A study has found that 11.5 percent of U.S. respondents believe politics is damaging their physical health.
Newsweek September 25, 2019
Crazy uncle Izzy (the one with the plate in his head that allows him to get Conelrad and police scanner dispatches to his brain) is taking all us kids on a Sunday drive in his Ford Country Squire station wagon. It is 1957 and America is great for the first time. There are ten of us, and we are rattling around, climbing over each other, spilling our burgers and strawberry shakes as Izzy roars down the highway, driving (in his estimation) “perfectly” despite spending a considerable amount of time on the shoulder, then surprising other drivers by passing them on the right as we head for the far left lane. We often hit 90 mph “because speed limits are for squares.” Why did our parents let us go? He promised a nice short, safe drive to get lunch. Where are the police?
Adam and Nancy are screaming for him to stop, which only goads him to accelerate and drive more recklessly. Somehow a couple of french fries with ketchup get stuck in Izzy’s hair and he goes even more berserk. His left foot on the gas, he is sweating, swearing and rooting around in the back seat trying to quell the rebellion. He seems genuinely hurt that we do not appreciate the burgers (although our parents supplied the money and he pocketed the change) or that no one has ever driven from the Twin Cities to Brainerd faster. We are three quarters of the way there. We have forced three cars off the road. Hundreds of drivers have honked at us. We and the naugahyde are covered in vomit. Little Caroline’s shrieks and cries will haunt me into my forties. If we get to Brainerd alive, we will kiss the ground and hug each other. Of course Izzy will want us to get back in the car with him for another term.
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I won’t pretend to know how this all ends or if it ever does. My fantasy is based upon the last episode of Seinfeld. Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer are called out on their lives of privilege and casual disregard for the feelings of others. They face a jury of their peers; Babu (the failed restauranteur) and many more get to air their grievances in court.
Our democracy badly needs aPeople’s Court for this president. An open hearing for those who have been personally cheated, violated, defrauded, intimidated and slandered. They would have an opportunity for a face-to-face redress of their grievances. We know the president lacks the empathy and self awareness found in most humans and higher animals; that is how we got into this mess in the first place. Of course he will not change. But this televised event (he will gloat over the ratings) will not be aimed at altering his behavior or seeking enlightenment or contrition. Funerals are for the living, and we need this catharsis.
The fairest way is to line everyone up chronologically, beginning with nannies and governesses he terrorized as a child. They can come forward and talk about his tantrums and cruelty. Classmates in private and military school can share stories about the “Richie Rich” bully and braggart. Next would come tutors paid to do his work at Fordham University. Bribing his way into Penn and graduating without cracking a book did not happen without witnesses; they will be up next. Bone spurs is well documented. The Roy Cohn years are a cesspool of Studio 54 exploitation of young women. Let them have their say. Next are the scores of plumbers, carpenters and laborers he refused to pay, including the honest contractors he drove out of business. “Sue me,” he would say. The women he grabbed, the contracts he defaulted on… already there are hundreds of aggrieved New Yorkers and he is not yet thirty. There is even a book documenting his life-long cheating at golf. Coming up, The Art of The Deal, Atlantic City bankruptcies, German banks, Trump U. and Marla Maples!
We are going to need a bigger courtroom.
How many firsthand victims/survivors are there? We must be well into four figures. The line would stretch double file from Congress to the White House. Imagine the visual, and the interviews with those waiting to be heard. Franklin Graham would be called on to view the assembled mass of humanity and attempt to justify how these hundreds of people are all mistaken and the president really is a swell guy. Then he will be asked to name which of the seven deadly sins and Ten Commandments the president has not broken.
Tom H. Cook would not be invited to this twisted This Is Your Life spectacle. But every one of us who merely lost sleep, gnashed teeth, or saw our ideals shattered will be able to watch it on every channel except Fox.