These are tough times for those of us who actually kinda, you know, liked America the way it was pre-2009 and didn’t fancy seeing it fundamentally transformed, as President Obama promised.  Alas, he’s kept his promise.

Professor Jacobson has been steadfast in refusing to capitulate.

I have not given in to all the doom and gloom, although it’s hard not to.  There is a deliberate effort to declare the Republican Party, conservatives, and the Tea Party movement over.  Operation Demoralize never stops.

Yes, demoralization is like rust. So how do we respond?

It is an oddity of English that moralize is not the opposite of demoralize.  The opposite of demoralize is inspire.

As tempting as it is sometimes to compare our inept and feckless Republican leaders to Marshal Pétain and his Vichy toadies, that only highlights how unwarranted the demoralization is.

Because for all our despair and disappointment, life in America 2013 is hardly comparable to life in Casablanca 1942.  Those who were caught in hegemonic limbo never knew whether today was the day they’d be rounded up as one of the “usual suspects” and pay the ultimate price as an enemy of the German state.

Yet even while the movie Casablanca was being shot through the summer of ’42, the Allied invasion of North Africa was being plotted, culminating that November in Morocco’s liberation.

So here, be inspired.  And sing loud—louder than they do.  We’re all Victor Laszlo now.

(By the way, today is the 70th anniversary of Casablanca’s release.)