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Happy to be an American

As the Biden Administration begins, many of us are pivoting from dread and outrage to... happiness. And it's about a lot more than “Ding Dong, the wicked witch is dead!” isn’t it?

Let’s see if I can hit some of the reasons.

I'm happy that after four years, a good and decent man is in the White House, a president with a lifelong record of integrity, compassion, and dedication to this country and its Constitution.

I find it a huge relief that the White House is no longer the national epicenter of corruption, lies, incompetence and venality. How good it is to not cringe in anticipation whenever there’s an announcement or Tweet from the White House.

I'm happy to see the first salvo of executive orders undoing so many excesses of the Trump regime.

I'm happy that the army of incompetent, ass-kissing hacks brought into the ever deepening swamp of the Trump Administration are replaced by people who actually believe in, and are committed to their agencies’ roles of making life better for all our citizens.

I’m happy, especially as a former Foreign Service Officer, that new American policies and programs are restoring the respect this country once had in the world by implementing national policies of shared leadership , global interdependence, productive partnerships with our friends and tough but commonsensical dealings with our adversaries.

I’m happy that the Biden Administration is replacing a fearful and bellowing nativism with a longed-for sense of community.

I’m happy that President Biden is forming a government that looks like the American people, to hearing and respecting all voices, and to policies that protect people who’ve been written off as not mattering for far too long.

I’m happy that the Biden/Harris Administration will significantly address the abiding wounds of racism in this country. I don’t expect instant solutions but I do expect real progress on voting rights, income inequality, economic opportunity, policing and immigration.

I’m happy that law enforcement in this country is finally moving against white supremacists and domestic terrorists. And that groups like QAnon followers and Proud Boys are now exposed for the ignorant and traitorous thugs they are.

I'm happy that despite all Republican efforts to maintain minority rule by voter suppression and gerrymandering, it didn’t save Georgia—or the US Senate—for them. With Vice President Harris on call to break ties, I’m happy there’s a chance that Biden’s policies will make it into the laws of the land.

I'm happy that President Biden's long service as a senator and his many friendships there give him a fighting chance of breaking through to the other side on issues like fighting the pandemic and taking part in the global work against the climate crisis, issues that never should’ve been politicized in the first place.

I’m happy that the Republican Party, after the attack on the Capitol, seems to have at least started a serious internal dialogue on its post-Trump future and that there are now more than a handful of senior Republicans with the vision and guts to take back their party from self-interested cowards who have no interest in the Constitution or in democracy.

I'm happy that President Biden in his inaugural address unequivocally put the concept of unity back into public discourse. No, I don’t expect that to be fully achieved. After all, tens of millions of people still believe he stole the election.

But I'm happy that the man has the courage to remind us of the values the great majority of Americans doin fact share, even though the hatemongering of the last four years has made many people doubt they share anything with others who don't look or vote the way they do.

I’m happy that Joe Biden's idealism is tempered by a grasp of real politics. He understands he can't achieve unity with kumbaya phenomenon but only by take practical, deliberate steps that get us working together toward common goals—like surviving the pandemic and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

I’m happy that there are now real pressers at the White House with savvy people giving us actual facts about what’s going on.

I'm happy to be involved in politics without gritting my teeth with every move.

I'm happy this country didn’t go over the cliff edge that ex--president Trump pushed us to. He failed. We won.

I hope you’re enjoying the moment as much as I am.

And if you’re not, Joe Biden says he will be a President for all Americans. You lose nothing by giving him the chance to try. And remember—despite Trump’s attempt to abolish them, there are still free and fair elections in this country.