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Opinion | The Christmas wish

Christmas is a time for optimism. The New Year, a marker for self-evaluation and starting over and, with our resolutions, for looking forward.

Holiday card from Joey Kennedy's daughters

We got the best Holiday card Saturday. It came from our daughters in Southern California, and it’s just about perfect.

“Same Sh!t, different year! Happy Holidays.”

Nicole and Sara Kate are our “dajas.” They aren’t our real daughters; we had no children. But Nicole, when she was a scholarship volleyball athlete at UAB, adopted Veronica and me so we could attend her volleyball events. The more we got to know each other, the more permanent the adoption became. Nicole didn’t legally adopt us, of course. But she’s our daughter, now. We call her “daja.” She calls us “maja” and “faja.”

In 2018, Nicole married her love, Sara Kate, and now SK is our “daja,” too.

“Same Sh!t, different year!”

That is just cynical enough to be authentic. It’s true, too, whether you’re a cynic or not. Knowing Sara and Nicole, they were completely aware of what they were sending.

Here we are, the week of Christmas 2021, and we are still there. Fewer than two weeks away from the New Year, 2022, and we are still there.

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Somebody said 2022 is just 2020-too. A repeat of last year.

With the Omicron variant of this never-say-die coronavirus pandemic coming on the scene, we are frustrated that yet another round of virus is here. An easy spreader. Maybe not as bad as the Delta version. But, still, the coronavirus.

“Same Sh!t, different year!”

Christmas is a time for optimism. The New Year, a marker for self-evaluation and starting over and, with our resolutions, for looking forward.

How do we start over when what we’re seeing and experiencing around us just won’t let us? We’ve been here, done that. We’re tired. Exhausted.

The Omicron is coming for us, sure. But so are a lot of conservatives, nearly all of them card-carrying Republicans. They are working overtime to make the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol seem like just another walk in the park.

The riots on Jan. 6 were anything but normal. The intent was to overthrow the vote that put President Joe Biden in office. The vote was a rejection of Donald J. Trump, the biggest mistake as president we’ve ever made in our nation’s history.

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Republicans won’t let go, though. They continue to cover for Trump’s (and their) crimes. Oh, that there be a reckoning. That’s my New Year’s wish. Just holding Trump and his cronies accountable for what they brought on our nation.

That’s my wish. I am not holding my breath, because:

“Same Sh!t, different year!”

I suppose Veronica and I will do our ride-around Christmas Eve to look at the lights. Yet, I don’t know if I’ll have the same inspiration I usually get. In the back of my mind, I’m burdened with worries.

I worry whether Veronica’s health problems, and there are many, will somehow synchronize so that her medicines will keep her away from the hospital. I worry whether finally, after taking our vaccines and the booster, we’ll still get the Omicron variety, and what did all this matter, anyway? I worry that when classes start at UAB on Jan. 10 whether we’ll still be in masks (that’s OK with me; it’s just not the best way to teach).

We’re about to enter Year 3 of the pandemic. It’s a difficult time for optimism. We’ll keep following science. I’ll continue teaching my classes on whatever platform I’m given. I’ll write this column as long as Bill and Susan let me.

I’ll continue to call out Republicans who spread the Big Lie about the 2020 election. Biden won. Get over it and get over Trump. You’re destroying your party.

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At the end of the day, though, when I go out to my second-floor patio to watch the sun set, have a non-alcoholic adult beverage, take a smoke, and think, I’m hobbled by a major truth that came in a holiday greeting:

“Same Sh!t, different year!”

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column each week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @joeykennedy.

Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes a column each week for the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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