Americans have a lot on their minds this Yuletide season

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Vernon A. Williams

By Vernon A, Williams

Each week in preparation for a fresh, engaging topic for this column I have been privileged to write for the past six years, selection of a single topic is almost always a daunting task; but never quite as much as this week.

There are so many matters of concern, urgency and interest that it is difficult to pinpoint one that stands out. Then, compound that quandary with the fact that there are critical local, statewide, regional, national and global issues.

There is no shortage of things to talk about this holiday season. Sadly, too many of them are a drag on our spirit. The most inescapable enigma of 2020 has undoubtedly centered on the most deadly pandemic in a century.

Way back in March, the White House was eyeing an Easter end to the coronavirus. Though the incumbent knew the truth, he refused to share it with the masses, instead leaving many gullible followers to believe COVID was a hoax, a political ploy by his opponents, an illness not unlike the flu that would disappear in summer heat.

His lies and inaction not only thwarted progress but contributed to the lethal spread of the virus as he downplayed wearing masks and staged super-spreader events around the country, the perfect segue to another crippling event of 2020, the presidential election.

More accurately, the aftermath of the election was a far more troubling imbroglio, as the Biden-Harris ticket returned red states to blue and captured some 306 electoral votes to thwart the GOP’s bid for a second presidential term but 45 refused to concede.

More than a month after electors clearly handed the Donald a harsh defeat, he is incapable of gracious transition and remains intent on maintaining his ugly stance until the inauguration January 20.

The only thing worse than the pathetic, poor-loser pout of this dethroned authoritarian Republican Party kingpin is the acquiescence of mindless minions and spineless sycophants who ignored the constitution for the favor of a demagogue.

Despite the worldwide fragmentation ignited by the outgoing administration, people all over the world have renewed faith in America with the professionalism, enthusiasm, compassion and integrity of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Some 31 percent of Democratic voters last November confessed that they were more persuaded by antipathy for the Donald than adulation for Biden. Many couldn’t care less, borrowing from the Tina Turner hit, “What’s Love Got to do With It.” The only thing that matters is that the nation will soon welcome a new administration.

The only more highly-anticipated arrival was development, approval and distribution of a 95 percent effective COVID vaccine with virtually no side effects. The corresponding dilemma is that Black and Brown populations most susceptible to coronavirus are also the most skeptical about taking the vaccine.

With the ominous forecast of 300,000 deaths reached well ahead of the January prediction, clearly there will either be a shift in anti-vaccine sentiment or the painful perpetuation of a lethal health crisis.

Finally, the season leaves us faced with the bleak reality of an increasing number of Americans losing their jobs or enduring reduced pay, risking health benefits and dwindling support systems. Evictions and foreclosures force men, women and children into the streets as harsh winter winds blow.

It is critically important to attend to the psychological battles being fought across the nation. Even those who have little or nothing to give can offer a kind word to strangers, volunteer services at a pantry, shelter, tutorial or community center. No one can afford the luxury of experiencing this season devoid of the spirit of giving.

Just being alive is a blessing. Enjoying reasonably good mental and physical health is even more cause to rejoice. But nothing will matter more than shutting out all of the noise of political discord to reach out with a charitable spirit. Through prayer, faith and works, we can successfully navigate these choppy waters to reach smoother sailing.

We have to maintain a clear perspective and give of ourselves without measure. Try to be more intense than tense about the future. Hold on. The best is yet to come!

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