- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 11, 2016

A certain segment of the nation now suffers from “postelection grief,” inspiring one therapist to write an essay for National Public Radio suggesting that distraught people would benefit from baking muffins in the “sanctuary” of their kitchen. Jean Fain, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated psychotherapist, even supplied a “Hillary muffin” recipe that includes bananas, applesauce, oatmeal, hazelnuts and chocolate chips — noting that “muffin making as a meditative practice is a reliable source of comfort and hope.” Well, OK.

Now along comes Publishers Weekly, the major industry guide in the books realm, with a report that at least three major book publishers are now rushing out serious books to help Democrats cope with President-elect Donald Trump‘s victory. And yes, one is actually called “The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living Through What You Hoped Would Never Happen,” described by publisher HarperCollins as “a serious call to action for all anti-Trump dissenters,” and “people looking for answers.”

But there’s more, of course. “What We Do Now: Standing Up for Your Values in Trump’s America” from Penguin Random House features fancy essays from 27 well-known progressives, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, feminist Gloria Steinem and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman — all asked “to provide advice to people in their area of expertise on what they can do to voice their concerns over the next four years.”

A third offering for depressed Democrats is titled “Radical Hope” from Vintage Books, another anthology of essays from various authors and activists, deemed “an antidote to despair; a balm, a salve, a rallying cry, a lyrical manifesto, a power source, a torch to light the way.”

STANDING UP FOR EVANGELICALS



“If there’s anything the liberal media despises more than typing ‘President-elect’ before Donald Trump‘s name, it’s having to acknowledge the political influence of evangelicals. There’s no hiding their impact now — not after they helped propel Trump to the biggest election upset in modern history,” writes Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. “For years, the press has tried to fake a death certificate for the religious right, insisting right up to last month that the bloc was either extinct or too fractured by Trump to reverse America’s political and cultural backslide.”

Mr. Perkins cited a recent oped by Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, who suggested that values voters should demonstrate their values through public advocacy and service to others, drop “grievance-mongering, resentment, and tribal identity” and seek to “repair” their image.

“Has there been a greater champion of the vulnerable in the womb or the persecuted around the world than Christians? Has any movement done more in private service to the homeless, the sick, or the needy than the church? Unlike the Left, which relies on the government for its charity work, America’s men and women of faith sacrificially give of their own time and resources,” Mr. Perkins writes in reply. “To suggest that we haven’t done our fair share — or worse, added to the suffering — is not only dishonest but insulting. Even so, Rubin claims it’s time for evangelicals to ‘use their influence for good.’ As if ending religious genocide, stopping the slaughter of innocents, promoting a society where people can worship freely, and protecting the family isn’t?”

Mr. Perkins adds, “The only image that needs repairing is the media’s.”

CULTURAL MOMENT

Many Americans have shelled out, oh, $30 or so for a nice Christmas tree from a neighborhood church or the Home Depot. That is not the case in New York City.

“Yuletide capitalism is running rampant this year — with the cost of a Christmas tree topping $1,000 in one Manhattan neighborhood. Longtime Greenwich Village tree seller Heather Neville said that her tallest — and priciest — offering will command an astonishing $77 per foot from any buyer who can’t haul it home,” reports The New York Post.

“This 13-foot tree — a beautiful fir — is $750, and with delivery, installation with a stand, and tip would be $1,000,” Ms. Neville told the newspaper — which points out that the total cost is enough to pay for over 600 meals for the homeless at the Bowery Mission.

MEETINGS, RECEPTIONS AND A PLANE RIDE

“On Monday, the President will attend meetings at the White House. On Tuesday, the President will sign the 21st Century Cures Act. The President and Vice President will also deliver remarks at this event. On Wednesday, the President will host two Hanukkah receptions at the White House. The First Lady will also attend. On Thursday, the President will attend meetings at the White House. On Friday, the President will attend meetings at the White House. In the evening, the First Family will depart the White House en route to Honolulu, Hawaii.”

— from an official White House dispatch.

CPAC RANKED AMONG TOP EVENTS

Events professionals have considerable praise for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC. BizBash, a New York-based industry source for event planners, now ranks CPAC among the top-political events in the nation’s capital, outranked only by the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner, the State of the Union address and American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference.

American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp reminds everyone that the next CPAC is a little over 10 weeks away, Feb. 22-25, staged once again at glittering National Harbor on the banks of the Potomac River about 5 miles south of Washington. Conservatives will be fired up, and hopefully for positive reasons. Mr. Schlapp advises that the theme this year is “We the People: Reclaiming America’s Promise.”

POLL DU JOUR

75 percent of Americans say there are “strong conflicts” between Republicans and Democrats.

66 percent say there are strong conflicts between “blacks and whites.”

60 percent say there are strong conflicts between “rich and poor.”

59 percent say there are strong conflicts between “immigrants and U.S.-born.”

40 percent say the same of “younger and older people,” 40 percent also cite “people in cities and people in rural areas” as marked by conflict.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,502 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 30 and Dec. 5.

Cranky admonitions, chitchat to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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