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New Year's Day is seen on a 2021 calendar Friday, July 10, 2020, in Overland Park, Kan. 2020 is barely halfway over. That hasn't stopped many people from declaring the year canceled and wishing it would end. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

What Americans should be doing now for the future

With Thanksgiving now passed, Americans have entered into their yearly no-man’s-land until the mid- to late-December holidays. Psychologically we are in a similar state of limbo, as we wait for both a new presidential administration (as of this writing not a done deal) and COVID-19 vaccines to flow into the American bloodstream. All this waiting, especially with the onerous lockdowns taking place in many parts of the country, is maddening.

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FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, file photo, President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. For nearly four years, President Trump has inspired a cadre of liberal-leaning religious activists to organize, mobilize, protest and pray in opposition to his policies regarding refugees and asylum-seekers, Muslims, white supremacy and health care. While gearing up for the inauguration of Biden, whose vice president will be a Black woman and who has already promised to expand the number of refugees next year by a factor of 10, these activists are wrestling with how to keep their momentum. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A Biden redux of the Iran nuclear deal

Iran wants something from Joe Biden that Donald Trump took away. The Islamic Republic is pressuring the presumed president-elect to return to the terms of the Iran Nuclear Deal, and also to "compensate" Iran for the errors of U.S. ways. Mr. Biden campaigned on a pledge to re-enter the deal, but now that rhetoric is giving way to reality, any new agreement must contain added conditions that better safeguard U.S. national security.

Stephanie Grant and Rebecca Olson protest Gov. Gary Herbert's mask mandate and new COVID-19 restrictions outside of the governor's mansion in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)

Civil disobedience and COVID-19

The concept of civil disobedience, defined as the peaceful refusal to follow a particular law, is most often associated with its greatest practitioner, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. But it's an old notion, and it's been followed by Americans since the start of our country. The desire to demonstrate upset with perceived government injustice by means that do not topple society, is, in a decisive respect, very American.

Miami-Dade Elections employees and campaign observers inspect and count ballots during a manual recount for state Senate District 37 between Republican Ileana Garcia and Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez, at the Miami-Dade Elections Department on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, in Miami. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP)

U.S. electoral system, including Electoral College, beats Russia's antics hands down

During a difficult American election season, one can always count on Kremlin criticism of our nearly 250-year-old democracy for a laugh. This time commentary came from Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, who quipped that our "electoral system is the most archaic of all that there exist in countries of at least some importance around the world," adding "if the Americans are prepared to stick to a tradition that considerably distorts the expression of people's will, it is their right."

President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Conservatives, beware: The politics of retribution begins now

Conservatives, beware — the politics of retribution and score-settling are upon you. If you think for a second that your vote to reelect President Donald Trump was interpreted as a ballot cast for the candidate you believe best championed your everyday concerns of life, liberty and the pursuit of justice, former First Lady Michelle Obama begs to differ. According to her and, one might assume, the DNC apparatus, "tens of millions" of you voted for the president even though it meant "supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division."

People stand in line for early voting at the John F. Kennedy Library, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Hialeah, Fla. Masks are required at some polling places around the country and strongly encouraged in most others as a basic precaution to help keep poll works and others safe from the fast-spreading coronavirus. But mandates tying a face covering to casting a ballot are sure to lead to confrontations on Election Day, and those will almost certainly grab wide attention if they arise in any of the presidential battleground states. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A Biden mandate to mask

The man behind the mask is Joe Biden. As a candidate for president, Mr. Biden has spoken strongly in favor of face mask mandates as a means of suppressing the spread of COVID-19. With the coronavirus spiking again, a coronavirus task force appointed by a President Biden is likely to urge states to implement orders that masks must be worn outside the home. While the coverings foster a sense of personal protection, there is little to reassure Americans that such directives will bend down the upward curve of disease.

A man watches results come in on a screen set up at an election night gathering at Independence Mall , Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Pennsylvania makes sport of the presidential election

Hold the confetti. America has spoken, but the final outcome of the 2020 presidential election is still a secret. Most of the credit, or discredit, goes to Pennsylvania. Rather than a keystone from which it takes its nickname, the commonwealth has tossed a brick at the fragile U.S. election system. Americans pondering their future course can do nothing but wait.

The American flag is seen at the James A. Byrne United States Courthouse, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Strengthen the ties that bind, America

At the time of this writing much of America is heading toward the polls. Then they are heading home, sheltering in place and waiting. Fear and uncertainty are high, especially for small shopkeepers in major U.S. cities who have — in anticipation of unbridled anarchy and rioting by those on the left — boarded up their storefronts. If President Trump is reelected, they know the carnage nightfall could bring.

Debbie Sorensen inserts her ballot into a drops box Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

A day for choosing and gratitude: The democratic process, though imperfect, is still unmatched

Thanksgiving is still a couple of weeks away, but the chance to have a say in the nation's leadership is not to be overlooked as an occasion for gratitude. The fact that over most of the nation, Election Day dawned bright and crisp — perfect elements for poll lines — is all the more reason for a hat tip toward our shared good fortune. Weather may remain beyond human control, every American adult is endowed with the privilege of casting a vote no less weighty than any other.