2020 Hindsight

Happy New Year. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

The end of the year is the time for recaps and backward glances. This is 2020, though, and I’m experiencing a nagging recall of the story of Lot’s wife. I’m not looking backward because backward was generally terrible… sure, there were a number of high points, but overall I think many of us wish that much of the year had been a touch better.

It’d be nice to imagine that 2021 will be a brighter future, that as soon as the ball drops in Times Square everything will be better. That’s not the case. We walk into the new year carrying much of the baggage from today. Many counties throughout the country have their medical systems overburdened by COVID-19 cases. Russia has months of useful data stolen from key government departments that they’re going to attempt to use against us (and many of those attempts will likely be successful.) Trump remains the President for three more weeks, and is going to cause as much havoc as possible in an effort to maintain some level of power and scam more cash. The country remains suffused with irrational people convinced of their personal superiority and itching for domestic conflict. The stock market is artificially high and economic danger signs are commonplace.

It’d be nice if we had a leader I could look toward right now, someone whose policy and personality I believed were enough to carry us through this darkness. Instead we’ve got Trump, who is responsible for much of it, and we’re going to follow it up with Biden, who I admit I find less than exciting personally and with whose policy positions I often disagree.

One great thing that Biden has, though, is his reputation as an experienced center-left politician. That word is what gives me significant hope right now, even though it’s a word that has historically been used as a slur: politician.

It implies duplicity, callowness, insincerity… but it also implies a desire to negotiate through existing channels rather than act in a dictatorial fashion. That’s really the only thing I want from Biden, and I believe he may supply it. If he can keep himself from trampling on the rights of others on subjects from internet speech to firearm ownership to private business operation, I’ll be happy enough. I’ll still complain when he takes actions with which I disagree, but I believe the memory of Trump will keep me from being inappropriately harsh.

This is because I believe now, as I believed in 2019 and 2016 and 2010, that the only way real movement toward general unity happens is if people honestly discuss things and try to present better arguments. That was stymied for much of the last four years by a steady stream of not merely the usual lack of alternate viewpoints and bias but consistently and demonstrably false misinformation.

We may not walk into 2021 with a completely fresh start, but I have reason to hope that the year will get steadily better, if only we are allowed to make it so. It would be a pleasant change of pace from the days getting steadily worse.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.