My initial intention was to look back at 2020, but I really don’t want to spend any more time on a truly awful year. Of the 30 pieces I’ve published on DemCast USA, 12 have been about the coronavirus pandemic while others have discussed additional issues that arose in 2020, such as the California Wildfires and Trump’s taxes. Feel free to look back at those if you are interested in my thoughts about the year we are happily leaving behind.
Joe Biden has promised not to lie to us, and I believe him. He has also guaranteed that his cabinet will look like the United States, and from his vice president on down, he has fulfilled that promise. Kamala Harris represents all women, but especially intelligent, outspoken women of color. The cabinet includes people of all races, all religions and all sexual orientations. This is the America I love, a country that personifies the American Dream.
CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla takes office in January as the first Latino senator from a state whose Latino population is 40% of the total.He will represent his parents, immigrants from Mexico, and all of the millions of immigrants that have come here looking for a better life. He brings a perspective that is needed if we are going to fix our country.
Speaking of the Senate, I am of course hoping that Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock will win the Georgia special election. But even if that doesn’t happen, we have already seen evidence that Mitch McConnell’s hold on the Senate Republicans is starting to fray. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the Republican candidates in the Georgia senate runoff have both spoken out against McConnell’s refusal to allow a vote on increasing Covid relief checks to $2,000 (even if that’s a cynical attempt to improve their chances in the January 5 election). The usually compliant Marco Rubio has also spoken out in favor of increasing the relief checks to $2,000. Once the outgoing president is truly out of the picture, I hope there will be a senator who will stand up against the Republican leader the way Joseph Welch confronted Joe McCarthy.
Biden’s choice of former teacher Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education, coupled with the influence of the future First Lady who plans to continue teaching, guarantees that education will be important to the new administration. It has become obvious that the lack of a fact-based, well-rounded education that includes media literacy leaves people at the mercy of charismatic leaders and cults.
The entire Biden cabinet is filled with experts in their fields who have years of experience. They will be working to “Build Back Better,” not destroy our relationships with our allies or ruin the opportunities for the next generation. Climate change will once again be a priority and the president-elect has vowed to be the “President of all Americans,” not just the ones who voted for him. These things give me hope.
The new year isn’t going to be easy, at least not initially. During the month of December more than 65,000 people in this country have died of Covid-19, and the medical experts predict January will be worse. Once again we may all have to put our plans on hold. I’m hoping to visit New Jersey in April to help celebrate my parents’ 70th anniversary. I’m not sure enough of us will be vaccinated by then to make it happen. But when our leaders follow the advice of scientists and public health experts, lives can be saved, and life will eventually return to normal.. When the Biden-Harris administration takes over we will once again have responsible adults in charge of our government, and that will make a huge difference in the number of Americans who become sick or die because of Covid-19 before we can all be vaccinated.
We fought hard for the victory we earned in November, and we deserve to celebrate. I can’t wait until Inauguration Day. But the reality is that our work isn’t done. Even when the pandemic is under control, it will remain just the worst of the issues that emerged in the last four years that need to be addressed. The country is still divided. I’m looking forward to working with a new government that cares about people and will try and bring us together for a better, more equal country. Are you?
Finally, I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year! Please be careful and stay safe, you will be needed in 2021!
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