Despite the Trappings, Holiday Spirit 2016 Looks Iffy

Since they usually jump-start around Thanksgiving, we are well into the time of Frosty and Rudolph and Tiny Tim fronting animated specials, annual favorites and tinsel-soaked movies of the week that end with the battling protagonists making up under the mistletoe.

Do we believe in Santa? I have to get back to you on that one. But I do have my favorites, all with the theme of redemption: Charlie Brown’s taunting gang recognizing the beauty of his scrawny tree; old Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim in the best version) waking up on Christmas morning, amazed that he indeed has time to be a good man, and, of course, the Grinch with his Grinchy small heart growing three sizes.

Most know these shows by heart, yet eyes moisten each time the Grinch, courtesy of Dr. Seuss, realizes “something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” These moments teach love and forgiveness and the meaning of the holiday, lessons that hit home because of their simplicity.

In any year, with retail and toy stores — both at the mall and online — becoming battlegrounds, a little reflection would be welcome. In 2016, with the results of Election Day still raging, and competing political operatives raising the stakes and their voices everywhere, including the halls of Harvard, only the Grinch, at his worst, could make sense of it.

 

Hope for a United Future in America’s Divided Past

When you enter the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, you step into an elevator going down, and through its glass walls, the years flash by, with history moving backward, to the 1400s. Campaign 2016 has often resembled that kind of journey, not moving that far into the past, of course, but far enough to a time when no thin line of civility kept American citizens from lashing out at one another — loudly, and with anger and violence.

That has been the dispiriting price of the long slog to Election Day, Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, with the country collectively collapsing at the finish line. Still, it would be wise for all Americans to acknowledge that there are miles to go, and that this path is one we have traveled since the beginning, often with one side celebrating and the other deflated — a future of cooperation and compromise downright impossible to imagine

 

Local News Roundup: Reaction To Donald Trump’s Election; Other NC Election Results; CMS Magnet Vote

North Carolina voters played a big role in the outcome of the presidential race, but the governor’s race is still too close to call.  Our panel of reporters will look at that, and at some of the other shakeups and outcomes in state-based races.  Also, CMS takes a vote on the magnet school lottery, and the Hornets are off to a flying start.  

Trump’s Coalition Can’t Last

It wasn’t a question of if, but when. When would demographics become destiny for political candidates hoping to lead an increasingly diverse America, and require outreach more than a photo op with a taco bowl?

‘When’ has not yet arrived

 

What Happens to the GOP’s Diversity Dream?

After the presidential election of 2012, the Republican Party had a plan. Mitt Romney won over a majority of white voters, but failed miserably at attracting the diverse electorate that increasingly is America. GOP would have to stand for something other than Grand Old Party. The Growth and Opportunity Project was born, with one goal being outreach.

As then Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in stark terms at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Charlotte, N.C., in January 2013: “We must reject the notion that demography is destiny, the pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behavior. … The first step in getting voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them.”

The goals were lofty and judged doable, with Mississippi national committeeman Henry Barbour saying the message should be “the opportunity for people to aspire to reach their dreams whatever that may be.” He touted New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez as the party’s future: “She’s smart; she’s not afraid.”

What happened in 2016? The short answer: Donald Trump.

 

Local News Roundup: More Presidential Candidate Visits; Polls Tighten for NC Races

This week’s top stories: Political campaigning is in the homestretch, with November 8th just around the corner…  The NAACP gets a hearing on what they consider to be illegally canceled voter registrations, and the county commission talks magnet schools.

If North Carolina Is Another Florida, That’s Good and Bad

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina is feeling pretty excited these days. If you’re a political junkie or just going out for a walk, it’s hard to miss the array of top-tier political figures and celebrities eager to tell you how important your vote is. The state is not quite Florida yet, in terms of its role in the president-electing business, but it’s getting there. – See more at: http://www.rollcall.com/news/opinion/north-carolina-another-florida-thats-good-bad-clinton-trump#sthash.uHoTqrd7.dpuf

Is Hillary Clinton as Cautious as Her Reputation?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A persistent criticism of Hillary Clinton has been her overly cautious nature, her reluctance to take bold stands, her preparation to the point of predictability. Kate McKinnon of “Saturday Night Live” has taken these traits to parody on her way to an Emmy. But anyone who sees candidate Clinton frozen in that place hasn’t been paying attention this election season.

Of course, Clinton never will be “wild and crazy,” particularly when compared with her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, the very essence of both. It’s also true that her views on many issues have remained remarkably stable. But those who say Clinton really doesn’t believe in anything only have to look at how, and how frequently, she has spoken with nuance about race to an electorate anxious about the changing demographics and power.

Tim Kaine Stumps in Charlotte Again as Early Voting Opens


CHARLOTTE, NC — Both parties are pushing hard to get the vote out early, especially in North Carolina. The state is considered key to winning the White House. Both presidential candidates, and their campaigns, are putting extra emphasis on theTar Heel state as we close in on election day.

Wednesday’s Presidential Debate: A Reality TV Show Gone Bad

It was all going so well Wednesday night, with moderator Chris Wallace keeping the audience relatively quiet and the candidates focused on issues — the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, immigration and gun control.

But then it became a reality TV show gone bad, with the worst cliffhanger ever, when Donald Trump promised to keep the country “in suspense” when asked if he would accept the results of the Nov. 8 election.