Historians will mark today, December 14, 2020, as one of the most consequential days in the history of our county.
Today, the election of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States became official, and even reluctant Republican senators said it's time to accept that fact.
Today, the first inoculations of the Covid 19 vaccine were administered even as the death count from the Covid 19 pandemic crossed the 300,000 threshold.
With the Electoral College vote taking place in all 50 states and confirming Biden's victory over Donald John Trump, America embarks on a new chapter while ridding itself of the worst, most despicable president in our history.
"Today, the rule of law prevailed," said Biden in an address to the American people after the votes were finalized, giving Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), 306 electoral votes -- the same number that Trump received in 2016, and which he called a "landslide."
Biden brings to the presidency a determination to set things right, to restore the goodness of America, and to fight for you and me, not just the wealthy and well connected. He brings honesty and truth and caring and humility. And all of that is precisely the opposite of the man he will replace on January 20, 2020.
Yes, our new president's challenges will be many; first among them is the task of leading us out of the horrible consequences of the pandemic, which Trump ignored, tried to wish away, and suggested that perhaps ingesting Clorox would be a cure.
He must confront the racial disparities that have long existed, but festered and exploded during the Trump years, encouraged by a president who openly courted White supremacists, even advocated violence. But Joe Biden is a man of good will and he understands and accepts the challenges that lie ahead and the necessity of bringing people together.
He must restore international trust in our country, trust that has been wiped away by Trump's embracing of dictators and America's enemies while attacking our allies. Joe Biden will do that and our nation will be better for it.
Obviously, those are just a few of the difficult challenges that our new president must face, but he will do so with courage and grace. No longer will we be subjected to bravado, blustering, self-aggrandizement, lies, and the placing of blame on others. Thankfully, as of January 20, that will be finished.
But, even today with the Electoral College vote having been finalized, Trump and his sick associates are trying to fashion a last gasp effort to convince Congress to somehow overturn Biden's victory when Congress meets January 6 to finalize the election in a session that has always been just a formality.
At least one Trumper in the House, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), has suggested he will try to use an 1880s law, the Electoral Count Act, that allows members of Congress to challenge a state’s results on January 6 when Congress meets to confirm the vote, forcing the whole Congress to vote on whether to accept the results.
Brooks and those who would support him do not care that they would be destroying our democracy to install Trump in what would become a dictatorship under his hand. That is an act of sedition that should be dealt with harshly.
And White House advisor Stephen Miller said today that Trump's allies are preparing to send an "alternate " slate of Trump electors to Congress and force a vote.
"The only date in the Constitution is Jan. 20. So we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election," Miller said on "Fox & Friends."
Despite all of that, the Electoral College confirmed Biden's election today, and the rest of Trump's efforts amount to little more than the wail of a dying beast.
But, the Vaccine
Today, we celebrate the fact that even as the Covid 19 pandemic death toll continues to rise, as cases continue to mount, as hospitals continue to fill, as our healthcare workers are constantly overwhelmed with their responsibilities, with facing dying patients every day, there is hope.
That is because this new vaccine has found its way, beginning today, into the arms of those who need it most -- our doctors and nurses and other healthcare heroes, our elderly in nursing homes, and others deemed to be most in need.
Soon, it will be available to everyone and so, finally, the end of this pandemic is in sight.
Trump continues to thump his chest and send out tweets taking credit as though he, alone, developed the formula in his gold-plated bathroom sink at Mar-a-Lago. No, it is not you, Mr. Trump, who deserves the credit. All you did was send out a few blustery tweets. It is the brilliant and dedicated scientists who have worked around the clock to create this vaccine, along with those Americans upon whom it was tested, who deserve our plaudits and our appreciation.
Still, the experts warn, the worst is yet to come. It will take time for the impact of the vaccine to be felt, and winter is here, flu season is here, and people are long since tired of being cooped up and unable to live their lives.
So, it will be a test of leadership for President-elect Biden as he and his new administration tackles these realities. It will not be easy, but at least this president will confront this challenge by relying on science, on experts, on facts, and on truth.
And, therefore, we as citizens can have faith that the steps we are asked to take are the result of sound judgement, careful consideration, and based on scientific fact -- not on political expedience or misplaced bravado.
Once again, we can believe.
Yes, today was a good day for America.