Our increasingly fraught relationship with reality

Dear President Trump,

I found it! The badge button I was telling you about yesterday was in my pocket the whole time and I found it this morning when I put on that jacket again to take the dogs out. My hands were cold standing there waiting for them and so they (my hands) went into their respective pocket zones. I realized pretty quickly that the thing my left-hand fingers had mistaken for a heavy bit of paper was really the “Peace is Patriotic” button I found and then “lost” yesterday. Last night Laura and I even walked up to the spot where I thought I’d dropped it and of course we didn’t find it…..because it was home in my pocket the whole time. Sigh.

Oh well, it’s found.

And its big message in little font gets to be raised up again – Veterans for Peace want to remind us that peace is patriotic. Got that?

Getting back to the issue of not being able to track things properly that are right there and are actually quite obviously right there. I freely admit that I did this with the button and I’m sure I’ve done it with a dozen other things in the last week – in fact I did it last night when I was trying to find Laura’s ringing phone for her and persisted in rifling through her backpack because that’s where she almost always leaves it, totally missing that it was on the shelf right next to her backpack merrily ringing away. Right there in front of me. I don’t think I’m the only one this sort of thing happens to. Sometimes our first quick take on something or our expectations and preconceived notions are so powerful they blind us to what is real and what is obvious only when we finally snap out of whatever blinkered zone we were in. None of this is news; it’s the stuff of implicit bias and stereotyping and moving through the world on autopilot, etc. I dare say, we, the bumbling collective we, do it all the time, even when we aren’t glued to our devices.

And then there are those among us who take these human foibles and failings (as in some are just nuisance foibles like not seeing the ringing phone right there and some are dangerous failings like racist armed white people not seeing the humanity of the black people in front of them) in entirely different directions, like insisting that what is right in front of us, obvious as day, is not what it is but rather the opposite of what our senses and intellect are telling us it is.

What pray tell am I referring to? Not a big shocker, but I’m referring to the crazy contortions you and your Fox/GOP mouthpieces are going through to convince your peeps that you are innocent of obstruction, that it was a-ok for all those campaign folks to hook up with various Russians and for you to have a major real estate deal in the works in Moscow while campaigning for POTUS (and deny it). I will give you all credit for keeping it simple and not trying to carry on any sort of pseudo-intellectual discourse about any of this. Much better to just say over and over and over, preferably loudly and indignantly, that the Special Counsel’s report (and his statement yesterday) exonerated you because there were no criminal charges. Doesn’t matter what the report says or what Mueller said yesterday. Not one tiny bit. Nope – down is up and up is down and Mueller doesn’t know the law and is “basically full of crap” (as per Hannity).

So far this is working out well for you and what’s more, it’s working out extremely well for Vladimir. He’s getting to cash in big time on the insurance policy he took out by goosing things to help you win (as characterized by you earlier this evening). Dang. You are utterly shameless. And shameful. But what’s new?

May we be safe from brazen manipulators.
May we be willing to cut through the bullshit and see reality for what it is.
May we not lose our capacity for stalwart critical thinking.
May we choose peace over and over and over.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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