Thursday, February 16, 2017

He walks it like he talks it

Our movie group meets in the auditorium at a small Christian university in the South Loop. I can tell by the decor that the room is also a playroom for the afterschool daycare center. (I saw evidence of their "Roaring 20s" dress-up party.)

Before the movie, I always pick up something at their little, onsight coffee shop. I like the fresh-faced college students who work there. I enjoy their tip bottles, which enable us to vote with our change on a burning question of the day: Cubs or Sox, Books or Movies, Toilet paper over or under, etc.

This past Tuesday I ordered a ham/cheese quiche and hot chocolate to take into the movie with me. The young man (19?) who prepared it went out of his way to make milky heart on top of my cocoa for Valentine's Day.

How did I repay him? On the way into the auditorium, I had trouble with the door and splashed hot chocolate on his textbook! I could tell by the cover he was studying The Book of Psalms.

I apologized. He was very kind and showed me that the inside pages were all just fine. I apologized some more, his kindness making me feel even worse. "It's for reading, not for show, and the pages are all fine," he repeated, as I helped him clean up the chocolate.

As I went into the movie he made serious eye contact with me and said, "I've already forgiven you. Now you just have to forgive yourself."

What an extraordinarily sensitive thing for him to say!

It's stayed with me for days.

"People have got to know whether their President is a crook"

I know a Trump supporter who used Nixon's favorite phrase, "the silent majority," to describe those who put #45 in office. I wonder if she knew how prescient she was.

The Trump Presidency is not even a month old, and I'm already exhausted. Everyone knows about the ugly spectacle of our Commander in Chief picking fights with federal judges over his immigration ban. As an animal lover, I'm disgusted that Trump's USDA has removed public access to information about puppy mills and research labs. As the HSUS says, “This action benefits no one, except facilities who have harmed animals and don’t want anyone to know.”

But worst of all is Michael Flynn. You remember Flynn. He participated in the appalling, "Lock her up!" chant at the Convention this summer. Well, since as National Security Advisor, he may have lied to the FBI, guess who could be looking at prosecution.

It's not Flynn himself who bothers me. Yes, he has a hair-trigger temper and had indulged in some dubious behavior that should have tipped someone (anyone!) off that he might not have been the best choice for the position. But it's what he may reveal about the Trump Administration and Russia that is most disturbing.

Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump have all benefited "bigly" from investing in Russia. As Donald Trump, Jr., said at a real estate conference, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Russians hacked the DNC and leaked their findings, much to Trump's advantage. As pissed as I am at Bernie Bros for naively taking the bait, I'm even angrier that every American isn't horrified by Russia meddling in our elections.

It's not hard to imagine Trump's campaign being privy to the election tampering in real time. After all, the POTUS who decries leaks today was once the candidate who entertained rallies with, "I love Wikileaks!" and called for the Russians to find Hillary's missing emails.

Nor is it impossible to believe that Trump keeps praising Putin because he's afraid of Russian blackmail, that he doesn't want his loans and other financial dealings revealed.

This brings us back to Nixon. I deserve to see Trump's tax returns because I have a right to know whether my President is a crook.

I fear that Trump's Presidency will end as Nixon's did. And what a painful era that was. Since I don't believe for a moment that Trump has Nixon's loftier, laudable patriotic impulses and consequently will never step down, I'm afraid we're on the verge of a long, very ugly nightmare.

No wonder my stomach hurts!