For me, Christmas is a time of reflection. A time to take stock of the year past, and things I’d like to see changed going forward. Nothing as schlocky as your typical New Year’s resolution, but rather, a refocusing on my family, and pondering what is happening to us as a nation.

Two recent events have brought something into poignant focus: The dedicated progressive left, not just in politics but in the media as well, has turned a corner. This actually occurred some time ago, but knowing something in the abstract is a very different experience from living it, or seeing it played out before your very eyes.

First, there was the Maine Senate District 25 recount.

On Dec. 9, it was found by the Legislature’s Standing Committee on the Senatorial Vote that an error was made by the secretary of state’s office during the Nov. 18 recount, where 21 Long Island ballots for Republican Cathy Manchester were counted twice.

As reported by Mario Moretto of the Bangor Daily News, Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn confirmed that she believed the error took place during the recount, saying, “I’d eat my hat, if I had one.” In other words, holding herself accountable for making a human error.

Moretto’s article went on to describe the angst and stress that individuals involved had gone through, after being accused of ballot tampering. Long Island election warden and Town Clerk Brenda Singo had barely eaten or slept for the two weeks in between the recount and the investigation, according to her husband. But those are just human lives, what do they matter? The left wanted to create the narrative that Republicans had cheated, stuffed the ballot box, or slipped “phantom ballots” into the recount at the last minute.

Manchester, class act that she is, immediately resigned from the Senate when it was finally clear that Breen was the winner. However, the left had handled their “side” of the matter with less than class, from the beginning, going so far as to impugn the integrity of the Maine State Police, who oversaw the security of the ballots, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrong doing. The media ran with this, running a story of conjecture as fact, driving a narrative that fit their political agenda and beliefs.

The other glaring example of pushing a narrative disguised as news was the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by Officer Darren Wilson.

There was no evidence whatsoever that Michael Brown put his hands up in the air and said “don’t shoot.” None. Yet we had NFL football players mimicking this posture, and for the love of God, members of the U.S. Congress taking up this posture on the floor of the House of Representatives and the steps of the Capitol.

Only the members of the grand jury and the people involved that day in Ferguson know the facts of what happened, and they found, based on the evidence, that no charges should have been brought against Wilson. Period. I’m sorry that doesn’t fit Al Sharpton’s 1960s-Tawana Brawley view of the country, but frankly, that’s too bad.

Facts are apparently beside the point to the left. The news media has lost credibility, and is firmly in the tank for all things progressive, and simply cannot be trusted to report the news. Along with their Democrat friends, the media paints a picture of the country that is ugly, so the Democrats can come along and scream “racism!” or “cheaters!” or “victim!” or whatever other narrative fits, so they can be seen as the ones who will do all of the rescuing, and put more power in the hands of the government.

So I will pray for our country this Christmas. While the left is busy creating fictional news, the real events in the big, bad world keep coming: Obama aligning with Cuba, North Korea dictating what movies we watch, Putin sitting on the ticking time bomb that is the Russian economy’s collapse, and terrorism rampant throughout the globe. Not too rosy, but at least it’s real.

May you all be blessed this holiday season.

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Julie McDonald-Smith lives in North Yarmouth. She is a registered nurse, former Capitol Hill staffer, and former chairwoman of the Cape Elizabeth Republican Committee. Her column appears every other week.