Today marks the Winter Solstice — the shortest day and the longest night of the year. More darkness than light. It seems fitting, metaphorically speaking, for the day after Trump and his merry henchmen rammed through a tax bill that will make billionaires happy but will not help anyone else. A tax bill that also fulfills Lisa Murkowski’s most diabolical vision — opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Good job, Congress, you couldn’t even manage to spare the last untouched place on the planet.

We are in dark days in this country and, unlike the days after the Winter Solstice, when the balance shifts to more light than darkness, there doesn’t appear to be a light on the horizon for us. America has at its helm an ego-driven autocrat who salivates over the idea of being a dictator. Donald Trump has contempt for this country, and for the democracy that has always sustained us. He is methodically and callously chipping away at that democracy, and he’s being helped by every member of Congress who doesn’t have the guts to stand up to him. A system of checks and balances? Not for him. Three branches of government? Not when he gets through with us.

This is what the dismantling of a country looks like. It’s happened before in history, and it will happen again. There is no guarantee at the moment that it will not happen to us, because no one of note is standing up to the bloated tyrant who has basically told us he’s going to do whatever he wants, and get away with it. He may never have read anything by George Orwell  (apparently he doesn’t read anything except the menu from McDonald’s) but his tactics are most definitely Orwellian.

Donald Trump has perfected the art of bellowing out lies with the conviction of truth, so often and so vehemently, that after a while people can’t find the truth. I knew someone in my life who had mastered this technique and I can tell you from personal experience that, no matter how aware you are, there are moments when you wonder, Am I crazy? Are they right? Whether Trump learned his particular brand of Newspeak from his rabid, unwashed mentor, Steve Bannon, or whether he cultivated the talent before he entered politics, he does it well. And he’s recruited others, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who are  now also schooled in this dark art.

At this time of year, people often think about miracles. I don’t know how many actual Christmas miracles there have been throughout history, but it always feels reassuring that the possibility is mentioned. Sadly, I haven’t heard too much talk of that this year, which is a bit frightening. Because right now, we need a miracle.

3 Responses to THE DARKEST DAY

  1. David Marks says:

    Indeed, Patti, we are in search of a miracle, and miracles become less foreseeable as times get tougher. Your column is so well written, and exactly on target. We are living in a time unlike any other: a series of contradictions and political improbabilities, and there seems to be no reason to believe things will be changing for the better any time soon. Today’s landscape makes little sense at all. We know how Trump’s brand of evil seems to be seeping into the very core of American values, infecting the good we pride ourselves on, yet, that small faction of supporters seem to be basking in a glory all their own. Brava, Patti.

  2. Amelie Frank says:

    We did have a miracle in Alabama, Patti. We will have more. Count on it.

  3. Erika Griesemer says:

    There are miracles around us yet, we have to be the ones to perform them to ensure that the things we can’t control can help those in need. I should know this. At the pantry I volunteered at we helped two people find their miracles. one had moved from Wisconsin to Illinois, he was living in his car. I did what I could do help him but others have helped him get a roof over his head, but his struggles continue cause of his car is on the verge of breaking down. Another was a single mom struggling to find a place for her and her kids and yet a community was there to help them.
    I wish that I had my own miracles because I work in a dead end job struggling to make it and with the tax cut I would be the one paying more. I am in debt from a student loan and have to live with my parents cause I can’t make it either. So where is the community in helping me. I don’t get an opportunity to work my dream job or meet great people like you or Joe Biden. Those opportunities get further and further away. I love this country but I love this country just as much as your dad did. I had never seen anyone else love this country as much as he did and yet it has becoming like a Turkmenistan society and I have seen that close up. Trust me, there was a close minded society and that is not what this country is about to me. I am reminded each day by what your dad once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”
    This is what we have to do undermine those in Washington. We need to fight for our country, our countryman, and the land in which we live on. As Diane said, I hope he does not ruin Christmas, my job and parents has already done that. I hope and pray for a miracle or two too, not just for everyone around the world but for the United States of America. Please keep writing and posting. I will retweet, share, even if I lose followers, I personally don’t care. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

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