The Biggest Loser

toddler

The closer we get to election day, the more candidate Trump morphs from bully to whiner.

My microphone was faulty! The media’s out to get me!

Next will come the crybaby: I was robbed! It was a conspiracy! No fair!

Despite dire predictions of chaos and revolution after the ballot count shows Clinton won, I think it’s safe to say most people just will heave a sigh of relief that it’s over. And some of us won’t be able to resist yelling at the self-proclaimed victim of injustice as he stomps, pouting, out of the schoolyard:

Nyaaa, nyaaa – LOSER!

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Trump’s America: land of the tweet, home of the craven

toddler

The contest this November is between fear and hope.

Those who are fearful of the world, the future, the unfamiliar, of change and of Others have given up on our democracy. They feel (often rightfully so) that they’ve been lied to, cheated and used. They see no security in their futures and don’t believe they can exert any influence over the forces that control their fates.

The hopeful also feel they’ve been lied to, cheated and used, but haven’t given up. They see change as an opportunity instead of a threat, a chance to reinvent themselves and maybe the country for the better. They aren’t looking for scapegoats. They’re willing to take the risks of tolerance and to give up some security to forge a path into the unknown.

One group sees democracy as a zero-sum game whose rules are rigged against them. They think they’re falling behind because Others are getting ahead.

The other group thinks that if everyone follows the rules, nobody will fall too far behind and everybody has a shot at winning.

People in these two groups have one thing in common: they’re all angry with each other. The fearful view the hopeful as dupes who will only bring on more of the same. They want reassurance that somebody powerful will seize control to protect them, and they’re willing to let that person blow the whole country to hell because they believe the system can’t be fixed. They confuse bluster with bravery, bullying with strength and compromise with betrayal.

The hopeful will have to drag the fearful, kicking and screaming, into the future of an imperfect democracy. In this country, we dare to venture forth instead of hunker down, we value liberty over security and we strive to overcome fear with courage.

 

 

Frankentrump’s monster: It’s alive!

 

The Republican Party has created the most oafish presidential nominee ever as surely as Dr. Frankenstein created his monster.

Start with dead ideas and keep digging them up, no matter how rotten: tax breaks for the rich, benefit cuts for the poor;  unlimited campaign funding for corporations, voting restrictions for people. Cobble together with beliefs, not facts.

Stoke the anger of voters by blaming the powerless. Deny reality. Refuse to leave the isolated echo-chamber of angry old white men. Expel those who sound warnings.

Zap the campaign with high-voltage fearmongering and watch this give life to an unnatural creation who appalls and frightens. It’s alive!

Voters naïve enough to go along with this are, like Little Maria, putting themselves in peril. The rest of us hope to kill the monster at the ballot box.

Failing that, we’ll see angry villagers storming the White House, and every other Trump property, with clubs and torches.

Icky Ricky and Which Mitt: A tale of two roosters

Once upon a time, a rooster named Which Mitt decided he would be a better barnyard leader than the Big Owl.

 But Icky Ricky, another rooster, also wanted to be the one in charge.

 They began crowing, loudly and nonstop, to see who had the scariest stories about each other and about Big Owl.

 “Which Mitt isn’t rooster enough to beat Big Owl,” screeched Icky Ricky. “And if Big Owl isn’t knocked off his perch soon, he’ll force every animal to eat broccoli! And he’ll let birds mate with bees! And then he’ll let them kill their offspring!”

 “I’m more rooster than Icky Ricky. My hens have the fanciest nesting boxes in the chicken house,” crowed Which Mitt. “We need to stop wasting feed and vet care on animals who don’t have enough to eat and a warm place to sleep, because if they don’t already have them they probably don’t deserve them.”

 Many of the animals believed the scary stories about Big Owl, but some were a little scared of Icky Ricky too, and a lot of them didn’t trust Which Mitt. They began braying, bleating and yowling: “Oh, what will we do? Who will save us from Big Owl?”

 They finally decided they were more alarmed by Icky Ricky than suspicious of Which Mitt. After that, all the roosters’ scare stories were about Big Owl, and they got scarier and scarier.

 “Big Owl is trying to brainwash your young! He’ll enslave us all!”

 Big Owl won again, mostly because he hadn’t done anything as scary as Which Mitt claimed. Life in the barnyard went on.

 A few of the animals still feared Big Owl, but the ones with bigger brains got tired of hearing the same old stories crowed at them.  

 Some of them began to wonder whether they’d been afraid of the wrong animals. And when the roosters crowed, nobody listened anymore.