“I prefer to think that God is not dead, just drunk.” These words were spoken by the late American film director John Marcellus Huston who worked his magic behind the camera for such classics as The Maltese Falcon and whose daughter (Anjelica Huston) made her claim to fame as Morticia Addams in The Addams Family movies. It’s times like these when I really begin to wonder if there may be at least some truth to that notion. Simply put, things seem completely upside down and basically bat sh*t crazy right now, don’t they? Let’s take a moment to address our nation’s/the world’s elephant (in the room): Donald…freaking…Trump is the President of the United States of America. Holy crap. President Trump. POTUS. Commander in Chief. This is nothing to say of support or opposition to the man himself or to his new presidential administration (Lord knows we have enough political opinion pieces readily available for your consumption if you wish to read about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the current state of Washington on both sides of the aisle). No, this isn’t about passing judgment or providing political food-for-thought, but rather it’s a simple (and still as shocking as November 8th) observation that our current President is the same man we watched grow a real estate empire into a casino power grab, lose it all through economic downturns and divorce played out in America’s living room, and then subsequently return to new heights of prominence, which he then would parlay into reality show stardom. Today…he’s the Leader of the Free World. Talk about your all-time 360s. 180s?
The normal course of events following a Presidential election in November (and the frantic pace of the chaotic rhetoric running up to that election) is for the nation to collectively pause, exhale, and take stock of our collective surroundings. To self-reflect as we celebrate the holiday season and await Inauguration Day in January. But what I noticed this week is that we never gave ourselves that chance. The frantic pace and chaotic rhetoric decided instead to take a ‘working lunch’ during the holidays as it was full-steam ahead. So here we are now, in the midst of The First 100 Days and as we finally do take a brief moment to pause and absorb the political soap opera that is our new reality, the whole thing really is mind-boggling. How in the hell did we get here? Sure one can argue that we got here by having the GOP hone-in on the message of a large group of voters who finally got tired of feeling disenfranchised by the status quo. Or we can chalk up our arrival at today’s madness as the result of the Democratic establishment backing the wrong candidate when the primaries began a year ago. Or perhaps we can lay blame/credit at the feet of our Founding Fathers who concocted an Electoral College which allowed for the will of the nation’s majority to be outmatched by the power of the influential swing state. But I have an alternate theory: John Marcellus Huston may have in fact nailed it. Trump himself might steer clear of the sauce, but what if that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not under the influence of an inebriated higher power? What if the Almighty really is just a bit tipsy as He hovers above the stage, ever-fidgeting with the puppet strings that cause us all to dance and sway? Wouldn’t that go a long way to explaining so very much? For those of us who prefer to think we are all in control of our individual destinies this may be quite the troubling notion. But for others who would simply prefer to at last have an answer and someone onto whose shoulders we can pass off the pressure and anxiety, maybe this theory is a helpful sleep aid.
I don’t know yet if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Donald J. Trump is the man in the (Oval) mirror, but I do know that none of us are adequately mentally prepared. I’m fairly certain none of us planned for this four years ago following the January 2013 Inauguration when we knew the next President would be a new face, one way or the other. And all of this reminds me of another quote which seems very apropos (attributed to yet another film director, Woody Allen) and this one feels all the more plausible when picturing the Big Guy upstairs sitting feet-up in His lounge chair, swirling the brandy snifter in His hand as He notices us meticulously penning the next chapter to our life stories: “If you want God to laugh at you, tell Him about your plans.”