It’s a well known fact that we adults like to highlight the trauma we claim to remember as children. My brothers would argue over who the Flapper beat more, yes in those days getting a good beating was good for you! My foster father would tell me if he messed up in school, and the nuns beat him, he would face an even bigger beating at home. They actually seemed proud of having survived such a vicious childhood relatively intact. Of course I don’t know how much of this was true, whether a beating involved a belt or a slap on the behind. By the time I was born, beating a child had gone out of fashion.
And although raising “good” children may have changed in the 21st Century, what we remember of the recent past is always up for interpretation.
Bob and I watched the recent Republican debate, for instance, in awe of Donald Trump. There he was, in all his pomp and swagger, telling it like it was to Jeb Bush. The crowd was having none of it, they booed him mercilessly. His brother George, in fact, did NOT keep us safe “before” 9/11, and when he went into Iraq “after” on a (excuse the pun) trumped up WMD charge, he destabilized the entire region. Oh the humanity – but,but, didn’t George keep us safe? http://science.time.com/2013/11/19/remember-that-no-you-dont-study-shows-false-memories-afflict-us-all/
Maybe Trump is a Democrat! I was wondering for a second if Trump was channelling Michael Moore! We all remember what George W Bush did right after his aide whispered to him, while he was sitting in a FL elementary school classroom, that our country was under attack, right? That a second plane had hit the Twin Towers. He waited for over 5 minutes while children read a book about a goat, and then he and Air Force One took off to an Air Force base in Louisiana. And by mid-afternoon POTUS was in Nebraska…
In a book about the Secret Service, author Philip Melanson will later comment on the president’s failure to promptly return to Washington: “If the president appeared less than resolute at any point… it was the fault of agents who were overzealous in their desire to protect him, administration sources have offered.” Yet, “The Service, whose first duty that day or any other day is to protect the president, has never publicly pointed out that Bush could have overruled them at any time and ordered Air Force One to Washington, DC.”
In fact, secret service literally hauled Cheney by the arms to a bunker beneath the White House, while allowing Bush to sit in a school room trying to ponder the enormity of that morning. Michael Moore, I can’t wait to see your latest documentary, “Where to Invade Next.”
Granted my memory probably isn’t as good as it used to be. Large swaths of information have been known to fall out of my brain in order to make room for another password. But like Donald Trump, I was there on that September day, running around like a mad woman, trying to find my son, talk with my daughter who was working in a government building in DC, phoning my nephew and my sister in NYC. Waiting to hear if Bob was meeting ferries with injured people from the Wall Street dock. I went to my neighbor’s empty-casket funeral. While Bush and Karl Rove were circling the Gulf of Mexico trying to decide where to land.
As much as I hate what he stands for, Trump has the illusion of power. He IS Oz, pulling back the curtain and striking at our deepest, darkest secrets. I imagine he was hit as a child, that was his generation after all. And he’s not going to shield us from the truth. He tells it like it is – he is everyman! He’s playing “it’s us against them,” in a similar Bernie vein, only he knows that he’s not really everyman, he is the exceptional man! One of the 1%. He thrives on his money and power and polls. Trump played equally well with Democrats and Republicans, with beggars and saints.
Trump thinks we can all handle the truth. He is our Putin, and we better get ready to defeat him.