MEA CULPA, I THINK (10/6/20)
I’m about to do something that Donald Trump has never once done in the 74 years of his life. I am about to apologize for something I said. Early last Friday I was in bed, the only one in my house still awake.
My little dog Shlomo had once again won the battle of the covers and was lying in a position at my feet that would have been fine if I was 5 foot 4. But I’m close to 6 feet and so I couldn’t stretch out my legs.
No, I wouldn’t push Shlomo away. In dog years, Shlomo is even older than I am and he needs his sleep, undisturbed.
And so with my knees dangerously close to my chin I stared at the ceiling, as I do almost every night. Then there was a ding sound on my phone. I reached for it and read the message and smiled. Donald Trump had sent out a tweet that both he and his wife had tested positive for Covid.
The irony of the situation was delicious. The man who had made speeches all over the country, with hundreds of thousands of his followers standing next to each other, their faces inches from each other and droplets of whatever they had in their bodies filling the air. They weren’t wearing protective masks because Trump never wore a mask. Trump, the man who had laughed and ridiculed people who wore masks. Trump had Covid. This was a moment in history that was too sweet to ignore. I got up and wrote this on Facebook: “I’ve been an atheist for over 70 years but I just heard the news and now I must admit.
There is a God.” There was an immediate rash of answers to my words, 95% positive. But the 5% of Trump followers immediately thought I was wishing Trump death. For that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that my words could be so misinterpreted by people who are in a mindless frenzy and imagine that they are in a life-and-death struggle with their friends and neighbors. A woman, formerly a good friend of mine, wrote that my words were wishing Donald Trump’s death.
Ridiculous. My words were written about the irony of the situation – nothing more. The comments on Facebook against me were amusing and vicious. One man wrote, “Jerry is a self centered egomaniac with minimal talent. Still pissed that he’s ugly AND bald.” Now I am a bit of an egomaniac and I could go along with the claim that I have minimal talent and yes I am kind of ugly but why … why … why did he have to say that I am bald. He broke my heart. I must admit I looked him up on Facebook and he has this wonderful head of beautiful hair. I’m in awe of his gorgeous hair. I hope some day he meets his hero Donald Trump and they hug each other (both without masks,and maybe a slobbering kiss is in order) and I hope they compare their wonderful hair styles and perhaps agree to a hair contest. You know, a hair-off.
It would be good for the country. For those who are “irony-challenged,” perhaps I should explain my words in a way that they might understand if they can get past their blind anger. Imagine you are at an ice-skating rink and you are pushed aside and almost fall by a big fat bully show-off and you watch as he pirouettes and glides to the applause of his friends and then imagine you see him spin and go up in the air and then he falls on his ass.
No, you don’t wish that he breaks his neck and dies. You’re happy with the image of the big fat dope falling on his ass. Get it? Please understand. My words were about Trump the bully, who has been so cavalier about the coronavirus. My words were about Trump who pretended that the disease was gone … never here. My words were about Trump who said people should drink disinfectants to cure it. My words were about an idiot who was party to giving most of the people in his White House crew the coronavirus because they played a dangerous game of “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Let me repeat. My message was not meant to wish Trump any harm, but to wish him great embarrassment. Let me point out that in March of this year, my brother Joe, who I loved so, so much, died from the coronavirus. Joe, by the way, was a fervent Donald Trump follower and fan (a subject he and I never discussed because we loved each other too much to talk about Donald Trump). Joe was a sweet, wonderful man. I miss him every day. In his memory I could never wish a death on anyone. I could never wish Trump any physical harm. What I wished for Trump was embarrassment. Which, to a megalomaniac like Trump and to many of his drooling followers, is a fate that is worse than death.
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