by Angela Liptack
On November 3, voters gave themselves and future generations gifts that will become more obvious as the darkest days of 2020—and possibly of our nation’s recent history—cede to January 2021’s brighter, longer days.
The first gift is that of an orderly, valid election. Just as peoples of many religious persuasions (and none) embrace celebrations of light in this season, Americans of all parties and persuasions can embrace the fact that on Election Day 2020, we safely voted in record numbers, and every vote was counted. According to the secretaries of state throughout the country–as well as judges who have dismissed dozens of baseless challenges to the results–in the weeks before and after November 3, our democracy worked well under extraordinary circumstances. The result, delivered by voters as well as thousands of poll workers and election officials who quietly did their jobs, affirms the democratic process here, to us, and for nations around the world.
The second, historic gift that voters gave themselves and future generations is our nation’s first female and first person of color to serve in the country’s second highest elected office. With the Democratic team of Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president, our White House both more accurately reflects the diversity of our nation and affirms the value of competent service in the public sector. Motivated as they are by a shared and deep commitment to government for the common good, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have embraced 81 million citizens’ directive to move our nation into a new phase of our democracy’s forward progress.
Third, voters gave the United States a president whose long experience in Washington politics provides him common ground and understanding with many members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. Also unlike his predecessor, President-Elect Biden has years of informed relationships and interactions with government leaders beyond our borders. He and the similarly seasoned, principled public servants whom he has begun selecting for his administration will have deep toolkits for correcting the divisive dysfunction of the past four years and working with colleagues who hold fiercely opposing views to tackle our nation’s—and world’s—most pressing problems.
In rejecting the past four years’ national drama, the majority ofvoters asked our nation’s leadership to resume working together for real progress. Joe Biden is fast delivering on his campaign promise to marshal all possible resources to vanquish Covid-19and restore fact-based policymaking, starting with public healthand economic progress. He and his team can restore these principles to all areas and levels of government if voters give our nation a final gift: insistence that their Senators and Congressmen live up to their oath of office. The oath does not mention special interests, ideas or a particular party leader. It simply requires those taking it to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…and…well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office”—a responsibility all citizens share, indeed.
Angela Liptack is the Recording Secretary of the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee.