Who remembers the Walt Disney cartoon version of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf?” Who remembers Sterling Holloway doing the narration? Who remembers the revisionist Disney ending that included Sasha the Duck showing up at the end having eluded the big bad wolf, after all? Who remembers the special way that Halloway then proclaimed, “Oh, happy day!” with a lot of wheezy extended air under the “h” in “happy”? Some of us have mimicked that particular way of expressing joy over the years.
It now appears that this week’s national election has produced an outcome worthy of repeated and emphatic Holloway-ish versions of “Oh, happy day!” Try it. It’s best with a sing-songy falsetto.
Pardon the enthusiasm of this moment. There was much that came up short in the election. In particular, McConnell will retain control of the Senate. And, it remains a mystery how a single vote for Donald Trump could have been cast given his highly public record of despicable behavior. But, we affirm that there is a special happiness that comes from a successful hair thin, hard-fought outcome as opposed to a blow-out or a landslide. Maybe that’s why the fates, or whomever, scripted this election to turn out this way, at least to this point.
We have not yet seen the last of Trump’s desperate efforts to overturn this lawful electoral outcome. But the American people now care, care far more than usual, for the sanctity of their vote and of the hallowed democratic institutions established by our nation’s Founding Fathers.
(Our Founding Fathers had their shortcomings, to be sure, but they arose from within the social parameters of their times as children of one of the most important movements of human history, the Enlightenment. They took the radical position of openly defying a ruling elite on behalf of the truly inspired concept of the inalienable rights of all persons being created equal. They are why, you, dear reader, have your cherished right to vote today.)
As our nation’s founding principles have grown in applications, they have included in this week’s election not only the public’s ability to throw off a would-be tyranny, but such things as a late abortion ban being thrown out in Colorado, the addition of a provision for paid family leave, a non-binary representative elected in Oklahoma, a first transgender senator in Delaware, first transgender representative elected in Vermont and the restoration of voting rights of incarcerated persons in California.
The gains include growth in the representation of persons of color and of LGBTQ orientations among elected officials on all levels, were reflected in Falls Church by the forceful advocacy in the special Council election here by all three candidates for equality and affordable housing.
We are feeling better that Falls Church will not go the direction of a gated community, after all, but toward a funky, diverse and caring community celebrating the best of what life has to offer all.