Links: Profiles in courage, pornography floods Parler

Christmas trees in the East Room of the White House in Washington Nov. 30 (CNS/Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Christmas trees in the East Room of the White House in Washington Nov. 30 (CNS/Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

by Michael Sean Winters

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At Politico, a report on Gabriel Sterling, the Republican appointee who is voting systems manager for the Georgia Secretary of State's office. Sterling, rightly, is defending the integrity of the elections just conducted and, unlike most Republican officeholders, condemning President Donald Trump's questioning of that integrity. If he can do it, why can't Sen. Mitch McConnell? Sterling earns my nomination for the Kennedy Library's "Profiles in Courage" award.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Sometimes it bends faster than others. The Washington Post reports that the rightwing alternative to Twitter, Parler, has been besieged with advertising for pornography sites. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of conservatives.

At HuffPost, some on the far left criticize former President Barack Obama because he explained why slogans like "Defund the police" are counter-productive. If four years of Trumpian backlash was not enough to convince everyone on the left to listen to someone like Obama who won two national elections, will anything?

At Slate, Heather Schwedel looks at four years of First Lady Melania Trump's Christmas decorations at the White House. Hilarious, especially in light of the leaked conversations in which the first lady told her friend Stephanie Winston Wolkoff: "I'm working ... my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations? But I need to do it, right?" All the travails of being first lady to the worst president in history. She can cry all the way to the bank.

From Bloomberg opinion, a Navy ship in the Pacific took down an intercontinental ballistic missile, ending the strategic doctrine known as "mutually assured destruction." In 1972, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the U.S. and the Soviet Union barred the deployment of missile defense systems, leaving both nations open to the other's attack. I remember my college foreign policy professor describing the doctrine: "Two men, each with their heads in a guillotine, face each other, holding the cord to the other's knife." It was always immoral, but it was also enormously stable. Now it is no more. I am not sure I feel safer.

From Working-Class Perspectives, Timothy Strangleman writes about class consciousness at Durham University in the United Kingdom, and the recent formation of a Working-Class Students Association. We may think we Americans do not have these issues because of the central role meritocracy plays in our culture. Don't kid yourself: If you send your kid to an Ivy League school, he or she might not get a great education, but they will make connections that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Monday, I was happy to be a guest on the Colin McEnroe show on WNPR. We discussed President-elect Joe Biden's Catholicism and Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory. The segment before mine featured Frank Rich discussing why he thinks the GOP will learn nothing from Trump's electoral loss, and that is well worth a listen, too. Here is the link.

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