Commentary: Whether it’s a movie, TV show or a good book, stories are supposed to have at least one character you can identify with and root for. Stories should have plenty of happy moments. And the story is supposed to lead to a satisfying conclusion. The collective story being written in America in 2017 is a bad one because it lacks all of these fundamental narrative elements.
Let’s start with the 2016 election. The Democrat Party nominated a candidate just because they believed it was her turn by rigging their primary results. She was widely unpopular and unelectable outside of their political bubble and they did not want to face that. The Republican establishment rolled out a group of worn out and uninspiring candidates. They refused to face that. And both parties did their usual job of making sure that third parties didn’t intrude on their dual ownership of American politics. Into the breach stepped a loud New York business and media celebrity who pitched himself as an answer to the frustrations of the great but ignored American Rust Belt and working class. And to everyone’s surprise he got the key to the Oval Office.
Since being elected, Trump has alienated many of his supporters and done little to bring actual relief to the forgotten Americans that elected him. He can still get a crowd rocking at his rallies, but he has not fostered healing to the troubled nation at large and its raging social divisions. Despite his frequent tweets and public statements, many times he seems unable to accurately express what he’s trying to say. And no one around him is helping him with his message.
Democrats have never given an inch and refuse to work with Trump. Prominent fellow Republicans, angry that an outsider stole away their nomination, have worked as an obstructing force against the President. The corporate news media has enthusiastically been working against Trump virtually nonstop from the beginning to promote their own questionable agendas. And there are other groups pursuing their own ends actively working against Trump. While all this goes on, the still forgotten folks in the Rust Belt mainly continue to support Trump because there is no one else on the national stage to support.
If you were to pitch this story to Hollywood they would throw you out of the office. No likeable characters to identify with, too much anger, not enough sweet or happy moments, nothing positive is developing in the story, and a happy ending appears out of the question from this distressing and unfocused yarn.
Left to watch this toxic production are the American people who continue to suffer from this tragically bad play. Notice how all the prominent players contributing to this mess are being well paid for doing so. While that goes on, the American people get poorer and more forgotten by the day.
In a good dramatic story, there is a point when things seem bleak or hopeless. But that’s the time when the Big Hero emerges out of the darkness to turn things around and save the day. If there is to be a happy ending in our future, it won’t be some elected official or know-it-all media figure wearing a colorful cape who comes flying down from a skyscraper to save us. It will be we Americans doing heroic things in our own circles of life who become heroes big or small. And you don’t have to save the world. All you need to do is contribute something to making our story better.
We already what roles the power players and agitators and media will continue to play. We the People are the heroes who bravely carry on each day amidst the conflict and chaos to carve out the best lives we can. We the People must write our own script to bring a happy ending to our failing national drama, or at least our role in it. Want to meet the Big Hero? Take a good look in the mirror.