As I write this, Sunday, Nov. 15, I confess that I am still processing the recent election. Joe Biden is President-elect and Kamala Harris is Vice President-elect. That is a fact. The official certifications will start to arrive this coming week. When the political analysts of all the major stations called the various states for Donald Trump in 2016, he and his followers had no problem accepting those pronouncements.
In stark terms, the dictator is refusing to abdicate. Throughout his presidency, with full complicity of all elected Republican senators and representatives, this administration has not governed. They have ruled. For four agonizing years, Mr. Trump and his minions have made it very clear they rule only on behalf of their people, with the equally clear message that those of us no longer represented must simply “suck it up.”
We stood on the corner. We called. We texted. We emailed. We tried to participate in democratic processes. We tried to get our voices heard. The real Trump Wall has been the absolute, dictatorial rule of a minority within our country. A wall, that due to an abysmal response, has resulted in American deaths at a scale beyond comprehension, and travel restrictions to nearly every country on the globe.
How are any of us to heal when nearly 80% of our voting neighbors, voted to continue to be ruled by an amoral, sociopathic dictator? A dictator who continues to refuse to abdicate surrounded by unmasked, heavily armed citizen vigilantes.
The ultimate expression of a functioning democracy is “the peaceful transfer of power” following an election. The dictator, even now, has fired critical Pentagon leaders. To what end? We are not heading to a constitutional crisis. We are fully in one and have been for years. Historians will eventually unpack a more precise timeframe for when we actually entered into this crisis. Meanwhile, every day the dictator in chief refuses to abdicate, is a dark day for any hope of restoring a functioning democracy.
As with the out-of-control pandemic, this is not a hoax. And I am struggling to absorb the reality that I live in a community so overwhelmingly supportive of being ruled by a dictator, rather than a cooperative, responsible governance where all voices have a place at the political table.
Pray to God we find the courage and grace to do the work before us.
Rev. Elaine Silverstrim