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Thinking Out Loud: Proud of Democracy, by Dr. Cheryl Harris

Today we "peacefully" transferred power in this country based on the WILL of the people. Regardless of party affiliation and feelings about election fraud, we are ALL Americans and must pause to assess where we are today and our role in the future of our enduring Democracy. Yes, the US is divided along ideological, political, and racial lines, but where do we go from here? How does the new administration engage and communicate with Americans (Trump supporters) that feel angry, robbed, irrelevant, and disenfranchised? Truth and transparency with the American people are a critical ingredient that can bridge the current mistrust of the administration by the former president's supporters.

President Biden and Vice President Harris are inheriting several wicked problems simultaneously and must address the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic terrorism, race relationship, and partisan divisions in the House and Senate. Today, the tone of President Biden's speech was positive, unifying, and established a foundation for reconciliation and healing on Capitol Hill and, more importantly, with the American people.

Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman of color to serve in the role, will be under constant scrutiny by skeptics; however, she is a trailblazer with the distinction of being first in several professional endeavors. I plan to give her "grace" and remember her race and gender are simply distractors and do not define her competence, humility, compassion, and ability to do the job. Today was a historic milestone that shatters the antiquated glass ceiling for young women of color worldwide.

Although domestic terrorists laid siege to the Capitol one week ago, US Democracy prevailed, and today we witnessed a peaceful inauguration. Americans should revisit Civics 101 to ensure their understanding of the differences between state and federal responsibilities established by the Constitution. Another chapter worth reviewing is the three branches of the US Government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial). I agree Democracy is fragile, but today we witnessed a system that continues to work and serve our people well. In each presidential election, there is a winner and a loser, and, in the future, I hope candidates accept the WILL of the people without unproven allegations of voter fraud. Today I am proud to be an American with the Constitution as our governing document.

Something to Think About: What can the new administration do to reach out to Trump supporters and establish common ground?

Dr. Cheryl A. Harris

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