Mr. Clampett goes to Washington

Opinion: Columns

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By John Hubbuch

American tradition holds that when, on Oct. 19, 1781, the British army surrendered to the combined American and French forces at Yorktown, Virginia, the British drummers and fifers played the tune "The World Turn'd Upside Down." 

Accounts say that some of the 8,000 troops wept and some were drunk. Others threw down their weapons in anger or disgust. None of them could believe that the upstart colonial army could defeat the then-reigning world's greatest power in a war.

I suspect most Oak Parkers can sympathize with those poor Brits following Donald Trump's unlikely and unanticipated election as president. Our worlds were also turned upside down, and no doubt some cried, others drank and still others smashed their remotes.

Yet we humans are a resilient species. Two months have passed. The holidays have come and gone. We still have to go to work. The kids are back in school. There is snow to shovel and bills to pay.

The inauguration looms. There is a powerful sense of uncertainty. The new president is cartoonishly unprepared. In background and temperament he is closer to Springfield Mayor Quimby of The Simpsons, or the cross-eyed, bolo-paddling Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles. The nation's daily attention focuses on the late-night twittered musings of a now Washington D.C.-based Jed Clampett. We are told he is a disrupter who will change things. True dat. He has proposed transmitting top secret communications by courier. Can invisible ink and decoder rings be far behind?

In this upside-down world, Messrs. Pence, Ryan, McConnell and McCain are now our first line of defense. The old tired stalwart Democrats and liberal press can be counted on to organize the resistance movement. Recall that the earth was once flat and the center of the universe. Maybe we got this all wrong. Maybe this individual freedom, diversity and fact-based world was just a passing fancy. Time will tell.

The Greeks gave us hubris. Shakespeare observed the foolishness of mortals. The Germans coined the concept of schadenfreude, that deliciously wicked condition of celebrating the failure of another. 

On Jan. 20, 2017 Donald Trump becomes president.

I can't wait.

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