The other day two store clerks in a row—and not at Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A, either—wished me a Merry Christmas.  I thought I detected in their benedictions a hint of real glee. It was almost as though the Grinch was dead. Ah, but this is Wisconsin—Flyover (or perhaps, Stop if You Really Need To) Country. Doubtless there are still many places where wishing people a Merry Christmas is regarded as a mild form of hate speech—like in our own state capital.


The Grinch is actually the incarnation of an immortal spirit, and can’t be killed, only suppressed. I have it on good authority he’s just moved back to his apartment in Manhattan and plans to take his vacations in Hollywood, since the last election informed him quite positively that he would have to withdraw for a while to change his strategy for making everyone but him and his henchpersons miserable.


What the friendly clerks have sensed, I believe, is that the recent defeat of the Ruling Party has been a strong blow against Political Correctness, so that wishing your Jewish or Muslim—or atheist–friend a Merry Christmas (or having him wish you one right back in the understanding that Christians are delighted to share their holiday) need no longer be seen as an increasingly risky act of defiance in the public square. The election of the prickly Mr. Trump was based on the hope of a great many people that here at last was a candidate who would not, once in office, feel it necessary to forge bipartisan coalitions with the Grinch, but in a fittingly crude and businesslike way tell him exactly where to stick it.


As Political Correctness, and with it the oppression of average people, marched to what seemed in the Obama years its triumph in a Hillary Clinton presidency, more Americans than the media and the political strategists understood were becoming weary, very weary, of having their speech and thought controlled by people they didn’t agree with.  When an older sort of liberalism, like that of the Grinch’s creator, didn’t look like even it could survive the intensifying threat of an Orwellian world where speech and reality are politically disconnected and their connection penalized, even the dullest were beginning to wake up to what an impervious Anointed Class refuses on principle to see.


So, sharing with my clerks a sense of at least temporary reprieve (that can’t, of course, be taken for granted, especially by those who don’t put their trust in princes, etc., etc.), I wish you all, without much fear of losing my job for it, a Merry Christmas, and God bless us every one.