I am having a vey difficult time reconciling my long term respect for our institutions of government, and the utter joke it is now becoming under Trump. I taught high school social studies for several years, and in later years, American government courses at the college level, and always tried to instill in my students a basic respect for our values and our institutional set of checks and balances. But the current state of affairs leaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and my search for a corrective bromide has been so far, elusive. Every time I turn on the news, it only gets worse. Watching the cartoon channel can only go so far. The news has become like
" This day in crazy...". I only wish I could summon the ostrich like properties of the Republican leadership in Congress, and stick my head in the sand with them, but there doesn't appear to be enough sand In the sandbox to cover the multitude of craziness with which we have been besieged since Donald Trump ascended what he appears to think is a throne. So Donald Trump being the cause of all my recent maladies is as plausible a theory as the one Trump ascribes to that his predecessor had his "wires tapped" and is a bad, nasty guy.
I was in a restaurant in Venice, Florida the other night listening to an Irish piano bar singer who was quite entertaining. It was a welcome respite, until he ended the evening by passing out small American flags for the crowd to waive as he sang Lee Greenwood's " Proud to be an American". The lead waitress grabbed my hand and made me lead a conga line to a George M. Cohan medley of "it's a grand old flag".
Ordinarily, I am happy to engage in unabashed flag waving, but for some reason, I had very mixed feelings about this conga line and felt compelled to sit down after two rounds around the restaurant. I just don't feel like celebrating the current state of affairs, and the direction our new President has taken the country in. My flag is becoming unfurled, and that's not good.
I don't want to cheer on anti immigrant round ups and Mexican wall building, and I refuse to praise Vladimir Putin. I also think the press has a legitimate right to hold this or any administration accountable, and that our first amendment rights are sacrosanct.
So until sanity is somehow restored to our government, I am going to channel my inner Yankee Doodle Dandy in a different way. I am going to try to heal myself, and start by erecting a " Gardol" shield around my news consumption. Maybe I still can't flip the channel, but I can at least turn down the volume. Or even better, put on my headphones while I walk the treadmill at the gym and listen to The Bee Gees " Stayin' alive!" Right now that appeals to me a lot more than Lee Greenwood.