So how was sense restored in A Charlie Brown Christmas? To stop the conflict between Charlie and the rest of the kids, Linus recants the tale of the origin of Christmas to a darkened auditorium. His telling of the nativity emphasizes the juxtaposition between the birth of Christ and the poverty he was born in to, urging the other kids to re-examine their obsession with the materialism of the season. As a result, the kids see the light and embrace Charlie’s vision for the play.

Perhaps Trump would not have won the US election if, amidst the chaos of the election season, a 21st-century Linus had come forward to warn about the dangers of partisanship—to take away all the pomp and theatrics and remind us of the fundamental dream of American democracy. It’s too late to change that now. But it’s not too late for a fresh political voice to take the public stage in 2017 and remind Americans of exactly the principles this country was founded upon. We need a true believer who can deliver a critical message: ”That’s what America is all about, Charlie Brown.”

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