There's nothing quite like a crisis to get people to focus. Like in baseball, there are no outs in the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded and your team is up by one run. You are the new relief pitcher. You focus or lose the game. If you're driving across the Salt Flats at 2 a.m. in a 1974 Datsun F10 during a windy blizzard, you focus. Either that or they find you the next day up to your axles in mud and salt looking like the frozen Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
I know with veracity that one is laser focused while driving a tiny car through a snow-blinding blizzard at the edge of our flat earth. I did that plenty of times when I was a Wendover blackjack dealer. That's when you realize that—except for the great people you meet and the nutty stories you gather while doing so—that dealing blackjack in a tiny border town is not a promising career choice. So, you focus.
Since the first part of this year, we've all been focused upon a crisis. We're not sure when it started nor when it will end. One thing leads to another which leads to the same thing happening all over again. Some liken the tribulations of COVID-19 to that of Sisyphus rolling his giant boulder up the hill only to have it roll down the other side, over and over for eternity. They feel no less cursed than Sisyphus, mythology's notable cheater of death.
Since the first of the year, most of us have cheated COVID-19 (so far with fingers crossed, yet knowing mouth breather bikers who travelled to Sturgis currently ride among us and that the asshat COVID spreaders of Utah County wouldn't really love thy neighbor even if Jesus himself masked up). We've also overcome an earthquake that broke many chimneys, the worst fires since the last Yellowstone caldera super volcano eruption, a heat wave that stole what little joy remained of backyard barbeques, no football to speak of (BYU playing a team that hadn't even had a full-tackle practice in a year does not count as football), a soundtrack NBA season and major league baseball being played to crowds of less than a dozen people.
This has also been the year of reckoning for our conscious soul as the nation grapples with how to deal with those who have protested for more than 100 days since the murder of George Floyd. We must have "law and order," Republicans say. It's a tried and true campaign pledge—to scare the crap out of everyone—then do nothing except to attack the very people who try reshaping our notions of justice. If you've been around long enough, you understand that it will be a cold day in hell before our nation honestly comes to grips with how to deal with the racial, systemic—and good ol' boy protected—bad cop violence that kills men like George Floyd.
If you're especially cynical, you'll recall that the first time you watched a president wrapped in law-and-order fealty, he was also a crook: Richard Nixon. I'm convinced that Donald Trump is even more crooked than "Tricky Dick," but unlike Nixon, he's also a drug addict. As Trump's a man inclined to say disparaging things about anyone for any reason, I don't mind in the least that "people are saying" it was not a dust mite that flew out of his snotty, sniffling left nostril on national television during his Labor Day press conference. I had no idea what to make of his nasal UFO when a Google search led to conspiracy tales that it was an Adderall spill. Adderall is a treatment for ADHD and narcolepsy. OK, shoe fits. Now, if only our law-and-order president tackled the greater problem of prescription-drug abuse, we might get somewhere. Ironic, though, that the guy who only hires the best people would be undone by an unqualified pill crusher.
President Kennedy was addicted to pain killers, and Nixon was known to suck up a bottle of bourbon. Having a person lacking full wit as president is nothing new. What is new is that neither Kennedy nor Nixon were sotted on national TV. You know, I might get to like this reality-TV-show presidency yet. Wait, wait, no, I think not.
Because my life in 2020 hasn't been rolling the boulder uphill. Who has the energy for that? No, as I sit now and watch my backyard fence teeter in today's hurricane-force gales (it already toppled and is now supported by slats and rusty nails), my giant willow shedding branches like a Chinese Chow Chow sheds his winter coat, and wondering what nice salsa I could have made from my uprooted tomatoes, I look around and view 2020 as one long Mobius strip.
No matter where I go, I've been there before. So, I sit and focus, focus, focus. Aha! I know the way out. Donald Trump may be many awful things, but today, he is good for something. For me to be rid of 2020, I need something or someone to blame. Trump is the master of blame, you know—faulting both Obama for the past and Biden for the future while ignoring the present which is his dominion. I'm going the Trump blame route. So, now focus and repeat after me:
Everything wrong with 2020 is the fault of that sniveling gosling, Rep. Chris Stewart. Everything. Utah's flaccid, 2nd District congressman exemplifies what's wrong with America. His meme is a Trump-kneeling Mussolini landing a B-1 at Kubinka Air Field, Russia.
Vote Kael Weston—American diplomat, war zone veteran, author and patriot—for Congress.
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