May you all have a raucous (or contemplative) New Year’s Eve observance, and a Happier (and eventually COVID-free) New Year!
The year 2020 will be remembered as long as we live, and beyond, as the time cruel plague threatened our lives, and cruel authoritarianism threatened our 250-year-old democracy. The worse-than-inept handling of the pandemic helped end this latest attack on our founding principles. Bill Moyers, in his Essay on Watergate. concluded “They (Nixon and his enablers) almost succeeded.” I think we can say that Mr. Trump and his enablers also came very close. A second term might have completed the ruination of our democratic institutions. And we are not safe from more attacks. It should give us pause that 70 million of our fellow citizens wanted four more years of increasing authoritarianism. If a slicker, higher-class, less odious demagogue rises, she or he has supporters and thugs at the ready, waiting, standing by. We see that there will be no shortage of Americans eager to staff concentration camps. Defenders of democracy can no longer take our core principles for granted as unassailably secure. The Grand Old Party has lost all of its grandeur.
I have said before in this space that we cannot ignore the causes of the fierce and desperate resentments that brought us to the edge of losing our freedoms. That is not an exaggeration. We must give those people respectable work, and hope for the future. Dismissing them as ‘deplorables’ is deplorable. and self-destructive.
On Tuesday and Wednesday next week we will witness the brutal authoritarians struttin’ their stuff in the Capitol and elsewhere. Let’s give those guys and everyone who needs work a good-paying infrastructure and Green jobs employment as soon as possible.
Finally, here is a New Year’s greeting from Anthony Hopkins that has gone viral: