Saturday, January 21, 2017
I saw a number of marching bands, marching in the dark streets, making their way to the reviewing stand. An interesting effect, I thought, and I was glad no band member seemed to have lost their way in the gathering dusk.
As I watched, they rose from the shadows, marched by the light, and went on into the night. It was a metaphor I was not all that fond of. I think I could have done without it. Surely, not everything is a metaphor... or is it? (Did Bishop Berkley ever consider that "to be" is "to be a metaphor"?)
That's all I saw. I do not watch inaugurations and never have. I think I watched President Obama take the oath, but did not stick around for the rest. I did also see Justice Clarence Thomas' severe and jowly face as he administered the oath of office to Mr. Pence. He has a nice voice, but he always seems to be doing a Harriet Tubman impression.
Some people have said Mr. Trump not my president and never will be.
I never did buy into the ritualistic idolatry of the president. I mean, he is elected to serve us and he should work from 7 AM to 7 PM to do so. The question whether he is "mine" or not never, ever entered my consciousness before.
From what I read, Mr. Trump sees himself as the character Bane in the Dark Knight Rises, a figure who is to go to war against all elites - whether Democrat or Republican - and restore power to the "people".
I'm all for it.
The only fly in the ointment so far is that everyone over the past hundred years who has promised power to the people has identified themselves as "the people" and has forced their own personal history and worlding-view upon the rest of the schlubs standing around.
Mr. Trump may find his lack of a real political ideology will work well, preventing him from forcing a non-existent ideology onto the backs of others. However, ideologies are also wonderful short-cuts: when faced with a situation that requires the bravery of Daniel and the wisdom of Solomon - and finding oneself a little short of each that particular day - the best way to "cut to the chase" is to rely on good old ideological belief system which one shares with a bunch of other of the clueless.
Mr. Trump, lacking ideology, will have to create his own coherence that extends beyond merely make America great again.
I mean, a National Patriotism Day! What the heck is that? The 4th of July celebrates a factually real struggle and accomplishment. Patriotism Day?!?! How can you celebrate an abstraction? Maybe you can force people into some "patriotic" mold.
We need something a bit more substantial. I think Mr. Trump knows it.