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A nightmare born of reality TV comes down on the Dreamers

By in Press Enterprise on February 5, 2018

By Larry Wilson

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series on the State of the Union. Read another perspective here.

I don’t listen to hip-hop music. But the morning after the State of the Union speech, I unaccountably woke up from a dream, rapping:

“The state of the union? It’s steaming.

“I like that headline I saw: ‘Twilight’s last gleaming?’

“As for those Dreamers? Oh, they dreaming …”

Really. This is not columnar poetic license. No one was around to hear me — Phoebe was already in the other room — but you can ask my cat, who looked at me funny. I got out of bed and went into the kitchen to write it down.

I hadn’t even watched President Donald Trump’s speech — I have a class Tuesday nights, and went to it. Had to catch up later on YouTube. But obviously the real state of the union was weighing on my mind.

The speech was awful, of course, in every way imaginable, from first smirk to last. But it’s not as if I had high expectations. In a year in office — not to mention in his 50-year career before that — Trump has so cheapened American political discourse that the 70 percent of we citizens who disapprove of his dismal substance and style veer daily between crushing despair for our nation and mere resignation, hoping we can wait it out. When not too horribly depressed by his dictatorial bumbling, I often think of what the singer and activist Harry Belafonte told a music producer friend of mine after the latter mentioned some latest presidential outrage: “I am reminded this is not my first disappointment.” Wish I had that inner calm. What cold comfort it is when I try to buoy myself with the fact that at least our autocrat is not very bright.

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