Labor Day and its Laborious Aftermath

Labor Day is the most bittersweet holiday. It affords a welcome day of rest from the labor that it honors, but unofficially marks when the carefree days of summer give way to the seriousness of autumn and winter. As much as we enjoy the bratwurst and beer and the day of rest, we still feel the annual resentment of the Huckleberry Finn freedom of summer vacation coming to an end with our forced return some stern schoolmarm’s classroom, along with all the adult responsibilities that are supposed to kick back in with the cooler temperatures, and this being a leap year we’re also obliged by a quadrennial political cliche to start paying even more attention to that dispiriting presidential race.
Here in Kansas, at least, we don’t acknowledge Labor Day as the actual end of summer. The kids have already been back in school for a couple of weeks, a form of child abuse we were happily spared back in our school days, those slowing-to-a-crawl school zone speed limits are back in effect along with all the rest of the adult responsibilities that never did really go away, and politics is a constant obsession even in off-years, so some arbitrary date on a calendar doesn’t mean much around here. The warm weather usually persists at least the first few weeks into September, sometimes even into October, until the big bluegrass festival down in Winfield and the Kansas State Fair over in Hutchinson have concluded no one around here will call it a summer, and we’ll keep wearing a straw fedora until the temperatures require a cloth cap, no matter what rules of hat etiquette they might have cooked up in the frigid northeast.
We’ll take today off, too, and enjoy family and friends and good food and the absence of labor, along with the strangely perfect weather we’ve been lately been having around here, and we suggest you do the same. Tomorrow is another work and school day, and there’s that dispiriting presidential election lurking in the day’s news, and it would be good to face it well rested.

— Bud Norman

2 responses

  1. In Michigan they passed a law banning the school year starting till after Labor Day. Up North Tourist $$$ matters. Can’t wait for the brutally hot, for Mid Michigan, to be over and done. I can always add layers. Almost hoping for mild Winter. Being sans car, it’s bike everywhere. Turn off election has much as I can. Still can’t bring myself to vote for the only logical choice. HRC. 85 days. Feels like the count down to the end of Jr. High. Escape from stupid emotionally charged craziness. Good luck being an adult. Gave it up for Lent sometime in the past. Buddha’s middle way made more sense.

  2. Happy Labor Day. We are experiencing great weather here on the Virginia coast now that Hurricane Hermine has passed and left behind cooler temperatures and fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky. We are dog-sitting our daughter’s two dogs, one an lovely but elderly dog that looks like a Finnish Spitz, and the other a young Bouvier whose leg fur was trimmed to make him look like a black sheep. We took them out for a long walk this morning and are now getting caught up on our mail.

    We were expecting Bud’s daily dose of Trump bashing and see that he’s taken the day off. Unlike Bud, we are rather looking forward to the election. We watched an interview with Scott Adams of Dilbert fame recently. Adams was nine months ahead of everyone else in predicting a Trump triumph in the nomination battle and predicts that he’ll win the general election in a landslide. He calls Trump a “master persuader” and believes that here will be a number of surprises between now and the election. There is little that can affect Trump at this point; his past and present are out there for all to see. But Hillary is mired in the lies she has been telling everyone about her time as a public official and the play-for-pay scam known as the Clinton Foundation. Unfortunately for Hillary, while the American people know little about the content of her e-mails, we can be sure that the Russians, the Chinese and most of the foreign intelligence services throughout the world have read every one of her communications via the Internet and are working very hard to determine how to garner the most advantage over this.

    So we see Hillary’s electoral destruction between now and November unless – and this is a big unless – the Obama Department of Homeland Security is going to manage the election. In which case the fix is in and Hillary will be inaugurated.

    The Trump administration will begin by undoing some of the damage done by Obama who worked diligently to “fundamentally transform” America. While the centerpiece of the Trump campaign has been the issue of immigration, that is actually going to be one of the easiest issues the country faces. The people are on Trump’s side on this one. On the other hand, one of the biggest challenges facing Trump will be the restoration of amicable relations between Black and White. This is the part of the American culture in which Obama has done the greatest damage. One classic tweet that has made the rounds for months has been “My favorite part about the Obama era is all the racial healing.” Race is a particularly sensitive subject for America; a civil war was fought over it. Trump has reminded the people in the Black church – the Great Faith International Ministries – in Detroit that Lincoln was a Republican and that black churches have been in the forefront of racial justice in this country. It is time for people of good will of all races to recapture the national microphone and let the real healing begin.

    Trump has captured the Republican Party and while the old guard is frantically trying to stop him, it’s too late. The Republican people are with him and the moneyed interests who are in cahoots with the Democrats are too few in number to stop him. The new Republicans are putting Americans first, last and always. The party of Plutocrats, of Crony Capitalism, of buying elections via ad buys while hiding out in the Hamptons, of selling your office for money is now firmly defined as the Democrats.

    And that’s why I’m looking forward to the election. Let the healing begin.

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