To The Daily Sun,
Years ago we were humorously introduced to the story of Chauncey Gardiner, later to be played by Peter Sellers in the movie "Being There." In the story, Chance the gardener, with limited mental capacities, must depart from the sheltered life provided by his newly deceased patron. By way of being injured in a car accident, Chance ends up in the home of a media icon whose influence runs from Wall Street to the White House. The icon's wife mistakes his name as being Chauncey Gardiner, a name she assumes reflects the upper class.
Since Chauncey is living in the home of one of the country's power figures, he is questioned about high finance and politics which he responds to with a gardener's wisdom. In answering a TV questioner about the economic slowdown, he responds, "In a garden things grow... but first they must wither. Trees have to lose their leaves in order to put forth new leaves..."
This earthy wisdom stuns Wall Street, the United Nations, and the White House, which cannot gain any information about Chauncey because his incapacity has left him without any trace of a license, employment, or education. Next he is proposed to be the best candidate for the presidency, "Gardiner has no background, and so he's not, and cannot be, objectionable to anyone. He's personable, well spoken, and he comes across well on TV... Gardiner is our one chance."
The story revels in all the phoniness in American culture. We are treated to the foolishness of trying to make sense out of nonsense and the alchemy of pretending that gold can be made from lesser metals.
Today we suffer not from fiction, but the reality of mistaken identities. A political campaign filled with false posturing as fact, and a desire to avoid acknowledging the hard disciplines of political leadership. Garden wisdom will not suffice.
It is certain that Mr. Trump really believes "I am the only one who can solve these problems." Thinking back over nearly a dozen presidents whose egos were not small, I have nothing but dismay at such arrogance. He has grossly mistaken his identity. Further still, he invites folk to join a movement which rests completely upon his emotional immaturity.
Let's use the last few weeks to weed out the false or fictional images, honor fact-finding, and recognize the wisdom required for the most demanding job in the world.
- Category: Letters
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