“Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.” – Terence Mann in Field of Dreams
I was a kid in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, decades where you Mom would throw you out of the house on Saturday morning and tell you to come back by dinner. I raised children in the 2000’s, daughters at that. We kept a closer tab on their comings and goings, not out of fear but responsibility. As my children got older they acquired more independence and with that independence came more responsibility, something their parents taught them, and again not out of fear but that is what independence entails.
Like any old person, I hearken back to the “good old days” from time to time where, the perception is, living was simpler. My memories of this time are, as the Field of Dreams character Terence Mann reminisced, “so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.” But here is thing, my children, children of 1990’s and 2000’s have those same memories, memories of a simpler time. A time of flip-phones, dial-up internet, AOL and MySpace. Have you figured it out yet? It is all about perspective.
I watched 90 seconds of Trumps State of the Union last night, by mistake I might add, and in those 90 seconds he was talking about fear, fear of some shadow enemy that is wreaking havoc on the American dream. In those 90 seconds I realized what the Deplorable nation sees in this man, Ronald Reagan, John Wayne and General George Patton all rolled into one creature with a horrible comb over and a bad spray tan.
Think about it from the Evangelicals and the old white Deplorable’s standpoint, who has Trump pledge to protect them from? It’s a pretty long list;
- The liberal media
- Democrats in general
- Mexicans & MS-13 gang members
- North Korea
The one villain that would have been on the Ronald Reagan, John Wayne and General George Patton’s list but not on Trumps? Russia.
You see what the Evangelicals and old white Deplorable’s want is the America of old, the America they remember, the one that burns coal with a hierarchy of who’s, who’s they are most comfortable with and Trump is happy to oblige them, particularly the hierarchy part. Trump isn’t selling progress, he isn’t selling unity, he is selling fear and white, conservative Americans are buying it. Trump and the Republicans are playing to their fears, fear of change, fear of the different, fear of people who don’t look like they do, talk like they do, or worship like they do.
My children, your children, our grandchildren will have a lot of work to do in the future to correct and undo all that Trump, the Evangelicals and the old white Deplorable’s have tried to destroy. And I say try because despite their attempts, and despite their efforts to create their own Field of Dreams they won’t and can’t succeed because only an old, white and small minority believes that Trump can deliver on this Hollywood fairy-tale. All Trumps bluster and bullshit is doing is making the resistance stronger, growing a new crop of voices, like my kids, who have their own vision of America, and if you ask them nicely, maybe they will make a little space for the Evangelicals and the old white Deplorable’s in their Field of Dreams.