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There are few among us who do not recognize the rather perilous times in which we live. The country is as divided as anytime since the mid-nineteenth century and the President is largely responsible for widening the chasm by treating every issue as a wedge to be driven into the heart of the divide. His utter inability to exhibit humility, empathy, intelligence or even a modicum of maturity has cast a dark cloud over what was once the world’s envy of democratic governance.

trump snake

In the midst of a national outrage over the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, where we are witnessing a magnificent awakening on the part of high school students around the nation that draws even sharper distinctions between teenage common sense and the discursive meanderings of a demented old fool, the disconnect is palpable.

I applaud this movement and fully support the elegance, thoughtfulness, pain and sorrow, and determination that drives these young persons to challenge a status quo that has ignored and forsaken them. My generation, which includes the President and newly minted senior citizens, has irreverently, irrationally, and inexplicably dismissed future generations’ needs and expectations of a safe and better environment in which to pursue their dreams. They have every right to be angry. But channeling that anger into constructive change is certainly the hallmark of a necessary and needed course correction that evidently will not come from our current leadership.

The best that this President has to offer are the ludicrous song lyrics from a cheeky song from the 1960’s about how an act of kindness is viewed as weakness and results in disaster.

Being the father of two millennial sons I have long written and spoken about the Baby Boomers’ failure to provide a world for our progeny that is better than the one that we inherited. Our failure spans the spectrum of political, economic, environmental, cultural, and spiritual values. We have left them worse off than we were and basically we are telling them they need to figure out a way to fix the inadequacies and pay the costs of the debt we have saddled them with.

There is no better illustration of this than in the leadership vacuum in which we currently find ourselves. Let me further illustrate by turning to inspirational words spoken by some leaders juxtaposed by the offering made by Trump just recently.

Abraham Lincoln: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Robert F. Kennedy: “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.”

John F. Kennedy: “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century... unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today.”

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Thomas Jefferson: “I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

The best that this President has to offer are the ludicrous song lyrics from a cheeky song from the 1960’s about how an act of kindness is viewed as weakness and results in disaster.

We find strength, vision and wisdom in these words and words are very powerful yet soothing expressions of sincerity, warmth, comfort, and solace in times of sorrow, fear and anxiety. They are the mark of not only leadership but statesmanship in times when the public needs healing, such as now.

Yet the best that this President has to offer are the ludicrous song lyrics from a cheeky song from the 1960’s about how an act of kindness is viewed as weakness and results in disaster. In fact, he felt so moved by this song that he insisted on reciting the entire song and verse before a raucous crowd of conservatives yesterday. The song is entitled “The Snake” and it is not clear whether Trump envisioned himself to be the reptile or whether he just appreciates the dark wisdom imparted by the song.

So this is what your President has to offer a country who is struggling with the specter of mass shootings, international ridicule, a Presidency in the throes of a potentially treasonous corruption with Russian interference in our electoral process, a Special Prosecutor’s investigation inching closer to the White House’s involvement in obstruction of justice, collusion, and other corruption, and the threat of a nuclear showdown with North Korea, and you simply cannot make this stuff up.

In the song, a tender hearted woman rescues a half frozen snake on her way to work one morning, and as she comes home that evening a revived snake shows his appreciation by delivering a poisonous bite. The moral of the story, according to the song: I saved you, cried the woman, and you’ve bitten me, but why? You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die. Oh shut up, silly woman, said the reptile with a grin, You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”

I have no idea how today’s youth will react but I have a feeling it will only strengthen their resolve to rid themselves of these foolish, mean-spirited lunatics that are running and ruining their world. I hope so because there is no time to lose.

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Lance Simmens

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