IN PRAISE OF RARE AND DELICIOUS EXCEPTIONS
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Tic toc is an expression I frequently employ to mean ‘we’ll see.’
We re-calculate, we misjudge, we re-triage our priorities, and uncommonly – the rare and delicious exception – is when we’ve had time to think something thoroughly through and then become convinced to change our mind.
Because things rarely turn out as planned or promised. Sometimes far worse than first feared (i.e., COVID-19), sometimes far less (i.e., Y2K). Watching history-making events (i.e., 2020 U.S. election and prolonged counting) can be exciting, and exhausting to watch, and daunting; some are moments of celebration, some are moments of tragedy and horror. Tic toc …
Some happen so swiftly. Some are as stimulating as watching paint dry.
In the fullness of time, historians will assess which big dates had game-changer significance and which ones were as fleeting as a one-day sale at a store that was going out of business …
Victory by Pres.-Elect Joe Biden is, from my humble (and safely out of the fray) vantage point, less about him than it is an act of a country kicking their bully off the schoolyard – not because the bully wasn’t backed by a lot of well-meaning non-bullies who liked him, fell under his spell, or believed his policies trumped* his shortcoming, but because an overwhelming number of Americans wanted to get rid of that bully.
There is a term bully-pulpit, which has its place – for the office of the U.S. president (or any national leader of any country) wields influence and sets a tone. The less sensational stuff of governments – making policy, making laws, administering programs, collecting money, and distributing it is far less flashy, moves slowly, and is where the rubber really hits the road.
Will we know when it’s over, will we know when it’s time to take a new measure of ‘the mood of a people’ anytime soon?
My guess is the checks-and-balances will come into play in mid-term elections two years hence.
Mr. Biden, rightly or wrongly, earned a term in an elected office.
We’ll see how he does.
Meanwhile, everyone has to get back to work – because an economy and a pandemic need attention.
As a Canadian, I’m not that fussed about Biden – and given he’s more free-trader than protectionist, that probably bodes well for most Canadian exporters of raw materials and manufactured goods.
On the other hand, as an Albertan, I’m a little bit on edge because of some things Biden has said about our oil having pipeline access to U.S. markets.
If I might try some Monday-morning quarterbacking a day early, my sense is the Democrats need to do far more navel-gazing about their party than Republicans. It seems, if you look at all the other elections in the U.S., Mr. Trump had coattails, and Mr. Biden, not so much.
What is assured, I believe, is the world and financial markets will give the new U.S. regime a honeymoon period, but not a long one, to demonstrate it can get its act together and firmly take the reigns. To channel some Charles Dickens, I must ask, are these the best of times, or the worst of times?
*~ I couldn’t resist the pun-opportunity
Dear Mark, I have been reading your Musings almost every day for the past five years. It is so good to have an opinion, an idea to focus on, each day. Sometimes I even print off a column to have on hand as I write to others, or as I prepare a speech. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the Musings which has done much to enhance my daily routine, WF, Valleyview, AB
So true. It seems Trump will be a sore loser and try whatever. Even more of his fellow Republicans are telling him to act like an adult instead of a spoiled brat. On another note, when did news become an opinion? LH, Lethbridge, AB
Mark, I’m finding it difficult to anticipate and read your daily columns. Your life-important insights and adventures have been thought-provoking and at times, inspiring and comforting. Very helpful! However, your hostility towards our PM is not welcome in your daily columns. Start a political column… There is so much more for you to opine on and inform, Mark. Hope you’ll stay in that lane. Write to the light! Cheers, FW, Calgary … Have been thinking about writing you for several months. And today – Americans decided that Kamala is going to be the VP!!! And decent, smart Joe the Prez!