Beginning Anew with an Elder Statesman
As we calendar-ly moved into the New Year, I had postponed writing a blog. I had wanted to wait until January 20. Like many Americans, I looked forward to a new beginning. I had been worried about President Joe Biden being harmed during the Inauguration. Never suspecting that our entire US Congress were at risk for bodily harm or deaths as well as VP Pence, his wife and daughter on the electoral college certification day, January 6, 2021.
There is an operating principle floating out there that says we get the leader we deserve. Yes and No. Another way of saying that is we partner/align with a person or persons at our own level of emotional maturity or lack thereof. Professionals in the field would say “at the level of our self-differentiation.”
So here we are. A New Year, a New Beginning, Renewed Hope; still facing the COVID threat. What will change? What will stay the same? And where are each of us in all of this, the new, the same, the different?
Where I was
Now that President Biden has taken his place in the White House, I am beginning to discover that where I was for the past four years was living under a pall of disappointment, anger, frustration, bewilderment at how D. Trump was in the White House, especially since Hilary Rodham Clinton garnered more popular votes than Trump in 2016.
Where I am
Now I need to put that behind me and move forward. I am still angry and annoyed but mostly I am savoring the “Courage:” my word, to describe the stark (at times) simple, unpretentious Inauguration in all its moments. The Remembrance event at the Lincoln Memorial; five people held that reverently, no fanfare. Simply standing in memory, holding our collective sorrow as two young women sung our prayer.
The Inauguration Ceremony itself. I was nervous as the ladies walked down those steps in their high heels.to the platform. They could have at least held on to the bannister! Okay, I will admit it, as a staunch Democrat I love seeing the Clintons and Obamas. After four years of Trump, it was refreshing to see George W. and Laura Bush.
I liked the touch of youth. Lady Gaga in her hoop skirt sang beautifully. Amanda Gorman “hit it out of the park.” Energy and Hope in rhyme.
On to Arlington National Cemetery a visual reminder of the sacrifices so many Americans have made to protect and defend our country; accompanied by three Presidential couples adding solemnity, continuity, messaging the gravity of the Office.
The abbreviated parade, long enough to include a band from Delaware as well as the Howard University Band for VP Kamala Harris.
On to the Evening Program hosted by Tom Hanks at the Lincoln Center, I was intrigued by the technology of bringing all those celebrities on screen. So clever. Wrapping the day up, bursting the sky with Energy, Excitement, Ethos.
Now we are in Week One. Making tracks! One of the things that spoke to me earlier this week was the zoom meeting between key bi-partisan centrist lawmakers and three key Biden administrators to discuss the relief package. Some of those participating are members of the Problem Solvers Caucus. Are you familiar with the Problem Solvers Caucus? They are my “hopeful heroes and heroines.”
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in the United States House of Representatives that includes 50 members, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, who seek to foster bipartisan cooperation on key policy issues. They are determined to quietly, behind the scenes, get the job done.
Yesterday I believe in a two-party system. I wrote a note to a young friend of mine; forty something. Jason is a staunch Republican (and a non-Trumper). I asked Jason to consider running for office. The Republican Party needs to be reclaimed by the authentic members of that Party.
I close Today, January 28, 2021 with guarded hope, prayers for a rapid expansion of COVID vaccination, sympathy for the too many people who have lost loved ones; a dose of optimism that the kindness and respect with which we treat each other can make a difference.
Be well and keep smiling behind that mask!