deeply disturbing satire

Washington Burning from the movie, “Olympus Has Fallen”

As smoke from the dumpster fire at the Trump White House blocks out the sun over Washington, flames are finally reaching the steps of Capitol Hill. Among at least some majority party Senators and Representatives, our constitutional crisis finally registered at the “deeply disturbing” level this week. (Now, if someone could just correlate that to Yellow, Orange, or Red on the Homeland Security scale.)

As bad news pours in hourly for President Donald Trump, some Republican congressional leaders have at last been seen glancing nervously in the direction of the inferno on Pennsylvania Avenue.


Still, let’s face it. If the Patriots of 1776 moved with the swiftness and principled conviction of today’s GOP, I wouldn’t be writing this piece now. I’d be preparing afternoon tea and watching Her Majesty on the telly.

There’s nothing funny about where we find ourselves. But, this revolting state of affairs brings to mind the word “revolution.” And, it’s at least a little amusing to imagine how differently our own American Revolution might have unfolded with the three-headed invertebrate Mike McRyan leading the charge.

How bravely our modern day party of liberty and patriotism could have battled beneath a flag proclaiming “Don’t Tread on My Reelection!” (Of course, the snake would need to be replaced – maybe with a worm. Snakes have backbones.)

Many of our country’s most famous historical quotes would differ slightly too. Patrick Henry, for instance, might have said:

I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me a generous Super PAC!

Ben Franklin might have taken a slight different tack by declaring:

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. I’ll be back in a minute. Don’t wait.

A cornered Captain John Paul Jones would have defiantly declared:

I have not yet begun to obfuscate.

A less brave, self-serving version of Nathan Hale would have summed his actions saying:

I only regret that I have but one life to give for my taxpayer-funded, lifetime pension.

Thomas Paine could have captured the Spirit of 2016 with only a minor change to his famous words:

These are the times that try men’s souls. Mine pleads the 5th!

In a slight shift from the battle cry at the Battle of Bunker Hill, the men fighting back on Capitol Hill would be better advised with:

Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their subpoenas!

But, I can think of no better contrast between 1776 and 2016 than to tweak, only slightly, the words penned by Thomas Paine in “The American Crisis.”

Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it — and to blame Obama.

When did it become impossible to laugh without crying?



Image: Washington Burning from the movie, “Olympus Has Fallen” (promotional/fair use).
Maurice Carter

Maurice Carter

Maurice Carter is President and Founder of Breathe-Water, LLC, where he uses community building, storytelling, consulting, and social media to enable businesses, non-profits, and communities to understand and harness forces for positive change. An Atlanta native living in Covington, GA, Maurice is presently also President of Sustainable Newton, a grassroots non-profit dedicated to promoting sustainability and climate action in Newton County, GA.