We all can remember the iconic moment in “The Wizard of Oz,” when Dorothy, with the good witch standing by her side, clicks her ruby slippers, closes her eyes and repeats: “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”
The scene fades, and in the next frame, she is waking up in her bed and is assured that the wicked witch is not real; that it was just a bad dream – a dream created by a guilty conscience for running away during an approaching twister to protect her dog from a mean woman.
Let’s see what part of the above story fits in to our current political world.
Those famous words: “There’s no place like home” have been replaced with “There’s no one like me.” The Don has taken an ax to our democracy and has become a one man “twister.” If you put The Don in drag, you have the wicked witch: vengeful, mean-spirited, greedy (for those slippers), scorched earth policy (lighting the scarecrow on fire to get what he wants), his inept, vulgar monkeys (his appointees and Republican congress members.), the incapacity to feel any guilt, and a man incapable of even touching a dog (let alone loving it), as there is no capacity for true connection to any one.
Do you remember the exchange between Dorothy and the Wizard when he is discovered behind the curtain?
Dorothy: “Oh, you’re a very bad man!”
Wizard: “Oh, no my dear. I’m a very good man. I’m just a very bad wizard.”
The Don is like The Wizard in that he pretends to be something he is not, but unlike The Wizard, is deluded that he is a wizard. (Most recently, he frighteningly commented about life and death diplomatic decisions by stating “I’m the only one that matters!”)
The Don, unlike the Wizard, is a very, very, very, bad man.
When I woke up the day after Election Day, I immediately ran to my TV with the hope that maybe I had dreamed it all, that it wasn’t true. That Auntie Em and Uncle Henry would soothe me and tell me it was all a bad dream. But unlike the movies there was no way out of the wicked reality that the nightmare of The Don was real.
It’s also worth saying that like the Scarecrow, The Don has no brain; like the Tin Man, has no heart; and like the Lion, has no courage. Translated: He has no intellectual curiosity and does not have the capacity to understand complex ideas; he has proven time and time again that he lacks the capacity for empathy and as the consummate bully, he has no courage.
What if, like in every other democracy, the individual who received the most votes actually won and Hillary Clinton was president. Indulge me as I fantasize:
Let’s start off with the negatives:
The Republicans would be using a scorched earth agenda to try to “lock her up.”
The Republicans would (like with Obama) do everything they could to block any piece of legislation proposed.
Hillary Clinton is kind of boring and I would be released from the addiction of watching MSNBC for hours each night and catch up on Netflix and Amazon shows. Binge watching could return because I could escape for a few hours without thinking a nuclear war could have started.
Here’s what would have been different:
There would have been no attempt at a Muslim ban.
There would be reasonable conversation about immigration reform, full-throated support of DACA and the term “Sanctuary City” would not be part of our national dialogue. Latinos across our country would not live in fear of being deported and ripped away from their families. Joe Arapaio would not have been pardoned and would be in jail where he belongs.
Violations of the Emoluments clause would not be broken on a daily basis. The Kleptocracy, that defines The Don’s administration, would not exist.
The Repeal and Replace mantra of the Republican party would have been relegated to background snickering and perhaps we could be talking about improving the system and making affordable healthcare even more accessible to all Americans.
There would be a robust State Department that would be engaged in diplomacy, maintaining and enhancing our relationships around the world. We would not have a president who insults his allies. You could bet that the person chosen would be someone with more gravitas than a former CEO of Exxon, a man who won the prized “best friend” award from Putin and whose diplomatic experience was negotiating oil deals and mitigating sanctions against Russia so stalled exploration of millions of acres of land in Russia could begin.
We would have a president who believes that Climate change is real and believes science is meaningful.
We would still be in the Paris Climate Accord and part of a global partnership to be responsible humans and reverse the devastating effects of global warming.
We would not have a director of the E.P.A. who has spent a good part of his political career attacking it in the service of oil companies.
We would not be the laughing stock of the entire world because we have a tempestuous, infant engaging in twitter wars with anyone who has a negative thing to say about him.
We would not be trying to ban Transgender people from the military.
We would not have a self-aggrandizing sexual predator as president whose existence in the White House is a devastating reminder to women in this country that their bodies are not sacrosanct and they are not of equal value.
We would not have a president who is in bed with White Supremacists fomenting racial division, claiming that Neo Nazis can be nice people, too and who believes Andrew Jackson (who the Don fancies himself after) would have prevented the civil war, which implies that slavery would be negotiable.
We would not have had to endure the words bigly, beautiful, very, very, very, love, love, love.
Alternative facts would not be an alternative reality. Chants of fake news would be relegated to alt-right news media and conspiracy theorists and not promulgated by the leader of the free world.
We wouldn’t have an administration where there were enough people with questionable contents to Russia that they could field a satellite Russian hockey team.
The free press and free speech would not be under assault.
The judicial system would not be under attack.
Puerto Rico would have electricity and water and its people would still feel they are valued U.S. citizens
We never would have to be talking about: Ivanka, the disingenuous, Melania, the Madame of cyber bullying, Jared, the flimsy, Flynn, the man for all treason, Manafort, whose theme song is “From Russia with Love,” Scott, dismantle the E.P.A., Pruitt, Ben Comatose Carson, Betsy, the ditz, Devos, Spicer, the ridiculous, Sarah, the huckster, Huckabee, Rick know-nothing Perry, Mike, I’m scared to be alone in a room with a woman, Pence. Steve, the prince of darkness, Bannon.
So much darkness has set in. This past year reminds me of the part of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and her friends are wandering through the scary forest and are abducted by the monkeys. For the last year it has felt we have been abducted by those monkeys.
But wait. This years election results are in and suddenly, like Glinda, “the “Good Witch of the North,” there is light shining through and there is hope. In our case, this light and hope comes in the resounding rejection of The Don and the prince of darkness’ dystopia.
Hope has the face of: Danica Roem, a 33 year old transgender woman, who defeated a 26 year incumbent, Justin Fairfax, the second African American to ever be elected to Lieutenant Governor (Virginia), Jenny Durkham, Seattle’s first openly gay mayor and first female mayor since 1920, Wilmot Collins, the new mayor of Helena Montana, a Liberian refugee, Michelle De La Isla, the first Latina mayor of Topeka Kansas, Hala Ayala, one of two women who will be the first two Latinas in Virginia’s General Assembly, Ravi Bhalla, the first Sikh mayor of elected mayor in New Jersey.
More light pours in in the name of 32 year old Ashley Bennett, who defeated Republican stalwart John Carman. Ashley was incensed by Carman’s post regarding the Women’s Protest in Washington: “Will the woman’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?” When given a chance to address this statement Carman did some double talk and tried to explain that he was just joking. Bennett was so incensed that she decided to run against Carman. Guess Carman will have more time to cook since he is out of a job!
Hope has the face of all the female candidates that decided that the patriarchy of American politics needs to be challenged at the ballot box and won.
Ed Gillespie’s defeat in the governors race in Virginia was a bitter pill to swallow. Just days before the election, The Don and his puppet master, Steve Bannon, had given full -throated endorsements to Gillespie and his campaign of divisiveness and hate
The Don’s response to the loss, tweeted from South Korea, where he was promoting his golf course was:
“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for.”
Turns out that embracing and loving The Don is starting to be toxic. The great swamp drainer, who really is the most virulent bacteria in the swamp, has just got a hefty dose of antibiotics. Now all we need is to give him another mega dose in 2018. Like Dorothy, we need to throw a bucket of water at him and watch him fade in to oblivion.
“Help me, I’m melting; help me I’m melting.” And then we can all sing: “Ding dong The Don’s darkness is dead!” Bring on the light!