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Carlton Fletcher

“Hey, old man, how can you stand to think that way?”

— Bruce Hornsby & the Range

With no intent of coming off as Pollyanna-ish, I am going into the start of the Biden administration with high hopes.

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No, I don’t believe our president-elect has proven himself as a leader on a grand scale, and I have concerns about the leftward lean of the Democratic Party, with groups that have already declared they were “responsible” for Biden’s election making demands on the new president.

It’s just that we’ve reached a point in America where if we don’t get some good news soon, we could become ripe for a takeover — or at least undue influence — by outside parties that could only divide us further. And I really don’t know how much more division we can take before we split down the middle.

What concerns me most, I guess, about the changing of the guard in Washington is the negativity that so many Americans have heaped on the Biden administration weeks before it’s even due to take on the responsibility of running the nation’s government. And while it’s understandable that backers of the outgoing president — those who praised him rightfully for his pluses in office and those who have followed him blindly during what has been a tempestuous four years — are upset about the outcome of the election, what with the president proclaiming fraud at every turn, it’s a little disconcerting that these groups have already decided what the country is going to be like under Biden.

“We’re now on the road to socialism ...” “You’d better get your guns while you can because the new administration is going to try and take them away ...” “Get ready for more freebies going to the do-nothings, at the expense of the people who actually work for a living ...” “Biden will step down during his first year in office and turn the running of the country over to Harris, Pelosi, Schumer and other liberals who will try to impose their far-ledft policies on us all ...” “Go ahead and get out your checkbook; you’re going to be paying way more in taxes ...”

Now I’m not saying these things are impossible — except the gun thing; that’s the same NRA scare tactics used around every election to run up gun sales and memberships — but in no speeches have I heard the president-elect say any of these claims are part of his plans for the country. In fact, the only one that even rings with any amount of fact is that of taxes, and that’s if you happen to be among the rich in this country. The outgoing president’s tax cuts have proven to be nothing but a typical boon for the wealthy, who are the ones complaining about Biden’s policy plans. It’s a logical tactic: Tell the riffraff in the middle- and lower-classes that Biden plans to eliminate their tax breaks, when he’s clearly said the only tax break cuts will impact the wealthy.

Again, it’s typical to complain when your side loses an election. But reading and hearing all of these “experts” (who are mostly repeating the “wisdom” espoused by talking heads whose sole responsibility is to stir up animosity) proclaim, without doubt or question, what is going to happen once Biden takes over the presidency is little more than sour grapes and the typical partisan political bull that has sadly become the norm in America.

Here’s an idea; and, yes, it’s just an idea. Why don’t we kind of see how things go before we write off this country that has, lest we forget, survived the horrific policies of some very unprepared politicians in its almost 250 years of existence? Why don’t we quit listening only to the talking heads who espouse our (very narrow) worldview and start watching and thinking for ourselves? Perhaps then, when we have a 50-50 split in the Senate (tie goes to the vice president), maybe it won’t be seen as “control,” as we’ve been told, and will provide an opportunity for people elected to represent us to actually do what’s best for the country and not for one party or the other.

Email Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.

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