History & Culture / Opinion / Politics

The Power of Humor

humorWhen a society loses its sense of humor – and it can – things go dark. We are at that moment, need to keep our humor. In tough times, WWII, Great Depression, Soviet rule, hope got elusive, no light at midnight. Troubles dogged everyone. Losing them was like losing a shadow. In such times, humor preserves humanity, captures reality, stirs fight, soothes the soul, saves the day. Even if we are not in those times today, humor matters. 

Ronald Reagan used to retell jokes crafted by beleaguered Russians. They knew their government and wanted change. In time, they got it. During martial law in Poland, last days of Soviet rule, jokes – containing truth – abounded. Hearing them lifted hearts, shined a light, and mocked the censors. 

Three dogs, one American, one Polish, one Soviet, exchanging views. “In America, you bark, and they bring meat,” said the American dog. “What is meat?” asked the Pole. “What is bark?” asked the Soviet dog. Bingo!    

Dissidents decried the failed Soviet Socialist economy, overcentralized, dysfunctional – the private sector suppressed. Another: A Soviet citizen needed a drier, so put money down and asked for a delivery date. The Government told him it would be in ten years, on a Thursday. The fellow asked, “morning or afternoon?” “What does it matter?” said the Government. 

“Well, the washing machine is coming in the morning,” said the citizen. Humor mocking Communism. 

So, humor matters, spits in the eye of adversity and censor, plus keeps us sane. We need to value laughter, call absurd things absurd. If we lose this ability, a knack for laughing at ourselves and the government, we lose strength. Humor corrects what is intolerably wrong – by lampooning it. 

That is why the oppression machine hates humor – because there is no response. Humor cuts too quickly make an insulated bureaucrat and arrogant politician uncomfortable. It puts light in dark corners, scattering what lives there. That, of course, is the other great value – humor helps put things right, fortifies those who know wrong-is-wrong, and gives teeth and bite to liberty. 

Putting a finer a point on it, the radical left is humorless – because they know they are wrong, imposing what they have no right to, taking and spending what is not theirs, lecturing from elected and appointed posts and monopoly positions. In time, they are reachable, can be held accountable, are not beyond rebuke, will answer for excess. Humor gets the process going.   

Moreover, good people lift each other in adversity – like when “woke folks” try to silence honest dissent. Humor lightens the load, reaffirms the grip, validates, and helps right the ship. 

Gradually, thoughtful Americans are discovering the power of humor. And just in time. Whether about the Chinese pandemic, lockdowns, political clowns, crazy legislation, Biden’s mental health, or the Democrats’ rash grab for power, jokes are starting to surface and get retold. 

This has the left worried. Their humorless treatment of a humorless president is catching up with them. Stupidities of the moment, a standing Army in Washington, trillion-dollar bills, stumbling internationally, censoring average people, banning children’s books, bumbling at microphones, are making radical Democrats and media pals the butt of underground humor.  

How revealing that the Washington Post, last week, bemoaned their humorless president. 

“The first crisis of the Biden administration could be looming: America may have a president, the first in generations, who is impervious to impressionists.” Hardly. Their lackluster leader is an empty suit, legislation an abomination, claims of mandate, bipartisanship, and unity pure fraud. 

The radical left’s disrespect for traditional American values, individual rights, love of light – free speech, worship, assembly, gun ownership, election integrity, real borders, rule of law, police officers, human biology, right to work laws, and States’ rights – are motivating people to fight – and laugh. Radicals cannot joke about their run-amuck agenda, which why Americans must.  

Ronald Reagan was a great leader, not just for shining levity’s bright light on Soviet illegitimacy, elevating human dignity, defending freedom, and calling out government overreach – but because he understood the humor. Humor shames the shameless, embarrasses the arrogant, levels the playing field, and tells you something about the teller.  

So, humor is a tool and tonic we cannot lose. Reagan’s strength – for all the world to see – was as much in his self-deprecating jokes as those he told to unseat Communism. He poked at his age, Hollywood background, Irish roots – and we loved it. He was not above celebrating the foibles of the common man, and freedom in the common man’s hands. 

On his last trip, conveniently to Ireland, he walked a Reagan Clan cemetery. Retelling the story, he came upon a stone that read, “Where you are now, so once was I; where I am now, so too you’ll be, so be content to follow me.” Reagan laughed aloud, saying that was too much for some Irishman, who scratched below: “To follow you I am content, just wish I knew which way you went!” We are all human, and humor makes the point. Humor lightens the heart and – in dark days – preserves us. Let us not forget. Humor, parody, satire, and whimsy have power. 

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7 months ago

“The kind of weapons we should carry!”
Sister Deena had just returned home from Sunday evening service when she was startled
by a burglar. With great biblical authority she yelled, “Stop! Acts 2:38!” which implies “Turn
from your sin.”
The thief stopped dead in his tracks. Then the woman calmly called the police and explained
what she had done.
As the officer cuffed the man, he asked the burglar, “Why did you stop your burgling? All the
old lady did was yell a Bible verse at you.”
“Bible verse?” replied the crook. “She said she had an ax and two .38s!”

(just had to share some humor!!)

7 months ago
Reply to  Ellen

Lol! Good one. Yes, it kind of tells you what really gets the attention of criminals (and politicians of all strips) out there. You can shout all the Bible verses you want at someone breaking into your house intent on robbing you or doing you harm, but you better have the actual means to stop them in their tracks to back it all up. Otherwise your story would have had a much different ending for Sister Deena.

7 months ago

Name one current Republican VIP who has a sense of humor. Let’s start with tRump? His idea of humor is to insult others. NOT FUNNY!

And so it goes…

7 months ago

Nice retrospective article on the contrast between the time of Reagan and the current time of Biden. Regan’s shining city on a hill filled with an optimism for the future versus Biden’s dark winter promising only pain, misery and a declining American future filled with political correctness out of control. What a contrast of both the times and of the two men.

In Reagan’s time, the people of the United States had just survived the Carter years that highlighted just how bad ineptitude and incompetence could demoralize and harm our nation physically. People wanted more than just a return to pretty speeches and empty promises. They wanted real positive change, which is what Reagan delivered despite the resistance from both the MSM and most of the politicians in Washington, D.C.. It was a constant fight for Reagan to get anything done, because he faced non-stop attacks from the MSM, the Democrats and many members of his own Republican party, who wanted a more “go along to get along” POTUS. Yet by going directly to the people, he forced D.C. to pass at least some of his more important changes that benefited the country for nearly two decades.

Now in Biden’s time, we have just deposed a POTUS that stood for many of the same things that Reagan stood for and who accomplished literally dozens of positive changes for the American people. We replaced him with one of the most unaccomplished career politicians of the last half century. A person who not only proved for 47 years that he could be wrong on almost every issue, but who now suffers from early to mid stage dementia and has to be shielded from interaction with the public. A man now promising to undo virtually everything positive that has been done to correct for the 8 disastrous years of the Obama administration that he was an integral part of.

Talk about a contrast indeed. We’ve gone from a shining example of what can be achieved with the right leadership, policies and mindset to a country that today is viewed by most of our allies as a cross between a laughing stock and nation seeking to destroy itself by enacting every bad policy as quickly as possible. At least President Xi and the CCP are enjoying the show.

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