Opinion

Nobody

I’m a Nobody who knows he’s a Nobody.

I’m just the guy waiting at the kitchen table for his first Social Security check to arrive. I’m the guy who’s paid the penalty for not signing up for health insurance because paying the penalty is way cheaper than affording health coverage even under the apparently doomed Affordable Care Act. As a consequence, I have no health coverage. It’s a price one pays for being an American Nobody.

With the new GOP tax bill, I fully expect Donald Trump and his lackeys to take their cut out of that Social Security check, but then, I’m a Nobody and don’t expect to have any say about it.

It’s a tax bill not because it has to pass muster in the House and Senate, but because, in the end it’s another bill just like the one you get in the mail for your phone, electricity and fuel oil.

Please, whatever you do, don’t call me a Little Guy; the person of either gender whom Donald Trump is supposed to be fighting for. I never believed a single word the man said and voted accordingly. I’m a Nobody and the most virulent critic Donald Trump can imagine. As a Nobody, I don’t have a stake in this Society, other than what it owes me financially for what I put into it over the years. I expect a little honor among thieves.

Back in the day before I became a Nobody, I made millions in funds for low income residents here in Aroostook County. That money was turned into clean water systems, sewers that worked, and house repairs that stood up against cold Maine winters. Hopefully it made the lives of some people a little easier. I opted to be self-employed as a grant writer and consultant because I couldn’t stand being told what to work on by people for whom I had scant respect. What did all that success make me?

Nobody.

No, this is not a case of feeling the least bit of self-pity. It’s merely an acknowledgement that no good deed goes unpunished. I’ve always been an avowed pessimist and have seen little proof to make me believe the contrary. Winston Churchill once said that Americans will always do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else. That’s the definition of an optimist.

With Donald Trump in power, I expect certain things to happen. I expect freedom of the press to be curtailed, the rise of fascism and jingoistic nationalism to replace all those Constitutional niceties we used to call American. Instead, it’s America as sinking ship and Donald Trump punching holes in its hull.

I met and worked alongside a lot of good people back in the day when I swung a hammer and used that knowledge from those days to try and help others fix things around the place, so to speak. Your tax dollars coming back and working for you I used to say. Those days are gone. Now it’s every man for himself, ‘sauve qui peut’, as the French would have it. That should be the watchword of the Trump administration. It probably would be the most truthful thing they could say.

Me? I’m a Nobody. I came by it honestly.

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.

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