Did you remember what we decided Dec. 31, 2020?

To refresh your memory, we agreed 12 months would be enough time to reflect on a tumultuous 2020, then share what we learned back here in a year’s time.

Here is how I proposed the idea:

An unstable leader of the free world and a still-rampant and fatal virus are excellent reasons why most of us cannot wait to show 2020 the door.

But before we do, let’s take time to fully absorb the year that was. And, as bad as it was, take our lessons from it.

That will take time and reflection to grasp . . . It will be different for each of us. So, let’s compare notes. Put it on the calendar and we’ll meet back here next year same place, same time. It will be a start. History will do the rest.

Okay, so here it is 365 days later. What have you come to understand after a year of pondering the events of 2020? Perhaps you came to the same conclusions I did?

1. We forgot that the telling of history takes a long time and requires a scholarly assessment. One year won’t do it.

2. We should have understood viruses and politics don’t know when one year ends and the next begins. Both are still with us.

3. We were foolishly optimistic to think 365 days would bring closure to this trauma-packed time in which we find ourselves.

Flash forward. Dec. 31, 2021. COVID is still with us, so is the former leader of the free world and each has spawned new variants of their deadly infection. What we have come to know is that it will take more than one vaccine and legal election to rid ourselves of both.

After 365 days, we have demonstrable evidence that COVID-19 kills and vaccines keep us alive, but facts have failed to cure those suffering from willful ignorance because the former president has true believers in his rank and file.

They trusted what he said about COVID being a hoax and conspiracy even as he vaccinated then boosted himself against it. Yet, still they persist in their loyalty from this false prophet and his bad information.

A changing of the guard at the White House in 2021 brought about an organized method of distributing the vaccine.

The other virus hangs on as the former Refusenik president continues to insist he won the election and, just like COVID, threatens to return one way or another.

It began early in 2021 when on Jan. 6 he called his followers together and ordered them to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” or lose their country as the last step of turning him out of office – counting of the electoral votes – was about to begin.

Fueled by a twisted view of patriotism and loyalty, the faithful did as they were told and we know what happened next. They caused death and destruction while their dear leader, who promised to march with them, stayed behind to watch what he had wrought on his beloved TV.

Days later, back in our nation’s capital, lawmakers who sided with the Refusenik president, began distancing themselves from the rioters and have denied a role in the coup attempt.

If they really feel that way, why do they continue to snub Congressional subpoenas and decline to testify about what they knew and when they knew it?

From the pit of the rabbit hole, they dream of becoming the majority in Congress and restoring the Refusenik President to power.

They continue to fire up the faithful with fantastic plans of how they will do it – without a pesky election – then set out to weaken voter rights and the largely-Democratic African American electorate just in case the country insists on having a presidential election in 2024.

The events of 2020 now seem just a prelude to what happened in 2021 which begs the question: what will 2022 bring?

It is more than a little concerning to hear modern historians who are charged with researching past events and studying benchmarks in the human history warn us about repeating mistakes that ended other great societies and the democratic governments that supported them.

The idea that 2023 could see another step toward the demise of an America that we know and love is unthinkable and downright obscene.

Yes, there is an edge to these words. Some will say such are not proper for a hometown newspaper and we should stick to stories about kittens rescued from trees and who won the county fair pie baking contest.

But the big news is imperative. As they say, all politics is local and what happens in Washington D.C. has a way of coming home to roost.

Barbara Christian has covered the Chagrin Valley since the Johnson administration. Lyndon, not Andrew. She may be reached at: chbarb2@gmail.com

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