Basic Instincts: Walls of Ignorance

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Willard Painting: The Confrontation

By J. Michael Willard

The debate over a wall on America’s border and that of immigrant violence has a manufactured commonality that defies reason, but makes sense in a bizarro world where flat earth folk reign in a muscular minority.

This is not a slur on what Hillary called the “deplorables”. They are surely not that. They are God-fearing, mostly good people who are misguided in the extreme by the Wizard of Odd.

Many of these followers adhere to the other-worldly logic of the television preacher who chants in sing-song about God wreaking hurricane havoc as an object lesson.

It is, though, no longer amusing. It is troubling.

Honestly, read my quivering lips: California is not plagued with fires, mudslides and flooding because of a perturbed Supreme Being upset with the state’s liberal leanings and who is intent on punishing the wayward.

If that were the case, Donald Trump would be a pillar of salt by now.

No, those calamities were caused by man-made climate change in its explosive glory. When 99 per cent of the scientists agree on this, why would anyone with eyes, ears and a noggin suggest a hoax.

It defies both common sense and the faculties nature gave an earth worm, though a partisan person might suggest that burrowing ones head a requisite for adherents of this particular tribe. I disagree.

However, not to leave a scintilla of doubt, the above references are to our 45th President, the one who currently is captain of the good ship USS Titanic, which has been taking on water like a rusted, shot-up tin can.

I am being as obtuse and as kind as I can, for I am cognizant that my Cassandra chorus of complaints become more muted and white noise with each essay on this depressing topic.

Thus, I avoid it until totally pained — as now with that damned idiotic wall that defies and makes waste of the intelligence of a group of upright homosapians who should know better.

The fact is our president, who divides the world into winners and losers and who uses that measurement for his own achievements, is currently on a losing streak of historic — should we say Biblical — proportions.

That’s an understatement: His losses rival the late 1970s New Orleans Saints football teams where fans were so embarrassed they came to the games with bags over their heads. We’re talking Gong Show material.

A lot of us, particularly those who consider the US a member or the international community and cherish our relationships, are figuratively wearing those paper sack over our heads when we do go abroad.

Let’s consider:

There was the tax cut that only benefitted the one percenters, a wall that hardly anyone thinks is a good idea or worth the cost, and a foreign policy which looks as if a blind man was driving at Daytona Speedway, trading paint with the good guys but giving a free pass to the bad ones.

Walls are an insult to intelligent and creative people. I stood on the Great Wall of China 30-years ago marveling at its massiveness and the industriousness of the Ming dynasty which was largely responsible.

But, I gotta tell you. that old wall didn’t work.

Today it is a fairly active tourist site. When it came down to it, the Great Wall was not so great. The Mongols traipsed over and around it just as easy as El Chapo managed his escapes from Mexican prisons.

Let’s pivot to the question or immigrant violence, and my open admission. I’m a gun novice. As I have sworn, I don’t like things that make more noise than the crescendo on Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

The fact is nearly 40,000 Americans died in gun violence in 2017, the last year for which we have records available. In comparison, that’s only 12,000 less than soldiers killed during the entirety of two decades of war in Vietnam.

Were some or those killed in this slaughter by illegal immigrants?

Yes, a precious few, magnified to the umpteenth power by Trump’s exaggerated examples. But most deaths, or course, were everyday domestic gun violence, caused either by carelessness, anger or accident.

Though an easy target, I should lay off our President. However, I don’t like him.

I don’t think he is either smart enough or good enough and he certainly does not share America’s overall values of what philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville called our goodness.

Our goodness in the way we should treat our environment. The way we treat immigrants. The way we treat our poor people. We’re not good anymore with Trump in the Captain’s chair of the USS Titanic.

And that damned iceberg is looming in our self-imposed darkness.

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J. Michael Willard

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I am a novelist, painter, songwriter and essayist but my day job is elevating the profile of authors, entertainers and business executives.

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