Nov 09, 2020 Editorial
America has spoken, with its citizens speaking loudly and clearly. But America, now more sharply divided than ever, did more than speak. What Americans did was turn their backs and sent a message: enough.
It was where there were enough of the voters, across the expansiveness of America’s geography and the spread (and mystery to many) of the Electoral College, came out – or mailed in – their disgust with the obnoxious and the rank bigotries and all that lowered the American ideal before the eyes of a troubled world. It was to reassure themselves and that same worried world that this had to be mercifully over, that it had gone on too long, and it was time to end it. That is the American Way.
Though not over yet, it is the end of the Great White Ways of the latest Great White Hope that went down in flames. It was from the flames of endless presidential fulminations that led to self-incineration. It just had to; there was no other way. And now there is so much hard road ahead, so much knitting work to do.
The problem is that some poisonous seeds have been sowed; many of them that have taken firm root. That flourishing will neither die nor fade away easily or quickly. Though the road in front is uphill and promises to be gruelling every step of the way, there is in America that remarkable capacity of depth, resilience, and ingenuity that, once tapped wisely, could lead anywhere.
There are no limits to the possibilities, if energies and visions are aligned well, and put to work without fear and with freedom.
The first possibility that must be believed in strongly and nurtured carefully is that there can be and must be-regrouping towards rebuilding.
And towards an America that can glow again with the greatness of a kind that is vastly different from that envisioned just recently. It is one where there are no outsiders, or where others are made to think and feel that they are, that they do not belong.
It is one that harnesses the untiring energies of the immigrant, the small entrepreneur, the youthful aspirants, the coloured company that has made so many immeasurable contributions to the American Reality, while carving out a slice of the American Dream for themselves.
That dream is still viable for many across the globe. It is why tens of millions desire fervently to go to America. They do not want to go to Russia or China or Cuba; not even rich Saudi Arabia. Many want to come to Guyana because of our newfound oil wealth. But even as they do, many more from here want to go and be elsewhere; even if it is for the fallback afforded by that comforting blanket of security.
That is the beauty of America; that despite all of its many warts and warps, it is still the place to be. It is the place to make it, even from the bottom and a minimum wage start. Countless immigrants can tell that story that American is as apple pie and simply sweet.
President Joe Biden can make that state of pristine being come to life again. He is older, hopefully from the wisdom of the aging that comes from a wrenching and wretched elections season. We should have all learned something, with the first and most being about ourselves. There is also that cautionary reminder about the excesses that are powered by hubris at the highest level, and which makes the fall still harder and more unbearable in the self-inflicted hammering that flows in its wake.
As William Shakespeare pointed out in Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1, leaders are the observed of all observers, they must be prince and priest at the same time. It is a clashing combination, and this is what President Biden must rise to be, to shine before all.
Undoubtedly, he lacks the explosive emotional erosion of his predecessor in that coveted office. And he would be wise to remember that sometimes the greatest guidance a man can give himself is through the profound silence that is a part of absolute stillness.
America needs some of that silence and stillness today.
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