After the first Democratic Presidential Debate on October 13, 2015 we went to sleep in America and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a book of fiction. A year later we find ourselves in the thick of the book’s madness with the Queen of Hearts/Trump screaming, “Off with their heads.”
We recognize in our midst Lewis Carroll’s central character the Queen/Trump that the author describes as a “blind fury,” a foul-mouthed, ill-tempered, irrational monarch in which the King/Paul Ryan is attempting to mitigate the awful decrees.
For a whole year we have been in the grips of daily assaults on our sanity by the Queen of Hearts/Donald Trump. She/he has upped the nasty game to provoke and invoke the demons of xenophobia, of racism, of shaming, of mocking and of mouth-fouled misogyny.
In case the realists among us would like to make distinctions between Alice and ourselves, between the Queen of Hearts and Donald Trump between literature and life, it’s too late. Trump has already destroyed the border between fact and fiction.
We are already in some profound sense “Alice in Wonderland,” feeling trapped in a Trump madness of a very confusing narrative in which nothing makes sense and everything is crazy making. Trump tells us daily and repeatedly that wrong is right, that fact is fiction that science is junk that narcissism is patriotism that what he said about sexual assault on women is normal male talk.
There is a lesson we must take from Alice in Wonderland. It’s time to stop following Trump into a rabbit-hole in which Republicans now, like Alice in the book must constantly change their size, their ethics, democratic values, and decency or risk drowning themselves and this country in a pool of tears.
Like Alice, to get out of the Trump rabbit-hole we must wake up and remember political sanity. We will be able to recall that a year ago in October 2015 in the Democratic Presidential Debate, Hillary Clinton offered a vibrant American vision, which supports human rights, families, women and children and cares about the world.
In the current madness of a made-up Trump reality show we must recall that in the real world Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders offered detailed plans for future. They laid out strategies for expanding human rights and ways to get out of the Republicans’ rabbit-hole of the inhumanity of economic inequality, of the harshness on poverty, and of inattention to structural racism. Indeed, the Republican Party itself dug the rabbit-hole; Trump just excavated it to a new low.
Let’s recall that in the 2015 debate CNN moderator Dana Bash asked Hillary Clinton about Carly Fiorina’s rejection of parental leave. Clinton said that California, Fiorina’s home state, has a paid leave program, that contrary to Republican’ dire predictions, it has been successful. She went on to remind the audience that the same people who have a problem with issues like paid leave, “don’t mind big government interfering with a woman’s right to choose or trying to shut down Planned Parenthood.”
Millions of underserved women get their medical care at Planned Parenthood that the Republicans have been fighting so hard to shut down; millions of women are now out of sight in the Trump world. In the real world of daily life Hilary Clinton has been the voice of women. She has given hope to millions of women and men who understand that reproductive rights are human rights and that to attack choice is to deny women the right that men have, the right over their own bodies. Hillary offered a strong public support for the health and wellbeing of women.
Awake and aware we recall that in the 2015 Democratic debate there were some differences as well as strong and clear ideas about social equality, a critique of deepening economic disparity, the danger of powerful industries and the drug companies, and the perils of the NRA.
In the real world that has been obscured by Trump’s foul-mouthed, ill-tempered, irrational pronouncements, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talked about the need for compassionate immigration reform, for increasing the minimum wage, for attention to the environment, and for a much needed prison and a justice system reform.
Judging from what we have seen so far it is not clear at all that Trump could ever come out of the demonic hole that he has dug for himself. We don’t know how the world of folly of the Queen of Hearts that he has produced would act should he lose the election. What is beyond doubt is that he must never become president of this country.