December 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm EST | by Peter Rosenstein
Merry Christmas and let’s end ‘alternative facts’
Christmas, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

First, let me wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. It might just be a little different Christmas for many as most of us will be celebrating without family or friends. But the sacrifice this year will allow us all to be around next year to once again celebrate any way we like. It is that light at the end of the tunnel, the vaccine, that gives us hope for a better year. So this year enjoy a glass of cheer with each other over Zoom. If we are lucky, the Post Office will have gotten our cards to friends on time and Amazon will have delivered our gifts. So while Christmas may be celebrated differently it is still Christmas and contrary to Trump’s claim, an alternative fact, I am a liberal Democrat and have always been happy saying Merry Christmas to people. I also say Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanza.

I also write ‘Wishing you and all your loved ones a Happy New Year and Peace on Earth’ when I send out my Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza cards.

So contrary to another one of Trump’s lies when he told supporters “Christmas will be canceled if Joe Biden wins the presidency,” we have a great chance of celebrating Christmas even better next year when Joe and Jill Biden celebrate their first one in the White House. We liberals are not trying to end Christmas.

But seriously the bigger problem we will all face when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office is once again getting people to believe in facts. We will have to explain to many the definition of the word fact being ‘a thing that is known or proved to be true.’

I remember very early in Trump’s term when Kellyanne Conway was speaking to Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” and first brought up the idea of ‘alternative facts’. She was unfortunately serious. Since that time we have seen Trump and his administration use ‘alternative facts’ over and over again throughout the last four years. Another way to refer to an alternative fact is to call it a lie. The Washington Post has kept a record of Trump’s lies and misleading statements (partial lies) for the past four years and as of July they have come up with the number 20,000. What is worse than his lying is the number of people who believe him even when the truth is placed in front of them.

The new Democratic administration will have to face an electorate many of whom will not believe what they say. The over 74 million people who voted for Trump have accepted Trump’s view of the world and seemingly his belief that there can be ‘alternative facts.’ He has convinced them that anything Democrats say counter to what he has said is a lie. That is a very sad state of affairs and one that will be hard to change. Yet if we are to move forward in any united way as Biden has said he wants to do we will have to try to change it. That just might be a great New Year’s resolution for all of us; try to get one Trump voter to believe in facts.

While in some ways it has been a very difficult year and I have lost some very good friends who I miss dearly, there are many things to be thankful for this Christmas. I have my health and so far have avoided getting the coronavirus. I have a wonderful sister and sister-in-law who I love and so many good friends here in D.C., in Rehoboth Beach and literally around the world. I have a roof over my head, enough food to eat and even enough to share. I saw Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win the election and one thing I really want to do is stand in front of the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, and yell ‘good riddance’ at the top of my lungs as the Trump’s moving van drives through the gate.

I am thankful for my second family, my morning coffee group from Java House. They have been lifesavers for me over these past months and we have kept up a Zoom call every morning, seven days a week, since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

So my wish for all of you this Christmas is that you also have all you need and enough to share with others. Because it is in the sharing that we receive the most.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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