Everything taxes our patience in 2020. In fact, the year has become its own “thing.” No matter what negativity is visited upon us, it’s deserving of an eye roll, subtle head shake and utterance of a knowing “2020.”
Here we are in the company of a pandemic and a presidential election, the letting go of RBG and Kobe and Connery, among others, including family and friends stolen by COVID-19.
We have every right to be. This year has challenged our resolve like no other. We’ve canceled family reunions, aware that the next time we’ll be able to gather, there could be empty places at the table where before sat loved ones.
This isn’t “The day the music died” — it’s the year, thanks to no concerts at the riverfront or in the parks. The only sound piercing the silence is our crying.
Politics, once a noble calling, has devolved into a scrum. Those who would lead us are so used to wallowing in the mud they must swipe it from their eyes in order to see their opponent, the one who relishes in delivering blows south of center.
When political messages should be replete with forward-thinking vision meant to stabilize our stead and guide us to an enlightened future, we are left with only barbs that belittle evolution.
But the emotion that drives us is not universal. Are we angry at the people who scoff at wearing masks, or the people who “infringe on our rights” by demanding we wear one? Are we sad at what the political left is trying to do to our country, or the policies of conservatives who demand we all conform to their vision of what is right?
Confusion clouds our anger. We want a target onto which we can aim — and fire. But 2020 keeps moving the target.
Perhaps we can harness our anger to elect leaders who, by our best guess, will lead us out of our wilderness of despair, despite their imperfections. Those elected to office will no doubt disappoint us from time to time. But there’s a chance that if we bring our wisdom to bear on our choices this election, we’ll find silver awaiting polish and shine.
We can research candidates’ stances on issues, look at incumbents’ voting records and the platforms of would-be change agents — but power changes people. We can only hope their inner voice of reason can be heard above the whispers of ne’er-do-wells who will bend their ear.
But we’re doing something about it. Voters cast early ballots in record numbers, and, no matter your political leanings, that’s a good thing. At least those elected will carry the mantle of the majority, as opposed to the plurality of the minority seen in past elections.
There’s hope in each vote cast. Faith, too.
Today is Election Day, which holds the promise of a better tomorrow.
No matter the tally, it will be a good day. One of action that reclaims America’s destiny.
Much like we took back an hour on Sunday with the time change, let us reclaim our time so that when the history of 2020 is written, our story is one of resilience in the face of overwhelming odds.
If you have yet to vote, today is your time. Be counted, and help bestill our national anger.