U.S. Democrats Are About to Assume the Care Of A ‘Sickly, Unsettled Child’

If America were a child and the presidency its guardian

Photo by Jonas Karakoto on Unsplash

America unveiled by 2020 is like a child who has wakened: vulnerable, screaming for attention, for comfort, for nourishment, for touch and connection, for belonging.  The child’s development has been compromised by unfit guardianship in the form of poor leadership, increasing poverty, a pandemic ravaging its body with a failing healthcare system for a lifeline.

Troubled by the swift decline of its health and well-being, the child believed a new guardian could raise its quality of care and improve its survival chances. The timing was perfect. The incompetent guardian’s contact had expired and the child was eager to vote him out.

With its vote as a formidable weapon, there was never a better time than the present to use it in self-defense.

Since politics is a game of strategy whereby smooth exteriors appeal better than rough edges, the Democrats enticed the populace so that, frightened, they came to shelter under a Biden-Harris protection from their inept guardian.

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Americans celebrate Biden-Harris win for Presidency. Washington, D.C. | 07 Nov 2020 | Photo Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

Despites the Democrat’s win, Americans would be naive to conclude that a presidency by the Democrats guarantees democracy. For democracy is not in the name, but in a government’s integrity and commitment to upholding truth, justice, and the rule of law without apathy or bias.

Be that as it may, the Democrats’ win means that for Anti-Republicans, their sinking ship — the USS America — has been rescued. Although the rescuers calmed the voyagers’ fears and infused them with the hope of reaching land,  the ship is still in grave danger, bombarded by strong waves in the open sea with a safe port far out of view.

American democracy is thus like an old vessel making do with tattered sails and a crew short of supplies, and boasting only of constellations to point them to safe landing. It is a perilous journey to navigate America back to socio-political cohesion with the myriad of problems interwoven within its social fabric.

Also, judging from the blue-red sandwich states of America as reflected in the poll results, political tensions might ride high long after the transfer of power. Consequently, insurmountable challenges may be in store for the new government.

In winning the presidency, therefore, the Democrats are like a nanny taking over the care of a sickly, unsettled child, in light of America’s emerging vulnerabilities.

For America to regain a semblance of socio-economic stability and sound political leadership, reactionary governance, which tends to be the default after ousting an undesired leader, will not do.

Witnessing America in such a precarious state is uncomfortable because hey, this IS America! A country of ingenuity and innovative solutions. It was meant to ‘have got this.’

As a child from a developing country, I grew up romanticizing America. I was wowed by its greatness and believed it to be perfect in everything. Case in point: 10 years ago, an American friend gifted me with a red and black plastic drink bottle, which was probably China-made. To me, however, it was American and consequently as durable as Fort Knox itself.
When my prized drink bottle slipped off my hands and crushed onto the hard concrete a few weeks later, a friend asked concernedly: ‘did it break?’

‘It can’t break,’ came my confident reply. ‘It’s American!’

But my confidence turned out to be as plastic as the bottle on which I’d placed it.

My indestructible American bottle had cracked and began to leak. I completed my final semester at the university with damp books in a dripping backpack because I was in denial. 

I held on to that cracked bottle for another year. Perhaps I expected the crack to mend itself as I believed America would in the unlikely event that it cracked.

Watching the chaotic and divided America of 2020 in all its myriad of vulnerabilities resurfaced the grief and denial of that cracked American bottle that was meant to last forever.

America the beautiful (And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.), can crack.

America is indeed cracked. There are deep cracks in its democracy (categorized unstable with a score of 7.96/10), its healthcare, its wealth distribution, its education access, and public safety. It is these very cracks and the Republican’s response to them that favored Democrats and handed them the presidency.

But will the Democrats’ policies nd approach to governance heal these and restore unity and faith in America’s collective identity? Are they the right team for the delicate task of restoring socio-political cohesion to salvage democracy? Or will Americans be content with anything but Trumpism?

A sign depicts the end of Trumpism. Photo by Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

If poll results were an oracle, then 2020 seems a peculiar time in the United States’ leadership. A time when neither of the candidates presented to voters invoked full confidence as future leaders, depriving the people of a firm choice. The Republican camp was despised, and, calculating, the Democrats leveraged the vulnerabilities of Black and minority voters by presenting Kamala Harris as one of their own, the second black savior after Barrack Obama.

Some voters were ecstatic while others, like 53- year-old Richard Brown, disliked the Democrats enough to not vote at all. To stem the flow of racism that Trumps’ presidency generated among his white friends, however, Mr. Brown saw this election as an opportunity to make a statement against racism by voting for the Democrats. Other minority voters who felt disillusioned by their belief in the Democrats’ inability to mend the system sufficiently enough to positively impact their lifestyles still voted for them because the alternative was to skip the ballot, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.

Additionally, a Black friend of mine who voted for Biden-Harris remarked that although she cared little for the Democrats, she’d ‘vote for doggie poop before she voted for Trump’. Further, with such a narrow win during this election, Biden and Harris might thus not epitomize America’s choice of political leadership. They may represent a lack of it. 

In that case, perhaps what America needs is neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, but a complete overhaul of its political structure. The trouble is that traditions being comfortable, the American political scene continues to play catch with its citizens, tossing them from Democrats to Republicans and back again.

Thus, back-and-forth swings the pendulum of American progress in reactive politics, with the incumbent president often attempting to undo some of what their predecessor had accomplished.

Such an approach cannot effectively salvage such a vast country with diverse ethnicities and cultures already divided by racial inequities, political camps, and various other grievances.

As Democrats celebrate, it’s still a “long walk to America’s freedom” (Nelson Mandela) in the form of socio-political cohesion for America.

The Democrats’ tenure will be a test in fortitude and creative leadership. They may stay the course with focused integrity to build a cohesive America or get tangled up in reactionary governance that blinds them to a safe course to sail the people’s ship, USS America, to a safe port.

Will the Democrats rebuild American democracy?

Cautious to hope, I’ll watch and wait. At least I have that luxury.

One thought on “U.S. Democrats Are About to Assume the Care Of A ‘Sickly, Unsettled Child’

  1. jomariebearth says:

    Bravo Nini! Well done! You never disappoint. I see what you borrowed. Well placed. You certainly covered it. Now here I go…

    It’s high time that you and the world have gotten over the delusional romance with the USA. Our difficulties have stripped us down to being humans, God forbid! We are vulnerable, hungry, broke, sick and many are uneducated, homeless, addicted, abused, discriminated against and a myriad of other transgressions. Trump did not create it. He amplified it, magnified it and ignored it. It was already here for hundreds and hundreds of years. It didn’t just happen when the world finally turned on the news that they didn’t have access to pre internet.

    World War II gave us the “greatest generation” and the morals that the world was conditioned to believe. Eisenhower promoted the Military Industrial Complex. You all had no clue. You bought the hype. It only cost wheat, flour, oil ,vaccines, guns, bombs and jets when you needed them the most. And most of all, your unending loyalty and allegiance.

    What has brought us to our knees is the pandemic. Covid19 and the lack of leadership that came along with it. It was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. We always had cracks and major breaks. Anyone living here, or even visiting for any period of time knew it and knows it. Especially because they have been a permanent part of the landscape for centuries. But the hype is deep and systematically embedded worldwide for many, many years. Friendship cost money. And Trump stopped spending on friendships. And many other things. So the blanket of hype became cellophane. Our allies became our neighbors that didn’t want to know us anymore.
    Because they found out we weren’t as shiny and sparkly as they were romanced to believe.
    Our crap really does stink! Like everyone else’s. But, don’t worry, we’ll probably buy most of our friends back again. I’m sure the ally and friendship budget is top priority going forward.

    Biden & Harris aren’t the saviors. They are the cleanup crew. And their contract doesn’t begin until Jan 20, 2021. So the dirt will pile up in the meantime. It’s going to take years to make sense out of the damage that has been done. The pandemic amplified what was already at the brink. And these things were at the brink before Trump, not defending him. He added fuel to the fire.
    He added a megaphone to the outcry of white supremacists, whom are missing their power because too many brown people are here and stepping outta’ their place. They have nostalgia for Jim Crow law, which is what “make America great again” actually means. He fervors their cause. They also have nostalgia for the industrial complex that provided a car, house and chicken to eat. But that industry polluted our waters, earth and air. So we sent all of industry overseas and created ghost towns instead. A huge crack that took 50 years. The recent resurgence and return of industries are employing robots instead of Americans, owned by foreign companies on American soil, under the current administration. Was this making America great again?

    A new America needs to be created. Not the America that is in the business of rescuing the world for loyalty and allegiance. Not an America that needs to be rescued by foreign investment. But an America that is respected for real independence, innovation, education, economy, health, freedom, justice and equality, which was always the dream. This is the America WE always wanted and continue to fight for. We always keep our eye on the prize. Our parents taught us to fight for it. The prize might come in a few generations from now. Some of us have it. But it doesn’t and NEVER DID belong to most. It’s just a foreigner’s illusion. The illusion of the successful, privileged White people and celebrities as what Americans really are. The cellophane blanket reveals that we are more than that. Sorry to disappoint. We are all races and classes, dirty, and stinking in the trenches, fighting for rights and liberty since before 1776, when USA was formed. And certainly before you and the world finally turned on the news. Just sayin’!

    Liked by 1 person

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