It is so easy, so cheap and easy to ridicule our enemies, political or otherwise, when they have an embarrassing moment beyond their control. During the televised Vice Presidential debate, viewed by millions, in this fraught and consequential political season, a common house fly found its way out of the Salt Lake City night and into the debate hall on the campus of the University of Utah. It then found its way into the brilliantly lit halo of studio lighting and decided, following a fly’s mysterious mental logic, to wing its way in front of the cameras that are electronically conveying images across the continent and into the homes of millions of Americans– and lands on the hair of the gentlemanly Vice President of the United States who, as it happens, is Vice President to the most polarizing President ever to sit in the White House. Michael Pence has generated some hate of his own. I hated him constantly talking over the moderator and wondered why the Trump/Pence team had not learned its lesson from the spectacle that was the Presidential Debate. I say that unreservedly. When I saw it land, I thought, “here will begin the easy ridicule.” I half-hoped the moderator could see it and, seeing it, seized the moment to clear away this distraction in jocular fashion. I knew if the insect landed on Senator Harris, nothing would be made of it – or, if so, only by the cheapest of cheap Trump/Pence supporters. Of course, it showed up brilliantly on Pence’s snow white hair.

Odd thing about flies. In Jean-Paul Sartre’s retelling of the Electra myth, the flies are The Furies. Trappist Monk Thomas Merton wrote a book of poetry entitled, Seasons of Fury about the troubled world outside his monastery’s walls.

It is, indeed, a troubled season. The monastery beckons.


A golden, somber October has settled over much of the country, over much of what I still regard to be home to the north. Here in subtropical latitudes, long ago and once again familiar to me, it is damp heat stirring in the palms. Green and yellow, never gold — seamless and sleep-inducing and somehow unreal. Think of this time of the planet, though, as a phantom wrapped in poisonous nightshade slouching toward a November morn to be born on that First Tuesday of ugly, inevitable reckoning and dubious realignment that, if it goes the way the liberal rabble wants, shall be greeted by Time Square-esque New Year’s Eve delirium. It will be CNN’s Morning in America.

Or — maybe not.

Seething hate has boiled up at the non-politician who was able to win four years ago perhaps because he was running against the most disingenuous and untrustworthy woman ever to ride the coattails of a far more politically astute husband to the place where, on behalf of liberal minions, she would symbolically break this faux Glass Ceiling — and I dare not say a word against this slow-grinding feminist uprising that will go on pitting women against men and daughters against fathers. Oh, what have we drunk? Poisonous nightshade while, in the back of the empty cafe — empty because we are in a pandemic and he can’t open yet — the sad proprietor strums his guitar and goes broke. Just one of the other elements in our current morass — and probably the one that will assure a Trump defeat. He has not handled it well. I for one don’t think anyone else would have prevented 200,000 American deaths, despite what the lying, conniving Democrats say. But from the outset he failed to set a tone of paternal concern and empathy and guidance and leadership. A simple piece of cloth over his face could have made an enormous difference. (Did he just not think he looked good in a mask??) I find myself joining the chorus of enemies, calling him a fool. And I hate that I find myself in that position.

Trump banners all about me in this neighborhood of this Battleground State loft and fall gently on streets named for far-off tropical islands and, all in all, called Paradise Island. Good people in good homes — artificial only in the sense that they are of vinyl and metal but the refuge of a middle class from across the nation, like me. I live here among them; for how long I know not. Other banners I see, besides the Stars&Stripes, celebrate the Nebraska “cornhuskers” and the Iowa “hawkeyes” and the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Flyers…etc…etc… There are some banners for Biden and Harris, the senescent Hollow Man and Has-Been and the sniveling bigot consumed like the man she’s partner with and once so effectively attacked in a debate — consumed, I say, by raw, untrammeled ambition.

The crude, uncouth zillionaire might win (The Silent Majority hidden in their homes across America might come out to rebel and change the narrative; come out of their mortgaged, overtaxed refuges, be they modular or old wood and shingles. It could happen. It would unleash the despair of the chattering classes and the liberal elite. But, right now, this scenario seems unlikely.)

The non-politician President has flubbed matters mightily and infuriatingly. He has reminded us why it is not bad to be a politician or at least have good political instincts. Of course, he is a man who constantly trusts his instincts over advice from others– some instincts possibly good, no matter what anyone says ( for instance, getting us out of the murderous Iran Nuclear Deal). But he seems increasingly unable to sort bad instincts from good, like not wearing a mask during this pandemic. Going mask-less and failing simply to say ‘I hate White Supremacists’ — was below bad instinct. It was the proud and perverse death rattle of a man just outside the ring of normal discourse.

Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that the “experts” were telling us we didn’t need masks. However, wearing them, to my mind, is a sign of respect for our fellow citizens in this medically dangerous time. History and science will tell us someday. For now, Mr. Trump needed to accept the transient science and its symbols of common bonding and solidarity.

So the man convalescing in the White House marinates mask-less in his hubris and fantasies but still captures the hearts and loyalty of millions of beleaguered, decent, despised, underestimated, ignored, sane, common sensical, family-loving, patriotic Americans who have been declared “deplorable” by an elite or two. Who shall arise to save us all — the devoted, like them, and the ambivalent, like me?

And October creeps on. I will miss October. I will miss much more than that when November shadows fall over the lands where it is not eternal summer. That is my fear.


And so 2020 advances. President Trump in the hospital, the media scum is using the moment for recrimination. Kind of a ‘you got what was coming to you’ moment. And so — 2020, what a year! On so many troubled fronts! I’m not a Trump supporters — but….

Here’s what I know about Joe Biden: he is the guy with the “nice guy” image. But long observation of his long career reveals a now-senescent, garrulous fraud, transparently a liar and phony governed by untrammeled and long frustrated ambition for the Oval Office. He now operates without regard for any principle and has changed all his most moderate positions, including long, formerly unwavering support for the Hyde Amendment to satisfy the Left wing of his Party, which now pretty much is the whole bird. All to get the prize he’s been denied. He is a pathetic armature on which the left will shape its ideas. The Party architects are now Bernie and AOC. I challenge anyone to deny that.

Kamala Harris is simply an anti-Catholic bigot who believes membership in the 138 year-old Catholic fraternal charitable organization The Knights of Columbus disqualifies one to sit on the federal bench because, like the Catholic Church, it opposes abortion — or, as Ms Harris and her minions would put it — “a woman’s right to choose” (choose what? That’s the issue). She has been elevated far beyond her competence fairly to represent the interests of all Americans.

Donald Trump is the following: stubborn, arrogant, inarticulate, undisciplined, even unwilling in front of millions of viewers — for reasons that can only be a source of appalled speculation — to denounce White Supremacy, apparently (I’m speculating)”insulted”(as he would see it) by the assumption that he needed to make a public profession that he wasn’t a racist when Joe Biden isn’t being asked if he supports the transparently racist/ Marxist violent organization known as Black Lives Matter that has been burning and looting our cities and assaulting innocent people. He simply had to say, I absolutely denounce White Supremacy — I don’t want those people in my campaign, in the Party or in the country. I hate them. If you’re out there, stay away from me and mine.

You, Donald, were justifiably irritated that Joe Biden was not asked about his support for the destructive and duplicitous rabble now operating under the fraudulent title, Black Lives Matter; and that he got away with claiming that Antifa is just “an idea”. But you could have pivoted and asked that question yourself — if you had even a scintilla of ability as a debater of ideas. (I knew I shouldn’t have watched this thing.)

The whole thing was infuriating to anyone who hoped you’d perform well. I suspected you wouldn’t — because, again, as a candidate, you are undisciplined, fail to take direction, think the belligerent way you deal with the media is the way you conduct yourself in a debate. And yet, ironically, you’ve been the last best hope of genuine conservatives in and out ( and I’m out) of the Republican Party , and in America — and of what few conservative Democrats are left.

Get well, D.T. You apparently remain the blunt instrument we’ll have to use to pry open the door to sanity and freedom — and you’ll have to help us keep it open (and I know you’ll brag about that) for four years– until someone better comes along. But right now, I fear the fools may win and commence a four-year assault on our liberties, our economy, our morals. You name it.

“It’s a mess, ain’t it, sheriff?”

If it ain’t, it’ll do til the mess gets here,” said the West Texas sheriff in No Country for Old Men.

God help us!