Well, this has been quite a ride. Just a few more days and we can throw away our 2020 calendars. We can all hope and pray that we will never see another year like this one.
This is, after-all, a mostly political blog. Suffice it to say, there was an awful lot to think about and write about over the past 12 months. It’s been non-stop non-stop. Much of the year seems like a blur.
We had a presidential impeachment trial. Democratic presidential primaries were going to be long and dragged out, but then along came South Carolina and poof, it was suddenly over.
We experienced the strangest of campaigns as candidates and campaign staff tried to carry on some semblance of normal activities when meet-and-greets and door-to-doors became inadvisable. Zoom parties and campaign meetings took care of some business, but they left participants with a hollow feeling that practically shouts, I want to see and greet my friends in person.
We had very different political conventions and a fall campaign season when presidential debates were shuffled and rearranged and one of the candidates contracted COVID-19.
In the face of it all, the men and women of America persisted. We had the largest voter turnout in history in spite of all sorts of uncontrollable and man-made obstacles. Millions of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, took the opportunity to vote early or to vote by mail. Despite what the Trumps and Rudy Guiliani’s of the world have claimed, the electoral system performed very well. Kudos to all elections officials, Republicans and Democrats alike, who went more than the extra mile to facilitate voting during a pandemic.
The political parties have a long way to go to help get this country on an even keel.
Democrats need to find a way to learn from and understand the concerns of all the citizens of the country, not just those who they agree with. Republicans need to find a way to understand that just because your candidate gets fewer votes than the other guy and loses the election does not delegitimize the results, and to learn that getting your political information from a fantasy world of untruths and conspiracies leaves you open to exploitation.
There are millions of Americans who are hurting from the deaths of relative and friends, from being ill from the coronavirus, from the loss of jobs and the shuttering of businesses. Congress needs to join President Biden in offering some substantial relief, more than will be enacted this month, to get people back on their feet.
We are very fortunate to have an incredible force of doctors, nurses and other health care providers who have extended themselves to the limits to assist and care for everyone in need. Those people are among the ranks of Americans who run in to help others in the face of personal danger. Thank you!
It is painful to see what our students, from kindergarten through college, have had to endure over the past many months, losing classroom time, missing proms and graduations, seeing friends. There is going to be lots of ground to make up. Congress has an obligation to provide the resources to make that happen.
We all are sad about the loss of local restaurants and businesses. There can be discussions and arguments about what is or should be open, and to what extent, but the spiking of COVID cases occurred when businesses were open, as if nothing was going on to threaten people’s lives. At the end of the day we all, every one of us, are the ones who will and have decided whether we feel safe going somewhere, but pretending that everything can operate as normal while COVID rages on is fantasy.
There is hope coming with the vaccines as distribution begins. I give credit to the Trump administration for pushing for those vaccines. If only they had pushed universal mask-wearing and social distancing, however, millions of people might have avoided getting sick and hundreds of thousands of deaths might have been avoided.
And in Western New York we have the Buffalo Bills! Thankfully the team has so far managed the threats of the virus to move on through a great season. Take us back to Tampa in February guys!
Good-bye to 2020. May your successor bring us happier times.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!
Politics and Other Stuff will be taking a short holiday break but will be back in your email in-baskets on January 5th. Be careful and enjoy the holiday in a peaceful and safe way. 2021 will be a better year.
Follow me on Twitter: @kenkruly
Money in Politics
Go to Investigative Post’s website for the latest edition of “Money in Politics.” This week’s post concerns the fundraising activities of State Senator Tim Kennedy. You can also click on our latest podcast where Geoff Kelly and I discuss the topic of the week. Here is a link to the site: https://www.investigativepost.org/