The hybrid rental car was moving in tortoise mode through LA traffic, tracking toward Disneyland, “The happiest place on Earth.”
“Are we there yet?” Really, did I just say that?
A child of the 1950s, I daydreamed about the wondrous rides and attractions of that magic kingdom. Would Disneyland live up to my expectations, including past experience, and the glow of advertising?
Or, like the other Washington, bursting at the seams with dashed promises, would I be disappointed in Fantasyland? Oh, how could I tarnish my Disneyland dreams with thoughts of D.C.
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Expectations, we all have them; we dream dreams, make life decisions, and even cast our votes based on them, hopefully supported by fact and validated with outcomes. Where are the promised, shining outcomes of this administration, advertised as being rooted in truth and integrity?
Serving the people and supporting the Constitution has faded in Washington, D.C., lost in the shadows of scandal and a fog called transparency. Unfortunately, what you see is what you get.
As we parked the car in the Donald Duck section, I noticed dozens of strollers being wheeled toward the promising lights of the Disneyland entrance. If I had kids in tow, as I did the first time I visited the park, would it, and all my souvenirs, remain safely stowed while we jumped on a Teacup?
Or, like the expanded National Security Agency surveillance program, would my personal stuff be captured without cause, ripe for the abuse of my privacy?
Would the streets, restrooms and restaurants of Disneyland be squeaky clean? Or be gritty and grimy, reminiscent of the political milieu that sidesteps their role in changing the talking points around Benghazi, oh, so close to the presidential election.
And then there is the dirty environment that steadfastly defends the Justice Department and all its scandals.
Would Disney cast members refrain from heavy sighing and instead give scrupulous directions when asked for the hundredth time, “Where is the nearest restroom?” Seems the IRS grew weary of processing applications for tax exempt status from groups bearing a conservative name. More than poor customer service from rogue employees, I wonder how the election would have turned out if ...
The victory speech in 2008 promised we could tell our children, “This was the moment where the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” I didn’t get caught up in the pomp and less-than-circumspect hype. What would it have been based on? Aside from my belief in limited government, where was the tangible experience, any record of achievements, or display of leadership to support the lofty promises?
The moment passed to a now-second term of incompetence and duplicity, with a reliance on tactics that divide us. Supporters hover, creating veils of protection, spinning and parsing words that neither commit, nor admit. But, the administration cannot be dismissed as being unaware, or devoid of culpability — culture, as with guilt, begins, or ends, at the top.
Ah, but there’s always the worn-out brush-off, “There’s no smoking gun.” An expression brandished about to diminish accountability as it relates to Benghazi, NSA spying, the IRS mess, and the Justice Department debacles. For those seeking the truth, we’re on a scary ride.
There is hope. Disneyland, rides and all, did not disappoint. The streets were sparkly clean, and those serving the public at every level, from janitors to princesses, were up to anyone’s expectations. All the strollers stashed with mementos were safe.
Disneyland is where integrity still reigns, everyone expects it, and everyone, including visitors, bring their good manners along, living up to the ideal around them.
Other than the wild rides, this administration isn’t Disneyland, but some examples could be followed. There’s only one “Happiest place on Earth,” and it’s not the other Washington.
Kathleen Rogers is a member of The Olympian’s Board of Contributors. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.