The Transition of years Part 2: 2021

Warning, political rant ahead!

Happy 2021!  I know everyone is excited about this particular tick of the year.  Finally, at last, 2021!

Uhm, of course most of us know that nothing has changed overnight, right? 

The pandemic will get worse before it gets better – in the US many hospitals are at the saturation point, numbers will soar because of travel and gatherings, the death rate will increase from the already high 3000 a day (over 3700 on 12/30), the new strain is in the US and may rapidly spread, it takes over a month for the vaccine to work, it is possible immunity is short lived, etc., etc., etc….  We are not out of the woods.

And then there is the election thing.  A full one third of Americans think there was massive fraud and the election was stolen.  When Electoral College votes are counted, the Republicans are going to try to overthrow the results.  If that doesn’t work, there is still the possibility of Martial Law being called.  Tens of thousands of heavily armed people have sworn that they will start a revolution “to take back their country” if all else fails.  The chance for violence in our country is higher than it has been since the 1860s. Even if that doesn’t happen, that third of the people, feeling that they have been disenfranchised and that the government is no longer legitimate, will surely cause issues.

With more people currently dying of Covid-19 every day than died in the September 11 attacks (soon may be September 11 and Pearl Harbor 12/7/41 combined every day) and the threat of extreme violence on the horizon, the next few months may be, well, rocky…

And yet, just as I had very positive vibes about my personal life as we moved into 2020, feelings that for the most part proved justified, I have positive vibes about the world in 2021.

For Covid-19, yes, the darkest days may be ahead, but, as they say, it is darkest just before the dawn.  We can already see the hope that a vaccine will bring.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we are sure it most likely isn’t an oncoming train.

But there is more than that.

I think that people have seen all of the hard times and are more grateful for what they have.  They will not be as greedy to get the next big resource-wasting thing as they were. Eyes have been opened.

Of course, people have very short memories, but I think there has been a change.  Looking at history, there have been shifts after most events like this. Ever hear of The Renaissance?

It feels like the last two decades has been a battle between those driven by short-term greed and self-interest and those looking to improve the world for everyone in the long term.  That war isn’t done, but after the dark 2020, I think the vast number of people do want to find a brighter future for all.  It might not be the vision that the people leading the charge in that direction have, but I think we will see a step in the right direction, the first step of a journey from the brink of shortsightedness.

A lot still needs to be done.  People need to regain trust in the scientists and the experts that actually study these things, not talking heads on 24×7 “news” channels, talk radio and select politicians.  But I believe we will turn the corner and it will start.  I think people are beginning to realize that the reason more than one person in every one thousand in America has died of Covid-19 is because they listened to politicians instead of scientists.    

I think it will happen.  We will start to look at the world around us and say, “This matters in the long term”.  We will look at our brothers and sisters who may look different than us, pray different than us (or not at all) or love differently than us, and we will see them as people, just like us, with hopes and fears like ours, with rights like ours.  Not everyone and not all at once, but the shift will begin.  We have been through a lot together.  Hatred will still linger for a long, long time, but I think we have turned the corner.

I know this is a repeating theme here, but I don’t think we’ll solve any of the big problems this year.  In many ways it will seem like any other of the last few dreary years, but the tide will have changed. Yes, just like with Covid-19, it may get darker before it gets lighter, but momentum will be in a positive direction. 

And a lot of people will see this shift in momentum, including some of those that had been pushing the other way.  Some will push back harder, but others will join the inevitable.  For instance, some with large amounts of capital in fossil fuels will start to shift to renewables.  Even without the environmental reasons, renewables will be cheaper in the next few years and fossil fuels will go away naturally – it has started.  The writing is on the wall.  If those highly invested in fossil fuels recognize that and shift their investments, it will just occur much quicker.  And if governments and people give them even bigger incentives, the shift will happen that much faster.

Yes, in ways this has been a political rant.  I wanted to rant even more!  But the whole idea is this – I see 2020 as a year that the balance has shifted.  Of course, those of us paying attention have noticed that it shifted long before, but now a critical mass has been achieved and the momentum has changed.  Positive change is ahead.

I am optimistic about this change starting in 2021.

As I said, I know there is little to justify this optimism, but it is a feeling I have.  (I also know that a lot of people will see the word I wrote above as an attack on everything they hold dear, but I also know that that number will shrink in the years ahead.)

Anyway, have a safe 2021!  Keep optimism alive.  Look forward, not back.  And let’s make this the best year yet!

***

See here for my recap of my personal journey through 2020

26 thoughts on “The Transition of years Part 2: 2021

  1. Master of Something Yet

    Gosh, Trent, I thought you remained incredibly restrained! Hardly counted as a rant really. I’ve been following the situation over there religiously (I think mainly because everything was managed so competently and in such a bipartisan way here that I didn’t have to look at our local news every day) and it’s quite frankly horrifying. I do hope you get to see change, that things have finally hit rock bottom and there will be a rise in empathy and understanding and respect for experts. Not sure I can see it yet, with the shenanigans going on with the election, but I’ll hope nonetheless.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I did not write this as a rant,but as I was going, I realized that it would make some people’s blood boil. of course, few of them would ever read this, but i still felt a warning was in order… A lot is happening here. But even with the remaining anti-maskers and virus-deniers and with people like the Proud Boys talking a mean game, I think deep down most people here have discovered what is really important to them and are grateful at some level for what they have. I see it in a lot of blog posts and even on FaceBook, though to a much lesser extent. I do think, though, that everyone wants to move on. I think if some idiots do something violent, everyone else will sober up right away. Anyway, it may get a little darker in the next few months, but I think there is a new dawn coming.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think 2020 showed a lot of people what is really important in their lives and made them more gratitude. That is the main reason I am so optimistic about the future despite all of these tough hills that we still need to climb.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  2. Corina

    I think things will change for the better but I’m not sure it will be this year. I’m hoping you are right and by the end of this year we will be able to see that things have begun to shift in a positive direction!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Suzanne@PictureRetirement

    Trent, I hope you are wrong about 1/3 of the population wanting to start a revolution and will consider that just part of your rant. I think people who voted for Trump sit in two camps 1) let’s move on and get down to business, and 2) we were robbed. I believe those folks in category 1 are the majority, and those in category 2 are ‘fringers’ (is that a word?) who now recognize that efforts to overturn an election are fruitless and their bravado is subsiding along with his.

    Every time we have a close election in this country which results in a change of administration, there are disgruntled folks. That won’t change until we stop fueling ‘fringe’ organizations with money and attention. When news outlets give credibility to outliers as if they represent a majority, it erodes the center. And, the center is where we come together as one people, not them and us, Dems and Republicans. Our goal should be to continue expanding the center.

    What I think is more likely to start a revolution in our country is the growing divide between the haves and have nots. There is a lot about the system that is broken and there are no magic elixirs. When we refuse to see the other side of an argument or try to employ understanding, we all loose. I too am optimistic that we can begin to turn the corner and find unity, but we cannot put our trust in one side or the other. We have to find a way to encourage our elected officials to work for our interest, not theirs.

    Trent, I think there is a lot to justify optimism this year and holding onto hope will serve us well. Something that makes me smile today – 19 days to go until no more stupid tweets!!! All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I have seen the over 30% figure recently, and judging by my facebook friends and relatives, the anger is still very much there, maybe even worse than in November. Anyway, but as I said, I am optimistic, even if right now it may be a rocky road for a while.

      We should be able to get together, and hopefully we can, but when I talk to friends on the other side of that Fox News vs the 8 different news sources I read line, there are no common points of reference.

      Anyway, I am staying optimistic, and hope for the best of years. And will not miss the tweets.

      Hope you have a great 2021.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. delphini510

    A great post, Trent. You handle the two major events in your country with firmness but yet
    gently. With hope and yet seeing the dangers.
    The whole world shares the devastation Covid has brought. Thanks to brilliant scientists
    worldwide we are gradually seeing more hope. Still, your death figures should be enough
    to make us follow every rule from doctors and scientists.

    I feel also a gradual change in values and hear them from the young. It is to note that our
    end speech yesterday at midnight was held by David Attenborough.
    Your will find it on your news I think.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I just don’t understand why people listen to politicians above scientists and doctors… I do feel that change coming, and hear it from the young, as represented by Ms. Thunberg, and the old, as represented by David Attenborough – I’ll have to look up his speech.
      I hope you have a good 2021.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Paula Light

      Significant events sometimes cause changes in patterns of behavior, so maybe Covid will have a lasting impact in this sense. We shall see. I don’t think that our political system in its current form that’s all about donors is sustainable forever.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. trentpmcd Post author

        I have seen so many people say they think there will be positive change due to Covid that I can’t believe we will return to the same-old-same-old. I agree, there does need to be major changes to our political system and how money has pretty much eradicated individual people’s voices. What is called “corruption” in most of the world is the way our system works here.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

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