Think in the Morning has been blogging a bit less recently. The steady Caw! Caw! Caw!of the ravens followed by their throaty gurgling croaks announces Fall, our favorite time of the year. Cooler and overcast weather and the first rains make for a perfect reading environment. Getting in the apples and other Fall tasks have us a bit short on time.
Speaking of reading, we started the day today rereading the first of Isak Dinesen’s Seven Gothic Tales—The Deluge at Norderney—in sympathy with our friends in the Gulf states where the hurricane season has been unprecedented. If you have the luxury today of a comfortable room free of fire and flood, Dinesen is a wonderful distraction from the terrors of our time.
Consider this: November 3rdwill come and go and something will happen. More importantly for those of us who remain is what will happen after the election. The virus is not going away any time soon as the daily counts of infections and hospitalizations and deaths demonstrate. Controlling and eventually overcoming COVID 19 is a priority without which nothing can return to normal.
As vital as that is, it cannot be our only concern. In recent years, it is no secret that Americans have become increasingly divided—politically, financially, racially and otherwise. We wrote about this four years ago in A House Divided and in other blogs. Things are only worse today as the recent terrorist plot to kidnap the governor and take over the government of Michigan demonstrates. If we can’t come together as a country to condemn and marginalize this activity, we are doomed. This may be our biggest challenge going forward, even bigger than the virus. Misogynistic, xenophobic, and racial slurs abound on social media and even in our public debates. We all see and hear them. Conspiracy theories follow closely behind. Although attributed to others (including Thomas Jefferson) it was John Philpot Curran who gave us: “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”
There are, of course, many other concerns we will have to face after the election including, among others, enormous Federal and State debt loads, record unemployment, small business bankruptcies, climate and other crises due in part to global warming. Pessimists can certainly be forgiven for seeing the glass as half empty.
Optimism is the other side of the coin. We will eventually conquer the virus. We have found ways of working together and we will likely find them again in spite of the wide differences we see today. We paid back our debts after the Second World War and even found a way to assist in the rebuilding of Europe. We can do it again. We brought unemployment down and reenergized the economy after the Great Depression. Finding consensus and solutions for the crises related to climate change and global warming will not be easy but life is not meant to be easy. It is a constant struggle, more for some than others, but a struggle none the less.
At Think in the Morning we have made our political decisions. We will vote and hope for the best. It’s time for us to focus on what happens after the election. That’s where we will focus our energies moving forward.