Amid such a clatter, here’s what really should matter

Published 5:27 pm Monday, December 23, 2019

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By Tom Purcell

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through America, people were angry or delighted, and most uncomplimentary.

Despite it being the time of the year to unite, gather and share good cheer, the president’s impeachment turned the country on its ear.

High crimes for certain,” his opponents did claim, “because since his election we’ve been taking aim.”

Not so fast,” did his defenders retort, “’high crimes’ demand the highest bar and your argument fell short.

He’s an unconventional president,” his defenders continued, “uncouth to be sure, but with good intent.

The economy is flourishing, which is just what we need, to address other challenges and do so quickly indeed.

The deficit is massive and requires trimming, our failing health care, roads and schools also demand reckoning.”

But what of the environment?” his opponents declare. “This president denies it’s an issue and plumb doesn’t care.

He gets under our skin and makes us wild with rage, we must remove him from office and put him in a cage!

Our goal is noble, why can’t you see, that we must damage and discredit Trump before 2020.

If he’s elected again, and we fear he may be, he could appoint a third judge to the Supreme Court judiciary.

That we cannot allow and never will we agree, to leave elections up to the people in a faltering democracy.”

And so commenced an unpleasant debate, one with no middle, just two sides of irate.

But Christmas and Hanukkah have finally arrived, a time of the year to reappraise.

We’re not so divided as many may think, we are not yet near the brink.

In the history of our incredible republic, you see, we’ve survived far worse controversy.

Let’s not forget our own Civil War, 620,000 Americans died in that awful uproar.

If only the country had heeded the words President Lincoln did speak, during his first inauguration week:

“We are not enemies, but friends,” he read, and warned about high passions straining our bonds of affection as they spread.

He urged us to rise above emotional thinking by every measure, by embracing “the better angels of our nature.”

By failing to listen to what Lincoln said, our young country suffered misery, death and destruction instead.

And though it may appear nobody knows “where to” from here, one principle remains clear.

This democracy is ours and should reflect the will of we the people. If you are not happy with what you are seeing, get to the voting booth promptly.

Call or write your congressperson and pen letters to the editor. Engage, speak out, help us regain a commonsense center.

Renew with your neighbors civil debate, be respectful and inquisitive, not filled with anger and hate.

The holiday season has arrived this year, let’s get back to enjoying and spreading good cheer.

Our country is a continuous work in progress and much needs to be done, but let’s remember our blessings and how to have fun.

We have the power to love or to hate. We choose to be happy or irate.

Let’s unleash our nature’s better angels instead. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays are what should be said!

May your homes be happy, your families be swell! May the New Year be your best year — and our country’s as well!

TOM PURCELL, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood,” a humorous memoir available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. Send comments to Tom at