Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Loneliest Liberal: Worse before better

There must be a silver lining

By James Knudsen

Six months into the Trump era, it would appear that things are going to get worse before they get better, assuming they get better. And yet there is something in my nature that seeks to find the silver lining in the cloud, the ade to add to the lemon, the low-monthly payment in the worthless, high-deductible, health insurance plan offered by the GOP. Put me in a besieged castle of the middle ages and I’d be the one saying, “I think one of the barbarians has brought a bottle of wine.”
    Many people who are not fans of the President have already noted, with some glee, that there are some good things that come with this worst of all Presidents. Saturday Night Live hasn’t been this good in decades. Late-night TV in general is worth watching again. If you’re a progressive, it is sooo easy to claim the moral high ground now. Conservatives are volunteering to be your sherpa as you ascend the lofty peaks into the rarified air of moral certitude. There might even be some progressives, the ones we don’t invite to Thanksgiving, who are rethinking their position as vaccine deniers, because if Trump believes in it, then there must be something wrong. There is.
    I can’t claim to have discovered anything offering the possibility of bringing about great change such as that. My little pearl in the fresh frozen/defrosted oyster is more of the esoteric find. But given what the President is doing to good taste…well.

One of Mr. Trump’s pet projects is the coal industry. I don’t have anything against the coal industry that rises to the level of personal dislike. I merely recognize that coal is a 19th century technology whose day in the sun was over years before Donald Trump became the homo-erotic fever dream of his late mentor, Roy Cohn. The only thing coal had to recommend it for years was that it was cheap. Was cheap, it’s not even that anymore. Still, the President is determined to put out-of-work coal miners back to work. What we’ll do with that coal, I don’t know. The obvious thing to do would be to burn it. Nobody really wants to, electricity generators would rather burn natural gas, so that leaves…Dickensian industrialists, I guess. Wait minute!
    Oh, it’s a crazy idea, but it just might work! “A Christmas Carol” 365 days a year! I see it all so clearly, as clearly as is possible through all the smoke from the coal-fired factories: top-hats, crinoline petticoats, child labor, everyone so jolly or starving. And the air, it’s so thick! You see, this is what I was getting around to, Trump is going to bring back thick air and with it, beautiful sunsets!
    It’s true, dirty air makes for beautiful sunsets. Recently, here in the Central Valley, we were hit with a band of dirty air in the western sky, probably created by seasonal wildfires. The result has been a series of early evening skies well were worth taking the time to capture.

    I wonder what an oil spill floating on a calm sea looks like? Find out soon enough.

Copyright © 2017 by James Knudsen


  1. You forgot one good thing about Trump. If he wasn't such a crook and stupid he would be getting a lot of stuff done that would hurt us a lot more than he is able to do now.

    1. Ha, Ed, yes another silver lining! I just read a comment on Charles M. Blow’s op-ed piece in today’s NY Times ("The Kook, ‘the Mooch’ and the Loot") that says sort of what you say, and more; it’s by Paul Wortman, of East Setauket, NY:

      Amen, Charles. President Trump clearly views all communications either by Tweet or press briefing as the latest version of his infamous Reality TV show, "The Apprentice." More importantly, as you note, he views the the Presidency as being the autocratic CEO of TrumpUSA, Inc. with all the shady, but hidden (and "none of your business"), ethically-challenged practices that, with a little help from Russia, allowed him to takeover the government. In this, Mr. Trump has been actively aided and abetted by an overly compliant Republican-controlled Congress that has been willing to set aside their oath to the Constitution (for example, in enforcing its "emoluments" clause) for the power to ram through their right-wing agenda. Fortunately, Mr. Trump has proved to be an awful "apprentice" President and so far legislatively inept. The question I have is: When will (or If) the Republicans ever get the backbone to stand with and for the Constitution and say the magic words, "You're fired!"