By Tom Walker
From the top down and in every direction we look, we seem to be trapped in a season of brokenness.
It’s like the Ancient Mariner – water, water, everywhere … and not a drop to drink. There’s even an albatross hanging around our neck: the Twitter-loving buffoon that most of us did not vote for and yet who reigns as the 45th president of our hapless land.
Aided by his shadow Cabinet of Steve Bannon and Sean Hannity, Donald Trump fills his time deconstructing the federal government, tearing apart the State Department and EPA. Meanwhile, he’s busy trying to rewrite tax laws to benefit himself and his multi-billionaire donors. Goodbye, itemized deductions for state and local taxes, goodbye, deductions for health expenses.
Goodbye, middle class.
I guess one bright spot to the Trump presidency has been its effect on opponents of Trump. They are out in numbers, protesting, calling representatives and senators, making sure our government knows how they feel about attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act or income taxes.
Another glow of light: the newfound courage of women and men to speak out against men who oppress them sexually or psychologically. I guess this also flows from the top: Donald Trump was caught on tape boasting about how his star power allowed him to bestow unwanted kisses and gropings on women. Sixteen women came forward after that, accusing Trump of sexual harassment. Trump threatened to sue, but of course never did.
Then, the day after Trump’s inauguration, roughly a million women marched in Washington, D.C. and other cities, wearing the pink “pussy hats” that became the wonderful symbol of their protest movement.
And the dominoes of disclosure began to fall. Harvey Weinstein. Kevin Spacey brings down “House of Cards.” Louie CK (yuck). Bill O’Reilly. Deposed judge Roy Moore. Sen. Al Franken, formerly “Giant of the Senate” and now, quite possibly, “Fool of the Senate.” And just yesterday, a new name: Charlie Rose. Jeez.
I don’t want to seem all holier than thou here. I was once accused, rightfully, of sexual harassment, by a coworker and friend. We would meet each other in the office with a friendly hug, and one day when I was wearing suspenders she gave my suspender strap a little pop. And without thinking, I gave her bra strap a couple little pops in return, in front just below the shoulder.
We both smiled over it, but the next day I found myself behind closed doors with my supervisor and our human relations guy. They outlined the charge against me, and without hesitation I confessed to my moment of idiocy – what else could I do? I was humiliated, and so sorry about it. I later apologized to my coworker, and we’ve remained friends. Handshaking friends, but still friends.
So maybe, just maybe, all this brokenness is heading toward something else. A time when the pieces of our world will come back together. A time of unbrokenness.
Hurry, Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Bring us peace.