It appears that the course of history can be changed when great people confront the realities brought on by crucial stresses and literally take over the roller coaster. We remember Yeltsin as the Parliament was being bombarded, and who can forget the lone man who stopped the Chinese tanks for a few moments? Or Jimmy Carter brokering a handshake between Egypt and Israel, the Sadat-Begin Kodak moment immortalized in the flash of Jimmy smile?
Great moments picked up and run for significant yardage in our daily struggle against mediocrity, stupidity, venality, greed, graft and incompetence. Make no mistake, in the recent past there have been innumerable opportunities for great men to pick up the yards, opportunities for real people to make significant changes when faced with overwhelming opposition. But somehow we are letting these chances for greatness slip through our fingers. Somehow the national and international potential for immortality is falling into very very stupid hands. It’s not that the ball is being fumbled, most of the time the ball is being sold to the highest bidder, or it is being taken home because the rules no longer apply. Looking for greatness in the current crop of faces is a thankless task, which is why we are in the mess we are in.
Our smirk and sneer presidential cartoon will never rise to any heights, he is impregnated by venality, layered by stupidity, surrounded by corruption and basted in superstition. Every single opportunity to rise above the slime he created has been an exercise that would put the Keystone Cops to shame. His pestilential entourage can do no better as they wallow in greed and corruption. For every moment of sheer mediocrity, he adds three incidents of criminality disguised as an honest attempt to protect us from an enemy he went a long way to create.
What was good and noble in our country has become dirty and suspect. Laws grounded in 1215, supported by a world that envied us our freedoms; laws that served as the common ground for the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man, have become mere slogans for a system that is eating itself. What can you say when the Geneva Convention, Habeas Corpus, due process, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, have all been twisted by the leprosy of our national dishonor? Every braying utterance of the man is a slur on our honor, every single statement by his henchmen, an insult to humanity.
And yet we allow it. Yet we think nothing of letting it continue to take on more power, more derision for our values and our morality. From crypto science that denies our origins and destroys our future, to environmental policies that assure the destruction of our children’s world, this country has touched all and smeared most of the world. There is no spot left that will not feel the full consequences of this administration.
And I am the optimist, because I know that he too will be gone, sooner if we impeach, later if we do nothing. But he will be gone. I can only hope that somewhere there is a Hercules who can divert the Potomac to sluice the Augean stables on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Frankly, I do not see the great candidate who will change the course of this sad episode in our history.