Sense from Seattle

Common sense thoughts on life and current affairs by a Seattle area sexagenarian, drawing on personal experience, years of learning as a counselor to thousands of families and an innate passion for informed knowledge, to uniquely express sensible, thoughtful, honest and independent views.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Maxime Absurdum

As a young man following political news and dreaming of making movies, I envisioned a script about a small town where the same two bickering men were perennially running for Mayor but nothing ever improved regardless of which one was elected. One year people decided individually in private to lodge a protest vote for the town Communist who always ran but never got any votes other than his own. When the votes were counted and the Communist actually won, everyone was shocked, most notably the newly elected Mayor. Hollywood made a version of my movie in 1972, The Candidate, with Robert Redford elected as a US Senator. Americans may have just taken the story to maxime absurdum by electing Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Being a few years older than Trump, I have had the misfortune of hearing about him all his public life. Learning early that he was a silver spoon born self-promoting philanderer, I always tried to avoid hearing about him. Through the years, talk of Presidential ambition was obviously a delusion of grandeur so I laughed it off. As his TV show The Apprentice gained fame, I also avoided it; when surfing channels and seeing him with his ridiculous hair pontificating in a board room set, I moved away quickly.

Then as the Presidential campaign started in 2015 and I began watching, here was Trump actually joining the overloaded Republican circus. Like many people I was a bit dumbstruck by what I saw. It was like watching another show I try to avoid on channel surfing, The Jackass Show. Because the Republican Party nomination for the US Presidency was at stake, I followed their quest, hoping to be there when the Jackass Trump splatted. I got up to speed on the Trump background by reading materials on line and in biographies and documentaries. Though I am mercifully skipping details of the campaign here, they may come up in later Sense postings.

Fast forward through the Conventions, the debates, the final campaigns and the related aspects, some of which may also come up in later postings, to election night. Quickly it became clear something was off and then that the unthinkable might be happening. Visions of driving around with a billboard on my car top saying Americans are [expletive deleted] fools, followed by a visceral deflating and then a strange involuntary laugh. Is this what it is like to watch The Jackass Show, seeing someone risk personal safety by doing something dangerously stupid? First the feeling of sickened empathy for the fool and then the laugh at the consequences he brought on himself. But this is not one voluntary jackass; it is our whole country and the world for which we profess to be a shining example.

As the Civil Rights movement was charging forward in the US, white people would often offer an ignorant complement to an impressive black man, "He is a credit to his race." President Obama has been a credit to The United States Presidency, regardless of and because of, his race. This morning President Obama welcomed to the White House for an orientation Donald Trump, a man who appears to be the most unqualified and unfit man ever elected to the office. The two men had never met before. Trump in the picture above seems as shocked and unprepared as the Communist in my script.


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