This post began life in The Finger Lakes Times (NY), in the weekly series, “Denim Spirit:” http://www.fltimes.com/opinion/denim-spirit-wanting-to-be-a-david/article_2d794841-a9f1-53fa-826b-b10ca1ea72b0.html
I want to be a David. No, not the king. I am a David Brooks or David Broder wannabe, even though I am just a Dick, Dick Green that is.
Dick Green wrote the daily, “My Neighborhood” column for the Muncie, Indiana Star & Press. I used to look at it from time to time as a kid, and wonder why anyone would read such things – boring. But all the adults in my life read “My Neighborhood,” and even talked about it sometimes. It was what you would expect, small town news about church bake sales or the local diner that added new tables and reupholstered the swivel stools at the counter.
Any youthful or mid-life ambition to be a columnist was fleeting, but when the urge struck it was always to be able to write real-time insightful analysis about important people and events. “My Neighborhood” was not something I ever aspired to write.
Now that I actually write a column, one with as goofy a name as “My Neighborhood,” and in a local newspaper rather than nationally syndicated, it turns out to be more like Dick than David. Those of you who offer feedback, make clear that you appreciate my quirky speculations on human nature or odd-angle observations about Nature, much more than what I regard as my thoughtful analysis of the news. In spite of Dick Green’s specter hovering over my ego, I understand that preference.
The truth is, I would rather tiptoe down the back stairs and peek into the Self, or jettison rationality to allow my imagination to plumb our insignificance amidst the stars, than poke the curdling obvious about the President. Sometimes though, there is a convergence between homely reflection and global analysis that offers an irresistible observation.
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Maya Angelou wrote those words; wisdom that was surely etched on her life as she grew up poor and a young girl of color in rural Arkansas.
The “Access Hollywood” tape showed us who he is. The bigoted characterizations of an honored judge of Mexican descent, born in my home state of Indiana, showed us who he is. The mocking of a disabled journalist showed us who he is. The false equivalency he depicted in the aftermath of Charlottesville, showed us who he is. The horrid innuendo against our own New York Senator on Twitter, showed us who he is. The most recent revelation of repulsive bigotry and ignorance, showed us who he is.
When someone shows us who he or she is, believe them the first time. David Broder or David Brooks could take that strand of thought and run with it, eloquently. I will acknowledge my own limitations, and simply leave it there.