Kicking off the holiday season with a couple clever lines pulled off Twitter, one being, “Any Christian church that says migrants should not be allowed to seek asylum in America should take down their Nativity scenes.” The other says, “Rather than putting ‘Christ’ back in ‘Christmas,’ I’d settle for putting ‘Christ’ back in ‘Christians.’”
We’re so close to having it be official now, on the brink with the final counting of the votes, of the Democrats flipping 40, count ‘em 40, House districts from the GOP column to the Democratic column in the midterm elections held on November 6.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and that was a Blue Wave Election if ever there was one! It was a Blistering Blue Tsunami! The naysayers were quick to conclude that the results did not meet the expectations of the Democrats in a midterm election when the opposition party to that in the White House is historically always supposed to fare well.
But now it is obvious that the most outlandish expectations of the Democrats have actually been exceeded. There have been more flips than in a Sea World exhibition, the most since the post-Watergate elections of 1974 and 1976, and without a major governmental scandal and crisis to precipitate it. Of course, the scandal and crisis now centers around the man occupying the White House and the manner by which he has unleashed an unprecedented outpouring of national contempt for him, his lying and brutish ways, and the way they so deeply insult and offend everyone who has to deal with them.
America was better equipped to react to this criminal thug because of the impact on the national psyche of eight years of genuine social grace and class that the Obama administration brought to the national center stage. You don’t normally expect that even in a good person when elected, but the Obamas lit the lamplight of national self-esteem, dignity, generosity of spirit and respect for others by their very manner of carrying themselves, and did so flawlessly for so long.
Only the legacy of Camelot, of the Kennedy administration, could match it, and heaven knows by today’s standards of transparency and scandal-mongering, it is doubtful that the Camelot image would have been able to fare as well as it did, albeit for a much shorter period of time. Even when the cynical forces of counterinsurgency worked as hard as they did to eradicate the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the years following his assassination in 1968, they ultimately did not succeed because the nation exhibited an even more widespread affirmation of those values that led to Obama’s historic presidential election in 2008, and as if to say “Amen” to that, his re-election in 2012.
The counterinsurgency was ugly. It sought to dispel the manner by which Dr. King associated human dignity with the struggle for racial justice with a surge of postmodern radical hedonism that decimated urban working class communities with drugs, gang violence, cults, prostitution, pornography and sexual abuse. The values embedded in Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963 were replaced by this offensive with Gordon Gecco’s “Greed is Good” speech in the 1987 movie, “Wall Street.” Greed, selfish self-interest, pleasure for its own sake, union busting and cults dedicated to eradicating empathy and compassion through brainwashing techniques, including countless religious fundamentalist ones, were elevated, and the result was the so-called “Reagan Revolution” of 1980.
That brought hordes of crackpot right wing zealots to Washington to embed themselves into the pores of the national bureaucracy and new “think tanks” where they festered and gained an upper hand with the stolen presidential election of 2000. Still, despite all this and beneath it, the basic decency of the human spirit somehow persisted, awaiting only the right kind of spark to be revived. The Obama campaign brought it out to flourish. But the puppet masters of the counterrevolution did not give up. They reached down into the depths of the ugly racist culture that much of this nation fought and died for and unleashed it to get Trump fraudulently elected. So the struggle continues on.
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.