Don Rogers: To all that’s good
A toast to President Trump as he leaves the White House, presumably — the bull in the china shop. He certainly woke America up to some things.
Most singular accomplishment? No, not the economy; those seeds were planted and already well watered when he took office, though his administration did help the stock markets grow like weeds.
Mixed results with America First, a lot of wand waving and moving deck chairs on established trade agreements to little real change. Jobs came and went with market innovations far more than through presidential fiat; Clinton remains king for job growth during a term. But Trump broke the globalist mold in the party that started that, a move widely welcomed among both parties.
He very successfully tore the scab off pretensions of America having grown out of racism, overt and otherwise. This has been painful all around, but few can deny the inflammation has lingered. Having the national wound in the open air does mean we can deal with it perhaps more honestly, including pushing back with the progress that indeed has taken place these past decades.
But mostly, let’s toast the president for recognizing that previous strategies of appeasement to that rising tiger China were only strengthening a rival ever eager to take advantage of our goodwill. President Trump most definitely did not get that one wrong, and he alone set us on a course even the next administration will not retreat from.
So there are a couple of things we all should be able to agree on concerning national politics, even with the most divisive personality as commander in chief ever.
A toast to the deeper things in life, which by the way have little to nothing to do with the politics we’ve let roil us so. Well, sure, not completely true. Much of our deepest worries and deepest virtues bubble up and express themselves in our politics, which makes our discussions so fractious.
This is why we find it so hard to talk with those awful others who believe the “wrong” things, vote for the “wrong” people, hold the “wrong” opinions. Quickly we realize we’re not exchanging ideas, which would be fine, fairly easy to do. No, we’re declaring core principles, faiths, worldviews, the dark hearts of our souls if we carry on long enough. It gets hard to impossible to keep listening. At least that’s what I hear.
How about a toast then to truly listening, to taking all of it in without rendering judgment, which by the way isn’t ours to render, according to the scripture. Listening without judgment isn’t complicit. It’s holy, about as holy an act as a human being can muster. That’s worth at least a quick side toast.
OK, back to toasting the deeper things in life: love, good health, family, friends, finding our place in this world and fulfilling our higher purpose. All these are real, even if we find ourselves living a bit short of our ideals, as we all are to some degree.
A toast to those who have managed to better themselves despite or because of these trying times.
A toast as well to Project Heart, dedicated to getting the fallen on their feet and off to their first steps from the gutter. This group has been remarkably successful in finding value overlooked by polite society and especially the person him or herself, and then helping them rebuild themselves. We’re blessed as a community to have this group and many others dedicated to lifting the quality of life right here.
A toast to you and yours this Thanksgiving weekend, critics and supporters, subscribers to The Union and donators to The Sierra Sun (thank you for your part keeping local news alive) and others who might take only the most occasional peek at our pages online and off.
Our aim — believe it or not! — is to be true always, to get the good news as well as harder stuff, to give voice to the full range of our community without coddling readers of any particular political persuasion, but rather informing everyone as grownups who can understand neighbors may hold different views and that there really does need to be evidence the courts can recognize for ever wilder conspiracy theories and widespread fraud to prove out as in fact true. Otherwise, better to trust Occam’s Razor here.
A toast on this uniquely American holiday to America, through thick and thin, together in fact even as we may stray apart in outlook, and with whomever we must tolerate as president. For all our challenges, we’re still the bright beacon of hope for the world, exceptional in deed today as well as in history, the leaders of the free world, and with a lot of good left in us yet. Our day is yet young. Cheers.
Don Rogers is the publisher of the Sierra Sun and The Union, based in Grass Valley. He can be reached at email@example.com or 530-477-4299.
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If Israel and the United Kingdom are any indication, widespread vaccination will knock the pandemic down to … normal life. Something near.