I’ll admit it—I’m mesmerized.
Like a deviant caught staring at a disgusting video, I’m drawn to this unproductive, dramatic, often calamitous, national spectacle. To Trump.
Utterly spellbound, I can’t look away.
Since childhood, I’ve immersed myself in books, always those which were exciting . . . almost all focused on the human condition, full of conflict and drama. In every case I couldn’t stop reading, couldn’t turn away until I saw how the story ended. To me, as a child stuck on an isolated, heavily-forested ranch, those books were more compelling than my everyday life . . . because how breathless can a child remain over a lot of beautiful but quiescent spruce, fir, and pine trees?
Now, as an adult, I’m once more caught up in an ongoing drama. But this one is real. This one matters. In some ways my well-being depends on how it ends. (Will I continue breathing clean air, drinking pure water?) And so do the lives, most of them more intently than mine, of millions of others. To these millions the story’s ending will determine their ability to make a living, the nature, good or bad, of their social interactions, and most assuredly, their level of healthcare. At the fingertips of an unpredictable narcissist lie decisions which can determine how long most Americans will live.
It gets worse: the whims of an ignoramus may affect the very survival of our planet.
From the story’s start I was both amazed and repulsed . . . that so many Americans were taking seriously a possible leader who reviled the press and all his opponents, who lied in every speech, and who possessed zero qualifications.
Once elected, his goal was narrow, disingenuous, and dangerous: because they weren’t his ideas, he vowed to undo every beneficial ruling made by his predecessor—and also to appoint leaders who would destroy the very bureaus they were chosen to lead. Scott Pruitt, of EPA, once sued to rescind all efforts to curtail environmental pollutants. Now as leader, he tries to unravel every beneficial rule. Betsy DeVos not only knows little about public schools, she heavily favors charters. Now she heads the Department of Education.
On a continuous basis, Trump has cancelled Federal support for the Arts, for programs like Head Start, for Teen Pregnancy Prevention, for Hate Group Opposition, for International Family Planning, for Investigative Science. Forget big pharma: Only government scientists like those in the CDC and NIH, have the resources and the will to unlock the antibiotic that will curb the latest, uncontrollable pathogen. (A micro-organism, by the way, that threatens to go on a world-wide killing spree.)
Look around: if the cause is exemplary, Trump has taken away its funding.
So of course I’m watching, day by day. Reading everything. Listening to all the words, Tamping down fear.
Who can look away for a moment—who can fail to hope the story ends the way it should. That this . . . well, this unglued failure of a man continues his steady deterioration. That he becomes so unthinkable, so lost in his own ego, that he, or others, will ensure that he disappears from the White House forever.
Only then will America return to a government that is rational, objective, and qualified.