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Letters from Down under


Submitted by Lindsay
Melbourne Australia!

History is a combination of reality and lies. The reality of history becomes a lie. The unreality of the fable becomes the truth - Jean Cocteau, 1953

(6/2017) It may be true that an atheist could not be elected President of the United States.

Although there have been doubts about some of them, not one has ever admitted to being an unbeliever, and your current president is certainly not one of those. But he is different. He is assuredly a monotheist, believes in miracles, depends on faith, has a raft of disciples, and preaches an electrifying message. And he believes wholeheartedly in a God who must be worshipped.

The problem is that he believes he is that God.

What could be better in a nation of believers? Of gun-totin’ misogynists who have a new messiah? He may not be omnipotent, but he exhibits such a command of double-speak that his pronouncements are gospel. He is also one of the real people, sharing many of their traits and attributes. Even down to physical details, for it would seem that among other things Mr. Trump has a small dick.

Anyone who has to boast so vehemently about his abilities to make a country great again, to boast about his conquests, and to reduce a reformed health system to fragments is compensating for lack of tackle. I’m sure he also drives a bait car – anything dubbed ‘the beast’ has to be. Forget the bluster, ignore the hyperbole, and see your president for what he truly is: A braggart prophet. Anyone who publicly boasts about the women he’s groped, how ‘easy’ they are, who has so little regard for reality has to be.

Faced with the harshness of the world as it is he takes godlike steps to prove points. Missiles on an air base to stop gas attacks, announcing with fanfare the parable that he has ordered the sending a ship to intimidate an errant country are just some obvious examples. The ‘leader’ of the free world has passed the point of lampoon, but as the leader of unquestioning zealots he reigns supreme. His conversations with the heads of other countries highlights it. Angela (Merkel) sees him for what he is, Malcolm (our man, in case you didn’t know) puckered up because we need America’s protection, Theresa (May) secretly scorns him, Vladimir (Putin) smiles his manipulating smirk, while the rest shake their collective heads and sigh. His support for Marie Le Pen in the French elections is an indication where his true values lay – ultra right, ultra nationalism, ultra rich.

But it leaves you in a very difficult position. As a place that still believes in democracy he is your elected leader, and thus deserves due respect. As a place that also makes him generalissimo, you have to live with the threat that entails while trusting that the sane members of congress and the bureaucrats can veto the worst excesses. As a nation you are having to learn very smartly the difference between the sayings of an arrogant redeemer and reality.

The idea that your healthcare system will become the best in the world is just plain nonsense. It is not the worst, but was not established to cater for those who need it most, and attempts to incorporate them were bandaids instead of a total deletion and then reformatting. This new version will make the healthy better and the sick worse. The poorest will become poorer, the richer, richer. His vows of massive infrastructure replacement that start with building a wall on the Mexican border beggar belief; the boasts of returning you to being the centre of manufacturing have no basis in reality – that was handed to the Chinese years ago who have run with it toward being the leaders in innovation.

By far the biggest hurdle you faced, however, is coming to grip with reality – things as they are. Reality, in case you have forgotten, is the face of truth. It is not hope or prayer, expectation or plan. It is the ground of life, the rain falling, the crops growing. At present it is getting treatment at a medical facility but having to pay upfront, of never having enough schoolbooks or of being equal under the law and having legitimate redress.

It is overcrowded prisons, daily gun murders, rampant gangs, the sense of desperation and loss of hope, of unemployed youth, a war on drugs that has increased their use, and so called law and order solutions that finish up making it worse.

It was not always like that. America was envied as the place where good things happened, where you were free to go your own way, where your contributions to society were valued, and even when the black clouds gathered your neighbours and your community would be there to help. Above all, it was a country where your vote counted, where progressive values held, where the future was bright. It was a reality of truth and trust, fair dealing and cooperation.

But when truth is mixed with untruth, confusion is born and fear becomes dominant. As the proverb puts it, half a truth is often a whole lie. This is not a Trump invention, but it is one he uses to his great advantage. It is the stock in trade of charlatans and pseudo-gods that depends on a hip- pocketed media and conniving legislatures – have a look at the way Oregon controls dissenters.

He may have fashioned himself on Zeus, el supremo of Olympus who hurled thunderbolts, who as sky god had power over the earth, especially the women there who he particularly liked, but our incumbent doesn’t live on a magic mountain in mythology. He’s actually ignorant of everything but his own fancies.

He’s all too imminent, a Baal of foreign ways with golden calf, telling us to bow down. Tell that to his supporters in the Bible belt and become an instant martyr, but tell it anyway. Reality has a way of turning around and biting you where it hurts.

Mr. Trump is going to be bitten. Reality will squash him on the windscreen of life.


Down under but far from down.

Read Past Down Under Columns by Lindsay Coker