Inspired at 4 a.m. by the thought that very soon I will find myself without any insurance.
I always like to look at both sides of a situation, the way someone looks at both sides of a coin. Because things always have two sides. Really.
Without being an exception to many, I place myself in the majority and judge spontaneously — erroneously sometimes — by taking superficial elements and considering myself the center of the situation. How this or that affects or will affect me.
This form of reasoning — which really is prejudging without the slightest mental effort — leads me to merely look at the surface of a lake, mindless of its depth. We believe that what we see is reality, but in itself it’s only a mirage.
That’s how we walk down this path called life, herd-like, believing that things have a specific color. But, beyond all that, not even colors exist.
Politicians are experts at manipulating this way of thinking we humans have; rather, they know how to take advantage of this psychological situation, this first opinion, this natural way to prejudge. We can see this happen throughout humanity’s history.
When I read the news that the Republicans have a plan that will result in 52 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2026, I was struck by panic. I already explained how our brain works. I thought about me first, me at the center.
Old age is inevitable; health deteriorates, also inevitable. What happens if I don’t have a steady job and a health insurance policy supplied by someone else, or if I don’t have sufficient income to afford one? I was scared. That’s how my mind worked in the face of this news. That’s how many of us read this.
This is another fear, added to the many we already have. We Americans are victims of fear, of insecurity, of the manipulation exerted by these politicians whose only task is to enrich both themselves and their colleagues.
Ever since Trump decided to play at politics and be a politician, he has scared us — and gone beyond. I was going to say “threatened us,” but those words are very strong, since many readers will think — because of the aforementioned prejudgment — that my opinion is tainted with partisan tinges. But in reality, this monster has threatened us in a thousand ways.
We have to go out and win wars because enemies are threatening us; we have to build a wall because we have evil neighbors; we have to deport all these criminals who live with us; we have to pay more taxes to make up for the tax breaks for the very rich, and so on.
An interminable list that includes our being hung to dry in this health system that they promised would be better than the one established by that interloper who occupied the White House, according to them. A racist opinion that also serves to increase the fear and the hatred behind it.
Right now I want to forget about myself, about my fear of falling ill (actually, of dying) and think about what this generates in me and all of you who are in my same situation. I’m going to think about the insecurity in which we’re living, an insecurity that grows at a startling pace under the current government.
This insecurity in all aspects — not only in health, the economy, and even the nation’s future — is only a foul word scribbled on one side of the coin. Only one side, don’t forget.
Well, then, let’s look at the other face of this coin called Trump. Let’s forget the fear and insecurity. We now see that these elements are only the fertilizer for the Machiavellian plan of this twisted personage who rises at 3 a.m. intent on screwing someone.
Fear and insecurity make us vulnerable to manipulation. That’s all that Trump is after. That’s what he has done all his life, in business, now in politics and in all the activities he has conducted.
Manipulation is the tool used by those who hunger for power. In other words, power and manipulation go hand in hand. Both feed on each other.
This new bit about health insurance is meant to break us, to render us even weaker in the presence of this madman whose plan for us, the herd, is still a mystery. If we reasoned a bit, if we didn’t stick to what our mind wants us to perceive at first sight, well, we’d react. But that’s something that nobody does here any longer — react.
So we all cower in a corner, trembling, doing nothing. That’s what happened with the economic crisis, when the banks seized our homes, when we were made jobless. Nobody lifts a finger, the fatal inertia typical of many who were raised in this system of fears, the fear to take to the street, the fear to make revolution, the fear to end up in jail or dead for defending what really belongs to us.
Let’s look at what happens in the rest of the world — not just in the poor countries but also in the first world, Europe — when the governments touch one brick in our homes, when the government takes one loaf of bread from our tables. The people take to the streets to protest, to make themselves heard. Sometimes they’re killed, but that doesn’t matter. There is insecurity but there isn’t fear.
Many of the politicians who use the tool of manipulation sometimes pay with their own lives to a people who doesn’t let itself be fooled just like that.
Maybe it’s wrong to always be looking for a five-legged cat. Maybe I’m mistrustful or twisted, but I don’t swallow this tale about TrumpCare. I already know that very soon I will lose my medical insurance and that I will join the 52 million people who will be adrift tomorrow. I acknowledge, too, that I am in fear, in panic of falling ill and that I should be really worried about that.
Instead, I want to concentrate on the other face of the coin. When I do, I see only the exacerbated manipulation of a president engaged in breaking us down.
If even my shirt has a right and a wrong side, then why can’t I see this situation on two sides, two faces?
Daniel Pontet is an artist who lives in South Florida and draws the caricatures published by Progreso Weekly. The drawing on top is by Pontet.