Well, here we are. On the doorstep of 2021. Ain’t that somethin’?
While it’s good to be rid of 2020, much of what ailed us - as a nation and individually - is going with us into that new year. Nothing we can do about that.
Rather than the traditional “Top Stories of........” nonsense I despise, I’ve decided on a “Most Hated of 2020” category of the past 366 days. And, wouldn’t you know it, there are co-winners. Or losers.
First, more than anything else, the most dangerous and deadly has to be COVID-19. I know. You might want to nominate something or someone else but that shares the top spot on my list.
Nothing - and I mean NOTHING - has disrupted our lives in the last hundred years or so as much as Coronavirus 2020. Nor has any other event in that same time period killed or maimed so much of the civilian populace. Millions have had it; many scarred for life. More than 370-thousand dead.
No one - and I mean NO ONE - has escaped untouched, though a lot of people may think otherwise. It’s affected all of us in many ways. Maybe just the inconvenience of wearing a mask - or defying the common sense of such an adornment. Maybe it was not having the freedom of unrestricted movement that’s always been part of our heritage. Maybe it was not having some activity in life that you took for granted - going to church or a movie.
Or, it may have affected you as you looked down into the hole beside a casket bearing a loved one about to be interred. For too many, that will be the scar of 2020 that will remain in memory long after.
If we’re looking for something bright on the new year horizon, it may be this: we’ve got promising vaccines coming. For everyone. It may take a few - or many - months, but for all who want the assured protection, it’s here. The pharmaceutical companies, long-despised for their outrageous drug price-gouging, put themselves on a war-like production schedule and several got the new drugs to market in near-record time. The affects of COVID will be greatly reduced in 2021 because of their work.
The co-recipient on my “Most Hated of 2020” is one DONALD J. TRUMP - as the human that affected our lives more than any other.
As with the disease, the after-affects of Trump will be with us for a long, long time. It will take years - long beyond the four-year term of a President Joe Biden - to root out the leavings and rebuild confidence in the institutions of government ravaged by that one individual.
Though we’ve an incredible intelligence community and the best-equipped and best-trained military in the world, they’ve been weakened by his tenure. Failing to acknowledge the oft-proven charges of Russian interference in our lives - and the failure to respond to it - has not deterred Putin. Nor will it. We’ve not mounted strong retaliation or a more aggressive posture. It’s to be hoped a President Biden will apply some retaliatory discipline on the undisciplined Russian.
It’s virtually impossible to overstate the negative affects on this nation because of DJT. The remnants of his footprints are over nearly all of our government. No single occupant of the Oval Office has inflicted so much damage in so short a time.
He came into that office damningly illiterate about facts of government, of economics, of history, of America’s place in the world. To his everlasting shame, he leaves the same as he came.
His future will not be that of the usual ex-president. It’s abundantly clear the other four surviving members of that exclusive group want nothing to do with him in any way.
No, Donald’s future portends a long series of lawsuits and, quite possibly, criminal charges in several cases for past activities, both in and out of the presidency. One or more convictions eventually. It may even turn out he’ll become the first former President of these United States to spend extensive time in a jail cell. Could happen.
The national media is, predictably, going to offer breathless accounts of every move and whisper coming from a Biden White House. And, just as predictably, minutiae from every twist and turn of Trumpworld in 2021 and beyond. While his affects on our lives may be lessened by his governmental absence, his future public persona will still be “news.”
Odd, that the top of my list should be shared by a plague and the most unqualified and - in my mind - the most despicable human to ever occupy the office of President of the United States. But, it is what it is. And our lives are distinctly poorer for both.
Well, we’ll leave the list up on the old bulletin board for a few days. Then, it, too, will be faded and a bit tattered. Much as will the 12 months of 2020 in a bit.
For many of us, the two winners on this list have inflicted some scars. There’ll be some lingering after-affects. From both. But, as this nation has done so many times, we’ll overcome the conflicts and hurt inflicted and “get on with it.” That’s our nature.
It’s also our nature to look out for one another. Stay safe.