How The Grinch Affects Our Politics

The Grinch gets a heart

It’s the season for a rerun of the Dr. Seuss story of, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It’s a fun tale of a green villain (the Grinch) trying to steal Christmas from the good people of Whoville. He learns (spoiler alert here) that stealing gifts and Christmas trimmings is not enough to steal what matters most during the holiday: the season of giving and good will to everyone. Realizing this, his heart swells to three times its size and all is forgiven. It’s a lovely reminder for this time of year.

We’re living the darkest days of the year as we near the Winter solstice. Our daylight is short so, to lift our spirits, we plug in the lights and focus on friends and family and an appreciation for a special sense of magic. We gain a positive perspective and we do a bit of emotional healing – much like the Grinch did.

121619 Grinch 1

Putin is our current Grinch

There’s a lesson here for all of us: Pay attention to what matters!

Our sense of calm and safety is being disrupted – torn away from us, actually. The Grinch lurking beyond our horizon, planning and conniving to do us harm, is stealing our democracy – gift-by-gift, vote-by-vote. Putin’s mischievous grin, much like the Grinch, should awaken all of us.

121619 Grinch 2

The short view of the future is daunting

I’ve often declared to be an optimist and I cling to that perspective in spite of the dark hour and promise of dark days ahead. “How can I be optimistic,” you may ask, “when impeachment is pending?” Regardless of which side of the political aisle you sit, there is much to fear.

Let’s darken the view a bit more (don’t worry – I’ll shed some light later).

Trump will be impeached but likely won’t be removed from office. The Grinch (Putin) will like this (check out his smile again). Trump may well win the 2020 election (Grinch will smile again). And in the 2020 melee we call an election, the voting will be contested, questioned, and distrusted (from both political sides). Our political divide will widen. Families and friends will be torn apart. Ah, the Grinch is breaking into a raucous hee-haw laugh. Can you hear him?

We adapt, wake up, and are resilient

Let’s bring up the lights.

As the dark of the winter season descends upon us, let’s be encouraged to look at the long view of our future instead. We humans are adaptable creatures. We learn. Lessons sometimes come hard and with cost, and may come a bit late. But we persevere and history tells us we trend towards the good, the improved over time.

Our voting in 2020 may come out as a bit of a mess in the process. We may not elect who you or I think is best. But we’ll learn. We will have awakened – maybe not everyone, but enough will be. Democracy is resilient. Our U.S. Constitution is resilient. We (the people) are resilient. We can withstand whatever is thrown at us in 2020, and even the few years beyond, if we learn to respect each other.

An optimist’s Christmas wish list

Here’s my hope – call it a Christmas wish list:

I hope we can prevent the rancor in Washington from tainting our personal lives. If you have a relative or friend who stands across the political divide facing you, let them know your love for them is still unabated. Then watch what happens. Perhaps you’ll see hearts around you grow three times their size. Perhaps the Grinch will no longer interfere because he can’t. Decency begins with each of us.

I hope we’ll awaken to the truths surrounding how we vote. Maybe we’ll realize how we disenfranchise so many voters (around 46%) in every presidential election. I hope we recognize that the National Popular Vote (a Grincian kind of idea) is really ridiculous, radical, and dangerous. Maybe greed and majority dominance will wane so minority voting voices matter. Perhaps we’ll recognize the gift Equal Voice Voting can provide for our presidential elections.

Many lights will twinkle this season. May they all be a reminder that hope springs eternal and good will is shared by many. Just as the many tiny lights persist in the darkness, so we will also persist in being kind to one another. It’s not a political thing. It’s not a religious thing. It’s a human thing to see ourselves in others. It’s a bit of magic that enlarges our hearts to three times their normal size.

I’m taking a break from this blog for a couple of weeks. It’s time to enjoy the season. See you in 2020!

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team

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