Analysis & Comment

Opinion | Waiting for a President: ‘Begin a Healing’

To the Editor:

This feels like a moment to take a breath. While the indicators point to a win for Joe Biden, it does not seem like a time to celebrate. On Wednesday, the nation topped 100,000 new coronavirus cases. To say that the president has done nothing to curb the virus gives him too much credit. With misinformation and with large mask-free rallies he has actively spread it.

The anticipated blue wave did not take place. The outcome of the Senate races will likely slow much-needed progress on health care, economic relief and the environment. The Roberts court looks to be even more regressive today.

We have, however, become a more activist nation. Beginning with the Women’s March early in the president’s term to the highest percentage of voter turnout in over a century, the president has unwittingly led us to a much-needed civics course.

The next weeks and months will be chaotic. We can only hope that they begin a healing of the deep divisions in our country.

Elliott Miller
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

To the Editor:

As I hopefully and tremblingly await a confirmed victory for Joe Biden, I am aghast at the fact that, in spite of more than 230,000 dead from coronavirus in the United States, hundreds of Mexican and Central American children whose parents cannot be found, countless expressions of bigotry and disunity, and numerous pernicious policies, our current president was still able to garner more than 68 million votes.

This contributes to the “aha” moment many are experiencing concerning the current disunity in our country. It also seems possible that, were it not for the coronavirus debacle, President Trump might well have swept this election — a sobering thought.

Sheila Turken
Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Republican leaders in Congress and the Trump administration: Now is your chance. For the first time in Donald Trump’s tenure as president, this moment is not and should not be about him. It is about you. With these frivolous lawsuits on vote counts, he is making your party look juvenile, self-serving, corrupt and un-American.

Who among you will stand up? Your moment is here: This could be your chance to move beyond him, look like honest-to-gosh patriots, and, if Joe Biden becomes president, get on to the business of obstructing him and the Democrats for the next four years.

You might just save the G.O.P. by doing so.

Andy Calkins
Gloucester, Mass.

To the Editor:

I wonder how President Trump explains the way ballot malfeasance affected his tallies and not those of down-ballot Republicans.

Abby de Riel
Princeton, N.J.

To the Editor:

As I write, it is not certain that Joe Biden has beaten Donald Trump and, if he has, that his victory will stand if it goes to a Supreme Court packed with right-wing doctrinaires. What is clear is that the G.O.P. has obtained better results in both the House and the Senate than expected, and that disappoints me. And on Wednesday the number of new coronavirus cases solidly passed the 100,000 mark, in great part because so many of our fellow citizens simply refuse to wear a mask.

At the same time, I have seen friends and family participate in the electoral process by donating money, canvassing, volunteering as poll site observers, placing calls, and/or writing text messages and letters.

I have seen on CNN the dedication of government employees and volunteers spending endless hours performing to the best of their ability the critical and numbingly boring task of collecting and counting ballots. This is happening all over the country, in red states as well as blue states, embodying the American ideal of democracy.

So as I have discovered with disappointment and sadness the extent of narrow-minded prejudice, selfishness and generally crude behavior among our fellow citizens, I remain in love with this, my adoptive country.

A grateful French immigrant.

Claude Vidal
Los Angeles

To the Editor:

I am a minority blue in a red state. I believe in equity, justice, education, opportunity.

But after this election, my irritation with the Democratic Party and its focus on identity politics has finally pushed me to the point where, after 55 years as a registered Democrat, I will become an independent.

While I am disgusted with President Trump and the hypocrisy and sycophancy of the Republicans, I am almost equally disgusted by what Democrats fail to recognize: Your definition of my identity and my issues may not be my definition.

Mary Ann Sternberg
Baton Rouge, La.

To the Editor:

Re “Questions Mount, Again, After Pollsters Overestimated Democratic Strength” (news article, Nov. 5):

Patrick Murray, a pollster, explains the gap between Democrats’ poll numbers and the election results by saying it’s possible that Republicans’ efforts to prevent certain populations from voting easily had a sizable impact. You think?

Yes, Mr. Murray, it’s just possible that purging hundreds of thousands of people from voter rolls; closing polling places in heavily Democratic areas, forcing them to stand in line for hours or vote by mail; making mail-in voting so tricky that ballots are tossed out on technicalities; sabotaging the Postal Service to delay ballot delivery; and then claiming that mail-in votes shouldn’t be counted just might create a gap between the number of Americans who planned to vote for Democrats, and those who were able to do so.

Perhaps if everyone could vote, the polls might be more accurate.

Penelope Kramer
El Cerrito, Calif.

To the Editor:

It is hardly surprising that the presidential polling so underestimated President Trump’s strength. If I were voting for him, I would be ashamed to admit it, too.

Leonard Gordy
South Orange, N.J.

To the Editor:

Awaiting the election results, veering between dread and hope, I stumbled across Wisconsin’s chief election official, Meagan Wolfe, giving an election briefing. I became increasingly mesmerized by her deep knowledge of the election laws and processes Wisconsin has in place to ensure the integrity of our democracy. She used the word “meticulous” multiple times.

Listening to her made me appreciate the wonder that is our election process, and more important, the excellence of the thousands of unheralded people who make it happen. I reflected back on my two experiences volunteering as a poll worker in 2018 in Virginia Beach and as an elections assistant this year in Ventura County.

The competence of government officials, the meticulousness (there’s that word again) of every secure step in the process, the attention to fairness, the enthusiasm of every worker and volunteer to make sure that each vote is handled with care … these have been unquestionable in my experience.

Therefore, when President Trump questions the legitimacy of the vote count or wants to stop the vote before all have been counted, these are the people he’s insulting. Whatever the final results are, I will take solace in the beauty of our democracy. And I’ll sign up as soon as I can to help out with our next elections.

Pauline Ma
Oxnard Shores, Calif.

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