Post-election hopes and concerns

Opinion: Columns

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Fred Natkevi

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The election of 2020, unlike the election of 2016, did not yield a numerically decisive victory to either political party. Since the morning after the election, followed by the ensuing days of vote counting, the electorate has been held captive, waiting in suspense for a final outcome when the Electoral College convenes on Dec. 14.

The profusion of the incumbent president's outcries that the election is being fraudulently stolen from him are nothing more than his continued responses to unsubstantiated stimuli. They are revelations of his psychological instability, and verify that such an individual is incapable of leading our nation. 

As the vote-counting drags on, my mind recalls an image of Joe Biden on the eve of the election behind a podium. The inscription on the podium proclaimed: "This is a battle for our nation's soul." 

As I try to create a visual image of the construct of a nation's soul, I question whether an image of a divided nation's soul can be conjured-up as a singular entity. 

Election Day revealed America as a nation irreconcilably divided, both politically and ideologically, although the two sides are inseparable. It resembles a two-sided Chinese coin with its ying and yang sides conjoined. It's like a pair of Siamese twins whose separation imperils both siblings. 

And then a question arises whether a single soul can serve the conjoined twosome?  

Morality motivated President Lincoln to abolish slavery. The plantations of the slave-based economy found themselves without a labor force. The South seceded from the Union and started the Civil War. But the defeat did not eradicate the racism from the hearts of the vanquished. Its toxin survived and spread insidiously in varied forms to morph into current-day supremacy hate groups. 

The resurgence of hate groups, however, does not define America's current moral division. Hate groups make up a negligible portion of our population. The electoral turnout for Trump this time comprises what once was the conservative population of GOP. They were seduced by Trump's promises to empower them in their quest to erase the boundaries of separation between Church and State. Stacking the U.S. Supreme Court alters the balance of the institution. Justices of the Supreme Court are honor-bound only to be impartial in their interpretations of laws, and not to legislate in favor of their religious dogma. 

The discomforting closeness of this election indicates that there will be only minor changes in the legislative bodies.

Likely there will not be significant house cleaning of Trumpism, with Republicans' retaining their majority in the Senate. 

At this writing on Saturday afternoon, Joe Biden had secured 279 Electoral College votes. Now, as he takes on the Herculean task of America's presidency, his previously established capacities to negotiate cooperation between opposing factions, are about to be put to the test, especially with the Senate set to block him at every turn. 

Trump, meanwhile, is not about to quietly fade into obscurity. He vows to initiate court proceedings to overturn the results of the election. He told us numerous times that he is not a good loser. Our citizens can expect an onslaught of lies, slander, defamations, fact distortions, and calls for severe protests from him to overshadow the Christmas holidays.

Fred Natkevi is a longtime resident of Oak Park.

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