Much has happened in the news since Thanksgiving, and there are several items that deserve attention.
First: At long last, Fidel Castro is finally dead. It is unfortunate so many people on the left glorify this despicable human being and, by extension, the decades of repression and violence he inflicted upon the inmates of the island prison otherwise known as Cuba.
His avid fan base might be quick to proclaim that he provided his people with free healthcare. Those who know better should be quick to reply that at that price it was worth every penny. The quality of Cuban healthcare is stellar if you’re a party elitist or a tourist visiting long enough to get Botox injections or breast implants. Conversely, Cubans on the outside of party favoritism find themselves languishing in crumbling hospitals and clinics with sparse access to competent doctors and medicine.
Castro fans might be equally quick to inform us that education in Cuba is provided universally and they have an excellent literacy rate, but they miss the point: literacy is meaningless without the right to free speech, and education is also meaningless if the capacity for critical thought is replaced by state indoctrination.
Make no mistake, Fidel Castro was a savage tyrant whose iron-fisted rule was typified by the murder, torture, and imprisonment of political dissidents, the oppression of free speech, and the suppression of a free press. He was a monster and we should all celebrate his long over-due demise.
Second: Jill Stein continues to tilt at windmills. To date she has raised some $7 million to demand a recount in several states which were won by President-elect Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton’s battered campaign team has joined this effort. Apparently, Mrs. Clinton’s concession was a hollow gesture, as were her pre-election admonitions that the results of the contest must be honored by the losing candidate. No more proof of Mrs. Clinton’s innate dishonesty was needed, but there it is.
Third: Chris Cuomo has taken it upon himself to hijack CNN for the sole purpose of opposing the Trump presidency. It is indeed the job of the media to scrutinize our politicians but let’s be honest: the polls, the pundits, the talking-heads, empty suits, and so-called “experts” were wrong about everything. Can we really trust Cuomo, or anyone at CNN or elsewhere, to hold anyone’s feet to the fire, much less a president who revealed the media at large to be an unofficial wing of the Democratic Party?
Fourth: The Dakota Access Pipeline protests continue despite repeated attempts by law enforcement to discourage the obstructionism of out-of-state provocateurs. In addition to the physical actions taken by police there are several people, armed with the facts, who have made numerous entreaties to these agitators to listen to reason. Some of the simple facts of the matter are: the pipeline has been rerouted some one hundred and forty times to avoid infringing on native land; the pipeline is being constructed on privately owned property with the consent of the landowners; the native tribes involved were given ample opportunity to be an integral voice in the planning and implementation process but decided to boycott it rather than engage. Also, transporting oil via pipeline is absolutely the safest method available. The sky isn’t falling as the protesters say it is and this highlights a problem endemic among the left: emotion has taken hold, and once that happens it’s difficult for reason to ever again take root.
What we have on prominent display are leftists who stridently support freedom of expression and minority rights, but who simultaneously praise a dead Cuban autocrat whose human and civil rights record reads like an Orwellian nightmare. Jill Stein is fleecing millions of dollars from the gullible to demand certain states recount their votes. CNN is abandoning all semblance of unbiased reporting. And histrionic protestors believe standing in the way of progress to sustain the shadowy figments of a dead culture is in fact progress.
These aren’t crusaders, though they imagine themselves to be. These people are more akin to headless chickens. To put this all into stark relief, juxtapose these domesticated farm fowl against the actions and posture of our President-elect.
Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, after meeting with Mr. Trump said, “I am convinced Mr. Trump is a leader in whom I can have great confidence.” During a phone call between Mr. Trump and China’s Xi Jinping, “the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another.” Concurrent to these reports is news that Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s Peña Nieto are falling into line behind Trump’s demand for a renegotiation of NAFTA. And don’t forget about the Trump Rally which is still very much alive.
It seems Mr. Trump is getting to work before he’s even sworn in and we shouldn’t be surprised by his progress thus far. The man sleeps only three or four hours a night and rarely vacations. He’s a shark, he’ll sink if he stops swimming. Contrast that with the frantic scurrying of his detractors, the headless chickens who imagine themselves as righteous crusaders, and you have a picture worth more than a thousand words. On one hand, there’s directionless indignation and energy wasted on fruitless lost causes. On the other, there’s a work ethic and clarity of vision that may best be described as inexplicable.
There may come a day when we look back and laugh at the dawn of the Trump era. Not just at the chickens, though they are certainly deserving of a solid guffaw. We’re going to look back and laugh at ourselves for not realizing how lucky we are to have a human dynamo at the helm of our nation during a time of frantic hysteria.
Original artwork by Jesse Comeau