The Great American Tragedy

I’ve had a few “traditional” occupations in my lifetime, as well as being a lifelong artist and craftsperson. At my last “day job,” I was the Supervisor of Medical Billing and Reimbursement at a large, non-profit organization. During yesterday’s press briefing spotlighting healthcare, Sean Spicer lied repeatedly and displayed his ignorance in regards to the policies of Medicare, Tricare (for members of the armed services and their dependents) and other federally-funded and private health insurance companies. I was enraged as I watched!

Thankfully, I did get a moment’s relief; I couldn’t help but chuckle at the visual aid. Two piles of paper were on display next to Spicer, representing the former ACA (a tall stack) and the replacement (a short stack). Remember the press conference featuring Trump’s accountant? I guess #45 thought the avalanche of folders representing his financial paperwork was effective. Perhaps he thought it would help drive the point home to the “uneducated Americas” Trump professed his love for during his campaign. Whatever the case, the majority of responses I saw or read categorized the display as downright comical.

I’ll say this about Spicer, his press briefings are certainly entertaining! He’s become a verbal Houdini, squirming out of the tight spots and challenging questions that result from the antics of his boss. You’ve got to hand it to the press; they don’t easily drop their attempts to get at the truth. Yesterday was no acception, especially since in was the first briefing in days, during which time the “Tweeter-in-Chief” had outdone himself, accusing his predecessor of wire-tapping Trump Tower. (At this point, SNL skits are writing themselves!) Spicer did so much rapid fire bobbing, weaving and spinning as the questions flew at him, I couldn’t help but wonder if a staffer holding a stiff drink was in the wings waiting for him!

Despite the Republicans’ attempt at cheerleading, this is a deeply distressing time to be an American. It’s also exhausting, if you’re committed to being well-informed about the daily news from D.C. It’s often necessary to consult a variety of news sources and to fact check each story. Lying, deflecting and insulting the intelligence of the American people is the new normal in the White House. I’ve said it before and I’ll be saying it perpetually, this administration is the embodiment of the great American tragedy.

image

 

 

Kellyanne

There has been no shortage of cringe-worthy moments on display since Donald Trump began his reign in January. It’s only natural, considering the current administration is big on optics and short on substance. It’s inevitable, when photo ops are used to paint a picture of a benevolent leader, a fairy tale that insults the intelligence of the American people. It’s embarrassing, every time #45 opens his mouth and destroys the image his people are trying to construct. And it’s infuriating, because this is the American president!

The brand-builder-in-chief is surrounded by people who indulge him, like the nannies of a spoiled child whose messes they’ll gladly clean up. Trump was their ticket into the White House, where they can plump up their resumes, feed their own egos and, in the case of Steve Bannon, carry out their own agendas simply by whispering compliments into their boss’s ear. While this dynamic isn’t new to the world of politics, the blatant lying that is commonplace within the Trump administration is. We’re now used to “alternative facts,” a phrase coined by Kellyanne Conway, who caused a stir recently when she gave a “free commercial” for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. (All was swiftly forgiven, since conflict of interest is a cornerstone of the current administration.)

Kellyanne is back in the news, this time thanks to photos of her that are trending on social media.┬áMaybe no one will scold Donald Trump, but after seeing these photos, I have a few words for Kellyanne. I’m usually quite tolerant of harmless behavior and am by no means a flaming United States patriot, but for some reason, these pictures set me off. Maybe it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back; like many Americans, I’m processing anger and disillusionment on a daily basis. I’ve added an evening session of meditation to my schedule, in order to safeguard my sanity! Obviously, there are many more important issues that deserve attention and they certainly have mine. So, please, give me a few minutes with Ms. Conway and I’ll move on.

You’re now a member of the Trump administration, Kellyanne, in a role that keeps you close to the President. Pictures will be snapped and your conduct will be on display. You have the privilege of working in the White House, the home to your President’s predecessors. This beautiful and historic building has stood proudly throughout history and it’s residents have hosted great leaders, thinkers, artists and heroes, from not only America, but from around the word. Within these walls, important legislation has been signed into law, critical decisions have been made and the integrity and intelligence of every president has been tested.

Perhaps the significance of the West Wing hasn’t eluded you, Kellyanne, but you need a reminder. The White House isn’t one of your boss’s hotels, where you can romp through the halls and play in the elevators to your heart’s content, like Eloise at the Plaza. The photos currently making the rounds capture an event that honored the distinguished men and women who preside over our country’s African American universities. During the proceedings, you’re casually hanging out on a sofa in a less than graceful position, snapping cell phone photos and looking like a teenager on “Take Your Daughter to Work” day.

To be fair, your boss hasn’t exactly been an stellar role model. The somber significance of the “Wall of Stars” completely eluded the President and cameras captured a man more focused on the size of the crowds he drew, instead of the sacred space where he stood. As I look at these images and the conduct they illustrate, one thing is clear. You and the Trump administration have disrespected the spaces you inhabit and, frankly, it disturbs me.