My birth name is Alice, and as a kid I was often teased in a friendly manner by folks who called me “Alice in Wonderland,” a literary reference to the book written by Lewis Carroll about a little girl who finds herself in over her head and completely out of her element through no fault of her own. Though “Alice” was written as a satire against the British government, it went on to become a fairy tale whose most famous phrase was “Curiouser and curiouser.” The butchered use of English was described as being the result of Alice being so thrown by what she was seeing and hearing in Wonderland that she could no longer speak her native language well.
I think I am beginning to understand the plight of my namesake. The craziness of this Presidential election season makes me wonder at times if our culture has become one giant, corporate Mad Hatter, and if we have permanently fallen down a rabbit hole. Even when I went to vote yesterday, the people at the polls were saying that this was the strangest election they had ever seen. People are literally shaking their heads at the Trump phenomenon, and while everyone from pundits to preachers are trying to figure out what is going on, and are virtually stammering while doing so, I wonder if we are being shaken by God down to the foundations of our American Experiment.
We have an avowed atheist and socialist as a contender for the Presidency by the name of Bernie Sanders. I remember when he first announced his candidacy, I didn’t think he would last for two weeks against Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, who at the very least should be in jail and making license plates for a long, long time, is actually lecturing us about being more loving. I am reminded of tales told by the Secret Service about ash trays being thrown by her at her husband, President Bill Clinton, while she was First Lady, and I wonder how she defines “loving.” On the other hand, one might think that Bill was getting off easy.
Then, we have an uber-crowded field of candidates for the Republican ticket, most of whom don’t seem to be actually running any longer, but who were all listed on the ballot. And for the first time in my life, the ballot was dominated by those running as delegates, who technically are in a position to pick the presidential candidates themselves. There is talk that if Trump actually wins the popular vote in the Primaries, the delegates may keep him from getting the nomination, and Mitt Romney, who, as far as anyone knows is not running, may be the one who is picked to go up against Mrs. Clinton.
Or, said another way, the guy that reflects the anger of the people and has no problem expressing it, may technically win the Republican nomination, but not be able to ultimately run against the former First Lady who is somewhat legendary for her anger. Then, again, the evangelical could go up against the atheist. Any way you look at it, we need to go on our faces and do some serious repenting that this is the state of our constitutional republic. As Alice said, “Curiouser and curiouser,” and that will only increase in the days ahead.