An Outlook


After Word

Back in April when the pandemic was surging, I sent emails bemoaning the fact that it was impossible to find funny. A friend in Little Rock sent me a New Yorker cartoon that pictured a plinth supporting an anonymous notable with the words at the bottom Liberte and Egalite – to which he added Levity. Well, it arrived on Saturday.

For, amidst the photos of dancing in many cities, came one text that said, “Trump can’t go back to the White House because it’s For Biden.” Another said, “If the Democrats had messed with the election, would Mitch have been reelected?” A third said, “Do I act like a Socialist now, or do I have to wait until January?” There were more.

But the point was taken. There was a relaxing sense of relief. It was safe for funny. And in that space humanity could celebrate with sighs and wit.

All was not funny for Republicans. Their leader is still fighting the loss. Another text came that said, “It appears those who do not like science do not like math.”

All was not funny, even for Democrats. Suzie Bell, a wonderfully qualified and truly Christian candidate, lost her race. Why is right synonymous with red?

But the week of holding one’s breath has resolution. And the smiles from one group have rendered the expected shock from the other—and perhaps not surprisingly, anger. Last Friday in Berryville I was told that the election was definitely going to the Supreme Court. Calmly, to no reaction, I stated that this was not one state, Florida, and not about being able to count ballots with unrecognizable chads. Immediately, I was told that one county in Wisconsin had more Democratic votes than registered voters. Where had they heard this, I asked. Hope gets dressed up for Halloween, too.

Hurt also gets quiet, as it has. It also plots, as Texas Senator John Cornyn announced that, “A Democratic majority in the Senate would cinch the radical agenda of the left. They must be stopped on January 5 in Georgia.” Like the term socialist, radical is another buzz word that hammers. Words can foster fear.

On Saturday morning my former exchange student from Oslo called. He had followed the election intently, as he said all of Norway had. He doesn’t understand why certain labels are so toxic, since his sound and capitalistic country elects Democratic Socialists. America ever espouses capitalism. Look no further than Walmart or Amazon.

Words can also heal. Humor can, too. So, if pro is the opposite of con, is Congress the opposite of progress?  

Lucilla Garrett

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