We’ve been holding back, holding off, holding down our increasing anger and shame at this administration.
First, we have no idea of what its goals are, or its direction.
Second, its personnel selections are so outrageous we haven’t even the breath to shout back.
Third, its actions are so dispiriting we couldn’t think that any words of caution or warning of retribution or shouts of dismay would make any difference.
Four, to make a list of egregious and harmful (to the entire country) decisions, whether executive orders or “guidance” from cabinet members is such an act of masochism that we haven’t the heart for it.
Fifth, our patience with Congress, especially with Republicans who seem in every way to favor their party and its leader over the good of the country, would have been completely exhausted but for the fact that Congress is so busy taking holidays, therefore eluding criticism of its attention to the barbarity of their president.
So we hold our tongue. One might also say that as long as the President is getting away with murder, why interrupt him?
Then we heard a commentator suggest something that – at first – seemed to be hilariously funny until we realized it wasn’t funny, it was horrifying.
In a panel discussion on cable, the afore-mentioned commentator said, in effect, this: Suppose Donald Trump is playing to an audience of one: his mirror?
How should a military leader look or carry himself?
How should he greet foreign visitors?
How should his facial expressions alter or form when he’s discussing “topics” about which he seems to know nothing?
We picture him standing before a full-length mirror – except for those “close-ups” for cable – practicing reactions, giving directions, greeting, deplaning from his helicopter, wearing NFL sweatshirts, shaking hands (how he’s practiced that!), handing off fountain pens after “signing” executive orders to his friends and supporters.
In short, Donald Trump is performing. For Donald Trump. He’s dressing up like a toddler and learning to emulate his betters.
There is no national or international goal in sight that would benefit either us or our allies. It’s all make-believe. Posture. Grimace. Tone of voice. Waving, hands and arms. Thumbs up, perhaps the least meaningful gesture in all of American politics and the one most misinterpreted. Also the one he wants people to use as they salute him. Mike Pence does. A salute from this president as he gets off a plane in response to the real salutes by military forces and guards is a travesty.
There are two obstacles to this man’s political – domestic and international – success. They are intimately related. And they are NOT being explained, investigated, sorted out by Congress, which wants to touch neither of them. We’re not even sure the FBI is toying with solving these puzzles.
Did the incoming Trump administration cooperate with the Russians in besting Mrs. Clinton at the polls?
Must we linger in darkness over the long-awaited tax returns which will help to explain, we fear, in what directions our foreign policy is going? I.e., what is good for the Donald is good for the nation. Which is BS.
Should these two mazes be successfully traveled, we might have a chance at legitimacy.
Congress cannot claim to be filled with profiles in Courage, if we could find it. Individual members still pretend to be busy and involved, but with what we don’t know. It’s not health care or tax reform. It has nothing to do with assisting Native Americans enjoy the same privileges the rest of the country does. Coal is anathema to the left, abortion to the right. Planned Parenthood is a football. Money for research and development is cut from department budgets; so is the truth. Energy development and science have been tarred and feathered and run out of town.
All that seems to matter is the ceaseless flowing of income to the President, his family and friends. Ethics is a word excised from the dictionary.
One might detect a sense of disappointment in this column. The greater disappointment is the refusal of Trump’s legions to understand they’re being sent into the Roman arena to do battle for their lives against hungry, insatiable lions who might – should they be anthropomorphic – be completely happy to take whatever small savings and pleasures their legions have left and swallow them, too.
But really, all those lions have left to do is wait. The fading of clean air, water, workplace safety, meaningful education, scientific progress against disease and disability will do the job for them.
Meanwhile, Our Leader is practicing facial expressions to fit the ever-changing conditions of his position. Our bet is that there isn’t a mirror in the White House the President hasn’t stopped before to admire his posture, his clothing, his ruddy complexion.
We have but one hope. That millions of someones will continue to take to the streets, peaceably, and somehow be able to break into the President’s consciousness to tell him we no longer care about his coiffure, or his golf game, or the number of family members on his payroll.
In fact, while Trumpies have been accused of being radical in their desire to “return to the good old days,” it’s the rest of us who now long to return to the good old days – when after World War II the nation united to educate, build, prosper amid honesty and bipartisanship. “Fake news” is concocted by “fake people.”
We ache for the real thing.