According to the Merriam -Webster dictionary, ‘interregnum” is 1: the time during which a throne is vacant between two successive reigns or regimes. 2: a period during which during the normal functions of government or control are suspended. Our beloved country is right now experiencing a bewildering interregnum. The current occupant of the White House has lost his bid for reelection but won’t acknowledge the reality of what has happened. In about two months he will either leave the White House on his own or be escorted from it. During the days leading up to the election and now with the election results being disputed by Trump with no evidence to prove his baseless claims, I still worry about our country and what the American future might have held for our children and grandchildren if there were four more years of Trump’s questionable leadership.
Election night was not a good sleeping night. When Florida was called for Trump I was really concerned about what lay ahead. I like to think of myself as someone who is open to opposing points of view in many areas including the political arena. But since Trump came into power I am not so open politically. He lies – his followers say that is fake news – but when you can yourself see the video where he is expounding falsehoods – how can these untruths be classified as fake news. He is demeaning of women, the handicapped, the men and women serving our country in the armed forces, war heroes, etc.
There is video proof of all these behaviors. I find it particularly annoying to be told “he is just rough around the edges”. And he has lied about his finances. His handling of the pandemic is absolutely disgraceful – thousands of lives have been lost needlessly.
I have always been so proud to be an American. Trump has successfully diminished that feeling in me and now with his refusal to acknowledge his election loss I am finding this “interregnum” period very stressful. Trump is a cry baby and a sore looser. So far his refusal to open the government to Biden’s transition team is both a national security risk and a health risk. There must be coordination between the two administrations so the Biden coronavirus team can” hit the ground running”. Trump has from the beginning publicly downplayed the significance of the pandemic. I have come to believe that while he might be a great showman he does not really care about the people he governs.
Pandemic cases and deaths are rising. But there is hope in the announcements of the viability of two vaccines. But they won’t be available immediately. There is a lot of preparation that must be done to facilitate the distribution of the vaccine. Trump has not been to a Covid task force meeting in five months. It is comforting that Joe Biden has made the pandemic one of his top priorities and has put together a team of top scientists.But there must be interaction between Trump’s pandemic team and the team Biden has put together. There is so much work to do and Trump’s delay in accepting the election results could be responsible for many more unnecessary Covid deaths.
The political and social devisions in the country today seem so glaring and at times almost insurmountable. I certainly have been aware of such divisions down through the years but they have never effected me so powerfully as today’s unrest. I think so much about what the future holds for our children and our grandchildren. I am taken aback by the number of folks who voted for Trump, How can anybody want four more years of his obnoxious behavior? I feel hopeful when Joe Biden says that he will be the President for all Americans – that is what the office implies, that is what it means. In Trump’s refusal to concede the election he exhibits the behavior of someone looking after his own needs and not those of the county he is supposedly serving.
Ten years ago Jerry and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. It was such a special occasion where our children , our grandchildren and precious friends gathered to celebrate with us. There was good food, lots of meaningful toasts, singing and dancing. One of our granddaughters called recently to chat and brought up the subject of our 50th celebration. She said that her memory was of such a happy gathering – she would have been eight at that time. We were planning on a similar celebration for our 60th which this year falls on Thanksgiving Day. I have always loved Thanksgiving celebrations and it just seemed so appropriate that our 60th fell on Thanksgiving when we had so much to be thankful for. Of course there is no way we can duplicate the 50th. In the past ten years we have lost dear friends; there has been the intrusion of health issues; some of our family structures have changed. Ten years ago we had a family portrait done and we wanted to update that to include the blessed additions to our family.
With the unrelenting pandemic we scaled back plans for our celebration. And then just started wondering if we should have any gathering at all. Finally our children decided that they would spread out their coming over three days to cut down on possible exposure. We wouldn’t have more than two families here at one time. It seemed like such a good plan but the more we reflected on our out of town families who would be making the trip back and forth on the same day we felt that it was too much of an act of love to let them do. We sent a group text to them all uninviting them and saying that it was old school to make a big deal about a 60th anniversary, that the modern way was to focus on the 61st.
Some might say that since the term” interregnum” was originally used to denote the time between the end of one royal reign and the beginning of another, it was not appropriate to use it as the title for this blog. I disagree. Trump has violated so many of our democratic norms he acts like one who believes he is royalty. He must concede. He must do what he can to promote a smooth transition of power. Where Trump’s focus appears to be focusing on promoting discord, Biden is focusing on bringing together the very divergent groups in our society.
It is inspiring that Biden even after his personal hardships and his failed Presidential attempts never let go of his dream of being President. I am very moved when he recites the words of the Irish poet Seamus Heaney: “History says, don’t hope on this side of the grave. But then, once in a lifetime the longed-for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme. “