Today is the predicted peak blooming of Washington’s famous cherry blossoms. Although the trees were a gift from the mayor of Tokyo (before the United States bombed two Japanese cities into oblivion) they perhaps reinforce the myth of a boy George Washington chopping down a cherry tree. I’m sure you know the story: Georgie cut down the tree and when his aristocratic father asked about it, knowing that he’d get in trouble, our founding father nevertheless confessed. The incident never happened, as historians have long assured us, but it is part of American lore. And perhaps a key to understanding American gullibility. We like things that make us look great. If a story shows that we’ve been honest even well before independence from Britain, well, we must be honest now.
Perhaps this is why so many people believed Trump, a president with a well-established and fully documented lifetime of lies. The biggest one being, of course, that he cares about anyone other than himself. Not content to accept facts, such as a closely monitored and fairly lost election, he espoused lies that are still causing shudders through the nation. I, like many Americans, live in a “purple” town. A few doors down from our house is that of a rabid Trump supporter. Just two days ago I had to walk to the drug store about half a mile from here. I walked past this house that had hung huge Trump banners right on the siding, in addition to one phallically jutting out from a flag bracket. Now the house has huge American flags upside down. Such things never happened, I’m pretty sure, when Bush lost to Clinton. Or ever before.
Nobody with the ability to read can doubt Trump’s actual record of deceit and lies. It is fairly well documented that he ran for president to help his business and promote his image rather than out of any concern for any other human being. After sentencing over half-a-million Americans to death with Covid (about which he simply couldn’t be bothered to do anything), his followers (who numbered high among the victims) still clung to the lies. Today the cherry trees, it is said, are blooming in Washington. I believe it because I can check the facts and see if it’s so. When I do I know that I’ll be thinking of George Washington and his fictional cherry tree. I know it never happened. Instead, I’ll focus on the beauty right before my eyes.