What We Hope on Election Day

Nearly 100 million Americans voted before Election Day this year. Now, we wait, watch, and hope. It is a commodity that’s been in short supply in 2020, as a pandemic, civil rights protests, and raging wildfires piled atop the election’s boiling-hot rhetoric. But, damn it, we must hope.

We are united

We hope that Americans remember that we are States United, not states divided, and that our similarities overshadow our differences.

We hope that high-pitched electioneering gives way to quiet conversation.

… to respecting science, nature, and each other.

Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

We have leadership

We hope that we will treat each other kindly, for we are all Americans, with a president for all Americans.

… that dysfunction gives way to precision, focus, and steady leadership.

By Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey, Yasmeen Abutaleb, The Washington Post

… leaders rise above self-destructive strife to make deliverance from illness and death a unifying national cause.”

Michael Gerson, The Washington Post

[We enter 2021] … with our eyes open, and our mouth and nose covered.

The Editors, The Palm Beach Post

We are the america the world respects

We hope that the world will see us return to our better selves.

[That we have once again] a president with the dignity and largeness of vision to understand that America still means something in the world.

Mona Charen, The Ethics and Public Policy Center

Remember how we felt about each other as the nation — indeed, the world — went into quarantine? How we sang and waved and greeted each other with kindness and compassion?

We are still those people. That’s more than hope.

Political Musings in the Time of Corona: Andy Marlette, David Horsey, Clay Bennett

Trump ads threaten: “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” The images in these ads were taken as Trump sits in the White House. We have never been lead so callously.

He’s against God. He’s against guns.

Donald J. Trump, about Joe Biden

Trump sounds like a frantic salesman who cannot keep his pitch straight.

EJ Dionne, The Washington Post

He is hoping to get the nation to focus on the lesser problem of mayhem… To distract from the crushing, monumental screwup of public health and the economy.

Mona Charen, Ethics and public policy center

He is a businessman, and as such has thrown in the towel and declared bankruptcy.

William Damato, Letter to the Editor. The Palm Beach Post

The most dangerous people are the ones who speak with total authority and no room for error.

Jerome Groopman, Harvard Medical School

We all have to die, but we don’t have to die of stupidity.

Leonard Pitts, The Washington Post

Stupidity is being allowed to metastasize. And without science-based leadership at the top, it will continue to empower and embolden the mask holes among us.

Frank Cerabino, The Palm Beach Post

I equate Florida to a cruise ship. It’s very social, and it’s very group friendly, whether you’re flocking to the beach with friends or you’re all around the table having lunch.

Peter Ricci, Hospitality and Tourism Management program, Florida Atlantic University

We have I would say uncontrolled transmission at this time. That is fair to say.

Norman Beatty, assistant professor of medicine, University of Florida division of infectious diseases and global medicine

Florida alone has an average daily death toll roughly equal to that of the whole European Union, which has 20 times its population

Paul Krugman. The New York Times

Nothing’s risk-free in life.

Governor Ron DeSantis

Local government leaders in Georgia are being sued by the governor of that state for having the temerity to order the wearing of masks in their jurisdictions.

Can I get annexed to Germany or even North Carolina?

Mayor of Athens, Georgia

I am among the many New York State government retirees living in Florida. I know we make up the largest group outside the State. I know we have the expertise and the numbers, so how about we can petition Andrew Cuomo to be annexed? We would leave Mar-A-Lago behind.

Going Down Inflamed

Friday evenings we go to church for ten minutes. That’s when the duo of Mark Shields and David Brooks speak with PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff about the events of the prior week. Almost every week we are buoyed by the thoughtful analysis.

Last night, on the topic of national leadership, Shields commented that a president has two opportunities to shine as a leader: 1) when everything is coming up roses — the economy is pumping, we are not at war, employment is high and happy days have come again; and 2) when there is a national catastrophe not of the president’s making and people are looking to the White House for solace from the Consoler in Chief.

Trump has blown both opportunities.

Donald Trump has failed at leading the country and failed miserably. He has been a sniper on the sidelines.

Mark Shields, PBS NewsHour

Even when a dire emergency calls for traits other than bellicosity, fighting is all he knows how to do.

Mona Charen, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Four years into the Trump administration, this fellow’s unsuitability to the job has led to the deaths of more than 125,000 Americans, the rapid unemployment of one out of every four Americans, and a crashing economy. This tin pot ruler even wanted to bring the military into American cities to fight unarmed citizens.

With a nation on edge, ravaged by disease, hammered by economic collapse, divided over lockdowns and even facemasks and now convulsed once again by race, President Trump’s first instinct has been to look for someone to fight.

Peter Baker, The New York Times

Just as the baffoon allowed entry to the cool kids’ club might prance in the outfit for a while, his unsuitability to the position wears out its welcome. It comes time to show the joker the door.

Suddenly, electing a television entertainer with no knowledge of history or experience of the world seems less amusing. Suddenly the desire to apply a wrecking ball to American politics seems less responsible and appealing amidst the ruins….This is the main and rather obvious lesson of Civics 101: if you elect a politician who is professionally incompetent and emotionally unwell, you will pay a price.

Michael Gerson, The Washington Post

It’s time to call this guy’s bluff. As Republican commentator David Brooks said in his recent op-ed column:

I thank God that Joe Biden is about to be nominated by the Democratic Party. He came to public life when it was about crafting coalitions and legislating. He exudes a spirit that is about empathy and friendship.

David Brooks, The New York Times

Empathy and friendship. Those sound like just the qualities that we need right now as individuals, locked in our homes and hidden behind our masks.

Empathy and friendship sound like just the qualities that the states need right now as they struggle to balance economic needs and the health of their resident Americans. And that Congress and the White House will need in order to craft real solutions that address our losing fight against the coronavirus, the economic depression, and a powerful new push for cultural change.

And empathy and friendship are certainly the qualities our international relationships need right now. More on that soon.