I woke up this morning, as I do pretty much every morning, with some music going through my head. It’s still there, and while the title and apparent subject matter has nothing to do with the reason it’s bouncing through my mind, I know why it’s there.
The music, Molto Piratissimo, by Two Steps From Hell, and composed by Thomas Bergersen, the younger of the two steps, reflects his apparent fascination with pirates, or at least their cinematic depiction, as he has composed other pieces with pirate themes. But to me, this one is the most jubilant and triumphant of them, and I suspect that’s why it’s playing on a constant loop in my head.
Yesterday, days after what was probably the most critical and contentious presidential election in America’s history, the winner was announced. After reading the first two paragraphs of this post, I’m sure you know which side I’m on.
But I’m not going to gloat. I may be a smartass, but I’m a sensitive one.
Also, I recall Michelle Obama’s words spoken on the first night of the Democratic National Convention of 2016. Speaking about their daughters, Malia and Sasha, she said:
I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become, and how well we managed this experience could truly make or break them. That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight, how we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith.
How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country.
How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.
So, here I am going high. America has suffered too much hatred and division in the last four years. We don’t need to keep that division alive. We need to heal it. We need to find a way to suture the gashes that have opened up in this country.
Years ago, Democrats and Republicans used to work together to get things done. It was fairly common to hear about bipartisan programs that passed through Congress and became law, for the benefit of the people. They discussed and negotiated, they managed to make compromises in the details of the bills without compromising their individual principles.
Nowadays, that’s kind of rare. Too often, when something important is voted on in the House or the Senate, the votes fall right down along the party lines, with very few willing to cross that line.
This isn’t the time to rub Republicans’ noses in their candidate’s loss. We’ve seen the result of allowing and encouraging the “Us versus Them” thinking. We’ve seen the hatred and the prejudice grow to terrifying levels. We’ve seen people dying from COVID due to the inaction of public officials. We’ve seen people dying at the hands of a few police officers due to the bigotry that has found recent acceptance.
I’m tired of reading about people dying. I’m tired of reading about the fear and hatred that has become the daily state for too many Americans. I’m tired of feeling embarrassment when our country is in the international spotlight, and the inclination to apologize for being an American.
Now, I feel like America has redeemed herself somewhat. It’s heart-warming to see the congratulations from other countries. I feel like we finally have a chance to start the healing process. And yes, I realize that that’s because my candidate won.
Okay, I guess I’m gloating a little.