I know, I know. We’re not supposed to talk about politics. Someone might be offended or angry. For better or worse, I’m a political being. Always have been. My various degrees are all associated with Public Policy, Politics, International Relations, etc. I am not a partisan. In one election I voted for a Republican for Congress, a Democrat for the U. S. Senate and an Independent for governor. Because of that I faced the November midterm election with fear and a heavy heart. To say that I was relieved and thankful is an understatement. No one can echo my feelings of profound relief better than the inimitable Thomas Friedman, NYT opinion columnist. I’ll let him speak for himself:
“I always enjoy Thanksgiving, but I’m particularly going to savor this year’s in light of the midterm elections. They surfaced something beautiful and decent and vitally important in the soul of the nation. It was a readiness to defend the core of our democracy — our ability to peacefully and legitimately transfer power — when it was under imminent threat.
Had we lost our commitment to the solemn obligation that one party smoothly hands off power to another, we’d be totally lost as a country today. But instead, democracy was reaffirmed. Enough Americans — principled Republicans, Democrats and independents — sorted through their ballots and rejected almost all of the high-profile election deniers for major state and federal offices.
In “using the tools of democracy to protect democracy,” as Vox put it, they reconnected the country with something deep in our heritage — that losers concede gracefully and move on, and winners win gracefully and govern. In celebration of that tradition, I offer these readings for your Thanksgiving table:
Dec. 13, 2000, Al Gore’s concession speech after the Supreme Court effectively handed the 2000 election to George W. Bush:
“Good evening. Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. … Almost a century and a half ago, Senator Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency: ‘Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I’m with you, Mr. President, and God bless you.’ Well, in that same spirit, I say to President-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country. Neither he nor I anticipated this long and difficult road. Certainly, neither of us wanted it to happen. Yet it came, and now it has ended, resolved, as it must be resolved, through the honored institutions of our democracy. …
“The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession. I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new president-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends. …
“This is America, and we put country before party; we will stand together behind our new president. … As for the battle that ends tonight, I do believe, as my father once said, that ‘no matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out. …’
“And now, my friends, in a phrase I once addressed to others: It’s time for me to go.”
Dec. 13, 2000, George W. Bush’s speech accepting Al Gore’s concession:
“Vice President Gore and I put our hearts and hopes into our campaigns. We both gave it our all. We shared similar emotions, so I understand how difficult this moment must be for Vice President Gore and his family. He has a distinguished record of service to our country as a congressman, a senator and a vice president. This evening I received a gracious call from the vice president. We agreed to meet early next week in Washington, and we agreed to do our best to heal our country after this hard-fought contest.
“Tonight, I want to thank all the thousands of volunteers and campaign workers who worked so hard on my behalf. I also salute the vice president and his supporters for waging a spirited campaign. And I thank him for a call that I know was difficult to make. …
“I have something else to ask you, to ask every American. I ask for you to pray for this great nation. I ask for your prayers for leaders from both parties. I thank you for your prayers for me and my family, and I ask you to pray for Vice President Gore and his family.”
In his memoir “A Promised Land,” President Barack Obama recalled six words that he shared with his staff on April 27, 2011, after holding a news conference at the White House announcing the release his long-form birth certificate to end the bogus but distracting claims by “carnival barkers,” that he was not born in the U.S.:
“I exited through the sliding doors that led back into the communications team’s offices, where I encountered a group of junior members of our press shop who’d been watching my remarks on a TV monitor. They all looked to be in their 20s. Some had worked on my campaign; others had only recently joined the administration, compelled by the idea of serving their country. I stopped and made eye contact with each one of them.
“‘We’re better than this,’ I said. ‘Remember that.’”
And yes, now we can remember that and joyfully surround our Thanksgiving table confident that the great country we live in has once again confirmed that while we may disagree, the majority of us believe that our strength as a nation rests on our belief “that losers concede gracefully and move on, and winners win gracefully and govern.”
Now that we have eaten ourselves silly on Thanksgiving we can turn to Christmas. And what better way than to grab our latest Author Billboard Christmas treat:
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My book in the collection is:
A Christmas Reunion
Not all Christmas reunions have sugar plum fairies dancing in their heads.
Some include murder.
USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.
In the five years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.
Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.
My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?