In farewell to 2020, Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer wraps up the last day of what, in many ways, was the most politicized year.
Coming back home from London just in time to ring in the New Year from my DC home’s comfort, I found a depressing atmosphere in DC and nearby Virginia. I could not help but notice the lack of Christmas atmosphere London was bubbling with despite the Tier 4 (Stay at Home) lockdown.
Politics remains the main news, the Hill’s political games about who will or will not approve $2000 checks, well-needed money Democrats and Republicans politicized for the most of the year. Mnuchin says that the checks are on the way and that the first direct payments have been made, but most of the people I know did not get anything yet.
The other immediate observation I am making upon tuning into American cable news after all I watched was British TV is that in Britain, they inform you about coronavirus. In America, they scare you. It makes sense as being a member of the Washington press corps, I felt paralyzed at the beginning of the pandemic for the well three to four months. It was only when I decided to hop on a plane to London that the fear from the pandemic started to ease up on me. Gradually, I arrived at the place where I felt comfortable to dine at the Ivy at the outdoor terrace in London and a few times indoors even with heavy social distancing measures. I religiously held on a mask and hand sanitizer I applied and kept applying the moment I touched something. I even went as far as to bring my antiseptic wipes and touch up the tables and handles on my chair at any public venue I went to.
I freaked out at the White House briefing room on occasion, but I learned to live with pandemics for the whole year and tried to make my life as comfortable and normal as I could.
THE POLITICIZATION OF SECRET SERVICE
I came across the story in WaPo, implying that Secret Service Agents in presidential detail are so much plugged into Trump’s orbit that the change will be necessary when Biden comes into the office.
I called a friend, a Secret Service Agent in that same presidential detail, to ask what he thinks about the story. The Secret Service problem is that it is, as the word says “secret,” and these stories unless you have someone on the inside, can’t be neither challenged nor verified.
Me: Is this story true?
Agent: And this is why people despise journalists.
Me: Not true?
Agent: Not true? This is slander. And totally preposterous.
Capturing the feelings of the secret service agents who protect the United States president is essential as the WaPo story implies that some of them may not be loyal to Biden, which represents the politicization of their work. Setting the record straight, at least in terms of how the presidential detail feels about the story that only aims to hurt Trump at any cost necessary, is essential. People deserve to know the truth, the same way the Secret Service Agents deserve respect for everything they are doing day and night to protect the president. Any president. In this way, politicizing the Secret Service is damaging to the morale of the agents, and quite frankly, they do not deserve this political attack. Leave them out of it.
JANUARY 5 AND 6
Today, 2020 ends, but if it is to be judged by the first week of January 2021 does not promise to be any less dramatic.
Senate runoffs are days away in Georgia, and this race you probably would not usually pay any attention to will determine Biden’s presidency. For the country’s stability, Democrats taking over the Senate would be beneficial. If David Perdu and Kelly Loeffler win, it will be impossible for Biden to execute his legislative agenda. With Donald Trump taking over the Republican Party, the GOP will be hitting the Democrats, and the Biden administration left and right. Without the Senate win, there is no win for the president Joe Biden.
The Senate runoffs’ outcome will also determine whether or not and in what numbers the Republicans will vote to contest the Electoral vote. To place more pressure on an already volatile situation, a rally in Washington DC has been called, and the president, himself is expected to show up, a novel development since he dogged his supporters for the last two times. Passing through the crowd in the Beast and waving behind the window does not count.
CHEER ON, CHEER ON
Celebrate tonight from the comfort of your home. On ABC, Ryan Seacrest will be rocking New Year’s Eve at Times Square, and Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will be ringing in the New Year on CNN. On ABC, Joe and Jill Biden will join with a pre-taped interview to join the celebration. Whichever channel you tune in to, New York Times looks spooky with no single soul to watch in person a legendary ball drop.
Like most of 2020, The New Year’s celebration will be virtual this year.
No change is coming tomorrow, but you can change many things with yourself, with or without a stimulus check. The vaccine is coming. The collapse of the economy, too. Cheer on, cheer on. The ball is dropping. The world is ready for better days.