By Ernie McCray
Tina Turner once sang “What’s love got to do with it?” And, ordinarily, as one who is a “love my neighbor as thyself” kind of guy, I’d answer: “Everything.” Giving my love is pretty much how I’ve managed to survive in the Milky Way. I don’t know any other way.
But how loving am I? Really? I had never asked that question before receiving an email recently from an old friend, a high school classmate — in response to something I had written about The Donald. She wrote:
Dear Ernie. I believe that Mr. Trump is a deeply disturbed man. The only way I know of to soften that pain in my heart and gut is to send him love.
The words “send him love” jumped out at me like a very well smashed tennis ball coming at me at the net. I had to duck as I sat at my iMac. The thought of sending this president love practically gave me a heart attack.
Now, there’ve been times in my life when I had to dig deep into myself and find a scrap of love for someone whom I held in disdain – but I couldn’t help but think, Send love to Trump? That sounds damn near insane. To do that, it seems, you’d have to have a lobotomy on your brain.
The actor in me, in pondering all this, asked, What is my motivation? I mean, especially considering that I wouldn’t want to shake the man’s hand, take his coat or his hat, open a cab door for him, smile in his presence, squeeze his cheeks and go “goo-goo!” or buy him a beer or even drink one he bought me…
Then I remembered Katie had said that “Trump is a deeply disturbed man.” That stopped me dead in my tracks, and triggered memories of some people I’ve loved dearly who are very much like the president in some ways.
I’m talking about some students who were tagged as Severely Emotionally Disturbed, or SED. Students who inhabited some deep and dark hellish places, taking me there with them in moments. And when we came up for air, my love for them was still there.
So I guess I could send love to the president because he is as emotionally disturbed as any one of them — if I could, however, as I did with them: write poetry and songs with him; do a dance or a skit on stage with him; be fully engaged with him.
But I can’t. He’s way too far away. Leaving me with, like billions of people around the world, absolutely no control over anything he might do or say.
I can’t, as I could with those kids, sit down with him and come up with a decent Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) that could help him feel good about himself and stop bullying people all around the globe on Twitter and from within the White House. I have no way of helping him learn all that he should know, no way of getting him to do his homework and he’s way, way behind.
I have, though, for a long time, felt sincerely sorry for the president, but then he’ll say or do something utterly ridiculous and my momentary spasms of compassion just blow away like a tissue in a hurricane. All I want to do then is gangsta slap the fool and dropkick him to the moon.
So, I guess the only genuine love anyone could give him is some variety of “tough love.”
And, it seems that the only people who can do that are our “representatives.”
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives, on behalf of We the People, should create an IEP for him, addressing the harm he’s doing to our nation. And hold him accountable for, at least, the “progressive” promises he’s made about matters like “jobs and health care,” things needed throughout our country.
And, in keeping with the love theme, they need to do that in a spirit of warmth. And togetherness. The bipartisan, “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.” sentiment displayed by both political parties in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Virginia, is necessary for creating a loving path to political unity and a hopeful future.
Again: What’s love got to do with it? Everything. I’ve come to think, in a short time, that reaching out to this president, and leveling with him (in conversational tones since any form of ridicule rattles his bones), might just be a true act of love.
Out of such outreach we can only hope that he might, in turn, find enough love in his heart to, in some way, change his ways.
To my own thinking I’m going, “Yeah. Right.” But what have we got to lose, considering that we’re already paying a yet to be known price for the situation we’re in as a society.
Meanwhile, for Katie and me, I say: Love on, America!