Monday, October 10, 2016
The tragedy of Billy Bush
Old Aristotle had it right about tragedy, methinks. We watch a good person fall, and we can't help feeling pity. After all the guy had a choice--he didn't have to do what he did. But it's scary too because we know only too well that it could have been us.
Observe this man, Billy Bush. The world knew him as a handsome young star from a nice sweet show, the Today Show. But he boarded the Orange Julius bus, and when he got out he fell hard and bad and tragically for playing footsie with power and wealth. Trump started spouting bile, started what Republican candidate for President calls "locker room talk," and Billy Bush, like some panting lap dog, just kept wagging his tail. Look at him, America. He's us. He's the U. S.
For more than a year we've allowed Donald Trump to control us. We've hung on his every word from the day he descended from Trump heaven on that ridiculous escalator and started his idiot's harangue on building a Chinese wall (that Mexico will pay for) and then deporting 11 million undocumented workers. Nobody believed that, but he was and is real entertainment because he's got money. How much exactly, no one knows. But he's got money and power. He's got what we want. Lead on, MacDuff.
Donald Trump said all kinds of idiot things simply to stay in the news and thereby build on his brand, and it worked. We listened. And watched. And listened some more. And watched, tongues wagging.
Look at Poor Billy Bush. He took his shoes off and walked right into knee-deep excrement.
Look at Trump's face. He's in his element. He's exactly where he wants to be. Now look at Billy again. See that eagerness. That's US. Look at him. He's Barney to Sheriff Andy, if Donald Trump were Andy Griffith, which he certainly is not. Today we call what's between them "bromance." Poor Billy's brown nose is showing.
Some of us went a'whoring even farther. Forty per cent of the American public, including all kinds of people who should have known better, got into bed with Trump. Some, I'm sure, will go to their grave as true believers, absolutely confident that the system is rigged and angry that it is. After all, Donald Trump said it is. Some will hate Hillary even more than they do now because after last weekend enough of us stopped sitting in his lap with our tongues out, hoping to get attention.
Billy Bush isn't the only one he soiled. Add Paul Ryan, add Mike Pence, who most agree Trump threw under the same bus last night. Add Steve King, Charles Grassley, Terry Branstad, and Joni Ernst, any and all who supported Trump only because they could not stomach Hillary. See that look on the Donald's face--that's what he thinks of just about anyone who backs him. Those who don't--well, yesterday he sent his attack dogs out on those, including John McCain.
He virtually destroyed whatever meaning the word "evangelical" ever carried. Yesterday, Wayne Grudem, the complementarian theologian, had a Damascus Road experience and walked back his original revelation ("he's a morally good choice") in a confession of sin of biblical proportions. “I previously called Donald Trump a ‘good candidate with flaws’ and a ‘flawed candidate,’ Grudem wrote, "but I now regret that I did not more strongly condemn his moral character. I cannot commend Trump’s moral character, and I strongly urge him to withdraw from the election.”
Economic capitalism may well be the best economic system. At its best--not always surely--but at its best it offers equal opportunity to all: work hard, play by the rules, and you can have a bit of the American dream.
But at its worst it creates Donald Trumps, paragons of wealth and power who come to believe that because they've somehow reached the upper floors, they can grab women where ever they want to, say what they want, do what they want to make the rest of us their panting lapdogs.
Economic capitalism grows all kinds of wild flowers, but it also grows roadsides full of poison ivy because what true capitalists--as most all of us are--forget is an ancient proverb drawn from biblical revelation: "the love of money is the root of all evil" (I Timothy 6:10).
After a weekend of flood-level muck, the kind that sticks to you, the kind that you can't get off of you, the kind you have to dig out of the basement by hand, what some of us at least have come to understand is the promise of that ancient wisdom because a'whoring after Donald Trump leaves us all, as the Bible says, "pierced through with many sorrows."
Poor Billy Bush. He's been suspended from the Today Show. Poor us. Poor US. The tragedy is, we should have known.
But Aristotle also said that tragedy is purgative. It's supposed to clean us up and out. One can only hope and pray that Aristotle was right.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 7:10 AM