The Beatles sang it. Now I feel it.
I’m not saying things are great. For many they are not. I’m not even saying good. I’m saying better. It’s qualitative. It’s relative. It’s palpable. It’s real.
I don’t care if Trump wasn’t convicted. If 43 U.S. senators want to live with the shame of turning a blind eye to a lying, seditious, self-serving megalomaniac, that’s their lifelong curse. It’s not survival politics as much as it is inescapable shame. The badge of cowardice doesn’t wash off. No bleach will eradicate it.
That cynical, boisterous voice is gone from the White House bully pulpit. That alone makes me feel better.
His Twitter account has been silenced. That’s even better. That’s a real punishment, where we are protected from harm. Not quite a penitentiary, but a fitting alternative sentence, particularly in his mind.
If he tours again on hyperbolic rhetoric or creates his own “alternate facts” media network, he’s sectioned off. We can ignore him. If his followers want to adore him they can have that space in obscurity.
Our new president is sane. Joe Biden is thoughtful. He reads, listens, and takes advice from subject matter experts. He reconsiders his positions. He is immersed in dialogue, not monologue.
He’s reversing the damage. Climate change. Environmental justice. Immigration and border normalization. Broader access to healthcare. Global wellness as a shared concern.
Economic compassion. Sustainable job creation. Sensible credit and finance policies. Respect for our allies. Clear, coherent, calm lines with our adversaries.
Cabinet secretaries are taking shape with gravitas, conviction, relevant experience, and an emphasis on character. They will likely serve without unnecessary drama and ridiculous turnover.
Mostly the voice of government is quieter. The tone is softer. It is moving into the background so we can focus again on our lives, our businesses, our daily routines, short-term and long-term planning.
Science is science again. Facts are facts again. Fake news is fake news again.
Journalism is not the enemy of the people. Hard questions are the safeguard of our democracy.
The notion of any potential sympathy for white supremacy or xenophobia has been erased from the office of the president. To the extent there was any ambiguity around tolerance for racist acting out, it is clear that it will be prosecuted.
Those who participated in the violent January 6 insurrection are being indicted, tried, and convicted. Aside from their cheerleader-in-chief, they will be sentenced and go to prison.
Unity is an inspiring ideal on the table. It is noble to challenge the nation to come together and address our problems. It is a lofty ambition. If the choice has to be between unity and sanity, I’ll take sanity.
Covid-19 vaccines are moving into the mainstream. By midyear, we should have one if we want it. This human suffering and loss of life will end.
Optimism. Pragmatism. Confidence.
Empathy. Humility. Decency.
Trust in words. Belief in promises. Not perfect, but directionally agreed as aspirational.
Blood pressure is down, at least mine. Cortisol levels are decreasing.
Most of all, we are rediscovering honesty. The blatant, unending lies have got to go.
We still have an insurmountable way to go on income inequality, civil rights, Black Lives Matter, hunger, homelessness, all of the endless maladies that divide us. If we can admit that with candor, we can commit to priorities of positive consequence.
We are regaining freedom. We are regaining quality of life. We may be inching forward, but we are off our knees.
The republic has survived. It was a close call. If I ever did, I will never again take democracy for granted.
We are slowly, deliberately healing. That’s what needs to happen. That is progress. That’s what it means to get better.
We are getting better. I absolutely believe we will get even better
Getting so much better all the time.
Photo: Beatles Complete (1976)