Anyone out there remember this Bonnie Tyler song from the eighties?
“Holding Out For A Hero”
Where have all the good men gone And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need
I need a hero! I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong And he’s gotta be fast And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure And it’s gotta be soon And he’s gotta be larger than life, larger than life!
Somewhere after midnight In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach There’s someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It’s gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet
Up where the mountains meet the heavens above Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would swear that there’s someone somewhere
Through the wind and the chill and the rain And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach Like the fire in my blood
Songwriters Jim Steinman;Dean Pitchford; Published by SONY/ATV MELODY
Remove the assumption of the hero being male, and you are left with the hopes I had for our next President. (Bet you didn’t see that coming!) I’m taking a break from writing about writing to voice my frustrations.
I was on board with the “Ready for Hillary” campaign. I started out the protracted campaign season hopeful of a first woman President who would draw from the wisdom of years in the domestic and foreign political arena and an up-close perspective on the presidency from her years as First Lady. I knew she was flawed. But I looked at the alternatives and drew a preliminary conclusion that she offered, in my eyes, more of a real life perspective to me than any of the Democratic or Republican potentials during those “Ready for Hillary” months
Enter the primary season. I made excuses for her scripted interactions and lack of eye contact, for the early accusations of her being owned by Wall Street. I ignored friends (including Democrats) who said she was dishonest and not to be trusted. I still didn’t see anyone else who was better.
Enter Donald Trump. As someone who avoided the Fox Network and Republican thinking in general, I was introduced to him through mainstream media, which was much kinder to him during primary season than they are now. Hard as I fought it, I liked much of what he said and how he said it. Yes, he was outrageous and unpolished. But like many who flipped sides and voted for him in the state primaries with open ballots (unlike NYS, where we could only vote for the primary candidate in our registered party), I found his unscripted, take-me-or-leave-me honesty refreshing. I loved that he was “bought” financially by no one, and seemed to be in this campaign because he genuinely cared about the future of the country, rather than what the office of the presidency could do for him. He had great, well-spoken, nice kids! I started paying attention.
Fast-forward again. Hillary’s email scandal raised eyebrows. But Donald’s frequent gaffes – which, by the way, received much more frequent and protracted publicity than the Hillary issues – did concern me to an extent. I held on to the words of many high-level (and often unexpected) Trump supporters whose off-the-podium experiences with him were totally different, totally favorable. Hillary’s “platform” became increasingly liberal, as she sought to win over Bernie supporters – to the point where she became unrecognizable to me – this was not the strong and independent woman I supported, despite her known flaws, through the “Ready for Hillary” campaign. She had become a candidate who would say anything to get elected, regardless of her core beliefs – whatever they were.
I so wanted a hero. I looked at one crisis after another erupting in our own country and on the world scene. I wanted a presidential hero who would slay the dragons and, yes, make our country great again – or at least whole and united.
The mass media turned against Donald Trump as soon as he won the nomination, twisting the meaning of things he said and barely mentioning the scandals plaguing Hillary. I wasn’t seeing the media’s image of a man who is racist, and sexist, and anti-Muslim – but rather, he is politically incorrect (blunt) in the way he presents his proposals to protect the country. I started flipping between regular media and Fox News to get a less slanted perspective.
Here’s the bottom line I’ve come away with so far. I don’t trust Hillary not to walk the path of least resistance, particularly if it is paved with gold for her. On the other hand, I’m uncomfortable with Donald’s unwillingness to become at least as politically correct as is needed to give the public (including foreign countries) confidence in his capabilities (skewed public media reports aside). And those running third and fourth party campaigns are just spoilers. They can’t win, and they could skew the final outcome without adding anything to the quality of the winning candidate.
So there it is. I’m still holding out for a hero. Will the real hero please ride in on your fiery steed and give our country some hope of being saved?