Send in the clowns
To the editor:
Why so much unrest and such turmoil? Why so little trust in one another? Why such widespread angst? Why the quick retreat into warring factions?
History teaches us that humans don’t respond well to being rendered increasingly irrelevant. Post WWI German economic despair provided a fertile ground for a propagandist named Hitler to fabricate a mythical legend about a superior race being oppressed by genetically inferior Jews. As a result, six million people died.
Many Americans are feeling increasingly irrelevant these days. Unlike their parents’ generation, many Americans see their jobs increasingly going overseas, their kids’ future prospects deteriorating along with any hope for a better future. Americans, like those post WWI Germans, don’t respond well to being overlooked.
Enter Donald Trump. Personable. Funny. Rhetorical skills honed in business and on reality TV. So who would the boogeymen be this time around? How about Blacks, illegal immigrants, and a cult of liberals operating out of pizza restaurants who eat babies? Wait, what?
All was going to plan until the pandemic threw a wrench into the billionaire-cabal’s plan to explode the national deficit by slashing the tax rates of the wealthy while throwing crumbs to the ever-grateful base.
Suddenly, fast-talking was insufficient; action was required to counter the waves of increasing devastation being wreaked by the unrelenting virus. You might hoodwink your disillusioned followers with “rounding the corner” allusions, but the virus persists.
The curtain revealing the weakness of Oz was raised highest the day Trump suggested, in public, on television, that drinking disinfectant or implanting bright lights might defeat the virus. Maybe that’s why, mercifully, there’s no carnival barkers in scientific labs.
And, like post WWII Germany, we are left to deal with the destruction and despair that results from falling under the spell of a skilled manipulator who tapped into our personal fears and overpowered our better angels. As before, it may take generations to find a way forward; a way more resistant to the wiles of deceit; a way more faithful to an American dream that includes all who call this land home.
Oh, and representatives Bergman, Markkanen, LaFave, Cambensy, and McBroom, there’s only one ringmaster at the circus. The rest are clowns.
While we’re busy sniping at each other. Our true adversaries, enemies of democracy, are taking comfort and gaining strength. May this last best hope on earth endure.