A Christmas letter to the undiscovered country

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Phil,

You’ve been away for a good long while so here’s a Christmas letter to catch you up on all the news you’ve missed. So much has changed. Time steals like a shadow over the living, rendering us all Henry Adams at history’s eclipse. There’s much I want to share, because you could have helped make sense of it.

I’m tapping out this message on your old portable typewriter, the trusty Olympia, out of a sense of nostalgia or maybe magical thinking. Rat-a-tat ding, just like the old days, when all good journalists came to the aid of their party country.

Where to start?

When you left, Barack Obama was near the end of his first term as president. The “arc of history” seemed indeed to be bending inexorably toward social justice. Although there was still much to be done, most of the nation felt we were going in the right direction. Oh, how naive we were.

Obama won a second…

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