By Liza Horan, Editor
The 2020 U.S. presidential election revealed serious symptoms in the body of 331 million people that are America. Controversial responses to the pandemic, activism that challenged what democracy means today, and heated campaigning resulted in the tightest run-off ever and the highest voter participation since 1908. The ballots were cast and counted, though the losing side doesn’t accept them. The result: America is polarized.
If the country were a patient, the diagnosis would be auto-immune disease.
The body’s lifeblood, its chi, is democracy. All systems run on that currency. Yet the immune system — ready to defend — fights itself. The system has been compromised, sending out mixed messages. Some systems respond with inflammation — excessive police force during peaceful protests, defiantly rejecting guidelines to social-distance and wear masks — and others with exhaustion and pain.
By clinching more than 270 electoral votes, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris head the medical team caring for this patient. The goal is to heal America. However, the patient is challenged yet.
Patient’s Medical History
2017 to 2020: Patient started feeling poorly in small increments as soft campaigning started by President Donald Trump only one year into his office, and then 27 Democrat politicians positioned themselves as candidates for President in 2020. Symptoms that presented include confusion due to fake news and false accusations, fever from heated conversations among friends on Facebook, and feelings of nausea caused by watching news reports of bad behaviour by White House staff, and general hysteria witnessed at @RealDonaldTrump on Twitter.
Autumn 2020: Patient trying to cope with acute symptoms as a near-frenzy breaks out about which states offer mail-in or drop-off ballots and the security of absentee ballots.
October through 3 Nov.: Emergency help required for clear leadership. Patient dials 911, a desperate call for help by voting for the 46th President of the United States.
4-6 Nov.: The patient is touch-and-go during the long ambulance ride. There was no traffic for quite some time, and the ambulance crew took a right turn seemingly to the hospital, as Trump “claimed” the win because of a fast start to certain state wins — but it was premature. After a U-turn, the ambulance got on the road, slowed by some traffic, and even some red lights as Trump called foul and attempted to stop the counting of ballots. But the ambulance flashed its lights and sirens, and cars got out of its way to arrive safely at the Emergency Room.
7 Nov.: E.R. team of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris assigned to patient due to their combined experience to understand how to address a collection of acute symptoms, ranging from inflammation (extremist threats of violence) to despair (devolution in race relations, international relations and environmental protections). Their holistic approach includes listening to the patient, checking vital signs, collaborating with experts in certain systems, and looking out for the patient’s own welfare. This team has been noted for their integrity and dedication to the Hippocratic Oath. They’re held in high esteem for their bedside manner.
9 Nov.: Patient has a positive outlook, crucial for getting well, but until patient leaves hospital (federal election agency finalises results) there is threat of both contracting Covid-19 and infection (President Trump refusing to concede and taking legal action in attempts to invalidate results). Medical team announces a task force to put into place thorough measures to protect against the spread of coronavirus; they trust existing protocol to protect against infection (ballot counting process and democratic law), so no action required there.
14 Dec.: Patient to be released from hospital (formal vote by Electoral College).
20 Jan.: Patient clear to resume full active lifestyle (a new start with the inauguration).
Prognosis: Good. Patient expected to rebound very well in the short-term of four years. The scars will remain visible and, while they will minimise, will never completely disappear.