I wish I could say it’s over.
Donald Trump is now a former president, dropped off in Florida Wednesday morning by Air Force One.
Pundits are saying he was driven out, an incumbent losing by the greatest margin since Herbert Hoover.
They neglect to mention something. Trump received 11.2 million more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016.
More than 11 more million Americans shook off their political torpor, having found enough to like about Trump to make it to the polls.
That’s not completely unheard of in a presidential election. George W. Bush also saw a similar increase in votes the second time he ran. But Bush had a war going on. America had been attacked.
Trump had been impeached. And hundreds of thousands of Americans had died in the pandemic.
Trump support still flourishes around Douglas County in bumper stickers, yard signs and flags. In the 2020 election, 65% of voters in Douglas County chose Trump/Pence over Biden/Harris. This summer, they boated through area lakes in vast parades, flying Trump flags high.
How will Douglas County residents respond to a new president?
Joe Biden has been sworn in and called for Americans to start fresh, to stop shouting and to reject lies.
Will we continue to believe the 2020 election was stolen, even though many Republicans, even Trump’s allies and appointees, say that it wasn’t?
Will the lies about cheating in fraud arise again in 2024? Will a party that believes it was wronged in 2020 now sanction underhanded tactics in 2024?
Will longtime friends and relatives who were torn apart under a Trump presidency find a way to recover the love that was lost?
Will those who believed prophecies that Trump would get a second term finally accept they were hoodwinked?
Now that there's no martial law, and that Biden has indeed been inaugurated, will they finally concede that they listened to a bunch of liars who thrive on chaos and division?
Will the white evangelical church now start to assess the damage they caused by supporting a president who undermined American elections from even before the 2016 election?
Will Douglas County voters start soul-searching to figure out how a president who tweeted that Jan. 6 would be “wild,” and who goaded on a deadly mob that overran the U.S. capitol, resulting in physical, democratic and spiritual damage, found a place in their hearts?
Will they turn away from the sources of fake news and accept that the mainstream media is made up of hardworking, honest and ethical journalists who have no desire or incentive to make up facts?
When Biden stutters once in a speech, and his enemies seize upon that one slip and send the clip around on conservative media, will Douglas County voters mock him and say he’s “unable to string one sentence together” and that he’s senile even though the rest of the speech went smoothly?
The world is watching, Biden says.
We have to be better than this, he says.
“It’s My Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.