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Keeping the Christmas spirit

It is unfortunate Christmas comes only once a year. For a few days each year, we make a conscious effort to bring the true spirit of Christmas ” the embodiment of the Christian ideals of love and respect for, and sharing with, other ” into our lives. But how well do we live up to these ideals during the rest of the year?

We could start out by burying the hatchet from the last election. In this challenging time in our history, with a deepening economic recession facing the new administration which inherits that burden next month, it is time to put aside the partisan animosities which divided us during the presidential selection process, and unite behind our new president for the good of our country, as the country did after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

It is time to scrap the groundless accusations that circulated, among other places, on the Internet (that towering fountain of irrefutable “facts”) which Barack Obama was a Muslim, a terrorist, a radical socialist (if not a card-carrying Communist) devoid of any executive ability, totally unprepared to lead the country, and a threat to both the financial and moral underpinnings of our society. One of the most outrageous examples is the 16-page un-Christian religious-extremist diatribe issued just before the election by mercenary missionary James Dobson of “Focus on the Family,” making the outrageous claim that homosexuality, abortion, and pornography would be promoted and religious expression suppressed in the next four years if, God forbid, Obama was elected. There is not the slightest evidence there is one shred of truth in any of these ridiculous claims.



In the weeks following the election, we are seeing a president-elect who has strong family and moral values. What is really encouraging is that Barack Obama appears to have exceptional organizational abilities, and displays a keen intellect and a willingness to seek counsel from a variety of well-qualified advisors and cabinet appointees who will not necessarily be in agreement with him on all issues. These are qualities which were notably absent in his predecessor, whose decisions came from the gut instead of the mind, and whose appointments were based more on cronyism and ideology than on competence.

Only time will tell whether he can succeed in meeting the daunting challenges facing him and the country he will be leading. The road back from the current crises in the U.S. and world economies and in public confidence will be neither short nor smooth, and will require dedication and cooperation, and even sacrifices from all of us. We’d better unite behind our new president regardless of our political persuasion, because our future well-being depends on his success. We need to bring the Christmas spirit and Christian ideals into both our personal and political outlooks to help our country out of its present travail. Criticism of the policies and performance of the Obama Administration can come later if it fails to meet our needs, but any censure should not sink to the level of malicious personal attack.



I would also like to comment on a local issue that could use a little Christmas spirit, namely the price of gasoline in our fair city. Local high gas prices are just another burden on those who are struggling to make both ends meet. They are also a black eye for our community. It is harmful to the local economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism, when Glenwood Springs is regularly being publicized by the Denver press and television stations as having the highest gasoline prices in Colorado, typically 30 to 45 cents higher than the state average, and 10 to 15 cents higher than in neighboring communities.

In closing, I want to wish one and all (whether you agree with me or not) all the joys of Christmas. And may the true Christmas spirit continue to shine in all of us throughout the year ahead.


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