It’s a day that will live in infamy, Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, vandalized and ransacked the venerable building, and was driven out by National Guard units and Capitol Police with some loss of life.
Prior to Jan. 6, 2021, few Americans could visualize that ever happening. The natural response here in Otsego County, as throughout our United States, is horror, sadness and fear for the future.
Illuminatingly, the AllOTSEGO.com daily poll that sought readers’ opinions on the next steps found people chose the mildest options by a large majority.
For instance, as of Tuesday morning, July 12, most of the respondents – 35.4 percent – chose, “He should finish term, ending with Joe Biden’s inauguration,” he being President Trump.
Second – 27.43 percent – chose, “He should resign.”
That’s 62.83 percent combined.
By contrast, only 18.58 percent said he should be impeached, and even fewer, 13.24 percent, opted for prosecution.
That’s 31.82 percent in favor of the most extreme resolution, about half the 62.83 percent opting for closing the door and moving on.
It can be said, applying Otsego County sentiment to the national scene, that many, many Americans were and are looking forward to closing the door on the Trump Administration.
That’s not because its accomplishments are not recognized – finally pushing back against China, job creation and a ticking up of manufacturing, less chaos at the border, a booming stock market, a fresh and promising approach to Israel. There’s much to like.
It’s the exhausting and constant strife that test the national patience.
It takes two to tangle, but it’s the rare individual who doesn’t recognize President Trump as a provocateur.
The Democrats, with one impeachment rejected and another in the offing, played a role, too, of course.
As of this writing, the future is unclear.
Short-term, however, let’s look forward with hope for a tranquil inauguration of the new president, and let’s hope a President Biden, who spent his career in the give-and-get atmosphere of the U.S. Senate, will move forward, as he has pledged, toward less disunity and more consensus.
Happily, the events of Jan. 6, 2021, ensure the Trump Era is at an end.
The shocking events and the role he played in the provocation will rule him out from a presidential bid in 2024 – or a bid by daughter Ivanka or his sons and son-in-law as well.
All this signals a healthier turn in the Republican Party. If Biden can achieve the unity he calls for, that will likewise derail more radical concepts coming from the Democrats – packing the Supreme Court and fast-tracking new states among them – further contributing to, not an “Era of Good Feelings, “ but perhaps to an “Era of Less-Bad Feelings.”
Further, the amount of electoral innovation this year – expanded early and absentee voting, a shifting in deadlines and established procedures, new technologies – is troubling to many.
With COVID-19 restrictions behind us by mid-year, and the rancor of the 2020 election ebbing, the whole question of what constitutes a sensible, secure election process should be revisited in we can only hope, an atmosphere of relative calm.