Celebrations for France’s victory at the World Cup were at fever pitch when fallout from the Trump-Putin cozy-up hit the fan. The spotlight suddenly swerved to the Helsinki summit, where the two leaders had a one-on-one.
A week later, the world is still wondering what they talked about. How many translators were there? I wonder if they sleep nights.
Now Trump admits he misspoke. It was the case of a missing apostrophe, or a double negative. He said, “would” instead of “wouldn’t.” Is this just for comic relief? Is anyone buying it?
The media won’t let it go. They have dissected every sound bite, every possible nuance in his voice. Even his usual allies are alarmed. Accusers are having a field day while apologists scramble for alibis. Analysts and political personalities have lined up to give their two cents’ worth.
I have a problem. I don’t know what/who to believe. I am confused. The evidence seems damning, indefensible. Is it?
I am thinking, will he ever live this down? Will the critics, and he has legion, ever let him off the hook? It seems that the more he explains, the deeper the hole gets.
My old reliable “wise voice” for things political believes most people have short attention spans and will soon latch on to newer “breaking news.” “Another crisis will soon catch their attention.” You think?
He is probably right. True, many get fixated on the object of their disaffection. But we are a fickle lot. We flare up and rant to the four winds, and then we get bored and go off hunting for fresher bones to pick. I try to listen to both sides and look for something, anything, positive, no matter how dismal or depressing. It isn’t easy.
I grew up in the post-World War II era. The horrors of war inflicted by Hitler and his accomplices and our own experiences under Japanese rule are impossible to forget.
For years we looked to America for hope and imbibed everything we were taught about democracy and freedom. It was clearly a blessing to have been on the side of the liberators.
But the menacing specter of Communism soon became our nightmare. The Soviet Union turned from an ally to the new contrabida. I remember being taught in school that the enemy was Communism, an ideology I didn’t quite understand. But even at an early age we were taught to reject and push back against the “Reds.”
Whenever there is a “situation” to cover on national television, I marvel at the work of the people behind the scenes. I am awed by their hard work and amazed at their talent and ability to have images of past history so quickly on the screen in no time at all.
I got a bit weepy when CNN showed a video of Brandenburg Gate, once the symbol of Germany divided. It was also known as the Berlin Wall during the hostilities between the Soviet bloc and the United States-led Western powers, 1945-1990.
I suppose this was done to refresh our memories of the long animosity between the US and the Russia.
To hear the impassioned voice of US President Ronald Reagan made me emotional all over again. It was in that June 12, 1987 speech that Reagan called out to Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The wall didn’t come down until two years later, but no matter; it was a dramatic moment for the world.
Today those pictures play in sharp contrast to the constantly unraveling reality show of a US President perceived to be playing footsies with his Russian counterpart.
And the world turns—and keeps on turning.
A beautiful respite
I have heard it said by many that Seattle has, at most, only three sunny days a year. I have been here now two weeks and we have had incredibly blue skies and warm sunshine. Nights are clear, the air cool and crisp. Just lucky?
Last weekend we got on a ferry to Bainbridge Island. I can think of no better way to escape the angst and vitriol of the times and find a little bit of peace.
Elliot Bay was calm. It was a splendid morning and our view of Mount Rainier, white and majestic across the bay, was breathtaking. A marvelous change of pace, I thought. I remembered my father. He would have loved this. He always had so many stories to tell about the sea.
As we got underway I looked at the faces of my great grandchildren and listened to their chatter. I can’t get enough. I must remember each moment. We arrived in Bainbridge Island in time for lunch. The balmy air and bright sunshine made us hungry. Thanks to Google we discover Via Rosa 11, an authentic Italian eatery with multistar reviews. It did not disappoint. After lunch we lined up at Mora’s for the creamiest, densest coffee ice cream I’ve ever had. It was past four when we drove to the pier and caught the ferry back to Seattle.
From the deck the view was stunning. The fresh air was exhilarating. I drank it all in. And I felt the warmth of family all around me and thought, it doesn’t get better than this.