No. 22 ~ Somerville ~ Jan. 16, 2021

More news about Covid next weekend, but first, this short message...

What are we to do with this President of ours? If we did not see before, we see now why his parents sent him to military school as a teenager. I wonder if it was there that instead of learning to control his character he learned how to control a mob. 

He flicks his gloved hand and this hodgepodge of Americans, who take for granted that piece of earth on which they stand, run off to smash, and threaten, and assault, and even murder. They say the Capitol is their house, and it is, but it is not theirs to defile.

Like a kid, he’s been in permanent meltdown since Election Day and has tried to bring the Republic down with him. But we, as Ben Franklin would say, have kept it. 

Thank goodness we’ve voted him out. And now the great breaker of all things government has broken a record. He’s managed to get himself impeached twice in thirteen months. No, he will not resign in recognition of a failed coup. He prefers to reel, with his followers, in a parallel universe untroubled by the pesky tenets of reality. 

The transition to the new administration has lasted an eternity. We count the days — no, the minutes — until noon on the 20th when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are finally sworn in. When they will swear to protect and defend. And they will mean it. 

In the tradition started with Barack Obama, the Republicans have left the Democrats a whopping mess. And this time people are dying by the minute. Yet, like a nanoparticle, hope floats. Does bipartisanship await? 

We are seeing how eloquently money talks, how cracks open up in a political party when it sells its soul to a breaker-in-chief.

The devastating loss of life and lifework is not over. The virus is stubborn and the economy is suffocating. But these are technical problems and with good leadership — grounded in the wonder of reality and the power of science — we can do technical. What we don’t do so well is social. 

The roots of the January 6 insurrection reach deep, not just into American neighborhoods and the federal government, but into some state and local governments as well. These roots feed on lies, racism, white supremacy, and, I think, a neglect of education. These will take more time to solve — much more time — than the pandemic and its attendant recession. This is where education comes in. So that progress can continue from one generation to the next. We need more of us growing up with a world view, with a broader perspective, with the wherewithal to tell truth from lie. And fewer of us growing up, only to melt down.

Best wishes to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for a safe and celebratory inauguration.
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