Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Sunday, December 03, 2017

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Image result for trump supporters

There is this from a Trump tweet:

Do do do
Down dooby doo down down
Comma, comma, down dooby doo down down
Comma, comma, down dooby doo down down

... and this from disturbed supporters:

Breaking up is hard to do
Don’t take your love away from me
Don’t you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I’ll be blue
‘Cause breaking up is hard to do

–Neil Sedaka, “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” [a No. 1 hit in 1962 and 1975]

From an apparent Trump supporter, we get this letter “Discouraged by our new president,” Tribune-Star, Nov. 10, 2017. Election results from Virginia, New Jersey, and Maine are in. Trump voters are beginning to face reality — but breaking up is hard to do.

We’ve all known about the pain of naive infatuations at least since high school. In the days of our misspent youth, we suffered and survived the boyfriend or buddy who refused to change his mindless bad behavior. When it got harder and harder to nervously just laugh at, shrug off, make excuses for him the time came to act. We dumped him and chalked it up to experience, a bad experience.

But what if this kind of very personal captivation gone sour was about the President of the United States? A man you emotionally invested in — big time. You can close your eyes and still hear those heart-swelling chants: “Build a wall — kill them all.” “Make Mexico pay for it.” “Lock her up!” And there’s that outrageous T-shirt emblazoned with “Trump that Bitch!” You paid twenty bucks for it and wore it just once. (But OMG your grand kids have seen the selfies!)

You know in your heart that the Elvis of your political fantasy life has left the building. There will be no wall, no jail cell for a woman you only knew through her husband and Rush Limbaugh, no Make America Great Again tomorrow or in four years. You wish you had never opened the door to let Trump the liar and poseur into your and your nation’s life, but ... breaking up is hard to do.

Help is on the way. You can shed this embarrassing stain, this heated indiscretion, this adolescent-like obsession. In America, we like to do things by the number. So, with a nod to grief counselors and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, here are the five stages you must and will go through as you fumble toward regaining inner respectability.

Denial. Trump has failed you. You never said he was a sweet or brainy guy. You told yourself who needs sweet and brainy in this tough old world. And now Trump’s lack of sweetness is bitter in your mouth; the brainless Trump blather grates on your rediscovered rationality. But it’s hard. Those rallies, those chants, and ... well ... then there is the hat. That great lid with “Make America Great Again’ on it. Maybe you can still wear it as a joke on April Fool’s Day.

Anger. Now you’re livid. The ignorant tweets from this guy have given you intestinal lockjaw. But he’s not speaking for you anymore. Too embarrassing. Too vain. Too vulgar. Too uninformed. Too incompetent. You’re sick beyond sadness about what you ignored about him, about how things didn’t turn out, about how things did turn out. Trump was always a political fantasy, but you said to yourself, “He’s MY fantasy.” But saying that now only adds to the blame and anger — at Trump, and at yourself.

Bargaining. Then you think, wait a minute, what’s the matter with me. Things can still change. Fox News, Limbaugh, Ingraham, Hannity, O’Reilly (Whoops! RIP, Bill.) are still reporting that there’s light at the end of the Trump tunnel of tweets. And Steve Bannon, the soiled creep of nightmare illusions, is still hunkered down deep in the shadows of your man’s corner. So it’s not too late for your fantasy, the King of the Playground Bullies, to regrope. (Whoops again. That should be regroup.) If only people would quit asking the Protector in Chief John Kelly about policy, and Russia, and Gold Star mothers, and Robert E. Lee, and the Civil War, it could all be good again.

Depression. A heavy Mueller cloud has lowered over you like a lead blanket in a darkened, FEMA ignored, hurricane ruined home in Puerto Rico. It never ends: indictments, Russian tampering in elections, guilty pleas, resignations, unfilled government posts, Manafort’s $1,369,655 worth of “Clothing” paid for with laundered money. And more, much more, to come. Paul Ryan, eyes widening, brow furrowing, is shakey-disturbed in front of the TV cameras. The Kentucky Turtle, Colonel McConnell, is sweating through his shell suit of indifference. Fox News says Hillary did it all, but somehow that tired line no longer works for you. You would like to take something off the medicine shelf for your dark mood. But not with Trump’s man, Scott Gottlieb, now in charge of the Federal Drug Administration. He’s worked for 20 pharmaceutical companies and never met a drug side-effect he wasn’t ready to remove from the label on the bottle. And-you-are-certain-the-man-you-voted-for-is-not-up-to-the-job.

Acceptance. A wise person once said: “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” You are joining a chastened and informed wave of citizens if you are in the process of taking that first step. The second step will provide freedom from the fears and fantasies Donald Trump sold to us. We all know now it was a deal too good to be true, a deal we couldn’t afford. In other words, a typical Trump deal.

Gary W. Daily

Terre Haute Tribune Star, Dec. 3, 2017

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