The shower is my sanctuary. Its glass walls providing a steamy blackboard where the problems of the world are examined, tested and solved. My mind drifts wildly as the warm water pours across my shoulders, washing life’s drama into the basin, where I watch it splash and swirl before it flows into the drain. I am at peace.
Suddenly, I’m jolted back to reality by a vindictive mind who insists on keeping my tension level in an elevated state.
Vivid pictures of Chuck Schumer come splashing across, taking a once peaceful and bare mental canvas and changing it into a Jackson Pollack painting, full of anger and frustration. I am forced to endure, again, the media clip of his response to the President, who, for whatever reason, capitulated and reopened the government. Schumer, as usual, is arrogant and overflowing with hubris, as if he, alone, brought trump to his knees with only a chair and a bullwhip. I loathe this man, from the tone of his voice to the way that he peers at the world over the top of his glasses. Like a snake in the grass, he stays hidden from the public’s eye until the moment is right, and then rises from the swamp, assaulting my ears with the sound of his voice.
I’m now forced to add cold water to my shower as the temperature has become unbearable. My sadistic mind then drags out Nancy Pelosi’s latest media clip and my blood, again, readies to boil; but, oddly, it doesn’t.
I begin to regain some semblance of peace as an unknown force seems to be washing away the paint splattered canvas as one washes away sludge from the bottom of a shoe. My mental canvas, while not perfect, is at least bare again. As the fog of frustration lifts, I begin to wonder why I feel so differently about the two.
Is she less evil than him? Is she evil at all? Maybe, neither are evil.
The difference bothers me. They SHOULD be the same; cut from the same wretched bolt of cloth. But…they’re not. I search for answers as pictures begin forming on the glass. A column comparison is made, they are the same. Yet, they’re not. It then occurs to me that somehow, my mind has not placed Trump center stage. He has said things far worse than the other two. But, wait, he hasn’t. Why has my mind neglected to add Trump to today’s presentation? There are also plenty of right-wing religious conservatives that should be joining this vaudeville act too; where are they?
More cold water, more drawings, more…then the answer appears. They ARE the same! They ARE cut from the same cloth. I need to lower my expectations. They’ve all been saying the same thing but using different words and behaviors. Schumer says one thing and his body language fills in the gaps. Pelosi says very little but makes up for it by what she DOESN’T say. Trump says it all and you don’t even see his body language, because your eyes can’t stop staring at his mouth. But they are all saying the same thing; I’m right, you’re wrong and I’m not going to bend. So much for coalition building.
I search the shower glass for a time in history when we’ve had so many bad actors, all pursuing their own personal agenda, at the same time. The wall is empty and reveals nothing. Politics, past and present are filled with small people with big ideas and all standing with their hand out. Each, essentially, has been reduced to that of a lobbyist for their micro-cause.
My expectations when I vote are, apparently, also too high. I’m hoping for an Abraham Lincoln, either Roosevelt or a Ronald Reagan, but instead we get The Big Lebowski. I know “the Dude abides” but I was aiming just a bit higher.
The tragic part is that if, like the mythical Hydra, we chop off one head, two others grow back and they’re usually worse than the original. So, we’re essentially stuck with them.
The election of Donald Trump was a paradigm shift for the U.S.A. I would have said “for America” or “for the American’s” but apparently that would be inaccurate as “America” is just a land mass and “for the American’s” might leave someone feeling excluded. (He says sarcastically).
Anyways, we came too far too fast with President Trump. The world didn’t like it and, it seems, that everywhere north and south of the USA, didn’t either. Since their opinion now seems to matter, we’re looking at a whole new ballgame.
In fairness, politics was in desperate need of a change. A S-L-O-W one though. With the election of Trump, the hard-right, feeling that their time was finally at hand, oozed out of the slime and clogged the plumbing of the Republican party, effectively rendering it impotent and unable to rise to the occasion; that being the first half of the new Presidency. The average voter (whoever that is) prefers that the pendulum stays closer to the middle.
Politics will never be the same again. This hard-right pendulum swing has opened a Pandora’s box and a whole new batch of hard-left crackpots have come crawling out (think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).
By electing Trump and drastically changing the status quo, these people, who would normally be just be a bug stain on the windshield, now have an audience and are considered somewhat legitimate; somewhat.
Today, this country is a mess. We agree on nothing, we accomplish nothing, and we are gridlocked. When you deviate too far from the mean, the edges suddenly become relevant.
Normally, the edges are kept in check by the mean, but our world has become constipated. What goes in, must come out, and in 2016, the world uncrossed its legs and took a big crap on the White House lawn. But instead of springing forth flowers, out sprung the “new “politician, spreading seeds of discontent across the country. While each one is different from the last generation, they all remain cut from the same cloth.
In retrospect, I should have voted for Hillary Clinton. My arm would have probably fallen off as I checked the box, but the status quo would have remained the same, and the edges would have remained in the edges.
If the 2016 election taught me anything, its to stick with the devil you know.
With the hot water now gone, it’s time to get out of the shower, put on my rose colored glasses and face the world.
Welcome to the new mean.
In the early 1900’s, George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This aphorism is, arguably, one of the most important sentences ever written. It reminds us that history has an ugly habit of repeating itself.
Today, we appear hellbent on removing anything from our history that might be offensive or insulting. Our society has gone to great lengths to either ban or demonize examples of the Civil War, the Swastika, Communism, KKK and the like.
We have also banned “offensive” words and ideas, labeling them as “hate speech.” The media has made sure that every unpopular utterance faces the court of public opinion and then it forms a panel to debate the results.
We are “sanitizing” ourselves to death; literally.
These words, statues, monuments and groups represent our past; good, bad whatever. The emotions that they evoke are different for each viewer, ranging from indifferent to horrified. Whether we like it or not; It’s us.
We need to stop hiding from these “symbols” and embrace the lesson. Yes, I said embrace. We should replace the objects that were taken down and talk about them with our children.
They need to see and hear ALL of the details of the civil war, of slavery and victory; everything. If a Klan rally is nearby, they should see that too. The speakers, the hoods and the protesters.
Show the children the face of evil and what it sounds like. Let them hear the bygone words of those that supported slavery as well as those who stood opposed. Let them see and hear the voices of hate spoken by today’s members of white pride. Let them hear the sounds of wisdom and peace in the soothing words of Martin Luther King.
When we remove a monument, silence a dissenter or sanitize the details of our past, we are depriving our children of history’s crucial lessons. In addition, we are also failing to adequately prepare them for an uncertain future.
Our children must be shown the whole truth, including all of it’s ugliness. History has exacted a high price from humanity in hopes that future generations may benefit from the painful lessons learned.
The most dangerous people are the ones who say nothing. They do not brag, they do not make threats and they do not seek attention. They know what they want, they know how to get it and they see no advantage or benefit in discussing it.
I do not respect the person who tells you what they would or would not do if faced with ‘X’. Their words ring hollow. I respect the person that upon ‘X’ happening, quietly rises and “does.”
I don’t care what you think, I care about what you do.