Plenty of reasons for gratitude
December 2, 2020
I am writing this on Thanksgiving, when I shouldn’t be working on a column.
But here I am, working on a column while I anticipate the annual feast.
It’s going to be about being thankful. Gratitude is good for you and the people you thank.
The usual thing columnists do on Thanksgiving is talk about what they’re thankful for. I’ll continue that tradition.
In 2020, the year whose name denotes perfect vision, ours was dimmed by a world-wide pandemic.
But those who read this column, whether I can count them on one hand or both, are alive, and, I hope, healthy enough to enjoy a feast, however lonely it may be due to COVID-19 restrictions that are sadly necessary.
That’s reason for gratitude. I’m grateful to be among them. Very grateful.
I’m grateful for the hope of a vaccine, whether it becomes available in January or September next year.
I’m mostly grateful that the results of our November election are likely to return the nation to sanity.
We’ve had four years of randomized bouncing off walls at the hands of an amateur who just plain didn’t know what he was doing, but would not let those who are better informed and more skillful tell him anything.
Sometimes randomized bounces bring benefits. The economy was gaining significantly until the coronavirus, which was mismanaged at a critical time, came along. We got tough with China. Operation Warp Speed appears to be bringing its hoped-for result, one or several coronavirus vaccines. We got our NATO allies to pony up more for their own support, even at the expense of endangering some key alliances.
Some of these things happened because of President Donald Trump. Others in spite of him.
One other thing I will credit President Donald Trump for: He shook our nation out of apathy. More than 150 million votes were cast in November, more for each candidate than any candidates had received in any previous election. That was a 62% turnout nationwide.
Love Trump or hate him, we showed we care, and that’s good news.
The unexpectedly small margin of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is a testament to the loyalty of Trump’s base to its charismatic leader, even if it is focused, in my opinion, on a narcissistic potential autocrat.
The nation needed Biden’s victory, and that’s a source of gratitude for me.
Trump’s denial of his loss despite all good evidence to the contrary, glaringly demonstrates the delusional thinking that, again in my opinion, made Trump unfit for office.
Biden knows the people he needs to deal with to lead the country day-to-day, and he has their respect
His first task is righting the ship, which his strong reputation in Congress may enable, and then re-establishing a middle course, if he can resist the leftward tilt of his own party.
If he can then demonstrate the value of compromise, he could also help Republicans break free from the far-right rigidity that produced Trump. Biden could help restore two viable parties that can work with each other, recognizing that neither is right all the time.
If he can do either of these things or both, I will be even more grateful.
Steve Hansen writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: