People tell me that America is broken and that I am part of the problem because I rail against a president they say loves our country.
Sometimes I tell them he loves the country the way an abusive husband loves his wife. There are tender words until she upsets him and then the beating starts.
They say that is unfair and I am unreasonable for not understanding his words and then they interpret them for me.
“If he is so good, so smart and so amazing I should be able to understand what he means without you explaining it shouldn’t I.”
It isn’t a question and we both know it. Sometimes they sputter some excuse and sometimes they are silent.
Very rarely they say may I am right and that I ought to just listen to what he says and what he does.
Sometimes I look at them and say it is very different when your woman says she wants to be manhandled and that she is up for something rougher than when you try to throw your weight around.
You can’t go to that other place without trust. This president never tries to build trust. He demands loyalty and that you do things his way.
Doing otherwise brings attacks, threats and punishment. Tell me that is not abusive.
We talk and I ask if it doesn’t worry them to hear that people talk about sailing away from America and not to.
“I think you are exaggerating and that you’re talking about people who hate him so much they cannot see the good he has done.”
I pause and ask them to consider a few things.
“He is supported by people who are pushing crazy conspiracy theories about the illuminati, pedophiles and some other crazy shit. He retweets some of that. Some of those wack jobs fall into the white supremacists you say he disavowed.
In one breath he claims to be for all people and in the next he pushes conspiracy theories about murder, says everyone who opposes him is a radical and horrible person followed by threats of using the military on US citizens.
That doesn’t sound like a democracy. That doesn’t sound like someone who is interested in building bridges and compromising.”
They tell me again I just don’t get it and blame the media.
I ask them to take their blinders off and to stop making excuses because unemployment is at record levels, we got hammered by a pandemic he refused to take seriously, he got impeached for soliciting foreign governments to attack political rivals and that doesn’t count 10,000 other things he did.
“Josh, I still think you are being unfair.”
“And I think it is unfair that so many of his minions say he can do no wrong and that he always blames others for anything he thinks is negative. It is not fake news because you don’t like it. I can’t say that I actually have a full head of hair just because I prefer it to the reality.
I don’t respect people who don’t own their shit and can’t ever admit to doing wrong.
There are better writers than I.
People who can weave a multilayered tapestry of sight, sounds and ideas with words that make the reader wish there was more.
Sometimes I think about headlines like the one I used here and wonder if I ought to spend more time working upon and polishing what fills these pages because it better lends itself to discovery and credibility.
Tonight I am more interested in just writing than wondering or worrying about who might read this and what they might think.
Better to look for a light in the darkness and remind myself and others that our pal Ralph Waldo Emerson says when it is dark enough you see the stars.
That even in my thirties when I thought I knew so much about life I learned there were people and experiences who could turn it upside down and inside out in the best and most unforgettable ways.
And that I can still see the tail of the comet that shot across that evening sky even today and that if I inhale deeply smell the moments and memories.
Some of those from the past, some from the present and a hint that suggests maybe a scent from the future.
I look out my window and think about a gigantic project, the biggest I have had occasion to be a part of and smile because I am this close to turning it from a maybe into something tangible.
That is invaluable to me as it is a useful reminder that I have capabilities I haven’t really tapped into and am just starting to explore.
It is useful for an almost middle aged man to feel such things.