All my life, all my heroes have been revolutionaries, writers, and nuns.
After watching the GOP convention last week, I have decided to change that order.
What this country needs are fewer politicians—and more nuns!
I am an immigrant to this country—you know, the folks the Trumpster doesn’t like—and I had a lot of trouble adopting when my family came to Greenwich Village in 1954. My first attempt at the first grade was a total disaster. I came out of the year without learning how to read and arithmetic was a total mystery to me. People started to presume I was an idiot—some still hold that opinion.
My mother changed schools to St. Bernard’s on West 13th Street in the North Village. There was an ancient nun there, Sister Perpetua, who quizzed me. She asked me about my teeth—all rotten in the famous Irish tradition that Frank McCourt brilliantly portrayed in Angela’s Ashes—and I gave the right answer—the black buggers would eventually fall out. Sister Perpetua decided to take a chance on me.
I ended up in the first grade for the second time with Sister Anthony. She told my mother that she was an artist by avocation. She was young, tough and caring. She paid special attention to me and—finally—Dick and Jane and Spot began to make sense.
There was a kid in this class. A tough little Irish Catholic shit called Bobby Gallagher. This was, after all, the far north Village when most of my classmate’s fathers were longshoremen (from the Irish, by the way, Loingseoir, which means someone works near the boats and the water).
Little Bobby was blond and incorrigible. Sister Anthony, a cultured woman of great patience, couldn’t take his impertinence anymore and finally let Bobby have it—she picked up a yard stick and hit the little bastard with it, breaking it on the little shit’s ass. No one in the class said it a word—but everyone approved.
Which brings me back to Donald J. Trump and his hate-filled convention that just went down.
Never, in my years monitoring American politics, have I seen such an uneducated narcissist come out and flaunt his ignorance before the American public. This guy hates everyone.
In my youth, under the protective guidance of the Catholic Church—in my case a wonderful institution totally concerned with my well-being—a vulgarian like Trump could never get away with absolute bigotry like that. In that era, there were three ethnic groups of Catholics at St. Bernard’s—Irish, Italian and Hispanic (mostly Puerto Rican). Because of those Irish Catholic nuns of the Sisters of Charity there was ZERO ethnic hostility. Everyone was pals with everyone.
Today, we look at a bum like Trump and he gets away with murder in the media. Why? Because he’s good copy and the rating go up when he’s on TV spewing his hate. Next week in Philadelphia the Democrats better get moving and start hitting this bully with everything they have.
He’s just like Bobby Gallagher.
What this country needs are more people like Sister Anthony—she knew how to take care of the class bully.
Unfortunately, the bully in this case, is the nominee of the GOP for the presidency of the United States.
You know, I’d like to see how big tough strutting Donald J. Trump—he, the lover of dictators like Putin and that North Korean guy with the bad haircut—would have handled Sister Anthony. I’m betting on Sister Anthony—she could spot a fraud and a bully without breaking a sweat. Bring on the yard stick.
Dermot McEvoy is the author of the The 13th Apostle: A Novel of a Dublin Family, Michael Collins, and the Irish Uprising and Irish Miscellany (Skyhorse Publishing). He may be reached at [email protected] Follow him at www.dermotmcevoy.com. Follow The 13th Apostle on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/13thApostleMcEvoy/