By RAHN ADAMS
When North Carolina’s U.S. senators—Richard Burr and Thom Tillis—both voted Tuesday to confirm the highly-unqualified Betsy DeVos as America’s next education secretary, even I could see that the fix was in and that all this political foolishness will continue at least until the next election in two years.
You can define that term—political foolishness—however you please. There’s plenty of madness and plenty of blame to go around, whether we’re talking about people in Washington, D.C., or Raleigh, N.C., or on our own Facebook pages. Most of us can’t help but watch this absurd reality show—Survivor: America—and then participate either by playing in person at political rallies and protest marches, or by endlessly critiquing the winners and losers on social media from the comfort of home.
Yes, I plead guilty. Sometimes I just can’t help myself, for all the good doing anything does nowadays. Right is wrong, and left is right. Or the left isn’t right because the right isn’t wrong, and ne’er the twain shall meet. Confused? Yes? No? Well, then, can we just agree to disagree? How ’bout that? Feel better?
My 9th-grade English teacher would try to boost my confidence in class now and then by telling me, “Stud (yes, that was my nickname in his class, don’t ask me why), you’re like the dog that chases my ol’ car every day. He couldn’t drive it if he caught it.”
Well, as far as the ol’ U.S. of A. is concerned, that dog is now behind the wheel, we’re all buckled up in the back seat, and the car is rocking down the highway. Will we get wherever it is we’re headed? Will we end up in a head-on crash with a semi, or, if we’re lucky, will we just find our staring selves stalled against the guardrail with a dented fender? Is AAA on the way? Or an ambulance? Has anyone called 9-1-1?
The only question I can answer with any certainty is the first one: Yes, we will get wherever it is we’re headed, wherever that might be. To quote George Harrison from his posthumous Brainwashed album, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Most of the others are questions we can’t answer yet, but they aren’t the only ones I’m asking myself these days:
Do most of the folks who voted for Donald J. Trump value truth, justice and the American way? And, by the way, what is the American way, anyway? How much, if at all, does it involve money and wealth? Do those same folks think Trump is like a fictional Superman—you know, like the Caped Crusader who disguises himself as mild-mannered Daily Planet (fake news!) reporter Clark Kent—or do they see Trump as a theoretical superman in strictly Nietzschean terms? Do they know the difference?
Is there anything Trump might do to give his supporters pause? If he did “stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody,” would anyone who voted for him really care? Why is it OK for him to “say what he thinks” and break all the rules, when it isn’t OK for anyone opposing him to do likewise? Is it disrespectful to compare the President to a dog driving a car? Even when he lies like one?
I’d better stop asking questions. All these answers popping into my head are confusing me. And they’re making me feel bad, too. Uncomfortable, even. Like maybe I could possibly be wrong about some things.
Left is right, and right is wrong. There. I feel better now.