Comments for the week must be preceded by congratulations for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Compared with most elections I have experienced, the wait for confirmation of their electoral victory seemed interminable. The wait was at times painful, but the outcome exquisite! As expressed during many television interviews, when the Biden-Harris ticket was declared victorious, I felt that our long political nightmare had ended.
Whether relief is realized or not, their victory portends a reawakening of a movement toward national unity. At noon on Jan. 20, 2021, the fractious, divisiveness of the #45 administration will come to an end. I am not suggesting that one-on-one hostilities will immediately end, but I know that the bully pulpit of the presidency will no longer promote cross-cultural animus. The never-ending expression of grievance politics will come to an end and I hope we’ll then focus on what should be our commonalities.
True to promise, the first act of the Biden-Harris administration is a program to bring control to the Coronavirus Pandemic in the U.S. Nationally and for inhabitants of the rest of the world, COVID-19 has reshaped our respective cultures, methods of social interactions, and economies. Through words (encouraging COVID-19 best practices), actions (exemplary wearing of face masks), and a proposed national plan to control/end COVID-19, the Biden-Harris administration has articulated an intelligent and viable approach to reducing the effect of or eliminating this disease.
Unfortunately, my sense of relief lasted little more than 24 hours. I guess it was foolish for me to expect expressions of familiar norms or propriety from #45’s campaign or the Republican Party. No congratulations! No concession! The presentation of contrived non-evidentiary, legal objections to election outcomes came! Firing of the secretary of defense came and poses an immediate and existential threat to national security! Then came a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) before the Supreme Court, which could remove health insurance coverage for over 20 million citizens and for over one million citizens with preexisting conditions! The nightmare continues!
It’s a nightmare of negativity promulgated by maniacal, ego-driven psyche of insecurity. Like a petulant child, #45 has established handicaps that retard the ability of Biden-Harris to engage in the transition process as established by law. Through an agent of discord, General Services Administration Commissioner Emily Murphy, the Letter of Ascertainment that provides legal authority for the Biden-Harris transition team hasn’t been issued.
With the post-election behavior of #45 and his Republican supporters, there’s nothing that gives reason to believe that they have taken a more reasoned or conciliatory approach to governance. The remedy available to us requires that we reject conditioning that allows us to believe that we only have a right to challenge issues unique to our specific jurisdictions. Contemporary logic dictates that we understand our broader requirement for engagement.
If we endorse the Biden-Harris agenda, we must work to eliminate impediments established by their opposition. Mitch McConnell and the majority-Republican Senate pose the greatest threat to a successful Biden-Harris administration. Just as they frustrated the efforts of the Obama/Biden administration and tried to make it a one-term administration, it’s likely that they’ll do the same for Biden-Harris.
The most logical way for us then is to eliminate the Republican majority in the Senate. We can do that by supporting the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in their Georgia Senate run-off elections. If we are not Georgia residents, we can donate to their campaigns and call every eligible voter we know in Georgia to encourage them to vote. Additionally, the voter registration deadline for the January run-off elections is Dec. 7. Once more, we must vote as though our lives depend on it — they do!
Williams is president of the National Congress of Black Women.