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Feeling down about the state of America? Me too. But good news may be coming | Art Cullen

Leaves fall, blue turns to gray, snow covers the ground, and I should not write bad poetry. These are things you think when you go to the doctor at my age (63) to get blood drawn. It’s enough to give you a temporary hypertensive alarm. I was presented a mental health survey to complete while waiting for results, where I intimated that I may be a desperate man.

Irritable? Every day. Forlorn at least half the time. Sometimes close to despondent.

Living in the US has been a real drag lately. A maniac, or at least a narcissistic oaf, occupies the Oval Office. Armed men in Hawaiian shirts threaten to subvert civil order. Not wearing a face mask is considered around some parts a sign of machismo. The number of Covid cases has been rising nonstop, and assaults on our democratic institutions are relentless. “Lock them all up!” Donald Trump bellows to the sheep.

It’s these kinds of things that apparently drove former first lady Michelle Obama to admit that she feels a little down.

My doctor sympathized. After all, she bears the burden, day after day, of treating people with bad coughs, bad attitudes and worse.

She told me her mom is sort of conservative from a small town and her dad is sort of liberal from a college town so she is sort of moderate and shares my concerns. Can’t we just all get along as her parents did? What has happened to us?

I took a rain check on antidepressants. They have seen survey scores far worse than mine. Plus, relief may be around the corner.

In just two weeks, my heart and the bookies in England say that Joe Biden will be elected president – a 90% chance, according to the number-crunchers who follow the horses. The polls tend to back it up. Biden has a slight lead in Iowa and Ohio, and healthy advantages in Michigan and Wisconsin. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, who has been among Trump’s craven enablers, is in serious trouble what with not knowing the price of soybeans during her most recent debate.

Trump has undermined the rule of law, sold out our national security interests, and conducted his affairs as if it were a Viking orgy. Everything I was taught in school about America has been turned on its head.

But look at the huge turnouts already in Atlanta and Houston – people of color, in particular, are lining up to vote across America following a summer of peaceful protests. In part, the lines are long because Republican governors are trying to make voting difficult. Yet voters persist. Nobody will deny them their franchise this year, and Black women in particular are not taking it for granted. God bless them. Trump is down in the polls by seven points in Georgia, the kind of Democratic edge not seen in that state since Jimmy Carter’s days.

We can wrestle this virus to the mat with a coherent strategy. People are coming around to it. Biden offers people a way to put down their political defenses, to wear a face mask without losing face. His primary call is for national unity and rebuilding America, not a civil war. Voters yearn to turn their swords into plowshares.

The doctor hopes that we will have an effective vaccine in hand by summer. She, too, prays for an end to government by chaos. After sitting alone wondering if it is just you thinking this way, it was good to hear the woman behind the PPE telling me I am not that crazy, and that I should live long enough to see this rascal run off from the Rose Garden. America taking back its democracy is a sure cure to what’s ailing me and most of us.

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