We are all (most of us, anyway) taught to be good losers.
And gracious winners.
It's reasonable to assume that good losers are going to be much harder to come by this time around than in times past.
And if the rest of us are honest with ourselves, and each other, being a gracious winner is going to take a lot more energy and effort this time around.
Now, it's easy, and likely, that you may be interpreting those first four sentences as the introduction to another garden variety "we had our differences but we need to all come together...so that we travel down the road, as one, to a new and brighter future". One of those predictable, inevitable Hallmark Card/Lifetime Channel dealios that sprout up in our post-election gardens.
Uh, yeah...about that..?
Here's a thing.
This isn't one of those dealios.
At this writing, Joe Biden has been projected to be elected the 46th President and he is scheduled to address the nation tonight as the President-Elect.
Good. That's as it should be. That's what everyone who voted for him has elected him to do. That's really the primary obligation of every person who becomes the holder of the highest office in the land and, ostensibly, the leader of the free world.
Because, to put it bluntly, if you can't be President of all the states and all the people in all the states or, at least, give your very best, never say quit effort to be that president.... then...what fucking good are you?
More to the point...what's the use of having a president anymore anyway?
A question that the last four years has taught a lot of us needs to be given some serious discussion.
Barack Obama, in a stump speech for Biden a few weeks ago, wisely offered that he couldn't predict what kind of president Joe Biden would be, nor could he predict what policies Biden would or would not want to implement.
"One thing I can promise you, though", Obama continued, "...you won't be exhausted anymore..."
And there it is.
That's what we are.
Tired beyond tired of waking up each day with at least the beginnings of a clenched fist and a slightly elevated heartbeat, already wondering, before feet even touch the floor, what 'conflict' will put us in each other's faces and at each other's throats. Something that we've been fighting about for weeks? Or something that we started fighting about a week ago and still haven't beaten it to death, yet.
Or, even worse, some brand spanking new craw clogger, adding yet another Jenga stick to a pile already too high, too unstable...and wobbling like a mutha.
Well, that's all over now, Facebook posts proclaim.
That takes care of that, Instagram informs.
Thank God we can get back to normal, Twitter tweets.
Remember that "here's a thing" from a few moments ago?
Here's another thing...
You might think you want to get back to normal.
But you really don't.
You see, what we called "normal" four years ago...is what got us where we are today.
In each other's faces, at each other's throats.
So put out, fed up, at wits end, annoyed, upset, angry even hostile enough with the way things were in this country where we supposedly crown that good with brotherhood, that a man whose only real skill set was adding fuel to the fire and fanning the flames was elected President of the United States.
All of the states.
And all of the people in all of those states.
That didn't work out as well as a number of people might have liked..
Cue Billy Joel.
Donald didn't start the fire.
And whatever it exactly is from which America is suffering, Trump is not the cause of it.
Or in the interest of accuracy, not the cause of what it was four years ago.
Hippocrates, in his writings, offered this chestnut to aspiring physicians.
"First, do no harm"
We oughta be signing petitions to get that bitchin bromide attached like a tick to the Presidential oath of office.
Adjusted for a forty eight month tenure, Trump is not the cause of America's malady.
He's just a symptom. A pretty sledge hammer slammin' symptom, I'll grant ya.
But a symptom, nevertheless.
And along came Joe.
And good. Because whatever happens from here on out, we were totally not going to get out of each others faces or back off from each other's throats if we didn't recast the lead of our little patriotic passion play.
So the die is cast. And the lead role is recast.
And now what?
Back to normal?
Sure as hell hope not.
Because the tumor has, obviously, long ago metastasized. Fed up, wits end, annoyed, upset, angry, even hostile has spread like a virus from sea to shining sea.
And one horrifically damaging virus from another country is enough shit to deal with without having to fight the fever of a nasty homegrown plague.
I'm just guessing but Joe is going to talk about bringing everyone together.
Good. He should. And from moment one he needs to commit body, mind and soul to doing more than just talking about it.
We'll see. Time will tell.
In the meantime, though, you, me, we, all of us need to take care of a little business.
We need to talk to each other.
And there have to be, at least, a couple of critical ground rules. Non-negotiable. Dealbreakers.
First, we have to agree that neither one of us is going to get everything we want.
If that's not in your wheelhouse, thanks for stopping by.
Second, we have to agree that only rowing with your oar or only rowing with my oar is going to accomplish absolutely nothing but keeping us going around in circles. Getting us absolutely nowhere. Causing us to be fed up, at wits end, annoyed...you know the drill by now.
By the way, the whole oar metaphor and that thing about neither one of us is going to get everything we want?...Yeah, just two versions of saying the same thing.
Hey, some people need and like metaphors. Like verbal pie charts and bar graphs.
And if accused of making the same point twice, I plead guilty AF,
It's a point that needs to be made twice. Daily.
Coming together. Putting aside our differences. Letting bygones be bygones.
Yeah, that's some pretty lofty shit and certainly something to which we should all aspire.
Given where we are, at this moment in time, though?
Here's a thing.
There's a problem with the numbers.
All that lofty shit comes in at number three.
At number two, is talking about how we do those things.
And at number one, for the umpteenth week in row...
Talking about how we stay out of each other's faces and away from each other's throats long enough to decide how and when we can start talking about how we do those things.
Sound like a lot of work?
Yeah, you know what....
Weeds don't pull themselves.
Especially the weeds that sprout up in the post-election garden.
And most especially, the weeds in this garden....
...after this election.