by Andy Weddington
Thursday, 05 May 2016
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. Michelangelo.
So Mr. Donald Trump it is for the GOP nomination.
And Mrs. Hillary Clinton for the Democrats, say the talking heads.
The incredibles for opposing reasons.
A flash of Mount Rushmore struck (me) today. Four presidents - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt - who saved or expanded America, our Republic, preserved in stone. Rock. Like their character. Super-sized grandeur - of the likes of Michelangelo's work. Considering medium; scale; complexity; means of work; time to complete; and dangers better arguably.
In contrast, recent presidents and the above wannabes are hardly stone worthy. Molded plastic comes to mind. Just right for our better, faster, cheaper disposable society.
In the 1970s ran a Keep America Beautiful campaign to clean up the countryside - pollution and litter not only marring but destroying the landscape. A Native American, Iron Eyes Cody, in fitting garb not so much costume, was featured. In a TV commercial he, with somber expression of disgust and disappointment, shed a tear. It was simple, moving, and effective.
Mr. Trump. Good points aside is loud and brash and at times crude. He squints. He speaks bluntly void sappy drama about things the average American cares about. He systematically dismissed 16 opponents by promises of tangible, comprehendible things - walls; jobs; military strength; respect; winning; and more - and resorting to schoolboy bully tactics of labeling and name calling. Family was not off limits. He won.
Mrs. Clinton. Good points? Not one comes to mind. She's bug-eyed, usually. She speaks, with forked tongue, out of all sides of her mouth and when lips are moving truth cannot escape. In analogy, light trapped in black holes comes to mind. She bears now the Trump moniker "Crooked Hillary." And that's being kind. She's dispatched less than a handful of opponents (white males) for the nomination and an old cranky white guy who believes in money tree seeds won't go away. Though favored, she may not win for, rightfully, indictment her fate.
Our (political) landscape is polluted - littered - worse than our flat and rolling landscape ever was.
America desperately needs another beautification campaign.
After all, America the Beautiful; as the song goes. She's still a keeper.
Iron Eyes Cody rests.
Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" (so tagged for her opportunistic but unsupported claim of Native American heritage) Warren is no Iron Eyes Cody.
A face, fit for TV (and the Internet), that can leak while stirring emotion, without word, needed. Find one. Fast. Launch a posse!
As to presidents, how is it we've "progressed" from men meriting regal oversized stone portraits gracing the landscape to successors and candidates to so be only worthy of miniature caricature bobble heads marring the landscape?
By aiming too low. And hitting the mark. That's how.
Best we get steely-eyed and aim higher before it's too late.
If an American, Native or not, who cares, how can you not be moved to a tear?
Yes, I'm aware Iron Eyes Cody was an American actor (born in Louisiana of Italian immigrants) who portrayed Native Americans. But a subtle "lie" seemed most appropriate and a fortuitous fit, considering topic and today's environment, to include. An alert reader picked up on it and replied. To save time replying repeatedly, this note added after original publication. But the message stands.