10:08:11 pm on
Monday 16 Jul 2018

LOTUS
AJ Robinson

The word, Lotus, usually refers to a flower. It’s a clean and pure flower contrasting the murky pond muck where it lives. At night, it closes petals and seems to sink below the water, only to arise, again, with the light of the new day. In Greek mythology, those lotus-eaters became forgetful and induced to a dream-like languor.


A pungent new Lotus.

In another context, today, and in all capital letters, LOTUS stands for Liar of the United States. What’s truly sad is I don’t have to name the person in question, everyone can figure it out, as it rhymes with LOTUS, both in all capital letters. Now, take a moment to let that settle in your mind.

Think about it, we have come to a point, literally, in our history where we accept the president lies, as does a Persian rug. He not only lies, he does it on a regular, a daily, basis. He does it almost every time he speaks, without apparent remorse.

I only slipped in the word, almost, because every occasionally, usually in the case of a short sentence, with one or two words, he does say something truthful. Still, a recent newspaper article contained a list of the three thousand lies LOTUS spewed since taking office. A pants-on-fire scale is no longer sufficient to characterise his lying.

Again, think about that! When the Affordable Care Act went into effect and it turned out some people couldn’t keep their physician, the right wing went bat-crap crazy talking about how Obama lied to the country. Now, it didn’t matter that what it meant was you couldn’t keep a physician because your old health insurance was junk and you were now on a decent plan. No, only one thing mattered: Obama lied, ostensibly.

Following the attack on Benghazi, a representative from the administration went on the Sunday news shows to answer questions. She based her responses on the best available data on the event, which, at that point, was not even a day old. It later turned out that some of her information was wrong. Again, the right wing went thermal and the career, of poor woman, destroyed, well, almost, because she didn’t lie.

I remember, during the Watergate scandal, there what was known as a non-denial denial, a non sequitur. Non means not, sequitur means follow, together the words mean, does not follow. A non sequitur is a fallacy involving, for example, two statements. “Mary-Jo drives a car. She must be wealthy.” Only those in a dreamy languor believe those two statements follow, logically.


Watergate non-sequiturs.

During Watergate, a member of the administration, facing tough questions about the break-in and the investigation, would find themselves stuck on what to say. They didn’t want to lie or perjure themselves, but couldn’t tell the truth. Thus, they gave a non sequitur and prayed the reporter didn’t ask a tough follow-up question.

For example, during the trial of one of the Watergate burglars, Eugenion Martinez said, “I don’t care who (your answers) might help or hurt … don’t pull any punches.” Another minor defendant said, “I will do anything to protect this Country,” as he tried to explain why he helped break in to the Democratic Party Headquarters, in Washington, DC, on the night of Saturday 17 June 1972. More recently, Bridgette Dunlap, of Rolling Stone, commented that LOTUS “either doesn't understand or completely disdains our system of laws. He responds to criticism or questioning with non-sequiturs about how his campaign was great and his election win huge because he thinks his victory entitles him to do [or say] whatever he wants ….”

Yes, there was a time, long ago in the time of the ancients, I suppose, when reporters actually meaningful, thought provoking and sometimes difficult questions. Gee, what an idea. I don’t know how long ago this ideal form existed, maybe in the time of JBL.

Bush 43 was largely soft balled by the press, although touch questions were required. I realize that the very idea of such a thing today is unthinkable. What of tomorrow, will journalists become total lackeys?

We live in a post-fact, alternate-facts reality because of LOTUS, politicians feel free to say anything they want. Journalists smile, nod and scribble in notebooks or thumbs fly furiously to create a text message, received by someone that also nods ascent, without much thought.

These sad facts lead me to one very important thought: where will it all take us? When the highest office in the land belongs to a sideshow conman, where do we go? When an entire political party venerates a man that lies, with no thought to the consequences, what’s next? When lauding a man with no morals, no ethics and no values as a pillar of Christian morality, how do we respond?

My hope is that we have finally hit bottom, but, to be honest, I’m not sure we are there yet. Just when LOTUS has pulled yet another stunt, which I think pushes beyond the norms of a civilized society and that finally his minions will desert him, they don’t. Of all of them, I have to say, with deep regret, the evangelicals are the most disappointing; granted, many of them are hypocrites, but I thought even they would have their limit.

I have hope for the future. When I despair, I am encouraged by the fact that Democrats are winning races across the country. It makes me think the midterm elections will truly see that Blue Wave and maybe we can get back to the business of governing. I give you all this warning, though: do not rest on your laurels. We can lose just as easily as we can win and, to quote NASA, failure is not an option.


The present is dark.

The light at the end of the tunnel may be fast approaching. America, once a relatively clean and pure flower in a murky world, will survive. Its petals closed for now, by LOTUS, can open, again, to a new day. The media will stop eating the lotus flower. Stay strong and fight for what we know is right!

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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