Frankly, I’m sick of them.
Some people’s minds can never be changed by the inescapable facts of reality, because they don’t spend enough time in it. In a free country like this one, they will self congregate and retreat from the land of ‘things’ into roles like academia and government, where they are shielded from the personal consequences of poor decision making. But in a few days, their most visible and powerful member is going back to the teacher’s lounge where he always belonged.
That was the thing about Obama. It was never about his skin color, it was his academic outlook. It was his belief (and the belief of his advocates) that if he could just remake the laws of society, society would then change it's own unwritten rules to accommodate them. But that isn’t how society works. It’s upstream of government and only ever follows it’s own rules. The laws of government either match the rules of society, or they don’t. And when they don’t, it’s always seen by the broader society as tyranny, even in it’s mildest form.
The way I see it, this Christmas for America a kind of ‘second chance’. We have a second chance to make this country’s government a product of the will of the people, and not a tool for the people that control it to try to change the broader society. Nationalism is still being tossed around like a dirty word, but if it means that the American government will serve the interest of Americans rather than trying to shape their will, then that will be a big win.
For me, this Christmas is about second chances as well. My relationship with my daughter has never been better. She’s managed to get past those difficult 13-to 21 years a little early, and at 16, she’s already figuring out how talented she really is. Like her dad, she’s won the genetic lottery, and it’s coming as a great relief to me that she is now beginning to see that life will be able to deliver her some happiness in spite of it’s challenges.
My divorce is a few years behind me now, and after wolfing around NY (probably a bit more than I should have) I’ve met a woman who fits me like a glove. We’re like-minded enough that we finish each other’s sentences, and get all our mutual jokes. And in a city like NY so filled to the brim with shallow, pretty, self obsessed and useless things, that looks to me a big win. My understanding of women is much greater now than it has been in the past, so my expectations are set more appropriately. But in the near term I see reason for nothing but joy.
And this year, I gave my brother a literal second chance for Christmas. The blood in his veins is now literally on loan from me, complete with my DNA. His numbers are excellent, and though he’s in a lot of pain as a temporary side effect of his chemo, he was discharged from the hospital yesterday, and will be spending this Christmas at home with his family. He still has a long road ahead. With any luck, a very long one.
We are none of us finished. The Obama years have been a big set back for all of us, both individually, and collectively. We’re all bearing the burden of a world that has changed to make life harder for most, so it can be a little emotionally easier for a tiny few. But that’s about to change. It won’t happen quickly, or all at once, but I believe that it will begin to go in the right direction. And that’s enough hope for me.
To my many friends and family (If you're reading this then I mean you), I wish you nothing but success and joy. May your burdens be small and temporary, your triumphs large and lasting. Struggle in life is constant and moments of poetic joy can seem to be fleeting. May you all be gifted the presence of mind so that you miss none of them.