When Your Luck Runs Out

Mark Twain wrote that it’s better to be lucky than smart. Tacitus wrote of the benevolent Roman Emperor Titus that his ingenium (nature, or intelligence) made him “fit for the greatest good luck.” From this we may deduce that some people are not fit for good luck.

Think of all the lottery winners who blew it all and ended up homeless — there have been a lot of them.

Think of all the poor young women who married millionaires — who turned out to be like Jeffrey Epstein.

Think of all the average Joes who married a beautiful woman who was smarter than he is — and couldn’t handle it.

But I’m thinking of another guy, who was born lucky, and whose nature makes him unfit for office. I would tell you his name but I am sick of hearing it.

Until recently, our country had been extremely lucky, for centuries. Not everyone in it, of course, but our nation qua nation may have been the luckiest nation in the history of the world: Stumbling upon more than 3 million verdant, mineral-rich square miles — bigger than China —  thinly populated by people without metal tools, abundantly populated by game animals, protected on two sides by immense oceans.

Then to have a government formed by far-seeing men, aided and abetted by our Mother Country’s longtime enemy, France, which bankrupted itself supporting our revolution, only to stumble into its own, far more violent revolution, as ours concluded.

And on and on.

But I am afraid, my fellow citizens, that our long string of good luck may be running out. Not just because we elected a fraud who is unfit for office — and for the luck he inherited — but because his very existence — not his presidency, nor his policies, nor the corrupt accomplices he appoints “on an interim basis,” nor the vile things he excretes from his mouth every day — no, his very existence indicates that our country today may not be fit to have inherited these centuries of good luck.

Surely, we were fit for it when we inherited them.

Today, I think, we are not fit for it. Though once we were.

Make America — what? — fit again, for good luck?

Answer me a few simple questions, if you can

Are we a country at war or at peace?

At home or abroad?

Why has science become The Enemy?

Why have Democrats become The Enemy?

How long can U.S. diplomacy be based upon threats, weapons and military might, after we and the world have seen and suffered through decades of our failed wars: in Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Afghanistan, Iraq?

Why do bankrupt families lose their houses, but bankrupt banks don’t lose their banks?

Is U.S. military policy today anything more than waging war on Muslim countries, and training other countries — and our own — how to repress political opponents?

In doing this, how are we different from Russia or China?

Why is our “environmental policy” based upon propping up outmoded, corrupt, polluting industries, run by Republican campaign contributors?


Why does the U.S. Supreme Court have a higher percentage of sexual harassers and abusers on it (22%) than — God help us — the average American town?

Or does it? And how will that affect Supreme Court rulings?

And why is it that the once-powerful U.S. press — the newspapers — allow the Liar in Chief to play them, and us, like a fucking banjo?

In four words: What’s wrong with us?

Is this moment of 4 years in our national life an aberration, or is it what we have been all along? Or what we have become? And will we continue to be like this?

It is what we have become. I don’t believe it’s what we’ve been all along. I hope to god we will not continue on this path. I refuse to accept it, though I know I may be wrong.

I do believe that the noxious forces unleashed by this vile president were with us all along, but were suppressed, to a degree, by public opinion.

No more.

And all for the personal aggrandizement of a baby man. Leading our country by the hand into the woods, to “protect” us.

Well, this vomitous president has taken our diapers off for sure.

What will he do to us next?

These depressing, epoch-ending moments in our national life — day by day, hour by hour — were unleashed by a baby man who inherited money, and the power that goes with money, but was not capable of inheriting good luck.

Caligula was like that. So was Nero. Their personal good luck was disastrous for the empire.

Mark Twain wrote: “History does not repeat. But it rhymes.”

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