Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, President-elect Joe Biden delivered a heart-felt message to the American people, expressing empathy for those suffering from the Covid 19 pandemic and promising to do everything he can to make America whole again.
At roughly the same time, outgoing President Donald Trump called into a Republican-sponsored sham "hearing" in Gettysburg, PA to once again claim the election was "rigged" and that he actually won.
Two presidents. One displaying the qualifications that we deserve to have in the leader of our nation, the other spinning lies and whining, acting like a vindictive child whose big brother just snatched away his Twinkie.
Said Biden in his remarks from Delaware, “Together we will lift our voices in the coming months and years, and our song shall be of lives saved, breaches repaired, a nation made whole again.”
Said Trump on his cellphone, his voice magnified by the mic on the "witness" table where sat his discredited lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, “This election was rigged and we can’t let that happen. We won Pennsylvania by a lot. And we won all of these swing states by a lot.”
Of course, none of that is true, and none of any of Giuliani & Co.'s trumped up charges of election fraud have proved to be true. In fact, Biden won Pennsylvania by about 80,000 votes, the victory giving him the Keystone State's 20 electoral votes and the 270 needed nationally to claim the presidency.
But Trump wasn't finished whining.
“Anybody watching television the night of the election was saying ‘Wow, I was called by the biggest political people, congratulations, sir, on a big win. And all of a sudden ballots were dumped all over the place and a lot of horrible things happened.”
Once again, not true, and in fact, Giuliani, attempting to present his trumped up charges, has been virtually laughed out of court for making false and unsubstantiated claims by more than one judge.
But as this publicity stunt "hearing" was taking place, Biden was filling the role of the President. He shared the hurt felt by more than 260,000 American families who have lost loved ones to the pandemic, expressing his own personal devastation following the death of his son from brain cancer.
"i remember that first Thanksgiving, that empty chair, the silence. It really takes your breath away," said Biden softly. "It is hard to give thinks, to even think of looking forward. So hard to hope. I will be thinking and praying for each one of you this Thanksgiving."
The pandemic, said Biden, "has brought us pain and loss and frustration and cost so many lives, 260,000 Americans and counting. It has divided us, angered us, set us against one another. I know the country has grown weary of the fight."
But, the president-elect added, "We need to remember we are at war with the virus, not with each other. This is the moment when we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts and commit ourselves to the fight."
In sobering terms, Biden sympathized with Americans who are forgoing traditional Thanksgiving gatherings, as he said his family is doing. But, he stressed that everything must be done to curtail the spread of the virus, which, he promised, will be beaten by actions based on science, reality, and truth.
And so the contrast was stark and obvious. Trump in Pennsylvania, complaining, refusing to accept that roughly 6+ million more Americans preferred Biden to him and that the election was fair and accurate.
“It’s a disgrace that this is happening to our country," said Trump, his telephone voice coming over the sound system. "We won this election by a lot. We got 74 million votes.”
“They have to turn over the results,” he later added.
Only problem is, Trump, that Biden got more than 80 million votes. And, do-overs are permitted in golf, but not in elections.
And so, we can all give thanks that, as Gerald Ford said when Richard Nixon resigned after the Watergate scandal, "Our long national nightmare is over."
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.