Saturday, May 15, 2021

The much-anticipated election is finally winding down and it appears we have a winner. Former Vice President Joe Biden seems to have won enough electoral votes to become the president-elect.

Whether jubilant or despondent, the reaction of the citizens of this country pointed out several misconceptions about the process.

Let us remember that we were electing a president, not a king nor a dictator. Many appear to believe that, as president, Joe Biden will undermine everything that was signed or established in the previous four years and will propose bills that will be detrimental to our way of life. Yes, the president does have the power to sign executive orders, but there will still be checks and balances, especially with a likely Republican Senate. This, of course, makes Georgia’s Senate runoff elections in January among the more consequential races in United States history.

President-elect Biden is going to have the tall task of not only uniting a divided nation and tackling issues of vital importance, but of immediately addressing COVID-19 and its threat to all aspects of American life. For this great task, our country needs an active government rather than a passive one. Now more than ever, we need a government that can work together to help the American people.

For four years, I kept hearing, “You can hate the man but you can’t hate the supporters,” with the idea that you can’t hate half the country. After witnessing the election fallout, I understand the urge to block someone based on political views. However, we can’t continue to live a life divided, in our community or the nation. The late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l once said in a TED talk that “it’s the people not like us that make us grow.” Although we may view the world differently, we must be able to respectfully converse with and listen to those who disagree with us.

Finally, I would like to address the issue of the vote count and the annoyance many people expressed regarding the slow count and the uncertainty it created. Let’s keep in mind that the vote-count system was affected, like all things, by the coronavirus pandemic. With the surplus of early votes and mail-in votes, in addition to the in-person votes, the voting centers naturally were overwhelmed. It’s hard to blame the process, or the poll workers and vote counters, for taking a long time when these people were bombarded with ballots in numbers never before seen. Instead of criticizing an overwhelmed system, we should be praising the efforts and work of the election committees that counted the most votes in our nation’s election history.

Mayer Fink