*I have been told Happy Holidays on numerous occasions over the past few weeks and it has always been a pleasant experience. Certainly there are more people in the United States that celebrate Christmas than any other holiday this time of year, but to take a more cautious approach and avoid the assumption that the person you are speaking to is celebrating Christmas is the polite thing to do. In other parts of society we want to be as inclusive as possible so why should this be any different? I’m glad the so called war on Christmas hasn’t gotten as much coverage this year. And it seems the sun will continue to rise even though Happy Holidays was the phrase I heard more often than not this year.
Everyone who thought the Ebola outbreak earlier this year would mark the downfall of the United States have been keeping quiet as their mouths are full with humble pie. Yes Ebola is a serious health issue. But it must be kept in mind that we were all aware of the seriousness of the disease and where it was coming from. Given that awareness it would have been very difficult for lots of infected people to slip into the country undetected. And who would these people be who want to spread a deadly disease without getting treatment for themselves. I don’t mean to minimize the effort that went into containing Ebola because I’m sure lots of people worked overtime. But I do want to highlight the fact that when there is a collective push, like there was against Ebola, that push will likely do what it is meant to do.
Imagine I am a popular figure in the United States. Millions of people have read and enjoyed my column over the years; I have no enemies to speak of that might want to destroy my positive reputation. When accusations come out that I am a rampant drug user, many would want to deny this possibility at first. But if more and more stories come out about incidents in which I was using drugs, and these stories are offered by people not looking to extort money from me or otherwise benefit, the public would probably admit I had a bit of a drug problem (hello Whitney). Change drug use to substance enabled sexual assault and we arrive at Bill Cosby. I don’t know the particulars of every incident that has been alleged, but I think it is safe to conclude that everyone isn’t lying on Dr. Huxtable.
Which brings me to my favorite observation about The Cosby Show which I didn’t realize as a kid watching on Thursday nights, but as an adult watching reruns. An Ob-Gyn who operates out of the basement of his home? How many of us would make an appointment with that doctor for our sister? Was that Cosby’s Freudian slip?
I think I’m a fairly liberal person. However my perspective on liberalism is generally constrained by the national borders of the United States. I believe civil liberties should be enjoyed by everyone on earth but I don’t believe it is the duty of the United States government to ensure that everyone gets them. This arbitrary line (I admit I could cutoff my liberalism anywhere) is how I justify a no holds barred approach to dealing with enemy combatants of other countries. It is silly to try to enact war actions while also trying to be civil.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.