Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Dream of Civility Was Frightening

The other night I had a terrible nightmare. I dreamed that all politicians, journalists, and letter-to-the-editor writers declared in unison: “We know that everyone sincerely tried to do their best in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. Mistakes probably were made, but since the impact of this virus was unprecedented, we don’t want to place any blame. We just want to analyze what happened so we’ll be better prepared if another pandemic occurs.”
Then my dream shifted, and I saw the President of the United States on my TV screen. He said, “I’ve been in discussions with my good friends, Speaker Pelosi and Governor Cuomo, and we are creating a bipartisan task force to determine what medical supplies are needed to deal with future health crises, and we will begin stockpiling these items right away.”
Next, I heard Senator Chris Murphy’s voice on my radio. He said, “I want to commend President Trump for working around the clock to deal with this unique challenge. Obviously, no matter who was president when this pandemic hit, there would’ve been tens of thousands of deaths and millions of lost jobs. So, Senator Blumenthal and I have been making phone calls to the members of our party to remind them that it would be unfair to cite health and economic statistics during the election campaign this year. We, of course, want to win or lose elections based on our ability to govern, not by taking cheap shots at our opponents.”
My dream became blurry again and I heard muffled voices in the background. Then my TV screen came into focus, and I saw Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow co-hosting a panel discussion. Sen. Ted Cruz thanked fellow panelist Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her efforts to keep Michigan citizens safe. “I might have done things a bit differently,” Cruz said politely, “but since none of us has ever faced anything like this before, you did what you thought was best.”
Whitmer smiled graciously and said, “Thank you, Ted. And by the way, your tweets are hilarious!”
Then the camera shifted back to Hannity and Maddow. Rachel smiled and said, “We have a big announcement to make. Just like our friends Joe and Mika, Sean and I have fallen in love and we’re to be married in the fall!” Everyone clapped and offered congratulations.
I tossed and turned, as these bizarre and frightening images kept flashing in my slumbering brain. Finally, my alarm clock went off. I sat up quickly, my breathing rapid and shallow. My tee shirt was drenched in sweat.
I stumbled out of bed and went into the living room, where I picked up the remote control and turned on the TV. The first image I saw was Nancy Pelosi, who was passionately shouting, “What do you expect from a morbidly obese idiot, especially when most of that fat is just below his hideous orange hair?!”
Then the TV cut to a video clip of the president, who said, “I really don’t understand how San Franciscans can vote for that wrinkled old sea hag. She looks like she died three years ago!”
I switched the channel, and saw Joe patting Mika on the shoulder as she wailed, “I can’t believe that pile of dung is actually our president! If Hillary was in charge, there would’ve been zero coronavirus deaths! I want to renounce my American citizenship!”
Once more I clicked the button on my remote, and saw the image of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany leaping from the stage and putting Jim Acosta in a headlock. As Acosta struggled to speak, I smiled and said to myself, “Thank goodness it was just a bad dream. Everything is back to normal.”

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