The Ides of October: A Recipe for Disaster

By on October 3, 2018

I hate television. I love television. I find myself glued to topics covered on MSNBC from time to time and I can’t figure out how I got there, or how I can get out.

The Kavanaugh debacle fascinates me the way a snake might. I can’t take my eyes away. My feelings of revulsion are complete and never ending. I watched every moment of his disgusting presentation of himself last Thursday when he insulted senators, whined, begged for mercy, and exhibited all the traits of a spoiled brat. Which, as best I can tell, he is.

How Judge Kavanaugh has lasted as long as he has in public life is a testament to the power of two faces.

I am not the only one who is reviled by him and his story. My friends, whom I count among the most informed, interesting women I know had dinner together last night. Around the table for six, we all confessed to these feelings of disgust and helplessness. What should we do to get him off the stage. Of course we all vote, and we all will do any volunteer work needed: phoners, door to door visits, drive people to the polls.

But is this enough?

What keeps me awake nights is wondering if it is true that democracy itself is at stake. Has the rule of law, and the reverence for truth evaporated in the age of Trump? Has the vulgarity of Trump washed over us all, drowning us, silencing us in filth?

I went to see a movie last night that I recommend to all. The new Michael Moore movie called Fahrenheit 11/9. There were fewer than a dozen people in the theatre if that tells you anything about the public’s interest or lack of interest in this topic. But the movie helped explain to me how Trump rose to power. Of course that made me even sicker. But as you would keep your eye on a boil that had to be excised, I watched every frame, smelled the rot as it ooozed out and listened to the alarming sound track. Moore has done it again, although I read he is taking a lot heat for it. People hate to look at this horror show.

The last good/bad movie I saw on this topic was the Deerhunter. Now that was a barrel of laughs wasn’t it? But it too was instructive. I’m sure you can still catch it on Netflix. Want to be thoroughly depressed. see it.

Perhaps, the constant drumming from Trump himself has caused our entire society to be overcome by a certain malaise. Have we all just decided to give in to this pain and grief and not to do anything that might inform and distress us further?

We can’t do this. Democracies do fail. They are replaced by dreadful versions of Nazi thought. Think Germany in the early thirties. My husband’s family was part of the German literati and began to write to their American cousins about their fears for the state of their country which, believe it or not, was a model of democracy before Hitler took over. My husband’s family began sending some of their kinder to the US in the thirties, along with letters of recommendation, suitcases of worthless money that the kids played with like Monopoly. Germany was beginning to fall.

I fear the United States is about to follow in its stead. We’ve been comfortable and prosperous for most of my life. I want this to continue. I have children and grandchildren to consider.

But if you look around the edges, the fact that we have imprisoned thousands of children, separated from their parents for no reason other than the fact that they are brown, which is plainly put, a sin. All the other bites the Trump administration has taken out of democracy. Not to mention the outright lying. Trump reminds me of what Judge Judy says. He opens his mouth, the lies fall out.

This is not a joke. This is beginning to rend the fabric of our society. We have to get rid of Trump and all his cronies. If we lived in Texas, I expect he’d be invited on a dove hunt.

What do I intend to do? Speak up everywhere and often. Not simply look the other way which is in its way the most dreadful form of dissembling. I love this country. I love my family. I want everything to hang together. We gotta make this work folks.

If you have any good ideas for action, let me know. Write to me here. We’ve gotta get together and do something.

About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”