As of this writing, 77 million Americans are pretty happy about who will take the presidential oath at noon on Jan. 20, 2021

Question: What happens to the 73 million people who voted for the other guy? That’s a lot of disappointment, anger and resentment.

The president-elect promises he can bring them back into the fold for a better tomorrow for everyone, or whatever Hallmark card sentiment. Clearly most of them would stew in their own conspiracy theories.

I have no doubt the president-in-waiting is serious about this togetherness thing. He has promised it since the start of his campaign. But can he? Desire to do is one thing. Cooperation from his former opponents is another.

The two sides have viewed one another as enemies for so long that the battle lines are indelibly drawn with permanent marker, and we just don’t see each other as “all in this together” Americans.

Instead, we stand on opposite sides of an indelible line, look over at the other side and say it’s the fault of “those communists, liberal fruits ‘n nuts from California” or “those ‘Deliverance’ style southern hillbillies, Bible thumpin’ Fascists, east coast elites.”

Pick your place on the map and we have an unkind name for you. So just how does this new president convince our two Americas to take up arms together for the greater good rather than against each other for nobody’s advantage, least of all America’s?

And just what is this “greater good,” and who gets to decide what it is and who it is for?

If attitudes continue as they have, I am not optimistic this new president can succeed. Many of us out here in the real world fear America is dying or seriously ill. Or is America simply a fairy tale we have been telling ourselves?

Did America ever really heal after the Civil War? Did Abraham Lincoln save the day or did he die trying? Did the election of America’s first black president provide the tipping event that brought racism out of the closet and into the streets again for the first time in a generation?

Some say we need a common enemy like we had in World War II to bring us together in a common cause. I am just old enough to remember how we pulled together for the “war effort” and “our boys over there.”

With his long bellowing guttural speeches, cartoon mustache and greased down bangs, Hitler was the poster boy for evil. It was easy to rally around the flag then.

Well we do have a common enemy, and it is not helping our patriotism one iota. It’s COVID-19. We cannot even get it together on the efficacy of wearing face masks.

“We have met the enemy and he is us,” cartoon figure Pogo once said. We have great role models. Our elected representatives who have lost a sense of fairness and demonstrate it every day in the Congress by rejecting dignity, responsibility and cooperation that they traded for a political win.

News flash folks, “take no prisoners” and scorched earth is not good policy. Defunding police is not the answer to the problem in some police departments either.

More funding for better psychological testing of officers is sound practice. Ongoing psychological testing is even better.

I’m no political analyst, but if I were the president-elect, I would try something different to get the attention of every disaffected American who has stopped believing the magical land called “across the aisle.”

There is nothing written that prohibits presidents from making cabinet appointments of good, reasonable, intelligent, open-minded men and women from the other political party. I promise. This will not produce the end of the world.

Remember when it was not polite to discuss religion or politics in polite society? Maybe we could return to that then start looking at people without seeing donkeys and elephants.

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.