By Christopher Ryan
I agree with the often expressed notion that it shouldn’t be this hard to talk about things. But it is. Let’s talk anyway.
Somebody declared his intention to run for the office of the President of these United States last night despite his party basically saying, “No! No! Please! No!”
And despite two impeachments and a staggering number of state and federal investigations focusing on his alleged criminal offenses.
And despite the fact that, on Election Day, America rejected all of his top candidates.
None of that seemed to matter to him.
At least the Once And Future Candidate didn’t seem that thrilled. Gone was the swagger and sarcasm. Instead, he stood there, a bizarrely face-painted grouch in an ill-fitting suit, seeming to be baffled that he didn’t already have what he had pissed away because he couldn’t help himself.
Just being honest, folks. If this guy hadn’t been so extreme he probably would have been re-elected. But it just isn’t in him to care about anything but himself for deeply embedded reasons best examined in Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman.
To give grudging credit to The Grump Who Stole America, he did attempt to use his “I’m a serious world leader” voice for as long as he could.
It didn’t last.
The I’m-being-forced-to-behave chastened boy part of him gave way to his complainer-in-chief persona and the “third time’s the charm” announcement devolved into the tired schtick of an unfunny stand-up.
Incredibly, the suspected chief architect of the January 6th insurrection stood before America and said, “I’m a victim.”
This happened after an Election Day that, if we’re being honest, surprised Republicans, Democrats, journalists, pundits, and voters alike.
The Red Tsunami turned out to be a trickle, at least in part because Gen Z got out of bed in impressive numbers, lowered their phones, and voted. Nobody saw that coming.
Now that’s a response to WTF.
And it seems that non-radicalized Americans of both parties also deserve credit for coming out and voting to calm the country down.
Maybe a majority of us realize we want to move on from “Accusation America”. As the saying goes, we don’t have to agree on all things as long as we agree on one thing – that America is worth the debate.
That is another great answer to WTF.
Meanwhile, the 24-hour news outlets covered the Least Desired Political News of The Decade as they have for the last seven years. They analyzed it, discussed it, debated it, detested or celebrated it, doing whatever they thought would bring in ratings because they are a huge part of the problem.
Their justification seems to be that everyone else is “reporting” it, so they must as well. That thinking contributed to national madness, and deep in their hearts they know it. Spending no more than one minute an hour on The Mouth That Roared would suffice, unless advertising dollars and ratings mean more than the well-being of a nation.
Please understand, I love Journalism. But it has become a cancer second only to our uncaring government.
Having news everywhere all the time is like your Aunt Constance, who lives for gossip and picks at it and picks at it throughout Thanksgiving dinner until your cousins are brawling and Uncle Charlie mushes Aunt Beatrice in the face with the cranberry sauce.
None of us need this. There must be a better way.
And I’ll admit I don’t have concrete answers. Just dreams. But that’s the Idea of America, isn’t it? That anyone, from anywhere, of any color, ethnicity, religion, or gender, can come here, dream big, work hard, and contribute to this grand tapestry on their own terms.
That’s the Idea of America, anyway.
In that spirit, let’s dream. Let’s dream big. (Here’s where you get to say, “WTF?”)
Imagine a focused bipartisan effort to: -rebuild the economy for the long term -figure out how to handle immigrants without betraying professed American Ideals (if not reality) -create tax incentives to help make climate protection profitable for anyone willing to invest in the future, including older energy barons -create jobs in jobless area (looking at you, energy businesses) -and recreate a strong middle class that can help America forge a stable future.
Of course, we need to do this without bankrupting the rich, forgetting the poor, or exploiting people of color or alternate lifestyles.
Of course not, but nothing worth doing is ever easy, and I’m saying America is worth saving, WTFs and all. And the party that achieves these things owns the future, but we would be a much stronger nation if we could do it together.
The sooner we wave goodbye to clown cars full of distractors and detractors, give up on the politics of blame and shame, and embrace the American Ideal of hard work and cooperation, the sooner things will get just a tiny bit better. And then maybe a tiny bit better than that.
Hate and deficits and finger wagging and BS have had their day. We The People want something more. We want the American Dream.
Sounds good on paper, any way.
Christopher Ryan is such a believer in the Idea of America he wrote a horror novel about what might happen if we keep this country divided. He recently rewrote and expanded it. Check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Rebellion-Christopher-Ryan/dp/1981802398/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1UAPM88OFI5E&keywords=a+simple+rebellion+christopher+ryan&qid=1668646108&s=books&sprefix=A+Simple+Rebellion%2Cstripbooks%2C87&sr=1-1