by Linda DiGusta
October 3, 2020
It was gambling. All along. We all knew it somewhere.
So when it was announced that Donald Trump, after months of bravado in the face of a face mask, was infected with the coronavirus that causes Covid 19, it was a bad roll of the dice, and not exactly unexpected.
On the heels of revelations about the true nature of his finances and practices, it’s a lesson we need to heed. Gamblers may be glamorous and magnetic in the movies, but in real life they usher us into Hell, because that’s where they live. Winning is never enough, losing teaches them nothing. And the medical revelation is just Nature, who has suffered much at his hands, underlining that with her big, indelible brush — and her gentle reminder that we all need to become part of the solution.
What isn’t going to solve anything is worrying and debating about the thoughts and feelings arising right now. We are blessed to have at this time unfathomably huge channels for public discourse, and what is happening as people choose to hone, and justify, the tone of our responses has become a sideshow, and likely, an unwanted distraction.
A view from the New York Times:
“The first thing to say is simple: Best wishes to President Trump and the first lady for a speedy recovery from Covid-19…One of my objections to Trump has been the way he has eroded norms that underpin this country — like accepting election outcomes, respecting science and acting in a respectful way to opponents. If we decry such behavior and hope that the election can begin a period of national healing and recovery, then don’t we uphold norms best by modeling them?” — Nicholas Kristof **
From a fellow writer on Facebook:
“Lots of complaints from friends here about being chastised by people for posts “lacking empathy” regarding the current scumbag occupants of our White House who have brought a pox upon it. If ever there was a time to keep your pious, false, and ultimately useless sentiments to yourself, it is now. In this day and age it is called #virtuesignalling”
— Deborah Pintonelli
Okay, we all know it’s not nice to be glad that anyone gets sick or dies, even though many of Trump’s allies expressed that kind of sentiment upon the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Perhaps his affliction has been worsened by being surrounded with these people who, believe me, are already looking for Trump’s replacement in their Master Plan.
Let’s please be honest — there is one needle, moving between Trump on the one side and everything good about people and the world on the other. He willed it to be so. My recourse is the Greek tragedy trope, Fear and Pity. We can pity a man in hospital in fear for his life, regretting having taken such poor care of his body, but we MUST also fear what will happen if or when he emerges ever again…
We need to step away from the childhood belief that our thoughts can cause another harm. If you remain angry with Trump, and he dies, it is in no way your fault. Want proof? The simple fact that he is so hated and still alive! As for the “love” of his core supporters, he is really just a raft they are clinging to in order to escape self-realization and change. If they lose him, they will find another, probably “Blame.” The rest of us need to be vigilant of the legal issues at hand, and how they affect our democracy and way of life, going forward. It’s our only job in this.
It’s important to see both sides of this yet not be conflicted. Good people are caring. But we also care about people and the planet, and Trump is in the end just one person. He picked the game and drew his own cards. He is also spearheading unfathomable harm and a horrific political stance that is a danger all over the world.
My sentiment will be with the vast goodness of the Universe. If I view that as in conflict with my idea of who I am, then I could be drawn into trying to reconcile things with something like, “he’s faking and I’m angry,” or “I am bad but not as bad as he is,” or, “I will go high to seem like a better person even if I have to forget what I really think.” That just doesn’t work, it causes confusion and short-circuits critical thinking.
In fact, it becomes a conversation not about how we feel, which is cathartic, but about how we feel about how we feel, and that we maybe should change how we feel, or at least say we feel something different, so we will then feel more “correct” and “acceptable,” especially to ourselves. But even reading that makes you crazy, let alone doing it… However, there is no risk to my soul or my sanity if I simply acknowledge my own feelings, regret my limited options, and wish it could be otherwise.
If this were a Greek tragedy unfolding, we would be waiting to see if Discord tosses her Golden Apple to create more chaos, or if Athena and Apollo will arrive ex machina to save us all. In this scenario though, we mortals play all the parts, and the outcome is up to us. That is the real world we need to live in if we want to, literally, save it.
Above all, since we can’t let anything destroy our sense of humor in at a time like this, I am going to let these guys have the last word: