As President Trump exits, there’s hope for truth and and a more perfect union | Opinion

One by one Republican leaders and even White House officials are accepting the reality of Joe Biden’s election. The one remaining holdout: Donald Trump.

Off the record, one senior advisor said: “He is grasping at straws. “He is looking for people to tell him what he wants to hear.” The baseless attack on the voters, state and local election officials, voting machine companies, the Electoral College, and former enablers like Bill Barr and Mitch McConnell has come down to what the Washington Post said is a “ragtag group of conspiracy theorists, media-hungry lawyers and other political misfits in a desperate attempt to hold on to power after his election loss.”

Even Karl Rove knows that Trump’s final days reflect poorly on his character and will diminish his legacy: “America does not like sore losers,” he said.

It would all be pathetic if it wasn’t so damaging. The relentless and baseless attack on an election that, in reality, wasn’t even close, has some voters confused. Worse, some are ready to buy into any scheme – including invoking martial law – to hold on to power.

And we are watching two more Trump tantrums play out as he heads for the door: One, dozens of felons are now back on the street because the president has decided to use his pardoning Sharpee. Two, after months of stalemate and negotiations in Congress, Trump threw a last-minute monkey wrench into pandemic relief efforts. All of this because of one petulant, ego-driven man.

I suppose Trump supporters will still say that the pre-pandemic economy was robust. They might also suggest that the trillion-dollar tax cut for the wealthy was, somehow, good for the economy. They also proudly point to 220 judges to the federal bench, including three to the Supreme Court all of whom lean to the right.

We need not reflect further on his personal foibles, the impeachment, his utter lack of leadership as 320,000 Americans died in the pandemic. Here is how Atlantic magazine views the Trump years: “America under Trump became less free, less equal, more divided, more alone, deeper in debt, swampier, dirtier, meaner, sicker, and deader. It also became more delusional. No number from Trump’s years in power will be more lastingly destructive than his 25,000 false or misleading statements. Super-spread by social media and cable news, they contaminated the minds of tens of millions of people. Trump’s lies will linger for years, poisoning the atmosphere like radioactive dust.”

I know I have been hard on the President and I will not apologize for calling out his misdeeds. But it is time to consider the path forward.

I continue to believe that Americans are good. Democrats and Republicans, free of the constant barrage of divisiveness emanating from the White House may once again come together. A glimmer of that spirit comes from Mr. John Currie who said some very nice things about me and my OP-ED jousting partner, Charlie Gerow.

Mr. Currie, who has had a lifetime of public service, wrote recently that Charlie and I have shown that we can place the good of our country and state above our own differences. He said that: “We need inclusion, unity, reason, and leadership. To me, Singel and Gerow offer that.”

Thanks, John Currie, those are very kind words, indeed.

As to future columns and the obligation to be fair but firm, here’s an observation for readers of all perspectives: truth matters. Truth allows us to get to reason, and reason allows us to make progress together.

I am a fan of country music because it is honest and unpretentious. David Allan Coe wrote what he thought was the “perfect” country song: The lyrics are pretty darn perfect: “You don’t have to call me darlin,’ darlin.’ You never even called me by my name.” It doesn’t get “truthier” than that!

And here’s something a little deeper and more timeless. Just before Christmas this year, Jupiter and Saturn appeared in the twilight sky closer than they have been in 800 years. The “conjunction” of the planets had the appearance of a giant star and will not occur again until 2080. Astronomer Johannes Kepler, in the 17th century, suggested that this same alignment occurred at the exact time of the birth of Jesus.

I believe I saw the Star of Bethlehem this year, and I believe it was a sign that truth and light still can reign in our nation and in our hearts.

Truth sets us all free. It brings meaning to country music; sometimes it shines from the sky. As we roll up our sleeves for a better 2021 it can help us all strive for a “more perfect union.”

Mark S. Singel is a former Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. He and Republican Charlie Gerow can be seen at 8:30 a.m. each Sunday on CBS21′s “Face the State.”