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George Bailey Lassos Hope

A scene from the 1946 Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life’ has run and rerun through my mind concerning this year’s election. I know it’s just a movie and 1946 was a long time ago, but when I fast forward to 2016, I consider how the vibe in America has changed. America now seems aggressively divided and fueled by an ideology that believes this division will make America great again! In one scene, our hero, George Bailey and his bride are leaving Bedford Falls to take a honeymoon, but while driving past his business, The Baily Brothers Building and Loan, he realizes there has been a run on the bank! Duty and honor compel him to forego his honeymoon and to intercede for the people. While George tries to gain control of his customers, Mary, his newlywed wife steps in to offer all of their honeymoon money! (George Bailey lassos money!) One by one, the customers request the amount they need. And they’re encouraged to take just enough to get by until the bank reopens. At one point, a customer comes in to announce Mr. Potter’s offer to pay .50 cents on the dollar!  The people begin to flock up to take Potter’s bait, but George replies, “Can't you understand what's happening here? Don't you see what's happening? Potter isn't selling. Potter's buying! And why? Because we're panicky and he's not. That's why. He's pickin' up some bargain.” And then in the spirit of the times (1946, post WWll) George rallies the frenzied crowd by encouraging, “Now, we can get through this thing all right. We've, we've got to stick together, though. We've got to have faith in each other.” Imagine that.

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