I won’t be original if I say that 2020 was a difficult year. Some of us may have fallen ill or faced the illness of a loved one, some lost income, and almost all of us had to deal with the upheaval of our lives and the loss of confidence in our future. But, in spite of all this, I believe that we have learned to better appreciate each other and to value our very ability to communicate and provide mutual support. We learned that we can be close even from a distance, that we can take care of each other, and that together we are able to overcome disasters on a global scale. I hope that next year we will maintain this sense of solidarity.
Because even though, we won the presidential election, let’s be honest: all polling data indicates that without the coronavirus pandemic, Trump’s reelection was almost inevitable given Americans’ tendency to reelect the incumbent president. Ironically, the coronavirus calamity saved us from further chaos and destruction of our values. At least some of the voters who had planned to vote for Trump looked at the scale of the tragedy and the blatant incompetence of the White House and changed their minds. It even can be said that the people who died during the pandemic unwittingly sacrificed their lives for Biden’s victory. And precisely because the victory was won at such a high price, we have a huge responsibility. Now we get a chance to make our country better, correct past mistakes and fulfill our promises.
Keep in mind, however, that nearly half the country believes that President-elect Biden and his supporters pose a threat to America’s very existence. The country has never been as divided as it is now. I understand that it is extremely difficult to find common ground with people who hate us or do not trust us, or at best, think we have been deceived. But we must try to unite our divided society and see people as human beings first, not as ideological opponents. The road to reconciliation is a rough one but we must show that we are better than Trump: kinder, more generous, more humane, more honest.
For the past seven years, I have been analyzing foreign interference, propaganda and manipulation of U.S. affairs in order to shield ordinary people from the influence of foreign powers. But as a specialist, I can say that our opponents are not capable of creating anything new: they only use wedge issues and chasms that already exist in our society. It’s up to us to resolve our differences and try to understand each other.
It has been a challenging year, but the next one will also be tough, requiring from us not the ability to resist, but the ability to build. This task is sometimes more difficult than the struggle with overt evil. I really hope that next year will be one of reconciliation and healing of our society (both physically and mentally) and a return to a life filled with peace and joy.
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