Updated: May 14
Long ago, on a distant day, the American people, beset by misinformation, prejudice, sexism and hate, elected a new leader for their land.
He was a tall man, one with a shock of "blonde" hair, a growing girth, and an attitude that he, and only he, could save our nation from disaster.
His name was Donald John Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire businessman and reality television star, who promised to "Make America Great Again."
In the three-plus years that have followed that fateful day in November 2016, our nation has been beset by a growing plague, one that can only be laid at the feet of Mr. Trump, he who is so famous that he can grab women by the crotch whenever he wants and they will rejoice, smile and say thank you.
Today, it is known as "the Plague from Trump."
Unlike the "the Plague from China," which Mr. Trump has labeled the coronavirus that has so far felled nearly 85,000 people in our nation, "the Plague from Trump" is much more severe than even that.
For he has turned many of our people one against the other so that even wearing a mask to fend off the deadly virus has become a political statement, and where a black man cannot jog on the street in his own neighborhood without being gunned down by white supremacist vigilantes.
Simmering racism has been set free by Donald John Trump.
"Now, we can say just about whatever we want," one South Carolina redneck said the day after Trump's election as he cheered Hillary Clinton's defeat. It was a sign of things to come.
There is no need to recount the vicious and racist acts that have occurred since that day, as The Trump Plague has been visited upon us. There is no need to recount the lies, the distortions, the pandering to the powerful, and the pandering by the once powerful to him.
It is enough to say this is what we confront today, even as our people are now without jobs, in food lines, begging for credit forgiveness, and fearful of succumbing to the virulent virus known as Covid 19.
But while we worry about venturing forth for long-needed haircuts, groceries, and delayed doctors and dental appointments, even strolls around the block, this American leader spends his time sending vicious tweets belittling and denigrating perceived foes and accusing them of imagined crimes, boasting of false achievements that would be life-saving if true, and trying to shift blame for his own deadly transgressions.
Listen to the Aztecs
Today, He-who-would-be-King, Donald John Trump, would be wise to heed the advice given to Aztec kings (source: Zocolopublicsquare.org):
Sickness will arrive during your time. How will it be when the city becomes, is made, a place of desolation? Just how will it be when everything lies in darkness, despair? You will also go rushing to your death right then and there. In an instant, you will be over.
Facing a plague, it was vital that the king respond with grace. They warned:
Do not be a fool. Do not rush your words, do not interrupt or confuse people. Instead find, grasp, arrive at the truth. Make no one weep. Cause no sadness. Injure no one. Do not show rage or frighten folks. Do not create a scandal or speak with vanity. Do not ridicule. For vain words and mockery are no longer your office. Never, of your own will, make yourself less, diminished. Bring no scorn upon the nation, its leadership, the government.
Retract your teeth and claws. Gladden your people. Unite them, humor them, please them. Make your nation happy. Help each find their proper place. That way you’ll be esteemed, renowned. And when our Lord extinguishes you, the old ones will weep and sigh.
If a king did not follow this advice, if his rule caused more suffering than it abated, then the people prayed to Tezcatlipoca for any number of consequences, including his death:
May he be made an example of. Let him receive some reprimand, whatever you choose. Perhaps punishment. Disease. Perhaps you’ll let your honor and glory fall to another of your friends, those who weep in sorrow now. For they do exist. They live. You have no want of friends. They are sighing before you, humble. Choose one of them.
Perhaps he [the bad ruler] will experience what the common folk do: suffering, anguish, lack of food and clothing. And perhaps you will give him the greatest punishments: paralysis, blindness, rotting infection.
Or will he instead soon depart this world? Will you bring about his death? Will he get to know our future home, the place with no exits, no smoke holes? Maybe he will meet the Lord of Death, Mictlanteuctli, mother and father of us all.
Clearly, the Aztecs took the responsibility of leadership seriously. King Donald would do well to heed their warning, for they knew that "a king's principal duty in times of contagion was deploying his subjects to 'their proper place' so that the kingdom could function."
That included mobilizing those with medical knowledge, the doctor-healers, the very people upon whom we rely upon today as we face all of the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus and "the plague of Trump."