EVEN SCARIER WORDS
The day the president insulted himself I was 8.
I didn’t know anything about him
except that he sold weapons to bad people
and seemed OK with lying about it.
But I’ve always wondered how he could say
such terrible things about himself. That his being there
speaking would terrify a person. It was like he was saying
his presence was scary. Horrifying, like Freddy or Jason,
the ghoulish stuff of nightmares.
He was shaking our shoulders: “wake up!”
to fear the head of the EPA who came to witness
those smoggy skylines in New York and LA
and helped transform them; the yellow sky
turned blue over time like magic
and the dirtiest Great Lake became swimmable, too.
As if the terror of clean air and water is unspeakable.
Like countless roads and power lines maintain themselves.
(wouldn’t that be something?)
What is terrifying about their help?
At least you know what they want.
Far more terrifying would be these words:
I’m from a for-profit company and I’m here to help. Pre-pay only.
You still haven’t reached your deductible.
Let’s invest in this new thing they call a credit default swap.
He has Glioblastoma.
You have a week to vacate the premises.
Step out of the car.
But for a president to sow distrust in government is like
a CEO speaking into the camera “don’t buy this product!” or
a priest preaching to the church to stop trusting Jesus or
a chef telling the hungry to not trust food or
a lawyer persuading the jury to not trust his defense or
a pilot informing the passengers they should not trust his flying
(or planes at all)
because the president is the government
(so are we)
and a president selling you the snake oil of distrust
is offering you something far more terrifying
than a helpful government in your darkest hour.
One that doesn’t exist.
And with your help, it won’t.