N is for Narrative

Wise asked me, “Why does Donald Trump have such a grudge against Mexicans?”

Hoot jumped in, “Oh Wi-ise, that’s just how he talks.”

I asked him what he meant.

“I eating my ice cream,” Hoot replied. “I no want to talk about dis.”

I can’t blame him.

I read an article today, about Monica Lewinsky and her anti-bullying efforts. I’m a few years younger than Lewinsky — watching her story unfold, as told by other people, was a definitive part of my political coming of age in the 1990s. It was crushing, in a way that’s still hard to articulate. I’ve never had a desire to be the president of the United States, or to be that close to one. I had thoughts in the late 90s of going to Washington, DC, getting involved in national politics. Not after that.

The President of the United States then of course had no crystal ball; he couldn’t see the future or possibly even anticipate the effects of his words. But I knew, even then, the message of the narrative that echoed from his words through the media and even among my friends.

She didn’t matter.

Perhaps we’re better now. I hope we are.

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