Recently I was seized by a waking dream during the day — a "daymare", so to speak — that horrified me. Entranced, I saw a recognizable reincarnation of Hitler, prancing about the Oval Office, head held high, pontificating about a law-and-order America and vowing to crush any dissent that questioned or challenged his authority, even peacefully with no weapons in hand.


As horrific, though, I envisioned William Barr at his side, nodding sternly, with nary a hint of a smile, agreeing with every utterance that rushed from the revved-up motormouth of this likeness of Hitler.


Yes, horrified. Then Barr chilled me to the bone by saying that voting twice in the upcoming election might be an agreeable tactic to assure a glorious victory for the people in this oh-so-free democracy for all.


Then the daymare ended abruptly. Reality returned. Sadly, I pondered the political reality of the bully man-boy in the White House, who possesses not even a tiny fraction of Hitler's authoritarian skill set.


Hitler was cruel, calculating and decisive. Trump is cruel, clueless and likely the dumbest person in most rooms--meaning, unfortunately for 330 million Americans--that his chaotic reign could lead to a global conflagration and result in freedom alright, the malevolent kind that frees one from any responsibility to be a good person despite myriads of differences in a diverse nation. You know, for starters, to learn from each other, respect each other and maybe like or love each other in an engaged Golden Rule middle way.


Such high hopes, though, might die with Trump commanding the Ship of State. To avoid a daymare or a nightmare, I suggest a new commander replace him. Someone with a heart, more than average smarts and an ear calibrated to listen patiently to smarter people, not run his motormouth to self-serving extremes on automatic pilot.


Biden is at least a start in this direction. Harris too. No, not in any sense a perfect start. A democracy, after all, should not be a pretense that we'll ever reach ethereal heights without principled differences being at least aired out, minus the inhumane partisan extremism that misrules the day. . .and might rush in the night.


The alternative is to settle into a gross caricature of a "democrasee no evil, hear no evil or speak no evil."


Imagine a Trumpspeak response: "SAD! FALSE! PATHETIC! FAKE!"


When Trump does speak, though, his words are often predictably shallow, childish and to borrow a phrase from the novel, "White Noise," by American author, Don DeLillo--a "toxic airborne event."


What is our choice as conscientious Americans? An ironclad partisan straitjacket in which we are constricted in fear? Or a cocoon from which we burst into a light of transformational possibilities?


No democracy has been or ever will be perfect, but more of us can contribute toward actually living in ways that reflect higher ideals, not just the empty drivel of politicians who are more talk than walk and more concerned about money than people.


Enough is enough! Sow new seeds!


Richard Joel Holmes


Hays