What? You don’t see a parallel? It occurred to me during my recent endless ruminating sessions inside my head about the election, the build up to the election, and the ramifications, that we should have known! We have all seen The Wizard of Oz so many times. Maybe we all secretly wanted to star in the story, so we ignored the plot as it built up to the crescendo of Election Day 2016.
The parallels are many. Those who sought relief from someone who promised them everything, is a starter!
Poor Dorothy, who found herself in a land she didn’t feel comfortable in, is so like the many people who look around and realize America is not the country of the 50’s when everyone was white, women stayed in their place, and jobs were to be had with little education. (Of course, it wasn’t exactly like that in the 50’s but we had the illusion it was.)
But how did Dorothy get into so much trouble and lost her way? Of course, it was that wicked witch! That mean, nasty woman who couldn’t be trusted, who hated dogs. She made life miserable. She must be destroyed! Hmm, do you remember the endless investigations, fake news stories and outright hatred that the right wingers spewed to get the country to hate Hillary Clinton. They systematically build up the venom until half the country saw her as the witch. Can’t vote for the witch, of course.
The Tinman, the Lion and the Scarecrow are parallels to those who feel left behind and can’t seem to move forward in a new economy with robots and global trade, like the un-oiled Tinman, stuck in place with no heart to reach out with. Then there are those who are afraid of the changing and browning of America with new immigrants and diverse religions and cultures. They are the Lion who can’t seem to be brave, but instead retreat in fear that things are changing they cannot control. Then there are those who truly hate- neo-Nazis, anti- Semitics, women bashers, immigrant haters, etc. who have no brain (or heart) as the Scarecrow. Ah… this story is so familiar and yet so new in so many ways.
Of course, there’s the Wizard, who has built himself up to be all powerful, magical, can do anything, all without specifics on how. He promises everything to everyone and yet, how? Is he for real? The people all so want him to be real. Everyone whom Dorothy meets along the way thinks the Wizard must be really the all powerful. Why? Everyone says it is so, of course. Besides, it is so much easier to believe in a Wizard who can make their lives perfect again, like it used to be. Then, they won’t have to think about it, make decisions, change their attitudes, etc. All those who tell Dorothy to keep going to find that Wizard are like most of our media, helping to build up the fantasy of the Wizard, not asking the hard questions that might bring doubt to Dorothy and friends!
We all know the ending of the story… The Wizard is a blowhard, a phony, a conman. When confronted with Dorothy and her friends to make everything great again, he falters, stammers, and finally admits he is not a Wizard. He can’t make everything great again. He doesn’t have the skills. He just liked everyone worshipping him. It was all about him.
The Wizard of Oz all ends happily of course. Dorothy gets home, all her friends get everything they want, everything is great again.
I don’t think our story is going to end this way…..