DANIEL VAUGHAN: The true heroes of 2020 don’t hide in basements

On Christmas morning, the peaceful calm you’d expect to see in times of dawn was shattered in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, when an RV exploded, leaving destruction and devastation in its wake. Miraculously, that destruction did not bring about an end to any innocent human lives.

That miracle was due in large part to the quick thinking and fast action of the Nashville Police Department, whose officers literally ran headfirst into danger, evacuating nearby residents and saving countless lives.

That event and the bravery of those officers is another reminder that heroes live among us. Every day, men and women jump into harm’s way to help and save others.

In the neighboring Wilson County, Tennessee, police officers suited up and entered a vehicle they had credible concerns contained explosives. Fortunately, no explosives were found, but this was again another instance of bravery.

Seeing that level of courage underscores how intellectually and morally bankrupt the elite media is these days, especially when publications like Time magazine name Joe Biden and Kamala Harris their “Person of the Year” for 2020.

Said Time, in a feature piece that glows brighter than a dating profile, “Given the scale and array of America’s problems, the question may not be whether this team can solve them but whether anyone could. U.S. politics has become a hellscape of intractable polarization, plagued by disinformation and mass delusion.”

The lack of self-reflection by these kinds of outlets is stunning. Joe Biden defines a career politician who ran for president multiple times in multiple different decades going back to the 1980s. His successful campaign was spent hiding in his basement in the middle of a pandemic. His only accomplishment in 2020 was winning a primary and presidential campaign.

That’s it.

Meanwhile, the Nashville Police Department ran into harm’s way, with a countdown timer going off and eerie music playing in the background. They saved lives, and they didn’t hide when danger was imminent.

But maybe you’re willing to give elite publications some slack since the Nashville bombing just happened. Still, there are better heroes, and ones more worthy of recognition, than a pair of to-be White House residents who haven’t even taken office yet.

In general, first responders have spent the entire pandemic answering emergency calls from people who are deathly sick with COVID-19. Instead of social distancing, their job required them to get up close to those who had terrible virus strains, requiring ambulances and hospital trips.

They didn’t hide in a basement.

After the first responders, maybe you’d pick those on the frontlines in hospitals. There, you have the doctors and nurses who have worked, many nonstop since March, to care for massive influxes of COVID-19 patients on top of the normal flow of people with broken bones and other ailments. Many of these health care professionals have worked their jobs without seeing family members or having a day off in months.

They haven’t hidden in a basement.

Or maybe you’d like to go with genuinely unknown people. Not everyone has had the luxury of working remotely or relying on Zoom for contact with other people. Millions of Americans have had to go to work every day in grocery stores, factories, warehouses, and more amid the pandemic. Others have driven thousands of miles in trucks and other delivery vehicles, shipping items to and from suppliers to businesses and consumers.

These everyday Americans have worked nonstop since the coronavirus first hit the U.S., keeping society running. In contrast, many elites have entered their houses and never left.

Working-class people have managed to keep the world running. Many of them have worked on delivering products to these people who see Biden and Harris as the heroes of 2020. But the working class wasn’t able to hide in a basement, unlike the Time “Person of the Year.”

The point of this is not some superiority complex or a rant about how the little people are better than those at the top. It’s the simple point that what it means to be great in the year 2020 required bravery. It meant going out and doing a job, like the Nashville Police Department did, in the face of a bomb threat. It meant facing the virus head-on instead of hiding.

When we name people of the year, it’s a sign of who we elevate, who we want others to emulate. These kinds of awards tell the world who we are and what we value. And when a politician who has done nothing of value wins distinction like this — similar to Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize despite his only accomplishment being that he won an election — it shows, in stark disparity, the values of the elites versus the common man.

We need more heroes like those in Nashville. We need more people who work bravely every day while a pandemic rages. We need those people. And we need our elites to look, sound, and be more like the people they represent than what the elite class looks and acts like.

The bravery of the Nashville Police Department on Christmas morning is a reminder that greatness exists in this world if we’re only capable of recognizing it. We need to do more of that in 2021.