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Making America Great Again
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What can I say about the recent election that hasn't already been said? There was heady relief, the sense that earth was returning to its customary tilt, ethereal hope.
Many years ago, my brother and I were crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner. (Yes, it was that long ago. Transatlantic flights being in their infancy, people traveled by ship, not as a diversion with frequent stops in touristy ports, but as a means of getting from Point A to Point B, where the real adventure would begin.)
Mid-Atlantic, I awakened one morning in our cramped windowless cabin to an inordinate amount of rockin' and rollin'--and, worse yet, to the barfy sound of seasickness on the other side of the flimsy wall between us and the next cabin.
I've never been prone to motion sickness, but ... it was one of those throw-on-your-clothes and get-out-of-there moments when your stomach, suddenly realizing life was out of control, threatened to join your neighbor's belly's rebellion. "Dave," I said to my sleeping sib, "wake up. We've gotta get out of here."
Gripping the safety rails, we soon lurched our way to the stairs and eventually to the lounge above. There, freed from the sounds of our neighbor and the sensation of blind chaos in the confines below, we sat down in chairs anchored to the floor and took stock of the situation.
Looking outside, from mid-lounge, we would see nothing but sky through the starboard windows and nothing but sea portside until, of course, the views reversed as the ship rolled in the other direction. All the while, we were also pitching fore and aft in a virtual cacophony of motion.
Now, that experience feels like a metaphor for our lives as bit players in Trump's reality show--pitch and roll in the wake of his election, tossed around by one crisis after another, our fates in the hands of forces unseen, and no clear sense of direction.
It seems the perfect proof of Shakespeare's observation that "life ... is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing."
Fortunately, like ships, countries have ballast--the ballast of traditions and history and shared belief in the struggling ship of state. This time, it appears, the center will hold.
But only fools would take this risk again.
November 10, 2020