Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Is America Both the Luckiest and Unluckiest of Nations?

I've not posted on this blog since the inauguration of President Joe Biden.  In silent awe at my country surviving dictatorship, I was genuinely at a loss for typing words.   Listening to our new President, and the news of dozens of executive orders and appointments, signaling meaningful change. 

(I am taking the liberty of posting some transition-related items on their appropriate days, below).

President Joe Biden was recently described by as both lucky and unlucky.  As reported by NPR's Audie Cornish, former Senator Ted Kaufman, one of President Biden's oldest friends, told The New Yorker's Evan Osnos: 

OSNOS: I think [President Joe Biden] brings to it a lot of scar tissue; some of the successes he's had and also a lot of the failures along the way and the tragic events, that combination of qualities. You know, one of his friends, his former chief of staff, Ted Kaufman, once said to me, if you ask me who the luckiest person I know is, it's Joe Biden. And if you ask me who the unluckiest person I know is, it's Joe Biden. And the combination of those two qualities has given him an acquaintance with suffering that is relevant right now. This is a country that is grieving right now - literally, in some cases, families who have lost people to the COVID epidemic and other people who are grieving for our politics, grieving for the culture that we are living in right now and this period of such pain. And that for him is something that he knows how to contend with. It's been a part of his life for a long time.

Likewise, America's been one of the luckiest and unluckiest of countries.  

Founded by British, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and other colonists, well-equipped with "guns, germs and steel," people looking for freedom wrested a continent, taking it from its indigenous people, exploiting them and African-American slaves, and women poorly.

Luckily, Americans also endorsed democratic, republican values in our Constitution.  We triumphed over King George III, slavery, the Confederacy, Jim Crow segregation, fascism, and dishonest President DONALD JOHN TRUMP and his Dull Republican Confederacy of Dunces.

Democracy, as President Biden said in his Inaugural Address, is a fragile thing.  

Listening to deluded TRUMP supporters, 2016-2021, I understand better,

Even some very intelligent people have stooped to defending Trump, to get votes.  

Exhibits A: St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick, who appeared at Trump Club meetings in SABPD uniform until I called him out.  

Exhibit B: My friend, Isaac Henry Dean, St. Johns County Commission Vice Chair, endorsed by Trump Club.  

To both Sheriff Hardwick and Vice Chairman. Dean let me say the four choice words that I spoke to St. Johns County Commission Chair Thomas G. Manuel after he was arrested for bribery: "Don't do that again!"

When cynical powerful people spew lies, risking lives, we must listen to our Founders, who gave us the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Democracy is fragile, and we must safeguard it at home and abroad, starting with corrupt St,. Johns County, long subject of one-party rule. 

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