. Enough with the sniping. Enough. It’s time to ask the grownups for help.
(No conspiracies from Chris Kamler’s Twitter account at @TheFakeNed)