Superman Versus The Monster In The Mirror

    I am now and have always been a fan of science fiction and fantasy. I suspect my reason for being a fan of the genre was the same as most people ; a desire to escape the mundane and routine activities of life. As an avid reader I tend to pick material that goes beyond the ordinary. I guess you can say that it gives me a chance to live vicariously the lives of other more interesting and fantastic people, albeit fictional. My absolute favorite Sci-Fi/ Fantasy character is Superman. Superman represents that feeling that all of us nerds share. That feeling that underneath the geeky and weak exterior lies a very powerful and benevolent being. Another favorite fantasy vehicle for me was the Twilight Zone TV series hosted by the late Rod Serling.

   The Twilight Zone reruns used to come on late at night when I was growing up in New Orleans. I remember this one particular episode that became my absolute favorite.  In the introduction Rod Serling is standing in front of a map of the United States. He goes on to explain that one day everything disappeared except this one little town, Peaksville, Ohio. The people in the town wasn’t sure if the rest of the world was removed or if Peaksville itself had been transported. The one thing that the citizens knew with certainty was the cause of this event. A monster had arrived. Serling goes on to describe this very powerful monster that can, just by using its mind, can make anything happen. Further more, the monster can read minds and sense emotions and if anyone thought anything bad about the monster…lookout. The monster could turn you into a “grotesque creature” or simply wish you away into a cornfield in which there was no escape. At the end of the introduction mister Serling remembers that he hadn’t introduced the TV audience to the monster. The monster as it turns out was a six year old little boy with a “guileless” smile named Anthony Fremont. Little Anthony Fremont was a cruel bully, with absolute power that constantly terrorized the people of Peaksville. He made people vanish, put them on fire and even turned a guy into a jack in the box at the man’s own birthday party. He was the polar opposite of the Superman character. He was a malevolent and very powerful being. 

   On January 20th,2017 we transitioned from Superman to Anthony Fremont. In President Barack Obama we had a gentleman who used the powers of the presidency for the good of the United States and the world. In Donald J Trump we have a “president ” that routinely uses his powers to bully and belittle others. The parallels between the Anthony Fremont character and Mister Trump cannot go unnoticed. Mister Trump is the most powerful man in the world and yet,much like Anthony, he punishes people(via twitter) that dare to say anything critical of him. His language and mannerisms are childlike and given the enormous authority he possesses that interposition becomes striking.  In many ways Donald Trump is a Bizzaro version of President Obama. On the one hand you have a charismatic,intelligent young black man and on the other you have an old,stupid white guy. The results of that to date is well documented. 

   Given all that has transpired since the election of 2016, I can’t help but wonder if this monster in Donald Trump is simply a reflection of what we are as a nation. Mister Trump didn’t get to the Oval Office by accident. He campaigned and appealed to millions with a message of hate and intolerance and it worked. For as ridiculous and asinine as mister Trumps well documented actions are, none of these character traits were a secret to the electorate. People knew about him and they voted for him by the millions. Not only did Secretary Clinton lose badly to him but so did many democrats on the same ticket. What all this tells me is that perhaps Donald Trump isn’t the cause but rather the symptom. Trump is the symptom of a citizenry that suffers from apathy and willful ignorance. He is the symptom of a society that is rejecting science, and reason, and facts for half truths and outright lies. 

    The way to defeat this monster isn’t solely to highlight the misdeeds of the president but it also involves better messaging. I personally feel that the president is a foolish man child uniquely unqualified to hold the office. I believe he is a lair and quite possibly suffers from mental illness. However, I do believe that he is absolutely genuine. What you see in him is what you get and THAT is appealing to voters. We ( democrats and people that oppose him) have got to be as dedicated to liberal causes as the the republicans are to conservative causes. I do not believe we should abandon focus on the misdeeds of the president but we also have to offer our own solutions and contrast them to the republicans. People need something to vote for as well as something to vote against. 

    Those are some general principles. I think specifically each of us can do the following: Encourage and help others register for the vote, Vote, Find out your elected representatives contact information and communicate your feelings, Engage with people of different ideologies and try to understand them, Donate money to candidates and causes you support and finally educate yourself and others on the issues. Victory can’t be won in one day or one  election. Through dedication, steadfastness and absolute resolve we can make this nation and the world a better place, but we have to start today. 

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