As a storyteller, I love a good allegory. And when I recently heard a poem called “The Snake,” well you can just guess who came to mind. I wondered how many American voters were reading this story to their children and grandchildren.
It’s a tale based on Aesop’s Fables and has been told in various forms for over 2500 years. These lyrics were written in 1963 by singer/songwriter and social activist, Oscar Brown Jr.
This is an excerpt from Brown’s version:
On her way to work one morning,
Down the path along side the lake,
A tenderhearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake.
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew.
“Poor thing,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you.”
“Take me in tender woman.
Take me in, for heaven’s sake.
Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake.
She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk,
And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk.
She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived,
She found that pretty snake she’d taken to had been revived.
She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful, ” she cried.
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died.
“She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight.
Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite.
“I saved you, ” cried the woman.
“And you’ve bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die.”
“Oh shut up, silly woman, ” said the reptile with a grin.
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”
Juxtapositions: So of course when I read this poignant poem, I thought of the poisonous orange snake with a comb-over conning Americans to take him into the White House. But when I did a bit of research on the poem, I was shocked to see that The Donald himself had been using the poem earlier this year at his rallies! He would recite the poem and then grin and ask the audience, “Right? Does everyone sort of get it?”
OMG! While I immediately envisioned Trump as the venomous snake, I was horrified to learn he was using the allegory to represent terrorism and refugees were the snake! Oscar Brown passed away in 2005, but his family demanded that Trump cease and desist using these lyrics in his rallies. The family said that if Brown were still alive, he would be on the “polar opposite side” of Trump.
Snake oil salesman: So there most certainly IS a deadly viper in this election, conning voters to trust him and saying what they want to hear…which changes with his audience du jour. While many Trump voters are politically and selfishly motivated, there are millions of others who are voting for him out of a blind rage over their diminished lives and see this as a chance to get back at those they see as responsible. These poor misguided Trumpsters and Trumpettes see this damaged man as their savior-in-chief. Some actually compare him to Jesus! What’s up with that? I think there must be a toxic Kool-Aid substance being filtered into the US water supply! The other day, I read that voting for Trump is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders!
Caveat Emptor: Among a litany of other things, Trump thinks Hillary doesn’t have the stamina (aka penis) to be president. But if I were living in the US, I would be running as fast as I can toward the only sane candidate in this race. By the way, you know Mr. Deplorable doesn’t really WANT to be president. He just wants to be able to SAY he is president.
So, my American friends, if by some horrifying twist of fate, President Donald gets to slither into the oval office and bites you in your pathetic regrets – remember, you knew damn well he was a snake, before you took him in.
Right? Does everyone sort of get it? Donald Trump sure doesn’t!
See you between the lines and on Twitter @PatSkene
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