Last night I did my usual volunteer stint at the community-operated Arena Theater and then watched Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Because my wife Jan had read the novel by Gillian Flynn, I knew the gist, which only detracted a little from empathizing alternately with the main characters, Nick Dunne and Amazing Amy.
Naturally it reminded me of the current state of political affairs in the United States. Nick Dunne could represent the Democratic Party, and Amazing Amy could represent the Republican Party. Or maybe a better fit is Nick Dunne represents the Republican Party, and Amy represents the Democratic Party.
The citizens and voters of the United States are represented by the people of the smallish town in Missouri where the happy married couple has moved after losing their respective high-powered writing jobs in New York City. At times they sympathize with Nick, when they think his wife Amy was kidnapped. At times they hate Nick, when they think he killed Amy.
This is a story of multiple levels of deception. That is pretty much politics in a nutshell. Many Democrats believe their party has been hijacked. They voted for Nick (not Hillary), peace and prosperity in 2006, got a Democratic Party controlled Congress starting in 2007 and had full control of Congress and the Executive Branch after Barack Obama won the election of 2008. But instead of peace and prosperity, by then the nation was in the Great Recession, and Obama kept finding reasons to keep killing people in the Middle East and even extended the war to much of Africa.
Obama and Democratic politicians may have made a vow of marriage to Democratic voters, but marriage is not so easy. With the Pentagon waving its tits about, no wonder the boys (and the girls too, Pelosi and Feinstein et al) got distracted. No money! Just run up the credit cards and hope that sooner or later something will come up to keep the nation's head above water. And if a few million, well tens of millions, of Americans lose their jobs and life savings before things get straightened out, that is not because Nick was not trying to be a good husband.
Amy could also represent the Democrats, waving her Ivy League degrees around and refusing to get pregnant, but she is from a rich, cunning family that reminds me of the Bush clan. She was all sex and laughter and wit when her money was mostly inherited, but she turns vicious when she has little to do but play MacHousewife in a MacMansion in the kind of boring small city that breeds your typical Republican voter.
Amy and the Republican leaders, are all about deception. Many Republicans believe their party has been hijacked. The Tea Party types feel the Grand Old Party was hijacked by crony capitalists (it was formed in the late 1850s by a coalition that included crony capitalists). The mainstream Republicans feel the wackos in the Tea Party cause them to lose elections. Worse, if elected, Tea Party Republicans won't vote to spend the money so important to a wide variety of business men who have learned that the government market is much more profitable than the ruinous competition one sometimes encounters in the free market. In American politics everyone liked building roads until the Tea Party came along.
And who needs Al-Qaeda to cripple the economy by blowing up a bridge (in America) or two when Amazing Amy will just deny funds for its repair, until it eventually collapses?
You can't trust any politician. Or the media, or the police. Yet you have to some trust people. That is called society. Choosing who to trust, or how much to trust, is the most important skill you can develop.
"Therefore since the world has still,
Much good, but much less good than ill ...
I'd face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good"
— A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad