New Beginnings?

Tomorrow sees the swearing-in of a new President of The United States. Even allowing for the issues surrounding the recent protest in Washington D.C. and the risk of more disturbances during the inauguration, that must feel like a new beginning to most of my American blogging friends. (I know there are some who are not that happy about it.)

I don’t live in America, as you know, and I have never even visted that country. But everyone in the world lives under the influence of America in one way or another, like it or not. So I would like to see the USA heal its divisions, take care of its poor and unemployed, provide better healthcare systems, and try to do something to stop the constant shootings that happen there.

It would also be nice if they stopped using military solutions to try to solve problems in other countries, and to forge good working relationships with countries that they currently see as enemies.

Is any of the above possible? Well anything is possible, but it remains to be seen if it happens. Whatever the Biden and Harris team manages to achieve, one thing is sure. They are not Trump and Pence, so that gives them a head start as far as the rest of the world is concerned.

Could the worldwide vaccination programmes herald a new beginning too? Or more like a return to how things were. We can only hope so. But it is going to be a long time before we find out. Even in Britain with its relatively small population, it will be October before all the people over the age of eighteen have been vaccinated. Then there will be those who decline any vaccine, and cannot be compelled to have it. They will potentially remain a danger to the rest of us.

As it stands, I cannot see that 2021 will bring universal heath care in America, or that I will be able to enter a shop of any kind in England without wearing a mask.

But I live in hope.

96 thoughts on “New Beginnings?

  1. Hi Pete – Thanks for your post – it is always a great boon to me, here in America, to read what my bloggy pals in other countries report on their realities and/or their thoughts on our country. It is, for me, my ‘real news’ check in – 🙂 That said, while I have high hopes the incoming administration will fare better on both the domestic and the world stage than the past one did, America is a geographically huge and culturally diverse country and many of the problems that have culminated and REALLY been highlighted this year of COVID and devastating hurricanes/wild fire season, un- & underemployment, medical care cost and service, etc. are issues that have been LONG in the making and I’m just not sure one 4 year administration can hope to turn all of it around on a dime – I will also say, the very NEEDS taken care of, the PIVOTS that have taken place for our country to stumble along best as it can through this past year of ‘vulnerabilities’ in our systems that became rather highlighted fast and fierce, I’m not certain our country or ANY country in the world, will ever return to how it was ‘before’ – – a pandemic and economic disruption tends to highlight and well….. result in changes – for good or bad — – forever. As one example – – good and ill – – The year of COVID has highlighted online shopping, the success of stores to pivot to that model (whether delivered, shipped or picked up curbside) and technology has made this possible – – so the good? Small, forward looking, independent businesses have a shot at taking care of their customers better, employers can recruit a wider range of talent who is ‘best’ candidate for a job without need for worker to ‘commute/relocate’ – The bad? here? Really highlights how slow/no internet service leaves others behind – highlights the inherent distrust between employers & employees (re: I want surveillance software installed on your home computer so I can ‘keep tabs on you, while you work) etc. And, I believe, overall, the very real concern expressed by many, right now, in their appreciation for front line, albeit, lowest paid, manual laborers, who are also now seen as Essential! will be forgotten – – just as soon as things get better – – Sorry I rambled on instead of ‘publishing’ the post I’ve had in ‘draft status’ for nearly 4 months now – – LOL – but, there are many things, in my country, I hope NEVER go back to ‘how it was before’ – and I think the stress of COVID and this year’s election campaigning season makes it so hard and readily apparent that any generation over the age of 10 will never forget the lessons learned…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, TamrahJo.
      I agree that the world has been changed by this pandemic, and that things will never be the same, even if we eventually get back to the illusion that they are. I sincerely hope that your new government can make some changes for the majority of the working people in America. As with the situation in my own country, only time will tell if they really want to.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ….Sorry – wanted to do a paragraph change and it posted – – I worry about England – the population size in the geographical size – – just because, in my world? in rural America? IF I need to do without/live without/make do and keep rather isolated, I can – there is space to do so – no heavy pollution in the air, as long as wildfires aren’t burning – and…I continue to read, research, etc., the “Brexit’ conversation for you all – and try to feel like I fully understand the pros/cons – – it’s hard to understand, fully the reality of others in another far away land!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Because of our relatively small population, we have the highest number of C-19 deaths in the world at the moment. It is a small island, and only some parts are what might be considered to be ‘remote’. It can be quite difficult to avoid other people, which no doubt adds to the fast spread here. As for Brexit, it has divided opinion here, and the full economic effects are yet to come. The pandemic has at least replaced it as the ‘big story’.
          I voted to leave the EU, but not because I am a nationalist or xenophobe, far from it. I just consider the EU to be the unacceptable face of European capitalism, used to control poorer countries that provide cheap labour and seasonal migrant workers.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. “It would also be nice if they stopped using military solutions to try to solve problems in other countries”

    I, for myself, as a German who was able to grow up in freedom after WWII BECAUSE the USA intervened militarily, am eternally grateful they did.
    That does not mean I condone each and every US military deployment abroad, but sometines it certainy is necessary.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think WW2 and its aftermath is definitely an exception, Pit. I am thinking more about events including, and since, Vietnam. Britain did and does the same thing too, and I am just as critical of my own governments for their actions, I assure you.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It has become a habit now. But it would be nice not to have to, if the virus was sufficiently under control by the end of the year.
      Sadly, I think that ‘If’ is too big an ‘If’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One thing is certain, Biden and Harris have their work cut out for them, but at least it looks like they‘re off to a good start. We can only hope … being outside the U.S., hope is all we have.

    Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Fingers crossed for all of us those hopes won‘t be dashed. Though looking at all the expectations concerning their government, Biden and Harris will have to be near-superhuman to fulfill them all. Still … 🤞

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As they say “hope springs eternal”….I hope there will be change both international and domestic….but I fear it will be incremental at best. The US is too damn invested in war for that to change…..plus the country is almost a 50-50 split on social stuff….that will not bring the unity that so many are hoping for in the future. Good Post Pete…..well done….chuq

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think that’s what we are all hoping for Pete! Stay safe as the latests covid number of death in UK is through the roof. But yes, let’s hope because if we stop then we don’t live anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sophie. Per head of the population, we now have the highest Covid-19 death rate in the world. That should be something that shames this current government of course, but they happily ignore the truth.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  6. I wish USA a great future. With a better government in lead, they will connect with the world differently. I hope they take off travel bans from certain countries and behave better with certain religions and races. America is not just a white country. It is a melting pot of races. So, I hope they return to their better selves again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post Pete 🙂 Unlike Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are at least tolerable. To be honest, Biden seemingly came off as the last choice for those who lean left here in the US. I think a majority wanted either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, but I can’t confirm that with 100 percent authenticity. Nevertheless, If there ever comes a time when I need to criticize our incoming president, I will not give a dime to, let alone read or watch on the Internet or television, anything belonging to Rupert Murdoch. The reasons why I (and seemingly many others) despise him is pretty long, so let me leave you with a youtube video link of a wise dramatist, who sums it up way better than I can. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry you were unable to watch the link in the UK, but here is the quote below in case you are wondering

        “As a writer you will know that one of the favourite fantasy plots of a writer is, a character’s told ‘you’ve got three months to live,’ and who would you kill? I call my cancer Rupert, so I can get close to it. Because that man, Murdoch, is the one who, if I had the time (I’ve got too much writing to do…) I would shoot the bugger if I could. There is no one person more responsible for the pollution of what was already a fairly polluted press. And the pollution of the British press is an important part of the pollution of British political life, and it’s an important part of the cynicism and misperception of our own realities that is destroying so much of our political discourse.”

        “The Long Goodbye,” The Guardian (6 April 1994); the quote is from Potter’s final television interview with Melvyn Bragg (5 April 1994)

        Here is the Wikiquote link to Dennis Potter quotes

        https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Dennis_Potter

        Liked by 1 person

  8. A well-written post, Pete and many valid comments…I have visited the US many times and have family there…good, hardworking, decent people, well educated a doctor and a vet among them however their political alliances I am not in agreeance with but it is not a subject we touch on…each to their own they must have seen something in the man..how they feel now after all the antics and throwing of toys out of his pram…I don’t know… my mother always taught me never to fall out over politics or religion and I think she had a point. I do hope this new President brings some peace and normality to the country he has a tough road ahead but has many years experience and at least he won’t have the opposition against him all the time like Obama. As for 2021, I am living in hope that we see a few steps forward in the fight against Covid…Happy New Year everyone x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I spent most of my working life being politically extreme, in the Trade Unions. I would argue politics with a stranger at a bus stop, and ruined many a dinner party at home by upsetting guests with my views.
      I still hold those views as strongly as ever, but I am worn out enough to have stopped arguing with people about them. It seems many people like to vote for their own downfall, like flocks of sheep voting to be led by hungry wolves. I cannot make them see sense, so have stopped trying.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not had a Prime Minister in Britain that I voted for since 1976. I have lived most of my adult life in the hope of something much better happening for ordinary people. I’m still waiting.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. As someone who holds more moderate views, I can usually see both sides of most issues. I support the police, but I’m still concerned about those who abuse their positions. As a former teacher, I feel the same way about those in positions of authority in the education world. I have many friends who hold many different views than me. That’s okay—there should be plenty of room for differences of opinion and give and take.

    That said, I can’t believe that President Trump has conned so many people. He is more showman than substance. Just listening to him, one can tell he isn’t that intelligent. He is good at appealing to people’s fears (e.g., those of a different color or a different place can’t be trusted.) I don’t trust anybody who has this constant need to tell everyone how smart, brave, popular (insert your own words of praise here) he is while also going out of his way to insult others and bring less dignity to the office.

    I’m not sure about Biden; he is not without issues either. On the other hand, it will be nice to have an adult in the room again instead of a petulant child.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have told others this same thing on various sites that I follow regularly whenever Trump comes up, but for those wondering how seedy Trump is, read the late great independent investigative journalist Wayne Barrett, who exposed Trump as far back as the late 1970’s for the Village Voice. Here are two links below about it

      https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/wayne-barrett-obituary-reporter-village-voice-trump-first-214669

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I do not share the idea that Biden/Harris will make everything better. He is still very much under the control of big-money donors and rich industrialists. But there seems to be almost no alternative in America currently, so they are at least ‘better than Trump’.
      Thanks, Pete.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. We often see people as enemies when they demolish two important buildings in a major metropolis, hijack planes, and put a gaping hole in our top military facility and kill almost 3,000; injured over 6,000 – then they plant bombs in Boston and rape “infidels” everywhere. What should we do Pete, say “Oh, there, there, let’s talk about this.!”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were not Iraqis though, GP. Concentrate on the real enemy, my friend. Saudi Arabia.
      (I was actually talking about China, which I am sure has no designs on the US other than trading ones.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. China is our main threat, but too many of the terrorists train and are hidden by various Middle Eastern countries, they can not be overlooked.
        I’ve read many of your comments on chug’s site and know your opinion of us.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have a very good opinion of American people, GP. But not so much of US foreign policy, I agree. The same applies to the foreign policy of my own country of course, which I am equally critcal of.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I was thinking of writing something titled new beginning to recognise the event tomorrow. But I haven’t yet. I think Biden and Harris stand for decency, the middle class, and the like, especially if read Biden’s personal story. It is good both houses are with the Democrats, so they gave a chance to get things through, unlike Obama as Republican would oppose.

    No single person can make a difference in 4 years. But Biden has been in Washington etc for his whole life, I think they can do so much good. But their road is tough, covid, economic crisis, divided America, and so much more.

    But I think america is in good hands, says i living in the UK.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Many Americans believe joe Biden was chosen as a way for Ms Harris to be able to take over, as she would not have got the votes if she had stood alone. I can see some merit in that argument.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks Pete. I for one am hopeful though still concerned about the damage done by the current (soon to be former) administration. – My mom recently got her first vaccination shot. I’m hoping to receive mine in the not too distant future. I agree masks will be with us well into 2021, but it’s a small price to pay if it helps limit the spread of the virus.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. I am happy everyone in the UK is getting vaccinated, Pete. We have none and have not ordered any. I believe our president has said we have to develop our own. I’m not holding my breath. Perhaps I can get it when we move permanently to the UK early next year.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. They keep saying it is not a ‘magic bullet’, Robbie. It only reduces the symptoms, and does not stop you getting it, and passing it on to others. In that sense, it is not a real vaccination at all. But it’s a start, and better than nothing.
      Have you decided where to settle in England yet? I know you have family here, and they will help you. But if there is anything I can do, don’t hesitate to let me know.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi Pete, I have heard the same thing about the vaccine. My husband already has a job that requires us to move and he will be starting in May this year. I am also already doing a lot of work with the UK. My son is wanting to study at Edinburgh University so a permanent move makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. No, we are hoping to be able to visit in August and peg this down, but it all depends on Covid. Whether Terence starts his new job in person or on-line is also currently up in the air. Greg is set on studying IT. He works very hard and achieved 100% for his year end exams last year.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. For your information, contrary to popular global belief, the UK does not exist to give ‘free stuff’ to people who don’t actually live here, haven’t contributed to our National Health System, and only want to move here so they can get can vaccinated against Covid! Even if their mum lived in Suffolk during WW2! You should have moved to Britain in 2019 or long before the pandemic, if you loved Britain so much and wanted to be taken seriously!

      But you don’t!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. ‘So I would like to see the USA heal its divisions, take care of its poor and unemployed, provide better healthcare systems, and try to do something to stop the constant shootings that happen there.’

    Nice sentiments, but you and I both know that the rich only ever look after their own…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jack,

      The biggest lie ever told is that people are poor because of the actions of one Government or another!
      Actually, most people are poor because of the actions of their parents or their grandparents!

      My parents were never rich! My dad was a Police Officer and my mum was a hairdresser. I served in the British military for 30 years. I’m not rich! I don’t envy the rich. But neither do I despise the poor.

      The second biggest lie ever told is that a new President (or, in Britain, Prime Minister) will ‘heal’ the country! They won’t! We are eternally divided! Pro-EU ‘Remainers’ will never reconcile with ‘Brexiteers’, even if Brexit turns out to be the best thing that Britain ever did! Brexiteers will never reconcile with ‘Remainers’, even if Brexit turns out to be the worst thing that the majority of British citizens ever voted for!

      Trump or Biden! Does it really matter? Will mentally-ill people stop killing innocent people because Biden or Trump are in power? Of course not!

      Will Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia or North Korea allow ‘free and fair’ elections because Biden is the new President? Of course not!

      For an alarmingly high number of people it’s ‘everybody for themselves’ nowadays and the sooner politicians realise this, the better!

      However, you’re right in that the rich will will look after themselves!

      Good luck to you and your family and friends.

      Liked by 2 people

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