Our Walk of Shame

I’m embarrassed.

While the world chuckles, the guy who has made a mockery of our country boasts that he will simply renegotiate every deal ever made on the planet. And, by the way, it will be swift, and it will be terrific.

You just can’t make this stuff up. I’m reading All the Light We Cannot See, a novel set in France and Germany as Hitler rose to power. A brilliant German boy, orphaned by the coal mines, lands a chance to pull himself out of the muck when he is chosen, for his talents, to be groomed at an elite academy for Hitler Youth. In a letter to his younger sister, wise beyond her years and appalled by this bargain with the devil, he tells her what he has heard, hoping she will come around: the fuhrer has collected scientists to help him control the weather; the fuhrer will develop a rocket that can reach Japan; the fuhrer will build a city on the moon.

I suppose you can make this stuff up, although, in the fictional version, nobody claimed that Japan would actually build the rockets that would be launched its way, or that the city on the moon would be surrounded by an impenetrable wall. Amazing. Terrific.

No, of course I’m not comparing Trump to Hitler. That would be gauche, and, anyway, he’s not nearly as articulate. He thinks reporters are disgusting, but he would never kill them. He’ll only kill the “bad people” — a rather broad group which happens to include every man, woman, and child born into a particular religion. Everything else he’ll just renegotiate, just sit down at some global conference table and figure it out. Now why hasn’t anybody else thought of that?

As humans, we hear what we want to hear sometimes, and when the going gets tough, we might even be tempted to put our faith in someone who promises to make all the bad stuff go away. Especially since a lot of us have been raised to not make promises we cannot keep. We forget that some folks just don’t follow the rules. History should teach us, but sometimes temptation just gets in the way.

But this? Really? I just don’t get it, how the runaway Trump train is now chugging toward an almost certain nomination. How scapegoating and hate and finger-pointing bullying and misogyny and self-aggrandizement and volumes of empty hot air have rendered this idiot qualified to sit at the helm of my country.

Overseas, they’re chuckling. I’m terrified. Mostly, I’m embarrassed.