I’ve heard people compare today’s mood to Christmas Eve.
That’s sweet, I suppose. What’s not to love about the idea of a magical old man bringing presents for everybody?
But, for my money, today’s more like Dec. 31, 1999. I sat on the porch of a house in Fernandina Beach, looking out at the Atlantic Ocean while the Jacksonville radio station blared Prince’s “1999” over and over and over and over again – and I wondered if all the computers would crash and planes would tumble from the sky at midnight.
We dodged a disaster on Jan. 6, 2021, when the lunatic deplorables spurred on by Commander Bone Spurs raided the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Tomorrow, despite the failed insurrection, we’re set to swear in President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Nacho Noriega, meanwhile, scuttles off to Florida where he can disappear into the ash heap of history.
I want to feel optimistic about our new beginning. I’m absolutely relieved that the con man was fired. But we’ve still got a third of this country that – unless they get distracted by some new outrage – are still going to chase this COVID fever dream about stolen elections. A lot of them are just lost souls wanting to believe *something*, no matter how ludicrous, to justify their beliefs and excuse their horrible actions. But some are scheming, deceitful, and downright murderous – and those folks were willing to use the goofballs like the “QAnon Shaman” as a smokescreen when they breached the Capitol and hunted for Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi.
That problem doesn’t go away after we inaugurate Joe Biden. Obviously, officials in Washington know that, which explains why our seat of power is now fortified like Baghdad during the post-9/11 war.
I’m so happy Trump lost. But I’ll be even happier if we ever manage to purge ourselves of the poisonous rage, hatred, and racism – a virus perhaps more insidious than COVID-19 and harder to cure – that the 45th president allowed to flourish on his watch.