The Plagued Parent

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Raging Into This Brave New World

My wife and I were having lunch at a restaurant in Mohican Sun Casino as they swore Trump in. The images seemed surreal, his speech unreal. For me the scene fit because casinos are the epitome of surreality with their absence of light, their carnival-like sounds and colors surrounding the bent denizens hunched over flicking buttons with efficient poise as if willing themselves to become one with their slot machines — it’s like a scene out of the Matrix.

The inauguration of Trump is also the epitome of a high stakes wager none of us can afford to lose. Watching the bloated clown with his best “Il Duce” face filled me with more dread than hope — honestly I am certain he dons that scowl to appear serious and dignified but to me he simply looks dictatorial. Thankfully, we could not hear any of his speech, but later when we got home I could not resist the gravitational pull of the internet’s analysis of the moment.

What struck me most has already been noted. The speech lacked any meaningful efforts at consensus building and maintained a Trumpian outlook of the country that remains apocolyptic — welcome to the Thunderdome Mad Max.  Rather than reinforce any sense of post-election reconciliation, Trump deepened divisions and burnished his belief in the dystopian horror that is, in his twisted squirrel brain, America.

Within hours of assuming the presidency, Mr. Trump’s White House webmaster conformed their webpage to reflect his organization’s “truthful hyperbole”. Gone was any mention of the need to battle climate change, maintain LGBT rights, or equal rights and pay for women and minorities. All remnants of his predecessor’s agenda were replaced with the fanciful notions of an US first attitude, rhetoric about propping up our incredibly weak military, insistence on drilling on federally owned lands and mining more coal, and establishing a police state with the help of a federal nanny. Oh, and coming soon there will be links to his wife’s clothing and jewelry lines on QVC.

What a brave new world that has such people in it…

Who are these people anyway?

New York Trump ProtestsOn inauguration eve 20,000 plus packed Columbus Circle in New York to protest and vowed they would not look away, would not go away and they would not tire as Michael Moore implored everyone to form a “comedy army” in order to prick deeply into the thin skinned facade of our “great” leader-to-be.

I took some heart in this, but remember power had not transitioned yet. I took heart with the hope that perhaps we’d collectively emerge from our complacent cocoons and speak truth-to-power reminding that we are watching the watchmen. Maybe this is the upside to having a neo-facist being inaugurated — the veils lift and cobwebs fall.

In the days following January 20th, I scratched my head wondering how much worry I should engage in. Viewing clip after clip online from these past several days, Trump signs a law here and an executive order there as if he’s some kind of automaton, an awkward and jerky corpse, or a would be deer in the proverbial headlights. To be fair, I’m sure the job can be overwhelming at first but Trump’s eyes lack the enthusiasm of a activist, of a public servant, of a, well, politician.

To me this is not a good thing.

Most politicians, even the most cynical, jaded and corrupt among them have some record of service. This man has none. Fundraising alone doesn’t count, since most reporting during the campaign revealed Trump’s fundraising was apparently done out of self-interest and may certainly have violated the law. But we’ll never know since his taxes will be perpetually off-limits. He serves only himself and his name.

The emperor has no clothes, and he doesn’t understand why he’s cold…

He can’t even admit that it rained the day he spoke the oath. Saturday, in front of a wall bearing stars honoring those who died in service of the truth he lied about the weather and about audience attendance. Both verifiable; both bold faced mistruths or as he likes to call them “truthful hyperbole”. His press secretary doubled-down on this in a White House press briefing, or should I say tantrum.

words to live byThis is where we are now. I guess my worry is greater than at first appeared, like the logo on a coffee mug sitting in my cabinet “Keep Calm and Carry On”. The slogan worked well for the Brits as the Nazi’s bombed them, but what about this racist? Will this slogan serve us as well?

If this new world we emerge into is not itself a brave one, it will certainly take bravery to withstand it.

You can see this bravery in the Women’s Marches that took place worldwide this past weekend. Many say it was the largest public demonstration the United States has ever seen, ever. Period. Let’s see the orangutan-in-chief spin that one.

Brave women, strong women sending a global message. They walked point on this one. The tip of the spear marching down mainstream daring the chief executive to grab them with his slippery paws.

Trump has no mandate and this movement of his pales in comparison.

Yes, it is a brave new world with newfound bravery that transcends mere hubris.

Yes, it is a brave new world with such people willing to stand in the cold, walk in the streets, suffer the rain and raise their voices.

Citizens practicing citizenship…

While I am not certain that he meant it to be so, but I am reminded of Dylan Thomas’ poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Try and Trump that.

So, blessings on those brave ones who refuse going gently into either day or night and may they rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Woman’s March, 22 Jan 2017 in Washington, D.C.

 

Updated: January 24, 2017 — 10:55 am

8 Comments

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  1. Totally concur with you. The latest news about his attempt to silence government workers, is an attempt to deny our First Amendment rights. First Amendment: Freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the press, the right to assemble, the right to petition government.

    I guess people have not paid attention to World History, nor even reflected on American past to know where we are going. I was overjoyed at our progress to elect Obama, as he was a person of color, educated, honest and had emotional awareness, internal and external consistency, and deep Christian values.

    To me, Mr. Trump must appeal to baser instincts: selfishness, greed, money is everything, etc. His disrespect of women speaks volumes even of his own wives. Everything to him is a commodity to be advertised, used as needed, sold, and then discarded. No recycling in his home!! You dont meet expectations “You’re fired!”

    But then again, hate to be a cynic but do people really look for real value in a person?

    1. Thank you Jackie for weighing in. My turn to agree with your though provoking reply. It pretty much sums up where we find ourselves at this particular moment. I certainly don’t think you’re being cynical with your final question — unfortunately, you’re calling it like you see it.

  2. On the day of the Inauguration, I was in Foxwoods! There is a Twitter account that retweets people’s regrets at voting for Trump (@Trump_Regrets) but the sad thing about it is most people are tweeting their regrets now, after the Muslim ban. Are you serious….did you not hear him say that he would ban Muslims?

    1. Selective deafness. Anyone who did not vote for Trump kinda figured out what he was all about. By the time everyone else wakes up to what’s been done it will be too late. “Be careful what you wish for,” rings true I’m afraid… Guess we’ll have to see…

  3. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night is such a beautiful poem. I would not have considered it, but its meaning can be adapted well for this context.

    He does very much put me in mind of Mussolini. The ideologies of his cronies and the behaviours being displayed, the actions taken, definitely are reminiscent of the Nazi rise. But he personally makes me think of Mussolini.

    1. I’ve seen much written over the past week or so pushing the word “autocracy” rather than dictator or fascist. Either way, all three words make me nervous that they are even part of the public discourse — and America is not alone in this.

  4. I have poured over that poem since the election. I will not go gently, I am raging.

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