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.
(Below is a partial quote from the movie “The American President,” 1995. Written by Aaron Sorkin.)
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.”
I’ll “dumb this down.” Have the depth and decency to allow that others may disagree with you and accept that they may feel just as passionate about their opinions as you do about yours.
Rule of Thumb: If your goal is to effect real change while respecting the opinions of others; steam on. If your goal is to make your point on TV through violence or to get your “15 minutes of Fame,” please do us the courtesy of at least carrying pocket change.