Thursday, August 20, 2020

Airplane Meal

“Think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.”  

                                – David Sedaris speaking of undecided voters

I’ve hated Republicans my whole voting life. Which began with the election of Richard Nixon. I rest my case.

But there was a time when I could at least almost understand that someone didn’t like government interference and too many social programs and liked the Republican candidate’s family values. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a time when I could almost conjure up a sliver of agreement with the Far Lefties that there’s not much difference between Republicans and Democrats and I should go for the Green Party. There was a time when the above-it-all “I’m not into politics” New Age seekers seemed like an almost viable spiritual posture.

But not anymore. The election of 2016, along with climate change, pandemics, school shootings and rampant police violence,  changed all of that. And here in 2020, the choice is not between free-range chicken and KFC or chicken and tofu. It’s … well, David Sedaris nailed it above. 

I could almost—again, a very tiny sliver of almost—forgive those who voted for the Toddler-in-Chief the first time, thinking that the country needed a maverick to shake things up. But after four years of lowering the bar beyond anybody’s imagination—and then lowering it yet again—and again—and again, I simply cannot conjure up an ounce of understanding, sympathy or compassion for those still backing the guy. 

The “undecided” group is beyond the capacity of my stomach to digest, but those who are decided and gleefully put up their Trump signs—like a neighbor just did in the rural Michigan setting where we’ve settled for the summer—well, that’s simply beyond my comprehension. It’s like they’re publicly announcing:

“Hey, I’m choosing the shit plate with the broken glass. Pretty cool, huh?”

Can we re-institute the Space Program and send these folks to the moon? At least on the trip, the flight attendants know what to serve them.  


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