When Does a New Low Become an Old Worn-Out Low?
When (more than half of) the citizens of America think “Trump,” they often conjure up familiar villains from favorite movies. For awhile there, I felt like I was alone in this perception, having written about a pretty devilishly Trump-like villain myself, a few years back. Yet it wasn’t long into the 2016 election campaign before the new low machine started cranking out lows and voters began comparing him to historical tyrants and movie bad guys. It seemed (to more than half of us) like a sure thing that he’d lose. No problem. Really bad guy.
Problem. He won the title without the dignity, public service experience or anything else that is traditionally expected from the President of the United States of America. Truly a new low. Mr. Potter has taken over the savings and loan and George Bailey got shot in the middle of 5th Avenue. Sid cut off Woody and Buzz’s heads and got the cover of Time Magazine as a reward. (There was one real cover). The little bratty kid in the Twilight Zone has us scared to death, wondering who he will turn into a jack-in-the-box next and then wish away into the cornfield. Biff Tannen is president!
This Time it Isn’t a Movie or a T.V. Show
I miss the days when it was just a T.V. show with a rude, unlikable rich guy saying “You’re FIRED!” once a week. Now I walk around with a constant wish for someone (with the proper collective authority) to say those wonderful words to that unlikable rich guy. When does this madness end?
We write, call and text our Senators and Congresspeople. We march together and hold up signs for justice and the American way. It somehow still does nothing to quell that sick feeling in our guts. When is the new low, low enough to end this idiocy? Well, I am learning some very important things through this political horror movie scenario, not the least of which is that we mustn’t let famn ducking Donald so undeservedly rule our thoughts!
It will be over when it’s over. It’s coming to an inevitable conclusion. But we have to get through the time between now and then without losing ourselves in the Twitter storms and tweetsand that can easily suck us under if we don’t know how to steer clear of obsessing about it. Spiritually sensitive people tend to want to fix things, heal pain and protect the helpless. We genuinely care and we cannot help that. We obsess. It’s what we do.
I’m somewhat of an expert on this subject. Why? Because I’ve been glued to CNN for the past year, even recorded and watched Shepard Smith on Fox to try to be fair, but still felt unbalanced. I’ve tried to wean myself away from any news about the current prez just to try to have a life again. I sometimes go a whole day without watching the “fake news.” But the pain is addictive. I’ve often allowed myself to think that the next “new low” will end this! All of his supporters will open their eyes and puke for days and finally get his lies out of their system. Yeah, I never said I was a realist.
And yet, what is real and what is fake anymore? An unlikable rich guy caring about the forgotten man never seemed plausible to me. A con-man suddenly turning contrite Christian and swearing on the Bible to uphold virtues that he’s spent all of his life tearing down, never seemed real either. If there had been a “come to Jesus” change in language, tone, tweets and general behavior, I would have skeptically been willing to “Give him a chance!” But the “again” thrown onto the red hat slogan thing…that was always very suspicious to me. How could someone wanting to make a fresh start use a campaign slogan that epitomized going in reverse?
So here we are – six years into his first term. Months, whatever. Seems like longer. With all of the warnings unheeded and constant new evidence being unheeded as well (by those who could actually do something immediate about the situation) it’s easy to see (by over half the people in this country) why we could be quite discouraged. The excuse-o-meter is tremendously high! Stunning. Unbelievable. Shocking. Newer low.
And yet – there is something very familiar about this presidicament we find ourselves in now. Remember that emperor with the really baggy – I mean – no clothes? All who wanted to be thought of as wise kept the lie alive, until a little child, innocent and lacking in guile and political prowess, said (in essence) “The dude’s naked!” Where is that little child now? And is that a possible lesson of biblical proportion that could be a key to this whole mess? Who is willing to be honest? That person, we could respect! Oh how we would respect that person! Hint to that person who may be reading this right now.
Until Someone Steps Up
We must hold this truth to be immeasurably self-evident: It never does any good to worry about something that we can do nothing about. Yet it can do worlds of good to keep calm and know that we have survived bad presidents before, maybe not quite this bad, but I digress. We must keep our wits about us through this ordeal. There is a lot to learn as we go. For one thing, I was just relating to a friend today that I have newfound respect and empathy for the people of countries whose leaders do NOT represent their views, ideals, or anything about them, really. We too easily judge a country’s people by its government, lumping them all together as an extension of their leader.
We can learn that there are millions of hearts that beat to a very different drum than the one that the country’s leader may be ineptly attempting to play. Don’t judge a country by its leader. Something worth thinking about, and something I hope the people of other countries will contemplate about us, about now.