Our Nation Divided

As my friend, Chris Berry, reminds us, former CBS Anchoman Dan Rather had some choice words to describe past elections too close to call. These are just a few of them.

The race “is tick-tight right now.”
“This race is hotter than a Laredo parking lot.”
“This race is tighter than the lugnuts on a rusted ’56 Chevy.” “Are your fingernails starting to sweat?”

Fingernails are sweating all across the land on this day after November 3rd. As of this writing, we do not know yet who will be our next President. We may not know for days. But we do know some very important truths, no matter who wins.

Democrats expected a sweep. Republicans expected a landslide. Both were wrong. Oh, so wrong. Another Dan Rather-ism can be applied to what is happening in this already crazy, upside down year of 2020. “This race is as tight as a too-small bathing suit on a too-hot car ride back from the beach.”

What is happening? That question will be debated, studied, examined, probed and dissected for years to come. But as one early pundit put it, the Democrats hope of an overwhelming win by saying Donald Trump is bad did not work. The message of unity did not work. We are, simply, a nation too divided for those stratgies to be even close to successful.

Looking at the returns, which are still coming in at this hour, it could be argued that we are almost evenly divided. The numbers are nearly equal by every measure. That’s why it is taking so long to proclaim a winner. One half of the country cannot, for the life of them, understand why the other half supports Trump. The other half cannot understand how it is the anti-Trumpers don’t understand them.

What does this mean going forward? It means, among other things, niether half can claim to have the sole interest of the country at heart. Each has equal argument, equal say, about our nation’s future. Niether half is right. Niether half is wrong. That spells inertia, right? Maybe, but it doesn’t have to. It may be difficult, but stalement does not need to define what’s to come.

Whether Joe Biden is elected, or whether Donald Trump is reelected, it is abundantly clear that the next President will not have a national mandate to govern the country. Niether will Congress. Everyone, from the President on down to locally elected officials, will have the duty, the responsibility, to listen and pay attention to those who did not vote for them. Afterall, those voters make up half the nation.

Published by J. Paul Hickey

Author, Bass Player, Retired National Correspondent for ABC News - 32 years with the network - Retired in 2012. Narrates Audiobooks. Volunteer at Fort Sumter National Park. Holder of two university Honorary Doctorate Degrees, Distinguished Eagle Scout, former SCUBA diver.

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