No Auld Lang Whine for 2017, just vigilance


In this holiday season, when outlandish political events have marred the Merry in Christmas for many Americans, the New Year offers a chance to regroup and make resolutions with more vigor than usual.

My resolutions for 2017 have been composed with much thought and, ahem, the assistance of festive adult beverages. With resolutions like these, we may yet make America not grate again on the nerves.

My first resolution may surprise some, but I resolve never to say that the new president “is not my president.” This disgusting language was used by conservatives to denigrate President Barack Obama and I had no tolerance for it then and I have none now.

Of course President Grumpy Cat will be my president. If he were not our president, none of us would have a problem. To say otherwise is to disrespect the will of the people, some of whom voted in such a self-destructive way because they felt disrespected. I don’t like it but I accept it.

It does not matter that the incoming president lost the popular vote by 2.8 million votes. The system is what it is, the fruit of the Founding Fathers’ wisdom. Too bad that in this instance they gave us lemons to suck instead of lemonade.

I also resolve to remain unwavering in my opposition to all acts of folly but stand ready to applaud anything good that might happen under the new regime.

As a matter of mathematical certainty, not everything will be bad. Even a blind pig can find the occasional truffle. And, no, I am not comparing the new president to a blind pig. Pigs may be big hams but they are not so egotistical.

In that vein, I resolve to give the new president a chance to prove that Americans’ worst fears are exaggerated. Who knows? Maybe leopards can change their spots. Maybe a government of the billionaires, for the millionaires will not make all hopes perish for the ordinary people. I hope to be astounded.

As to the length of this grace period, I believe all criticism should be withheld for the same duration as President Obama’s opponents gave him after he took the oath of office. Help me out here: Was that 15 seconds or 30 seconds? Heck, I’ll round it out to a full minute, so magnanimous am I feeling.

I wish that the benefit of the doubt due to the incoming president could be longer. But with his Cabinet choices — persons handpicked to destroy the very departments they are set to administer — he has shown that the symbol of the new administration will not be the fascist salute but a finger raised in the direction of anybody thoughtful.

Sadly, then, the resistance must start immediately. But a note of caution: With feelings high and rebellion in the air, I am not for entering crazy land. It is a locale that has been all too familiar of late.

When protesters blocked traffic after the election, they succeeded only in making asses of themselves. When other people put faith in the members of the Electoral College to overturn the election, they lost their minds.

I have not decided what form my own resistance will take. Some creative sulking perhaps? However, I do resolve not to leave this country but stay and irritate those who deserve to be irritated.

Our resistance must proceed with a respect for decency and facts. It must not march to the same tune as the trolls who brought us so low. The motto of the resistance should be: We are as mad as hell but we will not take it crazily anymore.

Indeed, this resurgence should not be about Democrats and Republicans but about the reasoned and the irrational. It should welcome any thinking Republican who has not impersonated Neville Chamberlain to bring a piece of ideological nonsense in our time.

I resolve not to be put off by being called a crybaby or a whiner. You will notice that this complaint comes from those who have spent the last eight years whining and crying.

What was the Tea Party but well-off people acting out like spoiled brats because they had their medical insurance and they didn’t want others to have theirs? Imagine if their candidate had got 2.8 million more votes nationwide but had lost the election? There would be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

My final resolution is to remain defiantly optimistic. They will have to pry jokes from my cold, dead fingers before I lose my sense of humor.

By Reg Henry

Reg Henry is a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist. Readers may email him at [email protected]. Column courtesy of the Associated Press.

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