With ornaments stored away, fudge polished off, and Santa back in his toy shop, we can relax. Or, can we? Will our visions for the new year become reality? Will Trump and his Republican enablers be seen sitting around a campfire in the Rose Garden and harmonizing “Kumbayah”  in celebration of how consistently they put party over their country? How they all got richer due to their clever tax plan?

 I don’t wish to turn into a grumpy opinion columnist. However, Republican Congressmen and the Trump Administration simply rub me the wrong way giving cause for perpetual crankiness. I’ve written numerous letters to  Cotton, Boozman and Crawford about various issues.  They should be capable of answering the question posed by Martin Luther King, Jr. “What are you doing for others?”  They instead respond with pre-written words that are dripping with goo. They have letters written to cover any subject. Using their method of false logic, they seem to believe they are successfully convincing their constituents that ice doesn’t melt.

Trump’s vision is not the American way. His authoritarian actions are based on hate and bigotry. Republicans continue being complacent with Trump. They celebrate their profound hypocrisy for taking a wrecking ball to policies and healthcare that were intact and beneficial for most Americans. Trump’s goal was to dismantle all that Obama had achieved and the Republicans were happy to join him in his irrational world. They don’t grasp the shame of the long-term damage they inflict on the country, while supporting the notion they’re making it great again. Real Republicans would be grasping their golden opportunity to do great things for Americans instead of destroying their own legacy. 

The men Arkansans elected to congress were to represent the interests of the people of Arkansas. Instead, they join other Republicans to sip on a complex brew of greed. Congress has become a millionaires’ club.  They don’t experience what average Americans do and therefore don’t share their priorities. Congressmen have access to connections and information used to increase their wealth that are unparalleled in the private sector. According to House ethics rules, lawmakers should “never use confidential information in the performance of  governmental duties as a means for making a private profit.”  Seems there’s a grey space for Congressmen to wander into without tripping over any blocks of ethical rules.

 I guess we should not be surprised that the Republicans are enabling a man that has a disconnect with reality. He seems so enamored by his own opinions that he disregards the truth. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. His thought process is erratic which betrays his lack of understanding First Amendment values. Having no concept of what reactions may evolve from his actions, he poses a danger to not only America but other countries as well. What he says matters. Trump likes to exhibit social dominance and a bullying behavior. Social psychologists have reported that conservatives tend to exhibit these traits which is a function of their authoritarian tendencies. This was exemplified by the electoral college electing Trump. Studies show that conservatism is a type of motivated social cognition that shows hostility to people on the bottom rungs of the social ladder. The “Just-World Fallacy” seems to be followed by more conservatives than liberals or progressives. They tend to view people through a bias lens seeing those who suffer a misfortune as being somehow deserving of it. They also are more likely to believe that social inequality is just and fair.  It’s been noted by social psychologists that poor people become invisible to the rich and upper classes. 

I have lectured myself saying, “when you feel yourself drifting from normal grousing into full-on grumpy territory, it’s time to lay down the pen.”  It will be used on other endeavors.  I thank the Sun Times, and I especially appreciate the opportunity that James Jackson gave me when he invited me and my opinion on-board over five years ago.  I’m grateful to the readers. Whether I gave you subject to ponder, a chuckle or two, or words causing indigestion, you were reading my column, and I thank each of you that did.

So what is your vision? What may we draw from the bad election year we just said goodbye to?  Back when the 1960s handed the gavel to the 1970s, we wondered if our republic would survive a dysfunctional presidency, racial unrest, and flag burning war protests. “But, the American dream always glowed on the horizon for those with faith in the system and the patience to let it work.”  It’s an interesting thought to contemplate.

As Albert Einstein advised, “ “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

And, for the last time, that’s my opinion. . . .