The American dream was always one from rags-to-riches. Whether immigrant or citizen, finding opportunity, being accepted, joining a culture of kindness, compassion and contribution was an inseparable part of democracy. Our greatest presidents have always reached down to pull those in need (and those not), up. A positive, optimistic, thoughtful and honest message from a president is essential medicine for the populace. It is their daily vitamin. That humanity has defined the very essence of who Americans are.
But Trump has tapped into and exploited that dark side that exists in all of us but usually is in check—hiding in the recesses of the alter ego. His tools have been fear, anger and threats. His solutions always include violence. Within his dark message is a dictator’s ambition for absolute power. It is his personality. Like a ravenous animal smelling blood, he saw opportunity in the unhappiness and disillusionment in millions whose dreams has not materialized. He stepped forward with the promise to change their fortune. To most, he had no real strategy or solutions to make things better—only empty promises from a charlatan. But his promises offered hope to a populace that had gone too long without hope.
Now he and an unhinged GOP are about to pass a tax bill that plunges the country into deep debt while ending healthcare for 13 million. It will trigger sizable cuts and changes in many of the financial safety nets for the poor and middle class especially in Medicare and perhaps in Social Security. These changes will go into effect in about two weeks once Congress approves them and the President puts his over-sized signature on the bill.
Sadly, all the warnings, the dire forecasts from the left are coming to a head in this single piece of legislation. From this disastrous fraud called “tax cuts”, we will start our return trip. This very moment may mark the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction, beginning the journey to the pre-Trump era of sanity and humanity. The hard lesson is ahead for all of us especially to those who launched this imposter and wannabe despot into the presidency. But where all the well-meaning warnings fell on deaf ears and were dismissed as partisan politics, the pain Trump’s core will feel from this law will be the missing proof they need to abandon their golden idol. Yes, there will be the unconvinced, the embarrassed unwilling to waiver, those still clinging to the dark side of fake news and conspiracies. But millions will reluctantly retreat in their disappointment of being duped by just another politician and slowly embrace sanity again.
The world hungers for hope and even though Trump, the hyperbolic showman promised that, he delivered despair. His masses are about to learn just how uncaring he is as they loose their healthcare and other essential services and see their taxes actually rise. But adversity reveals truth followed by a counter-plan and ultimately triumph. In the German town of Leipzig 284 years ago, the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach performed a sacred cantata (BWV 140), Wachet auf. It means Sleepers Awake. In these difficult times, our hope lies in the beauty of life around us, in the ingredients and elements that make that life worth living—in music and art, in all things beyond mundane politics and small brains. We look beyond power-grabbing phonies and manipulators and search, thoughtfully with equal parts healthy suspicion and optimism to reach for mental and physical salvation.
Sleepers, it is time to awake from this nightmare and remember the joys of life. Treat yourself to the genius of Bach. About 13 ½ minutes into the piece, many will recognize a familiar melody. Turn up the volume and be immersed in another world, a world of beauty, calm and good fortune. (Loading the website may take a minute.)