World War I (1914-1918) was unspeakably savage. Worse, even, than the Battle of Wisconsin (2011-2012). Much of the war consisted of opposing lines of entrenched soldiers who inflicted massive casualties on each other yet gained no advantage.
Yet, on Christmas in 1914, some of these opposing lines made their own truce. The Germans decorated their trenches and sang carols. The opposing British and French lines did the same, eventually wandering across no-man's land to exchange gifts. A game of soccer was organized. In some places, the "truce" extended through New Year's Day.
The truce was not universal and not without risk. Some of the men who left their trenches were shot. In all instances, the military commands sternly warned their troops that this must never happen again. Adolf Hitler, then a corporal in the Sixteenth Bavarian Reserve Infantry, is reported to have been adamantly opposed.
So I'm imposing my own Christmas truce in our political wars for a few days. It won't last long. There are important issues on which many of us disagree. I would hope that we can express those disagreements in a way that doesn't presume that the other side is stupid, crazy or venal. Whatever response that you make to a point with which you disagree is not made stronger by stringing together adjectives or personal invective.
I know that's not easy. I have trouble with it myself. So I suspect that we'll continue to have our political battles of Yrpes and Verdun.
But, at least for the next few days, good will abounds here at Shark and Shepherd.
So Happy Hanukkah (although its been over for a while), Stupendous Solstice, Joyous Kwanzaa and Happy Festivus (for the rest of us.)
And Merry Christmas.
Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin