It’s a good thing that I didn’t start work on this column until Wednesday afternoon. I probably would have gotten nearly finished and then had to start all over again.

I’m not particularly fond of writing about politics. It has become so divisive.

I’m talking Grand Canyon divisive, and quite frankly it’s embarrassing.

Keeping one eye on the network news Wednesday afternoon was my goal. It was hard not to watch with both eyes wide open in something well beyond astonishment.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was disgraceful.

Americans were breaking into the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to disrupt the certification of the vote of the Electoral College.

Let me repeat that — Americans were breaking into the U.S. Capitol in Washington to disrupt the certification of the vote of the Electoral College.

My gut reaction was something to the effect of what were these people thinking about. Then I realized they very clearly weren’t thinking at all.

From my perspective, ANYONE caught vandalizing the U.S. Capitol should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I feel the same way about folks who burn the flag in protest.

Their right to conduct peaceful protests ended when they committed the offense of breaking and entering.

That applies not only to what happened in Washington this week, but it also applies to any of the protests that occurred across the country during the past year.

Protesting is one thing, setting fires and damaging an innocent person’s property is something else.

America is the greatest country on the planet. It’s not perfect, far from it. But the Constitution penned more than two centuries ago has withstood the test of time and continues to guarantee rights and privileges that people around the world have continued to yearn for.

That’s why people from all around the globe continue to flock to the United States.

You don’t like the way things are going? Go to the polls.

We saw evidence of that just this past week, but even the election here in Floyd County wasn’t without poll workers being subjected to verbal abuse from different folks.

I really don’t want you to believe that the belittling or berating of local poll workers was widespread because it wasn’t, but any abuse of those folks was uncalled for.

I suspect that all of us had hoped for a better 2021, but it’s clear that the year has gotten off to a rocky start. I pray that somehow, some way, cooler minds will prevail and we can right this ship, lest we collectively go down like the Titanic.

As I reflect back on the presidential election, I see striking similarities between 2016 and 2020.

Four years ago, Hillary Clinton was the anointed Democratic nominee and Donald Trump survived a plethora of Republican challengers to take on the former first lady.

I think the election was as much, if not more, people voting AGAINST Hillary than it was people voting FOR Trump.

I think the 2020 election was similar in that Joe Biden survived a cadre of Democrats to take on President Trump and that the election was as much people voting AGAINST President Trump as they were FOR Biden

If you’re one of those people who support President Trump’s contention that the election was stolen, please consider the likelihood that it was an inside job.

President Trump was his own worst enemy.

There have been so many positive things that have taken place in the last four years. The economy was in excellent shape until the pandemic hit and, frankly, the economy has recovered fairly well from the pandemic aside from a few sectors such as the travel industry.

The pandemic has worsened. On Thursday, 163 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center.

I believe the Trump administration made a horrible mistake in pooh-poohing the coronavirus early on.

My father had a small wooden plaque that hung on the wall in the basement of our family home (which was in effect a living room, not just someplace to dump stuff) which read “Even a fish wouldn’t get into trouble if he’d keep his mouth shut.”

I’ve thought about that plaque so many times over the past four years, but to have expected Trump to ditch his Twitter account and quietly go about dictating policy would have ignored who the president is.

He’s a brash, cocky, my way or the highway kind of guy. He was an outsider in Washington, something a slim majority of Americans so desperately sought four years ago.

But back to the good things that happened in the last four years.

We’ve fundamentally, though certainly not completely, gotten troops out of wars in the Middle East. The U.S. military has regained some strength and respect around the world and that’s a good thing.

One final thought as it relates to politics. I don’t think you heard many stump speeches or television addresses to the nation that didn’t end with words to the effect of God bless our troops and God Bless the USA.

Seems to me politicians have taken God out of the equation over the years and I believe we’d all be much better off if we’d bring him back to the forefront of our lives.

God help the USA!

Associate Editor and business columnist Doug Walker is always looking for news and tips about area businesses. To contact Doug, email him at DWalker@RN-T.com or call 706-290-5272.

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