As we close in on the final month or so before the most important decision in the life of a nation, it would bode well for us to reflect, process, and coalesce with determination.
In painful reflection, 2020 started out on an ominous note with the gripping tragedy of celebrity fatality causing the sporting world to grieve. It was not just that basketball Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash; but that his lovely, smiling, 13-year-old daughter perished with him.
Some saw it as a reality check for family as daughter-father sensitivities dominated social media. Who knew that in the first month of the year, that sorrowful tale of how suddenly life can come to an end and how death is no respecter of fame and fortune would come into play on a global pandemic level only a month later.
The word ‘coronavirus’ – also referred to as COVID-19 – entered our realm of discussion and would become an overbearing daily reference for a yet undetermined amount of time. By March 2020, the world literally stood still while families self-quarantined and business, government and all forms of public life came to a grinding halt for an extended period.
The worst of it was comprehending the lethal nature of this plaque that was first described by the POTUS
as nothing more than a light case of the flu that infected one person from China and threatened about 15 Americans at the most. Despite the fact that he told journalist Bob Woodward differently, and he claimed the virus was nothing to worry about. As the death toll rose, so did the nature of the lies from the leader of the free world. Knowing better, he insisted that everything could clear up as early as Easter Sunday.
With the nation deeply in the throes of a killer virus that was taking Americans out at an alarming rate of one thousand every day, he dismissed the heartache with the condescending thought, “it’s just old people.”
We were then told that warmer weather would drive it away – that the virus would leave in spring. Summer and fall have since evolved, and the man who should be providing leadership for a nation on edge is instead compromising scientific fact with his baseless rhetoric that he claims is intended to minimize panic. His suggested remedies were lethal.
More than 200,000 living, breathing Americans have died from COVID-19 under this administration. And while the origin of the virus was China or Europe, the fact that the Donald never took it seriously cost about half of those lives, according to medical professionals and epidemiologists. That is an uncorrectable mistake of the gravest nature.
The second unprecedented challenge was a global wave of social unrest that erupted following the death of George Floyd, who the world watched beg for his life as one police officer held a knee to his neck for almost nine minutes; as two more kept him pinned to the ground and a fourth stood by watching without intervening.
There was never such a cry of rage. Some 358 cities across all 50 states staged protests that lasted for months (and are still going strong). While opponents of the anti-racism movement try to paint the aftermath of this and other senseless police killings as anarchy precipitating their “law and order” response, most see it as not only revolution but evolution. Things are different this time and won’t ever go back to the status quo.
That’s why this has become such a crucial election. Anyone who doesn’t get the magnitude of their vote at this point should not be allowed to enter a polling place. The efforts to steer the election toward Republicans has been shamefully apparent, but there is one thing that they absolutely cannot take and that is your resolve. Your vote.
Some skeptics fear that they will play with the numbers and that the decision on who becomes president will be decided somewhere other than by the hands of the people. Do not be misled into the dangerous thinking that your vote doesn’t matter or won’t count. The only way to discount your voice is for you to refuse to raise it, instead sitting silently.
They want to discourage people with their hypocrisy and ramrodding of their prerogatives in the face of the broader public will.
These political bullies hope that you will cower away and surrender the process to their hands since they are currently in power. They hope you will grow weary of agitation and slip into some nonchalant ‘let them have it’ mentality.
That won’t happen. It is time for us to become more determined than ever to get as many people registered as possible with deadlines approaching. The Republican Party is prematurely celebrating our demise as they dance on the grave of a noble U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg while they mold an ultra-conservative successor in shameful disregard for RGB’s dying wish that this be left to the next presidency.
These circumstances make it more compelling than ever that we not go to sleep, not even take a nap, on the plotting that is going on throughout the Republican nation. We will stand tall with the only weapon in our artillery – the ballot. And in the end, the power of democracy will reinforce that the circumstances that the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good. We can’t rest – neither on the political or social movement front – until the job is done. We will discover that it won’t be where we started this horrific year, but the glorious victory God gives us in the end that will matter! We just have to put in the work.