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  • Writer's picturePhilip Drucker


You know what’s great about imagination? It’s the equivalent of walking around every day with a blank canvas stuck in your head waiting to be filled with wonderful depictions of the uncanny, the unreal and the unknown.

In the art world, it is imagination that allows the impossible to become possible, and the possible to be probable. It’s the magic spaces between the notes and the statue of David hiding within a block of marble waiting to be revealed.

Ultimately, imagination involves the seemingly unknowable somehow brought to the surface and ready to be shared by the artist and viewer alike. It’s what makes predictions of a better tomorrow possible today. If someone can imagine it, someone else can build it. If someone can build it, someone else can sell it. For purposes of business and invention, we call making better products for less money innovation.

However, inspiration, ingenuity, originality, whatever you want to call it does not adapt itself well to certain genres requiring responsibility and thoughtfulness that one’s imagination doesn’t run wild, for there are consequences to flights of fancy, often turning to mere fantasy including when the situation demands sober reflection and sound judgment lest we all suffer negative ramifications due to the inability to employ critical thinking and analysis.

You know, thinking it through, looking before you leap, paying attention to what I call “if this, then that” philosophy, also known as cause and effect. There are simply some situations where a certain level of practicality, reality, utility, even procrastination and compromise are a necessity, otherwise, time and money could be wasted on a potentially global scale.

There are those times when the experiential, and experimental, no matter how brilliant in concept and scope, must take a back seat to viability and feasibility based on as much empirical data as possible before given the opportunity for anything from dining room table discussions all the way up to robust debate in the Capitol rotunda.

For when it comes to political speech, policies and procedures, outright fantasy, nightmarish scenarios and dystopian sentiment do not make for legitimate political discourse in the sandbox we call Washington, DC. In other words, made-up stories do not become real, simply because someone, or perhaps everyone believes in them.

Unfortunately, we currently live in a country where perhaps as high as half of the voting population would rather spend their time finding conspiracy theories and mistaking their half-baked logic as actual, sometimes rising to the level of and I hate to say it, constitutional analysis, when in fact these tales, mostly of woe, are designed, created and distributed usually via meme, to the vast amount of those who would rather believe in the ridiculous rather than deal with the root causes of their discomfort and displeasure and get this, the crazier the better.

Why face up to the realities of a changing society when you can put your faith in the “truth” behind the democratic party being run by a bunch of pedophiles who are out to steal your children and drink their blood as part of their daily rituals?

Why teach our true history as a nation built in large part on racism and the evil institution of slavery when you can attack Critical Race Theory (CRT) a college level class as dismissive of the accomplishments of white America? If that doesn’t work, you can always go back to the good old days of banning from school libraries and then burning books in bonfires as a moral cleanser for the souls of the essentially soulless, or at least of those with no free will of their own.

Those who prefer to follow the nearest demon they can find in a pinch, usually on television, preaching a gospel of hate, false righteousness and greed who will drag them to the very gates of hell while emptying their pockets of the precious pennies before they will need to cross the river Styx. To hell and back. Where one goes, they all go, right?

When truth becomes expendable, in our case, let’s call it roadkill, no topic, great or small is off limits. The purpose and effect of right-wing propaganda is finding “shared beliefs” with the more the merrier. Remember Benghazi? Hillary’s emails? The pizza parlor basement from which the pedophile ring operated?

After the 2016 election, the lies didn’t go away. They got bigger. During the Trump years, a new “hoax” was revealed to cover the fact that the “hoax” before it didn’t pan out. Then came the Covid-19 pandemic. The lies becoming deadly. Masks became politicized and needlessly people died. Normal persons started to take horse pills to cure a dangerous virus and people needlessly died. When did it stop? It hasn’t.

Yet as time went on, it must have occurred to some of the miscreants who erroneously mistake themselves for patriots, that nothing they were being led to believe was happening. The economy started to crater. Jobs did not come back and the mortgage was still due at the end of the month.

Nearing the end of his tumultuous first term Trump was looking for a new, bigger, better distraction to keep his army of zombies to focus on. Just like any good Nazi, Trump decided to go big or go home. When it was obvious he would not win reelection, Trump preemptively made up before the votes were counted the “Big Lie” a pot boiler of domestic politics and intrigue based upon non-existent voter fraud that he used as his ticket to despotism.

Then came the inevitable backlash of so many years without seeing success for the MAGAs and the GQP. With doubt a sign of treason and therefore off the table, there is only one way to go. Frustration. And we got it big time as it became clear the January 6 attack on the Capitol building was a pre-planned and coordinated event that led to more bloodshed and loss of life.

The Coup turned out to be little more than a Hail Mary pass that was never going to connect with its intended receivers, the American public. It was an ugly spectacle born out of the misery and resentment of a select group of non-thinkers who claimed they were innocent because their President had invited them to Washington DC to participate in the saving of America from those who would do her harm. Like them. A little projection going on here maybe?

With the current appetite for the unbelievable and bizarre showing no sign of satiation, it would be hard to place a guess as to when the madness might stop, for now we know when ignorance meets arrogance, the afflicted will not let a little thing like an unnecessary death or two get in the way of their twisted belief system.

No, rather than face the truth it would appear there is always another false lighthouse burning brightly to lure the unwary to their fate. Another siren to cry a sinister song of longing and dementia. Another clown to paint their face to do little more than drive up ratings by stoking the fires of doom and gloom.

What happens when the truth becomes an innocent bystander and passive victim of a mass hysteria that can seemingly only be cured by daily doses of the latest crazy? Would you like that injection with or without a microchip?

Well Phil, when you put it that way it’s hard to imagine what we can do next, but that is exactly what we must do for our politics today will have a profound effect on the next generation and surely the generation after that. For that is where the creativity in all matters political lies. Not only in preserving the world today, but bettering the lives of those who will come after us.

For a future forged in the fires of hell will only continue to bring hatred and resentment, the ingredients for the next Kyle Rittenhouse and those who in the name of all that is unholy, not only let him get away with murder, but have turned him into the model citizen of tomorrow, crossing state lines, armed with a rifle so he could play soldier for a couple of hours.

A few hours that brought with it the senseless loss of life as the consequences of the corrosion of our moral and ethical infrastructure leading to the demise of the life, liberty, and the American Dream.

Yet for those of us who believe in American exceptionalism, it’s still not too late to dream about building back better. To contemplate and demonstrate the eternal values of our basic democracy. A place where everyone who wants to vote can without obstruction and where every vote counts.

An America where we honor the family through paid leave and tax cuts for children. Where education is a priority and climate change a reality. Where robber coal barons no longer control the prospects and hence the fate of the poorest among us. A place where we lift ourselves and our neighborhoods out of poverty if for no other reason that it is the right thing to do.

A land of the free and the home of the brave where we judge our peers on the content of the actions and their character, and never by the color of their skin, their heritage or personal religious beliefs. This is the America I dream of. The leader of the free world starting with their own people. Imagine that.

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