The frog wanted to be a prince with silky blond hair. He dreamed of being able to talk and have his words heard by millions of adoring fans. Not just heard but, in his dream, millions would chant his assertions and even nod their approval if he should suddenly reverse his positions. He dreamed that others would view him as he viewed himself: standing alone at the center of their lives. He was as surprised as anyone when his dream came true.
Some observers quickly recognized that he was still a frog, and that he preferred to catch unwary flies than to use his position as ‘ prince of the land’ to improve the lives of those he was now leading. It never crossed his mind, not once, that he now had an opportunity, which his position gave him, to accomplish something of value. Instead, he simply luxuriated in the discovery that his croaks were being interpreted as words, and that, to all appearances, others took them seriously.
It never got old to stand at a microphone or flourish his magic marker fiats, knowing that the future of billions of people and animals hung in the balance. Almost as thrilling as the roar of approval in an auditorium full of his followers, was his capacity to dash the hopes for decency and honesty in all who opposed him.
For a time, perhaps for a generation or even forever, a persistent illusion allows the frog to pose as a prince of the realm, thereby opening the door for others to pick up the spoils.
This frog is not the only denizen of a fabled realm who has passed through the veil that separates it from our more substantial world. Others who arrived here ahead of him now found their lives turned upside down. Turtles have abandoned their ‘slow-and-steady-wins-the-race’ respect for the past as well as their ancient need to return to the place of their origins, in order to adapt to the frog’s delight in upending the cart of tradition. Rats have abandoned their quick-witted, nimble scrambling across the fields and hunkered down in dumpsters and dank basements, also adapting to a new political climate. Many have forgotten their own values and turned away from the spirit of generosity that can be found in community. Many rabbits and sheep have found that, in their narrow focus on what is immediately in front of them, it was easiest to go along with the entertaining spectacle of a frog hopping up and down, proclaiming whatever pops into his mouth.
He soon felt a great yearning for the unfettered powers that he could see that other leaders possessed. In other parts of the world he saw leaders whose assertions were treated as the law of the land, while he had to contend with detractors who were free to openly oppose him. His response was always to load up his bump-stock and fire off a barrage of electronic croaks, sometimes 100 in a weekend.
Oh how he yearned to be a prince who had only to speak his mind and armies of frightened beings would fall into line, terrified for the lives of those closest to them.
And so the prince—renowned for his yellow hair painstakingly varnished around his frog jowls–remains in power. But his words are sounding more and more like croaks devoid of meaning, empty of even the illusion that they are uttered with any interests in mind other than his own. For the time, he continues to hop along the marbled corridors of power, while outside cities burn and the rage of frustration and pain flickers in the night.
The original inhabitants of this land, who understood the spirits of animals and considered themselves co-participants in the natural world, called this land “Turtle Island”. How strange it must appear to their descendants that many of the more recent arrivals, who call this land “America”, are competing to give homage to the least original of all animals, to a dreary emperor with no cloths, who is catching flies while claiming to wear the garment of consensus; who is condemned to live with a heart that is unable to resonate with what is deep and true; a cold-blooded foreigner who showed up on these shores deaf to the golden note that awakens a deep love for this beautiful world in all who hear it; unable to care anything about all who must live here needlessly suffering.