The jerk store called. Again. And again. And again.
We clearly learned nothing from turning Sully the service dog into a thing after George H.W. Bush died. Dipping our toe into the waters of asinine impropriety, we decided, what better place is there than a funeral to mark our territory and troll the terrible other?
So it is with disgust that I watched many become obsessed with the Presidents’ Row at the National Cathedral before George W. Bush gave his wonderful tribute to his departed father.
Who shunned who? What awful side-glances were glanced? Who recited the Creed with appropriate vigor? Why didn’t everyone get a piece of candy?
How freaking dumb.
Just as dumb as Facebook censoring an image of Santa kneeling before baby Jesus because it was “violent content.” Just as dumb as the progressive who removed arguably the most famous woman in world history from a nativity seen so there could be two Josephs. Just as dumb as putting another nativity’s baby Jesus in a cage to protest immigration policy.
Instead of reverence in these situations, we get propaganda. Much of Bush 41’s funeral analysis was no different.
If we prove incapable of leaving such hallowed ground alone because our appetite for cynicism is simply unquenchable, we are no better than those we claim to oppose. Yes, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have said and done many bad things in their lives, but neither one of them did anything wrong in the video of Trump being seated that is now being combed over with the same zeal people bring to the Zapruder film.
They all did their duty by showing up to an event that would be undeniably awkward for any one of us, they kept their mouths shut, and they didn’t make a moment that had nothing to do with their passions or politics about them.
Not good enough, said the mob. Shame on all of you.
Do we really want and need Trump and Hillary to be that bad so we can get out of bed in the morning and fight the next windmill? Our charge is to be offering up our prayers for them, not planting evidence to assist in their destruction.
But as I have long said, too many of us are far more interested in tuning in like clapping seals to “the show” that is modern political and media theater, than in genuinely pursuing and contending for the good, the true, and the beautiful. Bush 41’s funeral trolling is exhibit A on steroids confirming that.
The idol worship is out of control. It is hollowing us out and spitting us into oblivion. If we are unable as a people to identify with anything other than political straw men and red herrings even when a casket sits before us, we have little to place our hope in. If only we defended our Constitution as zealously as we pursue hipster affirmation on Twitter.
For those of you still not getting it, this was a funeral. Not an occasion for hot takes, snark, or general jackassery. A man died. He happened to be a Republican, but nothing I’ve said will lose even a fraction of relevance when one of the Democrats the other hates dies in the future.
I’m not saying anybody has to pretend to like or admire someone they don’t. I am saying maybe more of us could pretend to be adults. They and their families will deserve your respect at that time, instead of being a platform for juvenile levels of deception, if for no other reason than we honor and respect the God who made them. Or at the very least the Golden Rule.
“Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.”