Editor’s note: This column was written before Tuesday’s election.
Who is responsible for our dysfunctional election and government?
No, it’s not Donald Trump.
He has only taken advantage of a dysfunctional electorate composed of voters who stomach his outrageous, immoral, illegal and anti-patriotic actions in the name of party loyalty. They and Republican elected officials all the way from our grass roots to the White House.
Our representative democracy is in a high state of perilous decay. Even dedicated optimists struggle to be optimistic about America’s future.
In 1986, Warner Brothers released a musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” featuring a speaking Venus flytrap (Audrey II) that drinks Seymour’s (Rick Moranis) blood.
As the plant grew, its need for more and more blood exceeded the ability of Seymour’s weakening body to provide its needs.
Desperate, Audrey II persuaded Seymour to kill people to sate its appetite.
It became a highly successful cult movie, that now provides an analogy for our political circumstances.
President Trump is Audrey II. He has no morals. No compassion. He just wants what he wants, the consequences be damned.
Grand Old (Republican) Party leaders are Seymour, who must feed Trump’s maniacal need for power, acclaim and glory.
Trump supporters are Orin (Steve Martin), who Seymour feeds to Audrey II. They do it by doing Trump’s inveigling bidding to support his constant lying, bullying, illegal and undemocratic conduct.
Orin has been blinded by Trump’s incessant lying about unfavorable news reports, which he calls fake news.
Millions of people in our ill-educated electorate don’t have the skills to analyze and question information. As a result they consult their bowels instead of their brains. Like Trump, they label news they don’t like as fake news.
To be sure, many Trump supporters are intelligent, but that doesn’t help when they let their intestines speak louder than their brains. They have been trained in public schools to give teachers what teachers obviously want, and that doesn’t include questioning them.
My roommates at Brigham Young University were aghast when I wrote my first essay on a topic of my choosing in English 101, “Thus I refute Mr. Hill.”
I argued a matter of punctuation style.
My roomies were certain that I’d get an F, and that my obstreperousness might prejudice the professor/student relationship.
Mr. Hill awarded the essay my first “A,” which also was my final grade for the semester.
One of the failures of our political system is that Orin and Seymour have been trained to slavishly follow Audrey II rather than to question him.
Seymour has a moral obligation to stand up to Audrey II, as GOP senators stood up to President Richard Nixon and demand his resignation or be successfully impeached. Impeached because they wouldn’t stomach his illegal actions.
Instead, Seymour is feeding Orin to Audrey II.
Terence L. Day is a retired Washington State faculty member and a Pullman resident since 1972. He encourages email — pro and con — to firstname.lastname@example.org.