The late and fabulous humorist Art Buchwald needs to be exhumed….spiritually, if not otherwise.
Art saw the political world much more healthily than those of us who cannot escape the emotional impact and fears that those who have been anointed by Constitutional rules and technicalities have generated.
He did not so much get upset and perturbed as he laughed like hell in explaining to the rest of us what all the manipulations and acrobatics in the White House and Congress really mean, no matter who the occupants might be at any particular time.
To him, they all fell into patterns to be taken less seriously than they quite obviously took themselves, despite the power they wielded, the wars they could create and the massive amounts of taxpayer money they spent while excusing all of it with almost straight faces.
What would Buchwald make of the Donald Trump presidency and family business run out of the White House and all of its “branch” operations others know as numerous Trumpian luxury facilities around the world and even in Washington, D.C.
Art even wrote many books, which were collections of his humorous columns. One was prophetically titled “You Can Fool All the People All of the Time.”
Given how he targeted the egos and transgressions (alleged and provable) of the high and mighty, regardless of party, religion and anything else, Buchwald could demonstrate that all of the characters were simply human beings who had either bought or deceived their ways into public power. Most of his targets laughed along with him lest they otherwise be seen as adding fuel to his humorously verbal denuding of the high and mighty.
So now with, with Trump summarily deciding for all America to be a dropout from world consideration of climate change and leaving us all open to international sympathy and ridicule, Art would have had fun with the resultant commentary and actions.
For example, as a fun play on Trumpian words, the new President of France has declared his mission to make “The Planet Great Again.”
American billionaire Michael Bloomberg has rustled up what would have been our budget for the Paris Accords and committed $15 million.
But perhaps least expected of all, the Trump widely ridiculed step has resulted in states’ rights movements with governors across the nation declaring their own support for the climate efforts.
Sadly there are no humorists readily available of the Buchwald quality….only television and internet comedians who can make people laugh without bringing to bear the terrible and powerful meaning of the kinds of steps taken almost daily since Trump’s entry to office and his inability to stop campaign rhetoric in order to look, act and function as a real national leader in order to take the stage internationally thereby.
One very serious quote from this genius is worth offering now.
“There was no confusion amongst the allies in World War II. We knew who the enemy was, and they knew who we were. It even took an atom bomb to make them listen to reason.”
And there is the old quote: “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”
What will it take to make America and its elected leadership at all levels not only listen to reason….but to act quickly and decisively once they do? It may be too late for those at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue but not for the rest of us.
Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org