I remember being at an election party just days before and leaving early. Not a single word spoken from the front seat on the drive home. It would remain that way until I could conjugate enough words with enough meaning to caption this moment in time.
The events that followed I liken to a bandaid being perpetually snatched off a sore. Day in and day out. No room for healing. I am not alone.
I study how others treat their sore from that day. Played out in satire, memes, caricatures, swears, jokes, admonishments, and ridicule. I guess this temporarily pacifies the immediacy of the insult they feel.
His snatching back of the bandaid not only exposes that sore but allows the infection to spread. On his watch, it unearths permissive bigotry, prejudice, disdain, sexism, hatred, intolerance, and violence from every corner of our nation. It reveals the progress we imagined among us was simply disguised as a sleeping giant. Left largely unchecked, the infection is spreading. But then again, the fish rots from the head down.
The other thing about this snatching back is what it reveals about America to outside spectators. Those watching have so far been complicit, but even that is slowly changing. Now they too have formed a chorus of laughter against us or at least against him. They see what we feel. They can’t escape notice of our nation’s slippage toward darker times in our history.
Quietly at first and as not to be disparagingly singled out, they come to realize that the emperor has no clothes. And so has he, yet he must pretend the crowd came to see him and all is well.
A youthful voice in the crowd yells what everyone knows. The emperor has no clothes. That yell is exposed through its vote. No meme, no taunt, no satire needed. That vote speaks for itself. The chorus is now their collective vote.
And through this very act, the healing begins anew.