Monday, February 15, 2016
Today I am grateful for Presidents’ Day. And I could cry. Actually I did cry. Every time I started thinking about writing about it I cried. And I cried when I sat down to start writing. I’m crying now. I might cry through the whole damned piece. Why?
Because what happened to this once lofty, honorable position in the United States of America? What? I get it that past presidents, even those very early ones had their own sets of indiscretions without the curse of social media. I get that people were simply not as informed in a timely way, not to mention instantly about what was going on in their country, not to mention the world.
I know that back in the early days. . .even the middle days. . . there were smaller groups involved in any single decision, not the masses tweeting, skyping and otherwise flouting their opinions on any given topic. They elected their president, trusted him and then let him do his job along with whomever else was elected to the senate or house. They expected them to work together towards the good of the people and usually they did. Citizens often heard about things after the fact, when decisions were already made and usually by a notice going up on a community board, or a printed newspaper. Not every single citizen felt they were an expert on every single subject that the president had on his agenda.
Not now. Now we have pseudo-experts flooding the TV and social media as though they were getting their information from God Almighty his/her self. “I SAY THE PRESIDENT SHOULD. . .!” “I BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT IS. . . !” “I’M TELLING YOU THE PRESIDENT SAID. . .!” They scream at us until we feel seasick from over-information, ready to barf from the uneven keel. Why anyone on earth would even want the job is a wonder to me. And I’m still crying.
Because I happened to watch a few nasty, vituperative minutes of the Republican screaming match the other night and now I can’t un-see it. I know that both parties are guilty of trying to “catch” an opposing candidate in a lie, a scandal, a compromising situation. I hate it no matter who does it. But when I watched that debate all I heard was my mom’s voice saying, “Get that NASTY look off of your face and watch your tone!” But they didn’t. I was sad. I actually felt nervous, like I needed to call the police to handle a domestic dispute.
My mom would also say, “Do not even THINK you are going to roll your eyes at me!” Then she’d have sent me to my room to shape up my attitude. It was disgusting. Politics is disgusting. I’m worried. And crying. Because I don’t know where this horrible election campaign will end and I’m not at all sure I can survive until it does.
When did we lower ourselves to this horrible sub-standard? I’m serious. . .when? Because I don’t remember this sort of bashing, blatant racism, name calling, when I was a kid or young adult. Was it there and I didn’t notice? I don’t know. But I do know that I hate it. And our founding fathers would hate it. Because when they debated and argued and fought, it was to hammer out a new country. Now it just seems to be for the most shared sound bite and to hell with what happens to the country and the good citizens therein.
That’s why I can’t even think about writing about Presidents’ Day without all-consuming, I’ll-be-in-the-corner-in-the-fetal-position sadness. What’s not to cry about?