The last trump
It isn’t often I quote Scripture, but it’s one thing that brings me back to my youth when I toyed with the idea at the ripe old age of 12 of going into the ministry. That ambition thankfully and decidedly vanished when I discovered I really liked girls. It was a pre-adolescent fancy that propelled me into reading the Bible seriously, gathering from it what knowledge I could in anticipation of what I imagined would be an arduous religious career, like one of my then heroes, Dr. David Livingstone. That got sidelined in a hurry, but an appreciation for the Gospel in particular remains.
I title this the above because there’s a particularly stirring passage in First Corinthians about how we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed. And don’t give me any guff about your modern Bible versions, the KJV suits me fine. Changing it strikes me like converting Shakespeare into rap. I don’t like gangsta rap when there’s the blues, R&B, gospel and soul. The King James Version is poetry; it’s deep into the very roots of literature and still speaks to me.
The last trump is a reference to the trumpets sounding at the moment of resurrection, the moment when we shall put off corruption and put on incorruption; that bodily we will be transformed. Of course, all this leads to the Last Judgment, when we are judged.
The language is loaded with meaning, and subject to some literal interpretations, to me at least. The last trump hopefully means the last Trump we ever see again after this one goes the way of election cycles, impeachment proceedings and the what-have-you needed to banish him to the ‘dustbin of history’.
As much as this item is about Donald Trump, it’s about us and where we went wrong, and are going wrong as Americans. We have, after a fashion, put on the embodiment of corruption, for this man is remarkably corrupt in a way that extreme wealth and privilege can corrupt a human being. I run out of adjectives to describe the ways in which a misogynistic, misanthropic, immoral representation of an alleged human being can be president of these United States. That is my studied opinion and I stand by it.
So, we shall be judged someday for having made a spectacularly bad choice as a representative of our highest ambitions, our greatest aspirations. History will neither be kind to us or Donald Trump, given that either survives the perils and tribulations of the next three and a half years. The last several months are only a foretaste of what the next several years are likely to be.
I trust that Trump voters, omitting the hardcore ‘base’ of his followers, will have second thoughts and see the error of their choices. I personally consider myself working class, have worked with my hands, and afterwards worked to improve the living conditions of many of my fellow Aroostook County residents. I know what it’s like to be poor as well, having found what the bottom looks like, and not caring for its embrace. I’m baffled that so many people, so many of my fellow countrymen and women, have fallen so far away from reason so as not to see the lie that is Donald Trump and the sheer obscenity of what he represents to and for this country.
We shall be judged one day. Historians will write about this strange anomalous interlude in our history when we indulged ourselves in thinking the worst of each other and let that cloud our collective judgment. One day, we will wake up and ‘we shall be changed’. It’s quite possible. The Germans and Japanese woke from their nightmare, but only after great travail and catastrophe. I trust that is not what is in our stars or ourselves. I have to believe that.
Rather, we had a brief flirtation with a corrupt would-be emperor and he proved false. We placed Nero as head of the republic and it didn’t work out, simply because we have a republic. That is, as Franklin said, ‘if we can keep it.’
No, it isn’t often I quote Scripture. Or Benjamin Franklin for that matter.
Dave Wylie’s life and work experience runs the gamut from newspaper editor to carpenter to grant writer to boat builder with lots of other work wedged in-between. Wylie currently is president of a management company that oversees an elderly housing complex and president of the local historical society. He resides in Madawaska.