As I write this column, it is Tuesday, January 5, 2021. This is my first column of the new year, and I wish it would be the last column of the election of 2020. The citizens of the state of Georgia are finally headed to the voting booths, although over three million Georgians have already voted.
To listen to the pundits, or even worse, to social media, the future of western civilization is on the line. It feels a bit like the Alamo, or Custer’s Last Stand. Two Senate runoffs in the same state. At stake is whether the United States Senate will be controlled by Republicans or Democrats. We hear that this will be the most important vote of our lifetime, but then we heard that in November as well.
I have no idea who will win, and frankly do not have a clear sense of what will happen after a winner is finally declared. Will that winner be known tonight? This week? This month? Some will never accept the winners as legitimate, whether it is the Georgia Senators or the President. How did we come to this?
What I do know is that the Senate and the House will remain very closely divided. That dynamic used to give tremendous power to the swing voters or the moderates in each chamber. The problem is there are not really many moderates anymore. For over twenty years the primaries have weeded out those in the middle and replaced them with the far-right and the far-left. The redder or bluer, the better.
Since I cannot write about the winners of today’s election because of the looming print deadline, I will have to do what every other American must do right now. Wait. Wait and hope and pray.
I will wait until a victory is declared in the Senate races and hope that decision is known soon. I will pray that God gives us a bit more grace and humility than we have exhibited during the past two months. A bit more empathy and understanding of each other’s views would not hurt either.
I wait for the inevitable swearing in of President-elect Joe Biden and hope that he is up to this nearly impossible task. I will pray that God leads him as he tries to lead this country, just as I would have if President Trump were being sworn in for a second term.
I am tired of waiting for the election to be over, so I will just hope that today is the final finish line, no matter what the results. Only when there are no more races left to run can we begin to rebuild what we have lost.
Dan Ponder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: As of press time, Raphael Warnock has been declared the winner over Kelly Loeffler. Jon Ossoff is leading David Perdue, but the race remains too close to call.