The Grinch of 2012/2013 and the Theft of a Nation’s Spirit

by CYNTHIA E AYERS December 5, 2012

What was the inspiration for Dr. Seuss' Grinch?  One must wonder . . .

The United States of America once had a national character and spirit similar to that of "Whoville," noisily celebrating freedom-singing, dancing, and reveling in whatever celebration (religious, secular, or simply familial) our hearts may have desired.  Even Grinches in the form of al Qaeda couldn't squelch that spirit in the days that followed the attacks of 9/11.  It took massive manipulation of the country's financial sector and the lack of official recognition/confirmation of an attack at the heart of the crash to enable a domestic Grinch to take his position at the top of a mountain.  The Grinch and his dogs, Max 1 and Max 2.  (Ok, I know, there was no Max 2 -- but grant me a little artistic license here, please).  Change was about to descend on our Whoville.

Over the past four years, we've been patted on the heads like children, offered a glass of water and sent to bed with a little lie or two.  Someone who sounds a great deal like Santa says that things are fine - there's nothing to see here - go to bed and dream of food stamps and welfare while the fruits of someone else's labor (which was about to be shared with friends, family, and other associates) is whisked away in the dark of night.

For four years, the Whos in the American Whoville slept while their investments, their savings, and whatever excess they may have accumulated, disappeared slowly, deliberately, comprehensively.   As the election day fireplace and feast was being readied in anticipation of a possible return to normalcy, the logs were taken and the food was removed from the pantry-only election-day crumbs "too small for a mouse" remained. 

It's now time for Chanukah, Christmas and the New Year, and the Grinch-in-charge is considering throwing all of his ill-gotten gains, along with all Whos, off the mountain top - off the "fiscal cliff."  Of course, he is expecting a large-scale "Boo-Hoo."   Max 1 offers an alternative-if those who provide the jobs in Whoville are forcibly thrown over the cliff (by agreement of the Grinch and his servants), their wealth can be used to pay other Whos to keep gathering and hauling more loads of goodies up to the mountaintop.   Max 2 demands even more-continued unhampered access to all of the "roast beast," "Who pudding," and other bits of booty that can be borrowed or stolen from places other than Whoville.  Those Whos fortunate enough to remain in Whoville will be forced to provide the entirety of their remaining earthly goods for the benefit of the Grinch who will, in turn, promise to keep them alive.

As someone who was invariably called "Little Cindy Lou-Who" at least once a year, while both a child and an adult, I despised being patted on the head and told that everything was just fine-I knew better; and I knew a Grinch when I saw one.   To this day, I intensely hate being patronized and lied to-especially by those who enjoy humiliating the most enterprising and the bravest among us-persecuting the ones who make our lives comfortable and our freedoms possible.   I'm tired and frustrated, and I know many others are too (about 50% of Whoville, in fact). 

How long the Whos in our country will be able to continue to sing through adversity is questionable.  Next year will be crucial, as the Grinch either throws everyone overboard, or simply tightens his control.  Of course, the original story of the Grinch ended rather well-the Whos showed their spirit, and ultimately the Grinch (realizing that there was more to life than presents, feasts, and a sense of revenge) not only brought the Whos back to normalcy, but agreed (or perhaps condescended) to carving the "roast beast" for the Whoville feast.  

Although this could be seen as a heartwarming act of "sharing the wealth," a notable differentiation must be made (yes, there is a point to this story)-sharing the wealth on a voluntary, if not loving basis is always better than taking the wealth (by deception or force) and redistributing it with vengeance in mind.  Whether or not our modern-day Grinch and his dogs Max 1 and Max 2 will figure that out is anyone's guess.

*The opinions noted within this article are those of the author, and cannot be attributed to any government or non-government entity to which the author has been associated.

Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Cynthia E. Ayers is currently Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security. Prior to accepting the Task Force position, she served as Vice President of EMPact Amercia, having retired from the National Security Agency after over 38 years of federal service-a period that included 8 years at the U.S. Army War College's Center for Strategic Leadership.


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