“If you didn’t care what happened to me,
And I didn’t care for you,
We would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain.
Wondering which of the buggars to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing.”– Roger Waters
We had one of those debates as we walked out the door. None of these are ever mean-spirited. They usually take on the form of less filling vs. tastes great. In this case, it involves our former president. I said that it must be exhausting to be so petty. My wife pointed out that he’s never emotionally matured beyond the age of six. Have you ever met an exhausted six year old?
For those wondering, this revolves around his general reaction to Colin Powell’s death. I don’t know what any of us could have expected here. It’s not like there’s an ounce of humanity left there. What’s left is an image of that six year old stomping up and down and screaming because the attention isn’t on him somehow.
If we needed any further proof we would also throw out the bit of news that he is planning on starting his own social media network. Again, none of us could be all that surprised. Of course, the question is not if the network will fail, but how long it will take to fail. That’s the lasting legacy of a man that barely qualifies as human after more than 70 years on the planet.
We’ve seen this story before. Charles Dickens regaled us of the tale of Eboneezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”. Of course, it should be pointed out that Scrooge was a work of fiction. I’m sure Dickens must have had some people in mind when building the character, but one scarcely sees anyone that foul before the ghosts appear to him. I’m sure he was sensationalized for our benefit. No one like that could really exist right?
Except that when you dive into the character you see the myriad of choices one makes throughout their life. None of these choices by themselves create the embittered soul we all saw before us, but when you added up all of the wrong choices you ended up with the Scrooge that needed saving. Of course, that was the whole point.
The trouble here is that we don’t see any evidence of humanity. We don’t see it in his past. We don’t see it in his present. We don’t see it in his future. We don’t see a tortured soul that made the wrong choices along the way. We don’t see a soul at all. The ghost of Christmas past would be left to twiddle his thumbs and whistle show tunes. What’s left is someone with absolutely no personal insight whatsoever. Even in his comments about Powell we are left wondering if he grasps what the rest of us undoubtedly know.
Powell was most assuredly a flawed man, but he was never a caricature of himself. He made mistakes, but we all make mistakes. In the end, he got most of what he deserved. He got respect. He got admiration. He got a fairly accurate accounting of his legacy. Yes, he had some detractors as well, but that’s a part of the deal.
Trump spoke of what will happen when he dies. I’m suspecting he doesn’t know. Why would he? A life devoid of any real love or insight probably wouldn’t like what’s waiting for him. Like the ghost of Christmas future, he would see a world where all of his family and associates fight for table scraps as his empire comes tumbling down. If the love we take is equal to the love we make you have to wonder if there is any love there at all.