I appreciate this cogent summary of the year that was, Professor Richardson. Thank you for this and for all your letters this year. As we move into 2022, I think of a quote often attributed to Winston Churchill: “When going through hell, keep going." Let's keep going, friends

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Your summary of political, social and economic achievements of the Biden administration should be required reading for all who claim government cannot restore the strength of our country. Yes, there were a few “slips” but lessons are always learned when risks are undertaken. This administration does not sugarcoat the realities of where we are and what needs to be accomplished. Unfortunately the Republican posture has no backbone. Your knowledge, insight and wisdom has carried me through 2021. 2022 is going to be a wild ride but your letters will help all of us who read your letters religiously.

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What an excellent summation of the year Professor! And such wonderful comments! I find I can add little to this wealth of knowledge and insight. I will however add this bit, that arises from my meditation practice, as I seek to fine tune the clutter and the chatter of events. So much of where we find ourselves seems connected to the idea of faith in goodness. That those of us here and millions like us across the land keep the candles of hope and faith in the basic goodness of people lit, and that our opposition, for lack of a better term, have extinguished theirs, or perhaps never believed in this fundamental to begin with. Wishing you all a 2022 pregnant with the possibilities of a brighter future. Namaste 🙏

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I absolutely agree with your statement: "the Democrats’ biggest miscalculation might well be refusing to address the disinformation of the Republicans directly in order to promote bipartisanship and move the country forward together." The Dems don't have to play dirty. They just have to speak up and point out the lies. :(

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“Lots to do in ‘22.” Frame it however you want. One friend said to me, “right, Christine, we got shit to do in ‘22.” This was right before a PAC committee meeting to discuss support of local school board candidates in ‘22.

Our advantage over ‘21 is that the initiatives in front of us are focused in ‘22. Voting rights and boosting not only the vax but also our majority in Congress, keeping children out of poverty and all issues of the human infrastructure bill.

I like all of our hands on the wheel and the Light guiding those hands.

Happy New Year! United!

Cheers 🥂🙋🏻🙋🏼🙋🏽🙋🏾🙋🏿

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2021 remembrances, hope in 2022 (Song from Carousel, 1945 Broadway)

When you walk through a storm

Hold your head up high

And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of a storm

There’s a golden sky

And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind

Walk on through the rain

Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on

With hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone.

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Joe Parkes

Heather, Thank you for the excellent summary of the year 2021. You write with clarity, truth, insight and hope. We need you more now than ever. Please stay healthy and productive. Blessings, Joe

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When WW II broke out, I recall how America, divided by American Firsters, united to fight a common enemy. In the global Pandemic War, I am appalled by how many Republican leaders and Trump sycophants have been treacherous in sabotaging vital war efforts, such as encouraging vaccinations, mask wearing, and other essential wartime measures. Even now, with deaths predicted to exceed 1 million, this Fifth Column continues its dastardly and deadly subversion. I wonder, years hence, how historians will treat these modern-day ‘black marketeers.’

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“Is this the darkness of the tomb, or the darkness of the womb?” This quote, from American activist Valarie Kaur inspires me. It sums up our exhausting effort and reminds me to keep going. “Letters from an American” has been a source of balanced research, historical perspective, and informed opinion. Everyday, I never fail to appreciate the effort HCR puts into this. Deep Thanks, Heather.

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Amid the coordinated efforts by Trump and the Republican Party to put in place an infrastructure to control the outcome of future elections despite what the votes might say, in my view, the defining question of 22 is whether mainstream institutions of American life will hold up to what is unfolding.

One disturbing fact is that, while a huge percentage of Republicans believe democracy is under assault, the same cannot be said of Democrats. Hence, as the people who actually are the real threat to democracy believe they are defending it, for far too many others a kind of complacency seems to have set in. Some commentators have surmised that perhaps these people think, since Trump wasn’t able to steal the election when he held all the levers of the Presidency, that he hardly would be in a position to do it in 2024. The fact, however, contrary to the haphazard attempt in 2020, is that what we’re seeing now is being methodically plotted out as an ironclad veto of the people’s choice. And unless a walloping majority of voters acknowledge the urgency of that threat and are out there organizing for voting rights and pressing for Senate Democrats to set aside the filibuster to save our democracy, make no mistake: the false grievances that the 2020 election was stolen will prevail unimpeded. Last, I would note, though 2021 saw President Biden doing many good things—HCR rightfully has praised his work on the economy, on vaccinations, and on much more—as the most powerful person in the country, Biden must lead the charge against the filibuster, against the big lie, against all of the Trump plots yesterday’s Associated Press identified in its standout piece “‘Slow-motion insurrection’: How GOP seizes election power.”

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Thanks for an excellent letter.

However, I keep reading about how the R's are most likely going to take back control during the mid terms.

This scares me so much. I keep looking at how Obama had to fight so hard and if the R's take back control I fear come 2024 things will only get worse and we end up with an R as president.

Especially when it seems like the MSM are more into things like D's are bickering and fighting among themselves or stories about how President Biden is so unpopular that we are doomed.

So I've been telling people to write letters to the editor of their local papers. To write letter to the big MSM companies and tell them that it's time to step up for our country and stop with the BS reports about the negativity and start posting about how much President Biden has done to help all the citizens.

And we need to do something in regards to faux news.

On the bright side, my husband was in a major decline a week before Christmas and I was worried that he not bounce back.

We slept through Christmas and got eight wonderful hours of sleep and now my husband seems to be back to where he was before.

So I think we're going to sleep through news years.

Happy New Year.

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There are days I shake in my boots. I worry if the authoritarian republicans will really pull off the bloodless coup they’ve been working so hard on for so long. It has changed the way my day-to-day activities have been for so long, but I can’t let it be front and center in my life any more for the sake of my mental health.

For many years, long before the 2016, I read the news voraciously, tuned into cable news and generally felt informed and not fearful of our democracy being dismantled. When the republicans were shoving and kicking to see who would get the nomination, Donald Trump stuck out like a sore thumb. I remembered him and his antics all too well while I lived in PA and NJ. Even back then I had no respect for him because of his personal lack of morals, decency, and integrity. When he threw his hat into the ring I told everyone who slowed down long enough to be button-holed exactly what I thought about him. I did my best, I’m not sure I changed anyone’s mind, but I tried. His election and administration was one outrage after another, of course. All this culminated in his refusal to accept the results of the election, which, in turn, with lots of help from cronies outside of the government as well as more help from elected Congressmen and women on the inside who were happy to promote and enable a seditious riot.

So here we are. Professor Cox Richardson writes her Letter to an American, which I cling to like a life ring in the ocean. I allow myself to feel comfortable and reassured while I am reading her letter. I am delighted that it is delivered in the late evening so I can read the letter, feel the reassurance wash over me. Then I can close down all my devices, get ready for bed and sleep a bit more comfortably than I would without her letter.

But, inevitably, morning arrives with all the frightening news I tried to avoid the evening before. I listen to music stations on Public Radio from all over - with no news breaks or commercials. When it’s later in the day, I might put on a mindless rom-com, or an interesting documentary. I don’t go out much - COVID is always the elephant in the closet - and it’s winter so I don’t have many gardening opportunities.

When I can’t put the horrible things in our current lives out of my mind what ever I do, I shake in my boots!

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Dec 31, 2021·edited Dec 31, 2021

This should be read out loud on every "mainstream" tv/radio station, printed in every newspaper, and spread far and wide over as much "social" media as possible. Flood all forms of the media!! The power of the pen has a far greater reach than ever before.

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Very powerful. Thank you for your perspective and clarity and presenting clear choices to make to ensure Democracy will continue.

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Biden is a great President. The GOP has power but not legitimacy as it flaunts decency and constitutional precedence. Whatever news comes our way in 2022, it is a privilege to serve the country simply by remaining dedicated to truth, transparency, equality, and justice.

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Yes, the Democrats chose the high road in 2021. But, unfortunately for the nation, the high road (as they defined it) was to ignore the Big Lie and to refuse to vigorously call out the Republicans for their blatant attacks on democracy. By refusing to fight fire with fire, they have appeared timid and allowed the Republicans to control the narrative regarding the 2020 election. They have also dropped the ball when it comes to touting their achievements. In your role as historian, your Letters do a better job of pointing out the administration’s accomplishments than the Democratic party has done this year.

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