When the mirror stares back this Christmas, what does it see?
“What the world needs now
Is love, sweet love.
It’s the only thing
That there’s just too little of …”
Back in 1965, when you could understand the vocals the singer was singing, those were the defining lyrics of Jackie DeShannon’s chart-topping anthem, “What the world needs now.”
And, boy, do we need it now, this 2020 Christmas season.
Where is the love for my brother, whose sports video business was stripped to nothing overnight by a pandemic?
He gets to watch House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, taking a break from her designer ice cream and secret, maskless salon visit to tell us she is now ready to approve a virus benefits package for people like him because Joe Biden is about to be president.
She basically admitted she held up the needed aid for my brother and millions of others to skew economic circumstances prior to the election. That was her priority.
Where is the love for the health of scientists, truck drivers and military distribution strategists who managed to come up with a pandemic-ending vaccine in less than nine months and get it surgically distributed starting this week, producing the only real plan to end a world health crisis?
In recent weeks, they have gotten to hear New York’s governor and a vice presidential candidate question the legitimacy of the vaccine because they don’t like the sitting president and a president-elect question whether there is a distribution plan.
As a result, barely more than half of all Americans are positive about taking a vaccine.
These are real-life heroes who should be getting praise from the media and arrogant politicians who have largely shrunk from the moment the past nine months.
Where is the love for thousands of small business owners whose lifetime of effort and financial investment have been thrown into a trash bin by politicized decision making from governors without supporting data?
Particularly picked on have been restaurant owners, who have probably observed health safety protocols better than anyone else. In New York State, where they are responsible for just 1.4 percent of the virus cases and in-home families gatherings are responsible for 73 percent of cases, their Christmas gift — duplicated in Pennsylvania — is suspension of indoor dining.
While they are stripped of their livelihoods, the big box stores and Amazon thrive without any significant restrictions.
Where is the love for police, who have endured six months of rioting and an epidemic of shootings in a bushel of American cities, much of it encouraged by weak mayors, agenda-driven politicians and a media with a debatable social justice platform to push?
The questionable actions of a few policemen among literally millions of interactions does not rationalize the burning of cities and businesses, toppling of statues and the false narrative of a willing media that most Americans and this country are hopelessly and systematically racist.
There are a lot more media personnel than police who have violated professional codes this year.
Where is the love from reporters, editors and corporate leaders at newspapers, big tech entities and television networks toward we, the American people?
Their code is supposed to guarantee us honesty, balance and fairness in the dispatching of information.
Instead, they knowingly protected a presidential candidate with questionable, long-term, monetary ties to China, placed blame for the pandemic handling on the same president who coordinated a vaccine solution with historic speed and willingly pushed an election process that has resulted in literally thousands of affidavits exposing clearly questionable voting practices.
The entities that have censored attempts to expose these things or not performed due dilligence to look into them do not deserve your readership or viewership.
The Christmas season is the natural time for honest reflection on how we are living our lives.
All of us — but especially our political, legal and media leaders — need to take a trip to the mirror.
The mirror does not know our occupation, political affiliation or philosophical leanings. It stares back at us and lays bare the truth.
Are we honest? Are we fair to people, especially those with whom we may not share like thinking on all matters? Do we genuinely want the best for this country we live in, or is it more important to have power, the resulting chaos be damned? Do we care about the integrity and preservation of our democracy or are we willing to compromise it for a temporary political victory that could mean the end to our fundamental freedoms in the future?
I wish this vaccine came with a cleansing solution that so many souls in this country need.
Because not much has changed since 1965. We are still in short supply of love, sweet love.
David F. Troisi is retired as editor of the Sun-Gazette.