Yesterday we saw history made when Kamala Harris placed her left hand on the Bible and raised her right hand before God. And that is certainly something to be celebrated.
But as I troll social media and speak to acquaintances at the local coffee shop, it becomes clear that what was really celebrated yesterday was not the swearing in of a new President, but the exit of a former President.
In fact, it seems just over 50% of the nation is singing in virtual unison, "Ding dong, the witch is dead," and dancing on a yellow brick road.
As those who know me already know, I recently got a new job. It's very exciting, and after being at my last job for three years, I was able to observe some . . . patterns of human behavior in my co workers. One of the things I observed was what is known as "scapegoating".
Scapegoating is, by definition, "the practice of singling out a person or group for unmerited blame and consequent negative treatment." It has a pretty gruesome historical original that I won't bother sharing, but suffice it to say, it's not great to be the scapegoat, and people do it a lot.
At my old job, there was always a scapegoat and anything that ever went wrong in the office - it was their fault. One year it was a paralegal, then that paralegal left and it became a new paralegal, but all the time there was somewhere to place blame.
For the past four years America has had an orange-faced, combover-haired scapegoat named . . . well, you know his name. He was blamed for promoting systemic racism. He was blamed for promoting insurrection. He was blamed for encouraging homophobia. He was blamed for people not wearing masks.
And yesterday we saw him leave on AirForce One.
Congratulations, America. It's Bye-Don for President.
And now, the onus falls on us. We no longer have the scapegoat behind the podium, tweeting absurdities to laugh at. As our incredibly talented poet-laureate, Amanda Gorman said during the inauguration yesterday,
- We are responsible for our actions, whether our hands give or take away.
- We are responsible for our hearts, whether they be filled with love or hate.
- We are responsible for our minds, whether they think thoughts of virtue or thoughts of destruction.
- It is up to us to end systemic racism.
- It is up to us to end homophobia.
- It is up to us to practice the love not hate.
- It is up to us to be the light.