And so it has come to this. Today is a day that can change the world, Election Day in these United States of America. Will it be a day of infamy? Or will it be a day of renewed hope and promise?
I am 81 years old and, until recently, I never even read the front page of the newspaper (The New York Times if you must know). I read science times and real estate and culture and arts, movie reviews, even marriages and obits, and especially the book review and magazine. I read what was happening internationally, especially in Israel, my second home and a place I love, but I didn’t know the names of members of congress and i certainly never worried about how the country was being governed. I had enough faith to know that our lives were secure and that someone in the White House was taking care of the details. I don’t think, during my lifetime, there was ever a truly amazingly talented president in that house, running it all, but nor did I ever really get very worked up about travesties. Of course, these last years, since the 2016 election, my focus has been dramatically altered. I am glued to watching hearings on TV, reviewing the president’s performance daily and even minute by minute, subsumed by what I fear is the end of our democracy. This man, whose name I shudder to say, is curating the very end of our country.
Years ago, I used to be one of those naive people who said, “It can’t happen here.” We all know what that IT is. But, I had enough faith in America and the American way, and the American people and our secure and beautiful way of life, that I truly believed that we were above the fray, that things that happened elsewhere wouldn’t be allowed to happen here, that our Constitution was a light unto the world, an ironclad document that meant we had recourse if things turned sour, and that even though we had plenty of examples of injustice, racism, and even antisemitism, we would continue to be on an upward climb to eradicating these abuses and striving towards a more perfect country. So, I was not an activist. Only once I marched in an anti Vietnam War rally and I once went to a rally to free Soviet Jews, but this was never my way. I admit, abashedly, I left the battles to others and I contented myself with the circumference of my life, life with my family and my synagogue, and my job, and I left the fighting and marching and protesting to others.
And then somehow, something I still cannot fathom, happened. A gross excuse for a man, a criminal, a boor, an uneducated liar, somehow, somehow, somehow, became president of these United States. His performance in office was truly beyond my expectations, in the worst possible way. He used the office to enrich himself and to run our country down. This was a man with no moral compass, a man who ridiculed others, a man without shame or personal standards. And such he remains to this moment.
Finally, his term of office is coming to an end. And he is running for reelection. It is now Election Day. I am unable to sleep. I am unable to understand. He may yet win another term. Inexplicably, while our nation mourns the ongoing loss of hundreds of thousands due to covid19, he bungles, neglects, sows hatred, and yet, he may win another term. What is wrong here? Who can possibly explain how this crass and ignorant person who is unable to feel guilt or remorse may yet continue to be president of this country.
This is my prayer. My prayer is that he suffers a humiliating defeat. That is the only possibility for saving our nation. Amen sela! And so may it be.