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America, we have been here before. Throughout our history we have been called upon to face and fight enormous dangers, some domestic, some foreign in nature: World Wars, a Civil War, the Great Depression, 9/11, the Cold War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, which took us literally to the brink of nuclear war, numerous financial crises, and Watergate are but a few of the challenges we have faced and conquered. Sometimes it takes far too long, but eventually we rise to the occasion.

There are great speeches that have lifted the American spirit, there were great leaders who guided us through perilous times, there have been courageous actions such as the Emancipation Proclamation that have shaped and formed who we are as a nation and a people. But let me reflect at this moment upon the following words.

“My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over … Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule.” I cannot, however unusual it may seem, help but harken back to these words spoken by Gerald Ford at his inaugural upon assuming office after Richard Nixon’s resignation. I was never a fan of Gerald Ford but certainly his heart was in the right place.

I just finished reading Frank Rich’s piece in New York Magazine where he argues essentially that while Trump may be sidelined, Trumpism is not dead. That, I fear, is all too prescient. However, for now the nightmare is interrupted by the light of day. Will it return? It may, but we are currently in the midst of monumentally consequential disruptions to what is often casually referred to as normalcy.

Job number one is to face what is literally in our face while preparing for the future through careful deliberation, and evidence-based science leading the way. Yes, the country is divided, some perceive irretrievably so, but the job of this administration is to lead us to a better understanding, to educate the populace on the consequences of either inaction or ignorance grounded in impatience, intellectual laxity, or greed.

The gargantuan task that lies before us will require a genuine dedication to healing the open sores that currently divide us.

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As we now embark upon reconstructing the decaying foundations of democracy left in the wake of Donald Trump’s disastrous foray into what can only be generously defined as executive leadership we must dedicate ourselves to the hard core discipline required of a government and society striving to live up to the principles embedded in our charter. The gargantuan task that lies before us will require a genuine dedication to healing the open sores that currently divide us. Joe Biden is the perfect person for the job, but he will need the help of the general populace, not only the nearly 75 million people who supported him but also the 70 million who supported Trump.

Now is not the time for vengeance, recriminations, or anything approaching gloating but rather a time for compassion, empathy, and togetherness. It is seemingly unlikely that the outgoing President will cooperate in a meaningful and peaceful transition. This is unfortunate and certainly not in keeping with the spirit in which our democracy functions. I hope to be proven wrong. However, if not, we must rely upon the good will of a fractured society. It will not be easy but it must represent the blueprint for moving forward.

There is one piece that still needs to be settled; namely the selection of not one but two US Senators from the state of Georgia. This will be decided in separate run-off elections held on January 5. Moving forward does not necessarily require a Democratic Senate but would be much smoother if the Senate is even remotely cooperative. But if not, there is certainly no better individual than Joe Biden, with his vast legislative and executive experience, to guide us through the issues minefield that lies ahead.

The excitement and enthusiasm of our descent from darkness will be short-lived. The neglected agenda of the past four years needs to be addressed immediately, even though we must endure an interregnum until January 21 that by initial indications promises to be rocky at best, counterproductive at worst.

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The history of our nation is one built upon the encouragement of diversity, both in our citizenry and in our philosophical predispositions. Let us take advantage of our historical experiences and the guiding principles upon which the nation was founded and prospered. Together we can do this and the job starts immediately. So lets get to it.

Lance Simmens