Newsmakers with JR
Il Faut D’Abord Durer*: Merry, Happy, Joyous Whatever...
In decades to come, "2020" will emerge as a new major in history departments around the globe, as graduate students focus their studies on a particular month and say things like, "My area of concentration is August - unlike March, it's greatly under-researched."
When that happens, it's a safe bet that the survey course about "December" won't be heavy on the words "Merry," "Happy" or "Joy."
As Christmas dawns, one out of every 1,000 Americans now has died because of Covid-19 and tens of million have been thrown out of work by the pandemic, twin crises that, joined by high-profile killings of Black people by police officers across the U.S., this year have exposed and exacerbated racism and racial fault lines in the fabric of the nation.
Meanwhile, the President of the United States ignores all this, socio-pathologically obsessed with trying to overturn his electoral defeat and indifferent to the real-life loss, pain and suffering of real people, as he injects chaos into congressional efforts to ease it, while recklessly extending legal clemency to war criminals and corrupt cronies alike.
All that said, Newsmakers nonetheless wishes to extend good cheer, sanguine sentiments and sincere best wishes for the season to our readers, viewers and listeners, in whatever way it manifests for you.
Journalists are cynics by nature, so choosing hope over dread, even in the Season of Light, does not come easily and feels like a calculated risk, at best.
It's an undeniable Actual Fact, however, that the clear and convincing rejection of Donald Trump by the nation's voters represents a first -- absolutely necessary, if utterly insufficient -- step towards repairing the vast damage he and his cowardly enablers have inflicted on our representative democracy over the past four years. Assuredly it is something to celebrate.
We'll be back next week with thoughts on some best and worsts of 2020 in politics and media in Santa Barbara and beyond. For now, here's to a healthy, safe and smart observance of Christmahannukwanzadan for all.