I understand three ghosts visited Washington, DC this week. The ghost of Christmas Past showed scenes of little children taken from their parents at the border, of long-time allies rudely dismissed while dictators are embraced as exemplary leaders, of the president of the United States demeaning women, minorities, and even the disabled. And in place of Scrooge’s “Bah! Humbug!” we heard a vain man tell us how he is the best, greatest, biggest, (insert-superlative-here).
The ghost of Christmas Present shows us a pandemic-ravaged country with 315,000+ dead, increasing unemployment, a feckless Congress more worried about protecting businesses against lawsuits than they are about the Cratchits and Tiny Tim going hungry and getting evicted, and a Russian hacking of our government systems described as the cyber equivalent to Pearl Harbor. If there are sounds of “Bah! Humbug!”, they are being drowned out by a petulant child whining that “The election was stolen! I won! I won!”, taking absolutely no action for those who are suffering or for the defense of our country.
In the original story, the ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge a bleak outcome where Tiny Tim dies. Scrooge asks if this is how the future must be and learns that he can change it and make things better. Our Scrooge will not choose a better outcome because he doesn’t care about the Cratchits, Tiny Tim, the unemployed, the sick, the hungry, the nation. He cares about retaining power.
I got my Christmas wish on Nov. 3rd. So did the majority of voters in the U.S. So did 306 members of the Electoral College. I know some of you did not get your wish. Surely, some of you are secretly pleased because you are so tired of defending the indefensible; because you are tired of being led by a foolish man who thinks he knows more than the generals about war and more than the doctors about disease; and because you’d like to turn away from the demi-god that Trump claims to be and return words like “I was an hungered and you gave me meat. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in . . .”
Love, joy, kindness, hope. These are the words of Christmas. The election is over. Let it be.
Fort Payne, Alabama
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