Guns, Trump, and the Theater of the People

Full disclosure: this piece is a repost from my Facebook page. I stumbled across the above photo of Donald Trump on Creative Commons, though, and it was too good not to share. Enjoy.

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Politics drives this ship called America; where did all the people go?

The chief politician cried, lamented the death of child, after child, after child, after child (shall I go on ad naseum?) good and proper. His tears were criticized, some calling them showmanship,or theatrical, or brought on by a fingertip’s worth of Ben Gay. His critics questioned whether his emotions were genuine, while this question kept needling my noodle: how many of us shed a single tear for Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel Davino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli , Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, or Allison N. Wyatt? And what if our President’s tears were just a lousy piece of back-alley theater? Don’t these children deserve all the tears we can muster?

A church in the Midwest is planning a morning mini-conference relating to the refugee Crisis. “Please don’t post anything about the time, location, or individuals sponsoring the event on social media,” an email read. “Death threats against those providing refugee assistance necessitates that we keep a low profile.” That’s when my stomach turned. There are some who’d rather kill a priest than help a Syrian.

A man takes the stage in Iowa, tells us that his grand strategy for making America great again is to build a wall to the heavens. Up, up, up it will go, and perhaps it will not be high enough to reach God, but by-God, it will keep out the Muslims and Mexicans. He is a visionary, a frontrunner, some say. He is the great hope of a minority of the majority, say others. He would be a caricature of a caricature were it not for the thousands who chant his name. There was a crowd, once, that chanted the name of Barabbas. It bears saying.

Politics–it’s the cigarette of the masses, the chemical burn, the addiction, the time-suck that coats everything black with tar, with theater, with hyperbole, with murder or threats of it. Humanity is in scarce supply; politics is not. Civility is a dinosaur; politics is the family dog.

Politics drives this ship called America; where did all the people go?

***TINY LETTER***

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Photo by Michael Vaden; licensed under Creative Commons via Flickr.

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  • “There was a crowd, once, that chanted the name of Barabbas. It bears saying.” BOOM.. I’m having a hard time narrating my own emotions as I spectate the current political crisis. Thanks for doing it for me, Seth. Your words are powerful.

  • Lisa

    GRATEFUL that sane voices like yours are responding to Mr. Trump’s disgraceful aberration.