An Outlook


The Finish Line

On our backs on the sidewalk, looking straight up, my seven-year-old self remembers arguing with Betty Neilon. “The world is flat,” she repeated. I would answer, “No, it’s not.” This went on and on, with Betty citing the street three feet away as well as the lack of mountains in Texas as proof. Unresolved at that moment, we elected to join others to play kick the can. Today, one can hope that election arguing will move on as well.

On November 7 the winning margin in Pennsylvania put Joe Biden over the top to 306 electoral votes. This coming Friday will be when the electoral college verifies the results. Customarily, the votes in each state go to its winning candidate.

Last Saturday Donald Trump asked Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia to have the state legislature reconvene to not follow that tradition. My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Derryberry, would have called that cheating. But Mr. Trump’s ego assumes that kind of power is his, confirmed by his 74 million fans.

Mr. Trump is the modern King Lear, who has suffered an unbearable loss, which he can only deny. Time and again, he says that the election was “rigged” and “stolen,” with no proof. What defies explanation is that the results are coming from responsible elected County Clerks and Secretaries of State, many of whom are Republican. It’s one thing to smack the opposition, but this is attacking his own soldiers.

Meanwhile, the nation is tired. That, coupled with cold weather, the holiday approaching and the virus rising has meant that revolution is not on anyone’s list. This is a good thing. Ride the tide is the stance until Mr. Lunch Box takes office. Make America Great Again was a throw-back line to resurrect the ‘50s. Ironically, Mr. Lunch Box does not think like the ‘50s, even if he does look like Ward Cleaver. If that defines great, good.

Getting what you want is a hallmark of both Mr. Trump and a former King of England, Henry VIII. When the King couldn’t marry a second time, he banished the Catholic Church and started another religion allowing such. If rules prevent, eliminate.

Some are now concerned that “the peaceful transition of power” will not happen. It’s not a question of Mr. Trump attending the inauguration. John Adams didn’t. But it is a question of relinquishing the office. That he will have to do.

Mr. Trump will stride to a new television channel or a new campaign. He will continue to have rallies, ignore science, blame others for the election, and tweet. He will not see his current position as a tragedy, nor acknowledge the truth as redemptive. In the play, Lear lost his authority, identity and sanity as a result of his actions. One might suspect that Mr. Trump will simply redefine what authority, identity and sanity are.

Losing does not mean one is a loser. But not accepting defeat is deceiving one’s self. In turn, this has become lying to the world. In the second grade I learned that telling fibs could cause one’s nose to grow. Only by telling the truth would it go down, and one could become an authentic, real person.  

Lucilla Garrett


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