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We have just gone through another grueling presidential election in which our pollsters were once again proven wrong. For months we heard about double-digit leads for Joe Biden and Democrats in key, swing states. There was even talk of a landslide the likes we’ve not seen since Ronald Reagan. In the end, America spoke, but what did it say?

America said that it was perfectly content with senators like Susan Collins who professed to be pro-choice yet vote for right-wing radical Supreme Court justices.

America said it adored Lindsey Graham, a man who exhibited more hypocrisy than just about any other politician in modern history. “I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, Lindsey Graham said, ‘Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’ and you could use my words against me, and you’d be absolutely right.” (Commenting on Mitch McConnell’s decision to obstruct the Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination, March 10, 2016.)

America decided it likes Joni Ernst of Iowa even though she had no idea the price of soybeans and/or impacts of the tariffs that she voted for. America decided that it was OK with insane conspiracy theorists like QAnon, because apparently it would rather believe in truly fake media like National Enquirer, InfoWars and RT, then our own free press. It bought into the mantra of “fake news” shouted at them over and over and over again, by a president who readily admitted that he calls the media “fake news” so that when they report something bad about him no one will believe them. Sadly for him, most Americans were not so easily fooled. America decided that it was not OK with the most corrupt attorney general in our history, a man who made the decision to serve as the president’s personal lawyer versus the nation’s lawyer. When the corrupt president declared, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” Bill Barr stepped right up. America said “NO” to Bill Barr. America further decided that it would prefer to not be a nation divided. America does not support allowing police to continue killing unarmed black Americans. America has said “ENOUGH” to armed idiots wearing camouflage outfits and pretending to be tough guys as they parade around Walmart for all to see their toughness. America decided that it no longer supports racism, bigotry, misogyny, anti-Semitism, authoritarianism and fascism. The man that America elected four years ago exhibited all of these traits. It proved to be too much for the majority of voters. America said “NO” to these traits. America said “No thanks” to the radical right-wing Christians. It does not support more religious beliefs restricting our lives. America said “NO” to allowing religion to supersede logic and science.

America decided to turn away from the sharp right hand turn it had taken over the past four years. It saw that turn resulting in the loss, or undermining, of our healthcare, our public educational system, climate change, and in all likelihood, the destruction of Social Security and Medicare. Like the guy who repeatedly smashes his own thumb with a hammer, decries how painful it is and then gets mad at the hammer, many American’s anger was misplaced. It’s not the hammer that’s the problem.

On November 3rd, America decided to chart a new course. The overwhelming majority of Americans saw the previous charted course and knew that we were headed over the falls. America woke up and realized that getting in a boat and sailing off with a seriously ill captain was wrong. Over the next four years it will become abundantly clear that America made the right decision and diverted our ship of state from catastrophe. Fortunately, the nation will no longer pay the price for its inability to see the man who was elected president in 2016 for who he is. Many people had projected their own shortcomings onto this failed human in hopes that he would make their lives better. America is a great nation consisting of people who genuinely care for each other. Today, we decided to go back to being a nation of love over hate and truth over fear and lying. At some point all Americans will come to see the damage that’s been inflicted over the past four years. From one day to the next we have transitioned from a nation led by a man who promoted conspiracy theories, intentionally misled and lied to us all, to a country that will go back to straight talk and truth. With the right attitude and respect for each other we might just be able to become the caring, empathetic, supportive nation that has been our trademark for generations.

America, you got lucky. This time the overwhelming popular vote now finds itself in the electoral college winning circle. Soon America will be rid of this narcissistic president, but we still have our friends and neighbors who saw the world differently to deal with, and deal with them we must. Let’s get busy.

Bob Stannard writes a regular column for the Journal.


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