My Point of View: U.S. has survived challenges in past and can do it again

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2020

My Point of View, By Joseph E. Brown Sr.

Today, the Electoral College recorded 306 votes for Joe Biden and 232 votes for Donald Trump.

Joseph Brown Sr.

Joe Biden will be inaugurated as our new president of the United States in 35 days.

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Our nation is currently divided and challenged. Our nation has been divided and challenged many times before:

• Revolutionary War — There were loyalists of the King of England and colonists that desired independence (1775-1783)

• Civil War between the north and south (1861-1865)

• WWI (1914-1918)

• Flu pandemic of 1918-1920

• Great Depression (1929-1939)

• WWII (1939-1945)

• COVID-19 (2020-2021

Once all the ballots were counted, Joe Biden will have earned over 81,000,000 votes while Donald Trump earned 74,000,000 votes. Joe Biden will have earned 306 electoral votes (270 is the minimum needed to win). One hundred senators, 435 Congressmen, three from D.C. = 538 total electoral votes.  ½ of 538=269. 269+1 is the minimum needed to be declared president. Note: In 2016, Donald Trump won 306 electoral votes, the same as Joe Biden.

While our nation is divided on many issues such as gun rights, gay rights, abortion rights, union rights and fair taxes, we also agree on many big issues:

• Safe roads and bridges

• Quality education

• Affordable housing

• Accessible health care

• Clean air and water

We have allowed name-calling to supersede logical discussion. For an example, the following five phrases made it difficult for many Democrats to win elections:

• Black lives matter (All people should matter)

• Defund the police (Some police reform is needed in some cities)

• National heath care (Every citizen should have access to health care)

• Socialism (Please note the list below)

• Open borders (Legal immigration is needed)

It is interesting that I have never heard people criticize other national (socialized) programs such as:

• Social Security

• Medicare

• Medicaid

• Interstate highway system

• Air traffic control

• Military

Even though we are entering a deep recession, teetering on a depression, I am confident that we will experience a safe transition from one president to another just as we have for 220 years.

I once had an economics professor in college who asked our class to name one word that described the future of our economic system. The answer he gave us was “faith.” I would now add the words “hope” and “trust.” When society loses faith, hope and trust in our future, we will be in trouble. I sense that there are way too many citizens who have lost trust in our government at multiple levels.

Just because someone does not agree with the decision of a school board, city council, state Legislature, governor or president, does not mean that it is an illegal or wrong decision.  Our nation is a representative democracy. It is not a direct democracy. We elect individuals to represent us at all levels of government. Once elected, they have the duty and responsibility to implement policies, establish budgets, listen to constituents and make decisions. If we do not fully agree with current office holders, we have the right to replace them with new people at the next election.

As we enter the special season of Christmas and prepare for a New Year, I suggest that we all consider doing a reset of feelings and emotions and consider how blessed we are as Americans. We have a great nation with the potential to be better tomorrow than we are today. Let us set positive goals on the type of family, community, region, state and country we want to live in. We have survived many challenges in our history and have recovered with a stronger country. We have done it before; we can do it again.

Joseph E. Brown Sr. is a former two-term Iowa state senator. He currently serves as the Fairmont Area Schools superintendent.