Trumping the Second City

I usually love living in Chicago — a vibrant place full of character. Today, the private satisfaction of living here was scarred by the public embarrassment of being here.

I worked very hard in my SOCARE clinic today, seeing a variety of people from across the spectrum of patients we typically see: African Americans from the inner city south side, rural whites from nothern Indiana, and University of Chicago ex-faculty from Hyde Park. A colleague was out, but his patients were mistakenly scheduled, so I saw some of them on his behalf, doing my best to be helpful. Worked with the usual mix of co-workers from a potpourri of backgrounds, working harmoniously to deliver high-quality care under difficult cirsumstances. I honestly have no idea what anyone’s political views are, only a shared sense of mission against a common foe — cancer and the challenges of aging.

The workday ended long after everyone else had left, sharing a pleasant conversation with an oncology colleague, after a joint-consultation with a dying patient, both of us exhausted from a volatile mix of seeing too many patients, satisfied with having given our best efforts, and frustrated with the amount of work ahead of us over the weekend. Emotionally spent, but alive with the effort. 

On the way home, the forgotten trauma of politics in a city rich in such history, emerged through my car radio. This evening at UIC, a Trump rally was scheduled, a counter-protest was launched, the event was cancelled, and the police had to break it up. I dislike the behavior of everyone who feel hate and violence are a good answer to political differences, and I’m a little embarrassed for our city displaying this silliness. Rally, protest, or whatever you’d like, but don’t be hooligans.

Driving sadly through the south side to the athletic club where my boys are doing gymnastics, forcing my exhausted mind and body through a modest workout while watching my city’s worst side splashed across TV screens on the wall, displaying its bottom to the world, Trump’s face plastered everywhere, angry faces yelling all around, I felt annoyed.  Switching to my Twitter and FB feeds, I found they contained far too much contentless support for one side or the other, invective flung with little thought, emotions bubbling over at the evilness of Others, increasing my sadness for Chicago.

I truly wish people would spend more time trying to make the world a better place through their own efforts, rather than tearing down some other part, and ignoring the mocking Fool at the center of it all.

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